April 2020 Wrap-Up

April was a fairly busy month, in which I attempted to ignore the outside world by merrily blogging away.  Seven reviews of International Booker Prize longlisters appeared at the site, with an interesting Elena-Ferrante-themed interlude breaking up the deluge of Booker posts.  So what was the pick of this month’s reads?  Well, as always, you’ll need to wait – we have an order to things around these parts…

Total Books Read: 12
Year-to-Date: 49

New: 7
Rereads: 5

From the Shelves: 5
Review Copies: 7
From the Library: 0
On the Kindle: 2 (2 review copies)

Novels: 8
Novellas: 1
Short Stories: 0
Non-Fiction: 3

Non-English Language: 9
(2 French, 2 Spanish, 2 Japanese, Italian, Norwegian, Dutch)
In Original Language: 0

Books Reviewed in April were:

1) The Eighth Life (for Brilka) by Nino Haratischvili
2) Serotonin by Michel Houellebecq
3) Kentukis (Little Eyes) by Samanta Schweblin
4) The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar
5) Incidental Inventions by Elena Ferrante
6) Elena Ferrante’s Key Words by Tiziana de Rogatis
7) The Ferrante Letters: An Experiment in Collective Criticism
by Sarah Chihaya, Merve Emre, Katherine Hill and Jill Richards
8) Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor
9) The Other Name: Septology I-II by Jon Fosse
10) The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara

Tony’s Turkey for April is:
Michel Houellebecq’s Serotonin

The stand-out this month, albeit for all the wrong reasons.  Serotonin was my first Houellebecq read, and after the rather ‘interesting’ experience, I can’t say I’ll be rushing back for another try.  Still, at least it means that I’ve kept up with an old tradition – once again, the Booker longlist has been kind enough to provide me with a turkey 😉

Tony’s Recommendation for April is:
Jon Fosse’s The Other Name: Septology I-II

There’s a lot to be said for many of the other books reveiwed this month, with several of the IBP longlisters (foremost among which is probably Fernanda Melchor’s dark and pacy tale) among my favourites.  Nevertheless, I’m going for Fosse’s intriguing, and confusing, tale of two men called Asle and a whole lot of snow – make of that what you will…

Having failed to quite finish off my Booker reviewing in April, I’m planning to spend the first week of May on that task.  After that, it’s time to turn towards the piles of unread books behind me, which are threatening to topple over as we speak.  Patience, patience – you’ll all get your turn (eventually!).

6 thoughts on “April 2020 Wrap-Up

  1. Thank you, thank you. It is really helping with lockdown and the infinite reading choices to have your opinion on which books to avoid and which to seek out. Keep up the amazing work


  2. Glad to find which one you recommend this month… Knowing I was to start reading it soon I’ve not read your review but whether it’d be positive or not, it would not change the fact that I really like Fosse’s writing. Thanks and keep the good work!


    1. SpaceCadet – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed (and I’m looking forward to the next one already!).


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