January 2020 Wrap-Up

Welcome to another year at Tony’s Reading List, and even if 2020 had a rather negative start, what with my slightly whiny state-of-the-blog address, you can look forward to more of the same here (in the short term, at least), which means plenty of reviews of quality fiction in translation.  The start of the year was spent looking back at the year that was, with my customary awards post and a look at the posts my readers were most interested in last year.  Of course, January has its own subtle slant on procedings, with the month given over to reading and reviewing Japanese literature – and a great month it’s been, too.  But, as always, before we look at what’s been reviewed on the blog, it’s time to quickly peruse the numbers – the stats, if you please 🙂

*****
Total Books Read: 17
Year-to-Date: 17

New: 14
Rereads: 3

From the Shelves: 9
Review Copies: 6
From the Library: 0
On the Kindle: 4 (2 review copies)

Novels: 5
Novellas: 4
Short Stories: 5
Non-Fiction: 3

Non-English Language: 17
(12 Japanese, 3 German, 2 Korean)
In Original Language: 3 (3 German)

*****
Books Reviewed in January were:
1) The Sheltering Rain by Hanmura Ryō
2) Into a Black Sun by Takeshi Kaikō
3) Hōjōki by Kamo no Chōmei
4) Essays in Idleness by Yoshida Kenkō
5) The Reed Cutter by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
6) Captain Shigemoto’s Mother by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
7) Dandelions by Yasunari Kawabata
8) Autumn Wind and Other Stories, selected and translated by Lane Dunlop
9) Monsters, Animals, and Other Worlds,
     edited by Keller Kimbrough and Haruo Shirane
10) The Refugees’ Daughter by Takuji Ichikawa

Tony’s Turkey for January is: Nothing

J-Lit doesn’t often throw up possible turkeys and this month’s crop was no exception – a nice start to 2020 🙂

Tony’s Recommendation for January is:
Monsters, Animals, and Other Worlds, edited by Keller Kimbrough and Haruo Shirane

This was a really tough choice as I liked all of this month’s books without really feeling that any was a stand-out.  Of the other contestants, Dandelions and Autumn Wind… probably came closest to getting the nod, but in appreciation for all the hard work put in by the team behind the Columbia University Press collection, I’ve gone for a bunch of stories about monsters 😉

*****
February sees me begin a quest to clear the decks of review copies to the best of my abilities, but for a different reason to that of most years.  You see, as I announced last month, I won’t be taking part in International Booker shadowing this year since I want more time to devote to my own plans.  Still, I have a fair few books that need (and deserve) coverage, so don’t expect huge changes on the site too soon…

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