A slower year of reading this year with a few breaks and a few dips into and out of reference books for work. Good autobiographies, and more fantastic fiction in translation.
Mariana Enriquez was this year’s immense discovery. Two short story collections and an enormous novel, devoured just like the politics and dark magic of Argentina devour the people she writes about. Please somebody buy the rights to her stories and make TV horror great again.
Slum Virgin is the second novel I’ve read by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara and puts her up there as one of my favourite authors. Looking forward to the new one coming in 2023 via Charco Press.
Percival Everett – wow. I Am Not Sidney Poitier is so bizarre and funny and bang on the nose in so many ways. The only writer I can compare him to is Kurt Vonnegut…and maybe Paul Beatty. I’ve got three more by Everett on my pile that I can’t wait to start. I think there are three more reissues coming out in 2023 via Influx Press too, which will be added to the pile and devoured in due course.
Hurrican Season blew me out of the water. Such immense writing and storytelling. A total powerhouse that just steamrolls its way through your soul. Again, like Mariana Enriquez, it’s dark magic and murder, gossip, class, family fueds and grotesque, violent sex that are the devices that bring the true story of South America to life.
The new short story collection from George Saunders was, as expected, incredible. Parts of that have stayed with me and haunted me since reading it.
Ben Myers continues his run of outstanding novels of outsiders, folklore and history. A new one from him in 2023 as well.
2023 is looking great in terms of reading, already. I’ve got my Charco subscription, new books from Boiler House Press, the Everett novels and lots more ready to read, with more coming from most of my favourite new writers.
This last year’s list in full:
- The Man Who Watched Trains Go ByGeorges Simenon
- Die, My LoveAriana Harwicz
- In A Strange RoomDamon Galgut
- Slum VirginGabriela Cabezón Cámara
- I Am Not Sidney PoitierPercival Everett
- The Dangers of Smoking In BedMariana Enriquez
- BewildermentRichard Powers
- The PromiseDamon Galgut
- The End Of EverythingKatie Mack
- Things We Lost In The FireMariana Enriquez
- The Buried GiantKazuo Ishiguro
- My MonticelloJocelyn Nicole Johnson
- And Away (The Autobiography)Bob Mortimer
- Lucid LivingTimothy Freke
- The Premonitions BureauSam Knight
- Aoyade On TopRichard Aoyade
- AssemblyNatasha Brown
- Ramble BookAdam Buxton
- SpectaclesSue Perkins
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving A FuckMark Manson
- Hurricane SeasonFernanda Melchor
- The Perfect Golden CircleBenjamin Myers
- The Year of Magical ThinkingJoan Didion
- Liberation DayGeorge Saunders
- Our Share of NightMariana Enriquez
- The Memory PoliceYōko Ogawa
Subscribe to get updates on new releases and projects.