May 2016 Wrap-Up

May saw the awarding of the Best Translated Book Award in the US and the Man Booker 9df98-img_3383International Prize (and its shadowy equivalent!) in the UK.  Congratulations go to Yuri Herrera & Lisa Dillman for Signs Preceding the End of the World and Han Kang & Deborah Smith for The Vegetarian – two great choices and both books I enjoyed 🙂

Once again, we had great fun shadowing the official judges for the MBIP, and you can read some of my thoughts on the whole process here – but, of course, there were plenty of other things going on (like my evening in the company of Ann Goldstein)…

…oh, and lots of reading and reviewing too 😉

Total Books Read: 15
Year-to-Date: 77

New: 9
Rereads: 6

From the Shelves: 6
Review Copies: 9
From the Library: 0
On the Kindle: 0 (0 review copies)

Novels: 6
Novellas: 7
Short Stories: 2

Non-English Language: 13
(5 French, 3 Korean, 2 Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Japanese)
In Original Language: 0

Books Reviewed in May were:
1) Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera
2) The Portable Museum (Issues 1 & 2), from Ox & Pigeon
3) The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
4) Modern Family by Cheon Myeong-kwan
5) ‘Rust’ & ‘Swamp’ by Yang Gui-ja
6) Thus Bad Begins by Javier Marías
7) When Adam Opens His Eyes by Jang Jung-il
8) Afterimage by Patrick Modiano
9) Suspended Sentences by Patrick Modiano
10) Flowers of Ruin by Patrick Modiano
11) Villa Triste by Patrick Modiano
12) Ring Roads by Patrick Modiano
13) The Prank of the Good Little Virgin of Via Ormea by Amara Lakhous

Tony’s Turkey for May is:
Yang Gui-ja’s ‘Rust’

One of my pet hates is awful translation, and that’s what we got with this story.  I’ve enjoyed a couple of other works by Yang Gui-ja, but Ahn Jung-hyo’s rendering of ‘Rust’ is dreadful, a turkey if ever there was one 😦

Tony’s Recommendation for May is:
Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World

I have to say that not much stood out this month.  With serial monthly winner Javier Marías providing a (relatively) disappointing contribution, Patrick Modiano was the only real competition for the prize (certainly in terms of quantity…).  In the end, choosing the winner this month was easy, with Signs Preceding the End of the World romping home ahead of the field.  It took me a while to get around to trying Herrera’s book, but it was certainly worth the wait, and I wasn’t at all surprised when (just after my review appeared!) it took out this year’s BTBA 🙂

June should be a fairly quiet month, mainly spent catching up on books I really should have read a long time ago.  Up in the northern hemisphere, most of you will be taking advantage of the longer days and going outdoors – down here, however, winter has just started, and the mercury is dropping by the day.  This does have one advantage, though – perfect weather for staying in to read 😉

4 thoughts on “May 2016 Wrap-Up

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