My Year in Reading; The Best of The Best

What makes a book one of the best of the year? How it stays with me. How it makes me think. The extent to which I can relate to what the author is saying as truth; the extent to which the characters live and breathe.

I have read books for the Man Booker International Prize, The Man Booker Prize, German Lit Month, Spanish Lit Month, Women in Translation Month and my own Japanese Literature Challenge 11. Therefore, some of these books might be obscure to you. But, all of them are worthy.

Here are the ten books of 2017 which stood out most prominently in my mind, which will stick with me far past this year and into the next:


1. A Quiet Place by Seicho Matsumoto (“A master crime writer…Seicho Matsumoto’s thrillers dissect Japanese society.” -The New York Times Book Review; special thanks to Dorian at Eiger, Monch & Jungfrau who sent it to me last year.)

2. Thus Bad Begins by Javier Marias 

3. The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen (shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017)

4. The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro (by the British author who won the Nobel Prize in Literature this year, this is a mesmerizing, unforgettable book)

5. Solar Bones by Mike McCormack (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017, won the Goldsmiths Prize 2017, named Irish Book of the Year 2016)

6. Days Without End by Sebastian Barry 

7. Autumn by Ali Smith (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017)

8. Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn 

9. My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent (a Times book of the year, a Guardian book of the year)

10. Fish Have No Feet by Jon Kalman Steffansson (longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017)

A list of all the books I’ve read this year, and the challenges in which I’ve participated, will be forthcoming.

The link to each book above takes you to Bookwitty, a source which delivers books with free shipping worldwide. 

Inspector Iminishi Investigates by Seicho Matsumoto and Give-Away

Is there anything more exciting to read than a perfectly executed mystery? This novel, Inspector Iminishi Investigates, is one of the best mysteries I’ve ever read. It contains a series of events which seem impossible to tie together unless the author goes through a series of convoluted steps to bring them under his control. But far from being contrived, or implausible, or manipulated, Matsumoto describes a case with an admirable inspector; one who is able to piece together perfectly each seemingly incongruous discovery into a mesmerizing conclusion. There is even a method of murder which I have never heard about, or read about, in my life. Amazing. Well done, Matsumoto. No wonder your novel won the Akutagawa Literary Prize, the Japanese Mystery Writers’ Prize, and is also named a New York Times Notable Book.

To win my copy of this outstanding work, simply leave a comment below. A winner will be declared a week from today.

The Parrish Lantern. Congratulations, Parrish, and thank you for all your encouragement for the JLC5!