2009: Some Favourite Books


This is the first year I maintained a list of the books that I read (more on that in a 10 days time). Keeping a record of what I have read has been fascinating. It is an exercise I shall certainly continue. Of my reading this year the following stand out as a top 10 of those I enjoyed most and will certainly reread:

  1. Thomas Mann – The Magic Mountain
  2. Vladimir Nabokov – Speak, Memory
  3. Jane Austen – Emma
  4. Patrick Leigh Fermor – A Time of Gifts
  5. Vladimir Nabokov – Pale Fire
  6. Roberto Bolaño – The Savage Detectives
  7. Jane Austen – Pride & Prejudice
  8. Sara Maitland – A Book of Silence
  9. John Berger – Here is Where We Meet
  10. Gabriel Josipovici – After & Making Mistakes

Josipovici’s After and Making Mistakes

A fine coincidence that The Existence Machine offers thanks to Gabriel Josipovici a day before I finish his most recent two novellas, in one volume, After & Making Mistakes.

These are such English stories, sculpted with crystalline subtlety. The stories are constructed from dialogue. The interchanges between characters reveals Josipovici’s acute ear for conversation. The story telling is as delicate as the snow falling outside my study window. In After the way in which the understated dialogue reveals the shifting balance of power between the two protagonists is deft. Josipovici’s ability to develop memorable characters with the thinnest of brush strokes recalls John Berger.

The Carcanet publication is presented with a enigmatic cover by Andrzej Jackowski, whose work I like very much.