End of the Book Year 2022/23

The book year ended and then another one started. Just like that. It’s almost as if it is an ongoing activity.

What a made up thing, what a sickening pose. And it annoys list liking people (LLP) by endng in May. They’re half way through their year and won’t talk about it until January.

Every now and then you hit a particularly plush purple patch with a string of books and this happened in September/October with Angela Carter, Toni Morrison and Irene Némirovsky. Only looking back now do I realise there was a Cormac McCarthy stuck in the middle. A fairly standard adventure story, I thought, but perhaps it acted as an excellent foil for the other three.

Complete and utter duds? No, but Tara Westover reminded me I don’t like people writing their true stories and that reading books others tell me I must read, rarely turns out well. I was also rather glad that Banana Yoshimoto’s book was thin.

Anyway. Below is a list of the books I’ve read this Book Year. At the end, I’ve chosen my favourite.

  • Exemplary Stories, Cervantes
  • On Beauty, Zadie Smith
  • The Penguin Book of the Contemporary Short Story, Ed. Philip Hensher
  • The Female Detective, Andrew Forrester
  • Dark As the Grave Wherein My Friend is Laid, Malcolm Lowry
  • Kitchen, Banana Yoshimoto
  • Deep South, Paul Theroux
  • Memoirs of a Cavalier, Daniel Defoe
  • That Uncertain Feeling, Kingsley Amis
  • The Dove’s Nest, Unfinished Stories, Something Childish, Katherine Mansfield
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll
  • Austerlitz, W.G.Sebald
  • Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter
  • The Road, Cormac McCarthy
  • Beloved, Toni Morrison
  • Suite Francaise, Irène Nèmirovsky
  • Palaces of Revolution Life, Death & Art at the Stuart Court, Simon Thurley
  • The Tenderness of Wolves, Stef Penney
  • Educated A Memoir, Tara Westover
  • Death on the Cherwell, Mavis Doriel Hay
  • A Scot’s Quair: Sunset Song, Cloud Howe, Grey Granite, Lewis Grassic Gibbon
  • To Love and Be Wise, Josephine Tey
  • The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
  • My Cousin Rachel, Daphne Du Maurier
  • The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
  • Women & Power A Manifeato, Mary Beard
  • Daughters of Decadence Women Writers of the Fin de Siecle, Ed. Elaine Showalter
  • The Imagination Chamber, Philip Pullman
  • The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies, Robert Kirk. Intro. Andrew Lang
  • My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante
  • The Hearing Trumpet, Leonora Carrington
  • The Mirror & the Light, Hilary Mantel
  • Murder in Piccadilly, Charles Kingston
  • Ten Poems of Hope, Various. Candlestick Press
  • The Wall, John Lanchester
  • SPQR A History of Ancient Rome, Mary Beard
  • A Single Man, Christopher Isherwood
  • Forbidden Notebook, Alba de Céspedes
  • The Stepford Wives, Ira Levin
  • The Picador Book of Latin American Stories, Ed. Carlos Fuentes, Julio Ortega
  • The Bloater, Rosemary Tonks
  • The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas, Gertrude Stein
  • Our Town and Other Plays, Thornton Wilder
  • The Talented Mr Ripley, Patricia Highsmith
  • The Summer Book, Tove Jansson
  • The Leavenworth Case, Anna Katharine Green
  • All Shot Up, Chester Himes
  • The Burn, James Kelman

The book of the year 2022/23 is:

Nights At the Circus by Angela Carter

The 2023/24 Book Year has atarted with the Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.