I’ve also decided to give books I read in translation a separate mention this year, if only to try and spur me on to do better in 2018. I was shocked to find that I’ve only read fourteen novels in translation this year, just over 10% of my reading; last year I read 27, (of which 16 were French). This year, I’ve also not read as widely, staying in Europe with one exception (although I am still working my way through a re-read of Anna Karenina too). The title links will take you my reviews.
- The Portrait by Antoine Laurain – His first novel, which is darker than the following three, but still très charmant.
- Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes. Despentes is a great discovery for me (see Tues), and I can’t wait for vol 2 of this series.
- Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre – Not his best, but still a suspenseful ‘Can he get away with it?’ tale.
- The Grand Banks Cafe and The Pitards by Georges Simenon – a Maigret and a roman dur.
- The new sorrows of young W. by Ulrich Plenzdorf – a cult classic from 1972, riffing on Goethe’s original. Interesting!
- You Should Have Left by Daniel Kehlmann – a creepy novella about a failing marriage and writer’s block
- Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors. This Danish bestseller was a slowburn hit for me. I’m loving it more upon reflection.
- Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson – I never read any of the Moomin books as a child, but have fallen in love with them now.
- Can You Hear Me? by Elena Valente – Such a good debut novel – crime meets coming of age.
- Monte Carlo by Peter Terrin – Simply loved this short novel set in the 1960s, initially at the Monaco Grand Prix.
- Such Small Hands by Andrés Barba – a wonderfully creepy tale with a chorus of schoolgirls.
and finally the only non-European book…
- The Postman’s Fiancée by Denis Thériault – sequel to The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman – equally quirky.