Looking back to Manarola, the path from Manarola to Corniglia, Cinque Terre National Park, April 2017.
So I managed to read 112 books for 2019. Somewhat ahead of my goal of 80, and about 110 more than TV shows that I saw. The highlights? Well, I gave five stars to the following:
- Jesmyn Ward's Salvage the Bones (dogfighting and Hurricane Katrina)
- Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett (a wonderfully dark 1980s Aussie suburban coming of age novel)
- Jarett Kobek's blistering I Hate the Internet (Vonnegut for the post-ironic age)
- Andreï Makine's dreamlike The Archipelago of Another Life (a chase across the Siberian taiga at the tail-end of Stalin's rule);
- Żanna Słoniowska's complex The House with the Stained-Glass Window (a wonderfully translated cross-cultural, multi-generational tale of the women in one particular family in Lviv);
- This Is Not a Novel by Jennifer Johnston (an original novel framed around fragments of memory and the ways with which parents fuck up their children)
- Boris Akunin's Black City (number 13 in the Fandorin series!)
- Cormac McCarthy’s bleak as hell The Crossing (border crossing coming of age novel where – SPOILER ALERT – almost everybody dies);
- Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö’s The Abominable Man (number seven – of ten – in their glorious Martin Beck series)
- Human Acts by Han Kang (you guessed it, a bleak, dark look at the deep and rippling effects of state-sanctioned atrocities that occurred during the South Korean economic ‘miracle’).