Book of the year 2021/22

The Blurb

I compulsively record the books I read in a little spiral bound grey notebook. Look! It’s above the greetings card in the photo above. For a few years now, I’ve blogged the year’s reading and forced myself to choose a favourite. My reading year runs from June to May.

Book of the Year 2021/22

Milkman by Anna Burns

The List

* I’ve had several conversations with a friend this year about translating, translations and translators, so, for the first  time, I am including the translator next to the author.

  • Ivanhoe, Walter Scott
  • Cancer Ward, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, trans. Nicholas Bethell & David Burg
  • The Kenneth Williams Diaries
  • Selected Essays and Notebooks, Albert Camus, trans. Philip Thody
  • Tales from Ovid, Ted Hughes
  • Roderick Hudson, Henry James
  • Hemlock and After, Angus Wilson
  • Sentimental Tales, Mikhail Zoschenko, trans. Boris Dralyuk
  • Poems of the Late T’ang, trans. A.C. Graham
  • Clayhangar, Arnold Bennett
  • Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu, trans. D.C. Lau
  • Who killed Zebedee?, Wilkie Collins (Audio)
  • Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart
  • Childhood, Youth, Dependency, Tove Ditlevsen, trans. Tiina Nunnally & Michael Favala Goldman
  • Mandoa, Mandoa!, Winifred Holtby
  • Mary Barton, Mrs Gaskell
  • Milkman, Anna Burns
  • The Hand of Ethelberta, Thomas Hardy
  • The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
  • Success and Failure of Picasso, John Berger
  • Clear Horizon, Dorothy Richardson
  • Dimple Hill, Dorothy Richardson
  • March Moonlight, Dorothy Richardson
  • The Enlarged Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce
  • The Years, Virginia Woolf
  • Troilus and Criseyde, Geoffrey Chaucer, trans. Nevill Coghill
  • The Place of Dead Roads, William Burroughs
  • The Greeks, H.D.F. Kitto
  • A Tale of a Tub, Jonathan Swift
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke
  • The Mask of Dimitrios, Eric Ambler
  • The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry
  • Lolly Willowes, Sylvia Townsend Warner
  • Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Olga Tokarczuk, trans. Antonia Lloyd-Jones
  • Reservoir 13, Jon McGregor
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Thornton Wilder
  • Double Cross, Ben MacIntyre
  • The Gathering, Anne Enright
  • Six Yüan Plays, trans. Lin Jung-en
  • From Russia With Love, Ian Fleming
  • Intruder in the Dust, William Faulkner
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid
  • Look at Me Now and Here I Am, Writings & Lectures 1911- 45, Gertrude Stein
  • The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
  • The Murder of My Aunt, Richard Hull
  • The Story of a Non-Marrying Man & Other Stories, Doris Lessing
  • Flights South, Ed. Charles Behlen
  • Sequins for a Ragged Hem, Amryl Johnson
  • The Bloody Chamber & Other Stories, Angela Carter
  • The Art of Joy, Goliarda Sapienza, trans. Anne Milano Appel
  • Monkey, Wu Ch’êng-Ên, trans. Arthur Waley
  • Man and Superman, George Bernard Shaw
  • The Great Adventure of Hare, Alison Uttley
  • Utopia, Thomas More
  • Chaucer An Introduction, S.S. Hussey
  • The Beetle, Richard Marsh
  • Hamnett, Maggie O’Farrell
  • The Communist Manifesto, Max Engels trans. S. Moore
  • Li Po and Tu Fu, trans. Arthur Cooper
  • The Case of the Late Pig, Margery Allingham
  • Breaking the Mould, Sculpture by Women Since 1945
  • Dark Fairy Tales of Fearless Women, Rosalind Kerven
  • The Closed Harbour, James Hanley
  • The Diving-Bell & the Butterfly, Jean-Dominique Bauby
  • Spies, Michael Frayn
  • The Firework Maker’s Daughter, Philip Pullman
  • Portnoy’s Complaint, Philip Roth
  • The Quantity Theory of Insanity, Will Self
  • The Long and the Short and the Tall, Willis Hall
  • Selected Poems by John Betjeman
  • Cassandra A Novel and Four Essays, Christa Wolf, trans. Jan Van Heurck
  • A Fairly Honourable Defeat, Iris Murdoch
  • The Tailor of Panama, John Le Carre

21 thoughts on “Book of the year 2021/22

      1. I note your book of the year by Anna Burns. Are there other standout titles for you across the several genres that you’ve read? Nonfiction? Drama? Foreign? Or the like. Just curious.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I have heard a few people say they can no longer read novels etc. I must say that scared me a bit when I looked at my huge ‘to be read’ pile. I have made yet another resolution to not buy more books until I have dug into this pile. I’ve broken that twice this year, but did avoid a book shop on Monday, although my friend caught me looking through the window. Books and reading are a sanctuary and the length of the list, unfortunately, denotes ‘not a good year’.


      1. I have that resolution too–I buy used books with photos as reference materials for collage. I have so many already, but whenever the library has a book sale I can’t resist.
        As to actual novels–I have many more than I could ever read, even if I were actually reading. I just love books.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. If you are into all things espionage, fact or fiction, then you have probably heard of and read Robert Baer’s compelling novel The Fourth Man by now. It’s bound to become an espionage classic and is of the same quality as Bill Fairclough’s Beyond Enkription or Ben Macintyre’s The Spy and The Traitor which John le Carré described as “the best true spy story I have ever read”. The Fourth Man is about a Russian mole in the CIA. In real life Baer was a CIA case officer. The Spy and The Traitor is about Oleg Gordievsky, the infamous KGB double agent. Need we say more! Beyond Enkription (misspelt intentionally) is a fact-based thriller about the first year of a real secret agent’s life working for MI6 and the CIA. The secret agent was of course Bill Fairclough, aka Edward Burlington in The Burlington Files series of stand-alone autobiographical spy novels. No matter whose side you’re on you had best read all three to stay alive!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hola Olga. Thank you for commenting. I am always peering at other people’s bookshelves too, virtual and real! If you have a book to recommend, please let me know. I am learning Spanish, so enjoy looking at your paintings and dipping into your text. I like your About/Acerca de page!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello OA. I’m writing to thank you for your best of the year book recommendation. Since you read such a massive variety of books, I decided to give Milkman a try to see what I thought. I’ve just finished it. What a great book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, I’m so pleased you thought of reading it AND that you liked it! I’m always wary of making recommendations as tastes differ so much and it is heartbreaking to hear your favourite book referred to as ‘alright’. I loved its language and dialect and that it was hilarious as well as being a tense thriller. I’m only annoyed I have just one ‘first’ sister and ‘first’ brother-in-law to refer to!

      Liked by 1 person

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