Sunday, March 01, 2015

March 2015 Highlights

Novels
1. The Shut Eye (Bantam Press, 2015) / Belinda Bauer
2. The Harder They Come (Ecco/Harper, 2015) / T.C. Boyle
3. Before the Fire (Picador, 2015) / Sarah Butler
4. A Place Called Winter (Tinder Press, 2015) / Patrick Gale
5. At the Water’s Edge (Spiegel & Grau, 2015) / Sara Gruen
6. The Wolf Border (Faber & Faber, 2015) / Sarah Hall
7. The Buried Giant (Faber & Faber, 2015) / Kazuo Ishiguro
8. The Tusk That Did the Damage (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) / Tania James
9. Dancing in the Dark: My Struggle: Book Four (trans. from the Norwegian by Donald Bartlett) (Harvill Secker, 2014) / Karl Ove Knausgaard
10. The Unloved (Bloomsbury Press, 2015) / Deborah Levy

11. The Faithful Couple (Little, Brown, 2015) / A.D. Miller
12. The Illuminations (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / Andrew O’Hagan
13. Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral (Ecco, 2015) / Mary Doria Russell
14. The Kindness (Bloomsbury Circus, 2015) / Polly Samson
15. A Time for Friends (Simon & Schuster, 2015) / Patricia Scanlan
16. The Architect’s Apprentice (Viking Adult, 2015) / Elif Shafak
17. Aquarium (Atlantic Monthly Press/William Heinemann, 2015) / David Vann
18. A Little Life (Doubleday, 2015) / Hanya Yanagihara

First Novels
1. The Well (Canongate Books, 2015) / Catherine Chanter
2. Hausfrau (Random House, 2015) / Jill Alexander Essbaum
3. Our Endless Numbered Days (Tin House/House of Anansi Press, 2015) / Claire Fuller
4. Follies of God: Tennessee Williams and the Women of the Fog (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) / James Grissom
5. The Girl in the Red Coat (Faber & Faber, 2015) / Kate Hamer
6. Signs Preceding the End of the World (trans. from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman) (And Other Stories, 2015) / Yuri Herrera
7. The Poser (Viking, 2015) / Jacob Rubin

Stories
1. Young Skins (Black Cat/Grove Press, 2015) / Colin Barrett

Poetry
1. The Last Two Seconds (Graywolf Press, 2015) / Mary Jo Bang
2. The Days of Surprise (Harvill Secker, 2015) / Paul Durcan
3. From the New World: Poems 1976-2014 (Ecco, 2015) / Jorie Graham
4. How to be Drawn (Penguin Books, 2015) / Terrance Hayes
5. The Invisible Gift: Selected Poems (Carcanet Press, 2015) / David Morley

Nonfiction
1. There Is Simply Too Much to Think About: Collected Nonfiction (Viking Adult, 2015) / Saul Bellow
2. Young Eliot: A Biography (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / Robert Crawford
3. Universal Man: The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes (William Collins, 2015) / Richard Davenport-Hines
4. The Third Reich in History and Memory (Oxford University Press, 2015) / Richard J. Evans
5. Poetry Notebook: Reflections on the Intensity of Language (Liveright, 2015) / Clive James
6. Landmarks (Hamish Hamilton, 2015) / Robert Macfarlane
7. The Tears of the Rajas: Mutiny, Money and Marriage in India, 1805-1905 (Simon & Schuster, 2015) / Ferdinand Mount

Sunday, February 01, 2015

February 2015 Highlights

Novels
1. After Birth (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015) / Elisa Albert
2. A History of Loneliness (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / John Boyne
3. Funny Girl (Riverhead, 2015) / Nick Hornby
4. Neverhome (Chatto & Windus, 2015) / Laird Hunt
5. The Laughing Monsters (Harvill Secker, 2015) / Denis Johnson
6. Lamentation (Mulholland Books, 2015) / C.J. Sansom
7. The Half Brother (Doubleday, 2015) / Holly LeCraw
8. Tender (Picador, 2015) / Belinda McKeon
9. Dorothy Parker Drank Here (Putnam, 2015) / Ellen Meister
10. The Lovers of Amherst (Quercus, 2015) / William Nicholson

11. Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League (Maiden Lane Press, 2015) / Jonathan Odell
12. The Illuminations (Faber & Faber, 2015) / Andrew O’Hagan
13. Vanessa and Her Sister (Bloomsbury Circus, 2015) / Priya Parmar
14. The Damned (Simon & Schuster, 2015) / Andrew Pyper
15. The Last Good Paradise (St Martin’s Press, 2015) / Tatjana Soli
16. The Kind Worth Killing (William Morrow, 2015) / Peter Swanson
17. Anna Karenina (trans. from the Russian by Marian Schwartz) (Yale University Press, 2015) / Leo Tolstoy
18. Prudence (Riverhead, 2015) / David Treuer
19. A Spool of Blue Thread (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) / Anne Tyler
20. Second Life (Doubleday, 2015) / S.J. Watson

First Novels
1. Find Me (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / Laura van den Berg
2. Our Endless Numbered Days (Fig Tree, 2015) / Claire Fuller
3. The Chimes (Sceptre, 2015) / Anna Smaill
4. Disgruntled (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015)Z / Asali Solomon
5. Ismael and His Sisters (Granta Books, 2015) / Louise Stern

Stories
1. There’s Something I Want You to Do (Pantheon, 2015) / Charles Baxter
2. Over Our Heads (Penguin, 2015) / Andrew Fox
3. Lucky Alan and Other Stories (Doubleday, 2015) / Jonathan Lethem
4. Get in Trouble (Random House, 2015) / Kelly Link

Poetry
1. Ask the Moon: Collected Poems, 1948-2015 (Hutchinson, 2015) / Dannie Abse
2. Poems (Little, Brown, 2015) / Iain Banks & Ken MacLeod
3. Disinformation (Picador, 2015) / Frances Leviston

Nonfiction
1. Young Eliot: From St Louis to The Waste Land (Jonathan Cape, 2015) / Robert Crawford
2. Why Not Say What Happened: A Sentimental Education (Liveright, 2015) / Morris Dickstein
3. Leaving Before the Rains Come (Harvill Secker/The Penguin Press, 2015) / Alexandra Fuller
4. Discontent and its Civilizations: Dispatches from Lahore, New York, and London (Riverhead, 2015) / Mohsin Hamid
5. Mr and Mrs Disraeli: A Strange Romance (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / Daisy Hay
6. Screening Room: Family Pictures (Pantheon, 2015) / Alan Lightman
7. This Divided Island: Stories from the Sri Lankan War (Atlantic Books, 2015) / Samanth Subramanian
8. Edward Thomas: From Adlestrop to Arras: A Biography (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2015) / Jean Moorcroft Wilson

Thursday, January 01, 2015

January 2015 Highlights

Novels
1. See How Small (Little, Brown, 2015) / Scott Blackwood
2. Amnesia (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015) / Peter Carey
3. Sweetland (Liveright, 2015) / Michael Crummey
4. Outline (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / Rachel Cusk
5. Binary Star (Two Dollar Radio, 2015) / Sarah Gerard
6. Vigilante (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2015) / Shelley Harris
7. The Big Seven (Grove Press/Atlantic Monthly Press, 2015) / Jim Harrison
8. The Season of Migration (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2015) / Nellie Hermann
9. A Pleasure and a Calling (Picador USA, 2015) / Phil Hogan
10. The Crooked House (Sphere, 2015) / Christobel Kent

11. In Real Life (Canongate Books, 2015) / Chris Killen
12. 10:04 (Granta Books, 2015) / Ben Lerner
13. Fear the Darkness (Minotaur Books, 2015) / Becky Masterman
14. Runaway (Quercus, 2015) / Peter May
15. The Offering (Sceptre, 2015) / Grace McCleen
16. The Sacrifice (Ecco/Fourth Estate, 2015) / Joyce Carol Oates
17. West of Sunset (Viking, 2015) / Stewart O’Nan
18. Curtain Call (Jonathan Cape, 2015) / Anthony Quinn
19. Happy Are the Happy (trans. from the French by Sarah Ardizzone) (Other Press, 2015) / Yasmina Reza
20. Lurid & Cute (Jonathan Cape, 2015) / Adam Thirlwell

