Two 5-star Novellas for #ReadIndies – Kerangal and Herrera

Eastbound by Maylis de Kerangal Translated by Jessica Moore Having read two other novels by de Kerangal (Mend the Living and Painting Time) both translated by Jessica Moore, now that I’ve read a third, I can aver that they are indeed a dream team. Moore just totally gets her author’s writing, which often has complex Read More

Two in Spanish for #WITMonth – Piñeiro & Posadas

Today, two more from my #20booksofsummer23 for #WITMonth too, both novels written in Spanish for you – both by South American authors – one from Argentina, the other from Uruguay; I loved one, and nearly DNF’d the other! A Little Luck by Claudia Pineiro Translated by Frances Riddle I discovered Argentinian author Claudia Piñeiro last Read More

Skin Deep by Antonia Lassa

Translated by Jacky Collins I’m delighted to be today’s stop on the blogtour for Corylus Books’ first publication translated from Spanish – and Skin Deep is an absolute winner! At just 114 pages, it may be brief, but as crime novels go it’s not a quick read, for it has real depth. There is so Read More

The Hand That Feeds You by Mercedes Rosende – blogtour

Translated from the Spanish by Tim Gutteridge This is the first novel I’ve read by a Uruguayan author. It was superb, and given my recent diet of mainly Argentinian literature when I’ve ventured to South America to read, it had a different feel to books from its neighbour – Uruguay is sandwiched between the northeast Read More

Urgent Matters by Paula Rodriguez – Blog tour

Translated by Sarah Moses I’ve been reading a bit more Latin American literature in translation this year. All in translation from Spanish, but from a range of countries: Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Argentina, to be precise. Most of these novels have also been noirish or had a psychological thriller feel, but all have been unashamedly Read More

Havana Fever by Leonardo Padura

Translated from the Spanish by Peter Bush I’m delighted to be one of those leading off the blog tour for another of Bitter Lemon Press’s reprints of relatively recent world noir novels. This time we visit Cuba for Havana Fever which was first published in Spanish in 2005, with the English translation in 2009. Padura, Read More

Salt Crystals by Cristina Bendek

Translated by Robin Myers Released earlier this month, this is the latest title from Charco Press, the Latin American translation specialists, by Colombian author Cristina Bendek. The setting is San Andrés, a small island in the Caribbean Sea which although geographically closer to Nicaragua, is under Colombian rule. It wasn’t always so, the Dutch settlers Read More

Betty Boo by Claudia Piñeiro: Blogtour

Translated by Miranda France This intriguingly titled noir reprint from Bitter Lemon Press came emblazoned with a quote ‘An Argentine Patricia Highsmith’. That’s an awful lot to live up to, given that Highsmith was famed for her dark twisty plots, told without unnecessary embellishment, but, there’s something in that epithet, and Piñeiro is highly respected Read More

The Forgery by Ave Barrera

Translated by Ellen Jones and Robin Myers It’s my turn on the blog tour today for this super novel from Charco Press which hailing from Mexico, was written in Spanish, and thus also fits in with Spanish & Portuguese Lit Month hosted by Stu. There’s something that draws me to novels about art and artists Read More

Two more indies in translation: Yuri Herrera and Kristina Carlson

This year, I’m going for it as far as reading from my own shelves is concerned, continuing to read more from small presses, and more in translation. Of the latter, that’s 13/30 books read so far – ten languages from twelve countries. I’m pleased with that. If I can add more books from Africa into Read More

Season of the Living Dead 2020

It’s October, the nights are drawing in, it’s raining and many of us will turn to reading choices to match that mood. I could sign up to the #RIPXV challenge, but instead I’m resurrecting my own banner from the dead to usher in my ‘Season of the Living Dead‘ 2020. (Search for that tag, or Read More

20 Books of Summer #11-12 – de Hériz & Aboulela

The Manual of Darkness by Enrique de Hériz Translated by Frank Wynne I’ll be writing this book up more fully for Shiny’s ‘My Summer Reading’ slot, in which reviewers highlight an older book they’ve been reading, but I’ll write about it in short here as it’s just still Spanish Lit Month as hosted by Stu Read More

