April 2019 Wrap-Up

April was, of course, mostly devoted to reading and reviewing the Man Booker International Prize longlist, and after the official judges had their say as to the best six among those titles, we at the Shadow Panel announced our own shortlist.  While I’ve finished all thirteen books now, many of them for the second time, there’s still a lot of reading to be done (and discussions to be had) before the two winner announcements – Shadow and Official – on the 21st of May.

That’s in the future, though – today, let’s have a look at the latest stats 🙂

*****
Total Books Read: 10
Year-to-Date: 60

New: 7
Rereads: 3

From the Shelves: 4
Review Copies: 6
From the Library: 0
On the Kindle: 1 (1 review copy)

Novels: 8
Novellas: 1
Short Stories: 1
Non-Fiction: 0

Non-English Language: 10
(3 Spanish, Arabic, French, Swedish, Mandarin, Polish, German, Armenian)
In Original Language: 1 (1 German)

*****
Books Reviewed in April were:
1) The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
2) Die Kieferninseln (The Pine Islands) by Marion Poschmann
3) Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi
4) The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zerán
5) The Years by Annie Ernaux
6) The Faculty of Dreams by Sara Stridsberg
7) Love in the New Millennium by Can Xue
8) Jokes for the Gunmen by Mazen Maarouf

Tony’s Turkey for April is:
Marion Poschmann’s Die Kieferninseln (The Pine Islands)

I was really disappointed by this book, a painfully unfunny exploitation of Japanese culture, and a turkey if ever there was one.  What was even more disappointing, though, was its inclusion in the official MBIP shortlist – some people…

Tony’s Recommendation for April is:
Juan Gabriel Vásquez’s The Shape of the Ruins

This was the first MBIP longlister I thought was a really strong contender, and it’s still (at time of writing) my favourite.  Yes, it’s very long, and features a diversion/tangent mid-way through that many readers might consider a tad over-extended, but I was enthralled throughout, and I’m crossing my fingers for JGV and his translator, Anne McLean, on the 21st 🙂

*****
While May sees the culmination of the MBIP, I’ve already posted all my reviews, so we’ll be moving on with affairs here on the blog.  However, there’s no need to worry about a lack of posts now the Booker longlist has been knocked off – I have shelves full of books that are itching to be read and reviewed.  I suspect it’s actually going to be a *very* busy month 😉

2 thoughts on “April 2019 Wrap-Up

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