Here is a list of everything I read during the year, along with links to any reviews I’ve written.

36. Herbert Clyde Lewis, Gentleman Overboard (USA, 1937). Comic and tragic, banal and affecting, extremes of emotion are here in the tale of a man who slips off the edge of a ship. [****]

35. Saneh Sangsuk, Venom (Thailand, 2001 tr, 2023). A young boy grapples with a snake and oppressive authority in this short, engaging work. [****]

34. Sigrún Pálsdóttir, History. A Mess. (Iceland, 2016 tr.2019). A PhD student loses her footing on reality in a novel that collapses into conjecture. [***]

33. Douglas Bruton, With or Without Angels (Scotland, 2023). Reality fades into memory and imagination as an ageing artist completes his final work. [***]

32. Jeremy Cooper, Brian (England, 2023). A love letter to the cinema, in which a reclusive council worker discovers the world of film. [****]

31. Chris Carse Wilson, Fray (Scotland, 2023). A vivid tale of a narrator working through their grief. [****]

30. Daniel Kehlmann, Tyll (Germany/Austria, 2017 tr. 2020). Re-read: still hit-and-miss for me. [***]

29. Han Kang, Greek Lessons (South Korea, 2011 tr. 2023). Two characters forge a connection through the intimacy of language. [****]

28. Andrew Hunter Murray, The Last Day (England, 2020). Earth has stopped spinning in this odd thriller. [**]

27. Guadalupe Nettel, Still Born (Mexico, 2020 tr. 2022). An exploration of changing feelings about motherhood, through the lives of two thirtysomething women. [***]

26. Andrey Kurkov, Jimi Hendrix Live in Lviv (Ukraine, 2012 tr. 2023). Typically quirky stuff from Kurkov. [***]

25. Amanda Svensson, A System So Magnificent It Is Blinding (Sweden, 2019 tr. 2022). A big, digressive novel about mismatched triplets and possible coincidences. [***]

24. Zou Jingzhi, Ninth Building (China, 2010 tr. 2022). Snapshots of the author’s youth during the Cultural Revolution. [***]

23. Clemens Meyer, While We Were Dreaming (Germany, 2007 tr. 2023). A chronicle of teenage boys’ lives and dreams in the wake of German unification. [***]

22. Georgi Gospodinov, Time Shelter (Bulgaria, 2020 tr. 2022). A powerful and engaging novel about memory and the perils of nostalgia. [****]

21. Virginia Woolf, Orlando (England, 1928). Re-read: oddly enough, I didn’t care for it as much this time. [***]

20. Eva Baltasar, Boulder (Spain, 2020 tr. 2022). Short and intense study of a woman facing a crossroads in life. [****]

19. Laurent Mauvignier, The Birthday Party (France, 2020 tr. 2023). A novel that manages to be both densely written and a proper page-turner. [****]

18. Perumal Murugan, Pyre (India, 2013 tr. 2016). The tale of a couple who are of different castes, and the village that turns against them. [***]

17. Vigdis Hjorth, Is Mother Dead (Norway, 2020 tr. 2022). A woman returns to her home city and hopes to reconcile with her mother, though all is not as it seems. [****]

16. Maryse Condé, The Gospel According to the New World (France/Guadeloupe, 2021 tr. 2023). A new messiah may, or may not, have been born in this parody of the gospels. [***]

15. Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem (China, 2006 tr. 2014). Started off interesting, but eventually I just got bored. [**]

14. Derek Owusu, Losing the Plot (England, 2022). The tale of a mother’s journey from Ghana to the UK, and her son’s attempt to tell her story. [****]

13. Eva Aldea, Singapore (Poland/Sweden, 2023). A woman finds expat life is not all she thought it might be, and gives rein to her darker impulses. [****]

12. Éric Faye, The Ghost of Frédéric Chopin (France, 2019 tr 2021). Enjoyable mystery about a woman who seemingly receives posthumous compositions from Chopin. [***]

11. Cherry Smyth and Craig Jordan-Baker, If the River Is Hidden (Ireland/England, 2023). Poetry and prose combine as two writers travel through Northern Ireland to connect with their roots. [***]

10. Fatima Daas, The Last One (France, 2020 tr. 2022). The tale of a young French-Algerian woman piecing together the different aspects of her identity. [***]

9. Cheon Myeong-kwan, Whale (South Korea, 2004 tr. 2022). A kaleidoscopic dance of a novel exploring recent Korean history. [****]

8. Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon (USA, 1966). Re-read this novel about a man who undergoes experimental intelligence enhancement. Still as sharp as ever. [****]

7. Meena Kandasamy, The Book of Desire (India, 2023). New translation of an ancient work of Tamil love poetry. [****]

6. David Constantine, Rivers of the Unspoilt World (England, 2022). Three historical novellas that were just not my thing on the day. [***]

5. Philippe Claudel, German Fantasia (France, 2020 tr. 2023). A powerful cycle of stories on themes of history, memory and complicity. [****]

4. Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Hell Screen (Japan, 1917-25 tr. 2006). I read this after seeing the film Rashomon (which is based on two of the stories). I enjoyed Akutagawa’s combination of darkness, wry humour and unreliable narrators. [***]

3. Tarjei Vesaas, The Birds (Norway, 1957 tr. 1968). Re-read: I appreciated even more this time the subtlety and insight of the characterisation. [*****]

2. Gertrude Trevelyan, Appius and Virginia (England, 1932). The premise of this novel sounds whimsical (a woman tries to raise an orang-utan as a human child), but actually it’s a chilling portrait of the impossibility of knowing another mind. [*****]

1. Horatio Clare, The Light in the Dark (Wales, 2018). Candid journal of a British winter, touching on nature and the author’s mental health. [***]