Review catch-up

On Presence: Essays | Drawings by Peter Reason and Sarah Gillespie Recruiting Peter to the team of Shiny New Books reviewers was a bit of a coup – in fact he approached us. A retired professor, he has a deep interest in the natural world and humanity’s place in the ecology of the planet. His Read More

Let the children play…

Such Small Hands by Andrés Barba Translated by Lisa Dillman I had forgotten that it was Spanish Literature Month, but just in time a new arrival has allowed me to take part. This novella, by young Spanish author Barba (right), is  published on Aug 3. He is one of Granta’s Best of Young Spanish novelists, Read More

Weekend Bookishness

It’s been a busy month – and some, so I’m glad that school breaks up at the end of next week (although I have two or three more days work to do on the school magazine after that). However, part of that busy-ness has been the Christmas edition of Shiny New Books. In The Eds Read More

Serious Gimmickry…

Multiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra Translated by Megan McDowell I’m always really drawn to experimental fiction, even if I don’t always get on with it, so once spotted, I was always going to have a go at this book. I know nothing about the author, but Zambra, I gather, is one of the stars of Chilean Read More

Winning the war on holiday…

Third Reich by Roberto Bolano Wanting to join in Spanish Literature Month hosted by Stu and Richard, I grabbed the first book I came to on my shelves which turned out to be my second experience of reading Chilean author Roberto Bolano. My first was reading the confusing and slightly surreal Amulet which I talked Read More

Prim by name and prim by nature …

The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera Translated by Sonia Soto I raced through this book – a feel-good romance set in a rather special little Spanish town. Miss Prim, an administrative assistant, decides to apply for a new job: Wanted: a feminine spirit quite undaunted by the world to work as a Read More

An Economic Allegory?

This post was republished in its original place in my blog’s timeline from my lost post archive.   The Boy Who Stole Attila’s Horse by Iván Repila Translated by Sophie Hughes At 110 pages, this short novel in the Pushkin Press Collection is easily read in one session. Once grabbed by this powerful story I Read More

Crime always soars in a heatwave …

The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill translated from the Spanish by Laura McGloughlin Inspector Héctor Salgado is a hot-blooded Argentine working in Barcelona. As the book opens, he has recently returned from enforced leave after he beat up a suspect in a Voodoo/paedophile trafficking ring. Investigation 1231-R Salgado Resolution Pending Three short lines Read More

Art, Love and War

Waiting for Robert Capa by Susanna Fortes, trans from the Spanish by Adriana V Lopez This novel is a fictionalised account of the true story of Gerda Taro and Robert Capa, two of the foremost photojournalists who reported on the Spanish Civil War. The story begins in Paris though, when young Jewish German refugee Gerta Read More

“A story of literature and obsession”

The Paper House by Carlos Maria Dominguez, Translated by Nick Caistor This beautifully illustrated novella by Dominguez, an Argentinian author, is about people who are obsessed by books, and whose houses become libraries, (much like Gaskell Towers then, but I jest). It starts with a death… One day in the spring of 1998, Bluma Lennon bought Read More

So Many Books by Gabriel Zaid

Translated by Natasha Wimmer After reading Simon’s post on the wonderful book of essay about books by Anne Fadiman called Ex Libris yesterday, I  spotted this little book about books lurking in my TBR.  Zaid is Mexican, (I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by a Mexican before). His 2004 collection of articles/short essays mainly Read More

3 shorter reviews – Nesbo – Sabato – Teller

This post was edited and republished into my blog’s original timeline from my lost post archive.   The Tunnel by Ernesto Sabato Translated by Margaret Sayers Peden, foreword by Colm Tóibín Ernesto Sabato died recently, just two months short of his one hundredth birthday.  He was regarded as one of the greats of Argentinian literature,  having Read More

Short Takes

Catching up on some shorter reviews … Amulet by Roberto Bolano Translated by Chris Andrews To paraphrase the Cranberries album title, Everybody else is reading it, so why can’t I? – I’ve finally read some Roberto Bolano. He is definitely the flavour of the moment; his posthumously published epic 2666 is generating acres of discussion Read More

The Pianist’s Hands by Eugenio Fuentes

This is a crime novel with a difference – where the crime itself, or rather the investigation, doesn’t play much of a part. Instead it’s all about getting under the skin of the main characters, finding out all their foibles and weak points, until the murderer’s identity can be divined. It starts out telling us Read More