On this page, I keep track of what I read in 2024. The links go to reviews or wherever I’ve written about a particular book.

39. Anna Stern, all this here, now (Switzerland, 2020 tr. 2024). A group of friends lose one of their number: this novel maps out the landscape. [****]

38. Mariana Enríquez, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed (Argentina, 2017 tr, 2021). Re-read: still likeable in places but ultimately uneven. [***]

37. Sven Holm, Termush (Denmark, 1967 tr. 1969). Life among the haves and have-nots of a post-apocalyptic hotel. Still sharp today. [****]

36. Jeffrey Lewis, Leonard Cohen: a Novel (USA, 2024). A namesake musician is haunted by the possibility of other paths through life, just out of reach. [****]

35. Nanae Aoyama, A Perfect Day to Be Alone (Japan, 2007 tr. 2024). Living with a distant relative changes a young woman over the course of a year. [***]

34. Emeric Pressburger, The Glass Pearls (Hungary/UK, 1966). A former Nazi surgeon tries to start a new life in London. The reader’s sympathies switch back and forth. [***]

33. Mark Watson, Contacts (England, 2020). I could imagine Richard Curtis directing a film adaptation of this. [***]

32. Saraid de Silva, Amma (Sri Lanka/New Zealand, 2024). Three generations of a family scarred by a secret. [****]

31. Ned Beauman, Venomous Lumpsucker (England, 2022). Satire on the industrialisation of extinction. [***]

30. Ana Paula Maia, Of Cattle and Men (Brazil, 2013 tr. 2023). Brutality haunts the all-consuming world of the slaughterhouse. [****]

29. Penelope Curtis, After Nora (Scotland, 2024). Characters seek understanding through art in two episodes of family history. [****]

28. Ia Genberg, The Details (Sweden, 2022 tr. 2023). It’s all in the small things as a woman remembers four people from her life. [***]

27. Selva Almada, Not a River (Argentina, 2021 tr. 2024). Menacing tale of tragedy on a rural fishing trip. [****]

26. Domenico Starnone, The House on Via Gemito (Italy, 2000 tr. 2023). A writer looks back on his Naples childhood and his domineering father. [****]

25. Urszula Honek, White Nights (Poland, 2022 tr. 2023). A constellation of stories about the lives and deaths of people from the same village. [****]

24. Ismail Kadare, A Dictator Calls (Albania, 2022 tr. 2023). Exploration of a phone call that took place between Stalin and Boris Pasternak. [**]

23. Andrey Kurkov, The Silver Bone (Ukraine, 2020 tr. 2024). A historical crime novel with typical Kurkov strangeness. [***]

22. Jente Posthuma, What I’d Rather Not Think About (Netherlands, 2020 tr. 2023). Fragmented portrait of a woman and her late twin brother. [***]

21. Gabriela Wiener, Undiscovered (Peru, 2021 tr. 2023). The author-narrator searches for an equilibrium with her family history and personal life. [***]

20. Itamar Vieira Junior, Crooked Plow (Brazil, 2018 tr. 2023). A panorama of life in a community of tenant farmers, revolving around two sisters. [***]

19. Gabrielle Zevin, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow (USA, 2022). Saga about video game developers – interesting in places, but overlong. [***]

18. Jenny Erpenbeck, Kairos (Germany, 2021 tr. 2023). A student and an older man embark on an affair that echoes the final years of East Germany and after. [****]

17. Rodrigo Blanco Calderón, Simpatía (Venezuela, 2021 tr. 2024). A posthumous request to set up a clinic for abandoned dogs leads to an unexpected web of events. [***]

16. Veronica Raimo, Lost On Me (Italy, 2022 tr. 2023). A journey through the life of a wry narrator who uses anecdote as a shield. [***]

15. Jonathan Walker, Push Process (England, 2024). Part novel, part meditation on photography as an academic finds his way in Venice. [***]

14. Ursula Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven (USA, 1971). I thought I’d read this before, but it seems not. Dreams that change reality, and intractable ethical problems. [****]

13. Thomas Morris, Open Up (Wales, 2024). A set of five stories whose male protagonists are seeking connection. [***]

12. Willem Frederik Hermans, An Untouched House (Netherlands, 1951 tr. 2005). A microcosm of war beneath its own mask of civility. [****]

11. Paul Lynch, Prophet Song (Ireland, 2023). I quite liked the abstract nature of this dystopia to begin, but ultimately it needed something more tangible to have weight. [**]

10. David Rose, Vault (England, 2011). A character rebels against the novel of his own life. [***]

9. Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin (USA, 2003). No, we don’t. [**]

8. Catherine Chidgey, Pet (New Zealand, 2023). A 12-year-old girl is dazzled by her glamorous teacher in this tense novel which keeps the truth open to question. [****]

7. Max Blecher, Adventures in Immediate Irreality (Romania, 1936 tr. 2015). No object or event can be relied upon to be stable for this narrator. [****]

6. Pat Gray, Mr Narrator (Northern Ireland, 1989). Elusive tale of a man navigating the bureaucracy of a fictional country. [***]

5. Kristin Hersh, The Future of Songwriting (USA, 2024). A conversation about finding authenticity and balance. [***]

4. Simone de Beauvoir, A Very Easy Death (France, 1964 tr. 1985). Brief yet harrowing account of the author’s mother. The end of life is easy in some ways, not at all easy in others. [***]

3. Mário de Andrade, Macunaíma (Brazil, 1928 tr. 2023). Shapeshifting and bewildering. I didn’t I really grasp it, but I’ll try it again another time. [****]

2. Hiroko Oyamada, Weasels in the Attic (Japan, 2012-4 tr. 2022). Three stories, three meals between friends, that subtly echo the tensions in relationships. [****]

1. Domnico Starnone, Ties (Italy, 2014 tr. 2017). The pieces of a marriage, told from three viewpoints. [***]