January 1, 2022

Garfunklr 2021

My year in reading.

This year started out slowly as I was recovering from a pretty bad period of poor mental health at the tail end of 2020. At the very start of the year I took a walk up to the benches at the start of the Midshires Way and started reading Pushkin. People aren’t lying when they say those Russian masters are good for you. And that spot is a great spot to be in.

Belper got a new indie bookshop this year. Bearded Badger books is a super cool little unit with a gent of an owner who got me hooked on Charco Press and instantly became my monthly supplier of books as my brain switched back on piece by piece and I started to really chew through novel after novel.

Loads of highlights this year. Most of those Charco ones, especially Selva Almada (who is now one of my favourite writers) and Gabriela Cabezón Cámara. Ben Pester was the funniest and weirdest. Jon McGregor was special as always.

Here’s this year’s full list of books:

  1. Dobrovsky
    Alexander Pushkin
  2. We Have Always Lived In The Castle
    Shirley Jackson
  3. The Krull House
    Georges Simenon
  4. The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter
    Carson McCullers
  5. Klara And The Sun
    Kazuo Ishiguro
  6. The Midnight Library
    Matt Haig
  7. Girl, Woman, Other
    Bernadine Evaristo
  8. The Wind That Lays Waste
    Selva Almada
  9. Lean Fall Stand
    Jon McGregor
  10. 84, Charing Cross Road
    Helene Hanff
  11. Male Tears
    Benjamin Myers
  12. Summer
    Ali Smith
  13. Am I In The Right Place?
    Ben Pester
  14. Shuggie Bain
    Douglas Stuart
  15. The Glass Hotel
    Emily St. John Mandel
  16. A Musical Offering
    Luis Sagasti
  17. Dead Girls
    Selva Almada
  18. Zed
    Joanna Kavenna
  19. In The Shadow Of The Phosphorous Dawn
    Rob True
  20. A Perfect Cemetary
    Federico Falco
  21. Patience
    Toby Litt
  22. Havana Year Zero
    Karla Suarez
  23. Elena Knows
    Claudia Pineiro
  24. English Pastoral
    James Rebanks
  25. Feebleminded
    Ariana Harwicz
  26. On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
    Ocean Vuong
  27. The Cockroach
    Ian McEwan
  28. Insignificance
    James Clammer
  29. The Adventures of China Iron
    Gabriela Cabezón Camara
  30. Holiday Heart
    Margarita García Robayo
  31. At Night All Blood Is Black
    David Diop
  32. Junglist
    James T. Kirk & Two Fingaz
  33. The Rooftop
    Fernanda Trías
  34. The Bass Rock
    Evie Wild
  35. The Every
    Dave Eggers
  36. Brickmakers
    Selva Almada
  37. Gentleman Overboard
    Herbert Clyde-Lewis

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