I didn’t read much this year because with the war and my father’s death I haven’t been myself. That is, I read more than ever but it was mostly rereading old mysteries by Elizabeth George, Ruth Rendell, and Robert Galbraith. I read maybe 30 of those altogether, and they are all fun but that’s old news.
Of the new books, the following have won my very personal prize of the best reads of the year:
- This will remain, once and forever, the year of Rafael Chirbes’s Diaries. I know there are fans of Cultural Amnesia on this blog, and Diaries are like that but to the power of 10,000. No, really. I know it’s hard to believe. It’s hard to believe for me, too, but yes, Diaries are that good.
- I have encountered some outstanding books in English, too. They range from the strong realism of Stephen Markley’s Ohio to the exquisite postmodernism of Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House.
- Also, in English, I am very glad to have found out the unjustly forgotten British authors JG Farrell (The Siege of Krishnapur) and Elizabeth Taylor (Angel and Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont).
- Going back to Spanish, my favorite writers Horacio Castellanos Moya, Sara Mesa and Isaac Rosa have really impressed me with, respectively, El hombre amansado, Un amor, and Feliz final. These are all very anti-neoliberal and hugely enjoyable novels.
- This year I also ventured into French (in translation) and loved Anéantir by Michel Houellebecq.
Since I’ve lost my reading rhythm, I have accumulated a reading list from here to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This means I will be bringing some great new finds here soon. There are good things to look forward to in the coming year.