Garfunklr 2022

Reading | January 3, 2023

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:

  1. The Man Who Watched Trains Go By
    Georges Simenon
  2. Die, My Love
    Ariana Harwicz
  3. In A Strange Room
    Damon Galgut
  4. Slum Virgin
    Gabriela Cabezón Cámara
  5. I Am Not Sidney Poitier
    Percival Everett
  6. The Dangers of Smoking In Bed
    Mariana Enriquez
  7. Bewilderment
    Richard Powers
  8. The Promise
    Damon Galgut
  9. The End Of Everything
    Katie Mack
  10. Things We Lost In The Fire
    Mariana Enriquez
  11. The Buried Giant
    Kazuo Ishiguro
  12. My Monticello
    Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
  13. And Away (The Autobiography)
    Bob Mortimer
  14. Lucid Living
    Timothy Freke
  15. The Premonitions Bureau
    Sam Knight
  16. Aoyade On Top
    Richard Aoyade
  17. Assembly
    Natasha Brown
  18. Ramble Book
    Adam Buxton
  19. Spectacles
    Sue Perkins
  20. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck
    Mark Manson
  21. Hurricane Season
    Fernanda Melchor
  22. The Perfect Golden Circle
    Benjamin Myers
  23. The Year of Magical Thinking
    Joan Didion
  24. Liberation Day
    George Saunders
  25. Our Share of Night
    Mariana Enriquez
  26. The Memory Police
    Yōko Ogawa

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