21. The Lightning Tree (Faber & Faber, 2015) / Emily Woof
22. The Seventh Day (trans. from the Chinese by Allan H. Barr) (Pantheon, 2015) / Yu Hua

First Novels
1. Bonita Avenue (trans. from the Dutch by Jonathan Reeder) (Hogarth, 2015) / Peter Buwalda
2. The Serpent Papers (Quercus, 2015) / Jessica Cornwell
3. The Devil You Know (Touchstone, 2015) / Elisabeth de Mariaffi
4. An Untamed State (Corsair, 2015) / Roxane Gay
5. The Girl On the Train (Riverbed Books/Doubleday, 2015) / Paula Hawkins
6. This Place Holds No Fear (trans. from the German by Anne Posten) (Haus Publishing, 2015) / Monika Held
7. Etta and Otto and Russell and James (Fig Tree, 2015) / Emma Hooper
8. Descent (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2015) / Tim Johnston
9. The First Bad Man (Scribner, 2015) / Miranda July
10. The Magician’s Lie (Sourcebooks Landmark, 2015) / Greer Macallister

11. Against the Country (Random House, 2015) / Ben Metcalfe
12. Arrows of Rain (Soho Press, 2015) / Okey Ndibe
13. Don’t Let Him Know (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015) / Sandip Roy
14. The Secret Wisdom of the Earth (Grand Central Publishing, 2015) / Christopher Scotton
15. Migratory Animals (Harper Perennial, 2015) / Mary Helen Specht
16. The Winter War (trans. from the Finnish by Tiina Nunnally) (Serpent’s Tail, 2015) / Philip Teir
17. The Liar’s Chair (Mantle, 2015) / Rebecca Whitney
18. Weathering (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015) / Lucy Wood

Stories
1. Refund (Counterpoint Press, 2015) / Karen E. Bender
2. Almost Famous Women (Scribner, 2015) / Megan Mayhew Bergman
3. The Hollow Land (Europa Editions, 2015) / Jane Gardam
4. Honeydew (Little, Brown/John Murray, 2015) / Edith Pearlman
5. Wrote for Luck (Galley Beggar Press, 2015) / D.J. Taylor

Poetry
1. One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (Faber & Faber, 2015) / Paul Muldoon

Nonfiction
1. On Writers and Writing (previously published as Negotiating with the Dead) (Virago, 2015) / Margaret Atwood
2. Van Gogh: A Power Seething (New Harvest, 2015) / Julian Bell
3. On the Wilder Shores of Love: Sketches from a Bohemian Life (ed. Georgia de Chamberet) (Virago, 2015) / Lesley Blanch
4. The Devil Wins: A History of Lying from the Garden of Eden to the Enlightenment (Princeton University Press, 2015) / Dallas G. Denery II
5. My History: A Memoir of Growing Up (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2015) / Antonia Fraser
6. Publishing: A Writer’s Memoir (Bloomsbury Press, 2015) / Gail Godwin
7. Mr and Mrs Disraeli: A Strange Romance (Chatto & Windus, 2015) / Daisy Hay
8. The Italians (Allen Lane/Viking, 2015) / John Hooper
9. When the Facts Change: Essays, 1995-2010 (The Penguin Press, 2015) / Tony Judt
10. Quite a Good Time to be Born: A Memoir, 1935-1975 (Harvill Secker, 2015) / David Lodge

11. Between Gods: A Memoir (Tinder Press, 2015) / Alison Pick
12. The Young T.E. Lawrence (published as Young Lawrence: A Portrait of the Legend as a Young Man in the U.K. in 2014) (W.W. Norton, 2015) / Anthony Sattin
13. A Man of Good Hope (Jonathan Cape, 2015) / Jonny Steinberg
14. The Poet’s Tale: Chaucer and the year that made The Canterbury Tales (Profile Books, 2015) / Paul Strohm

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

100 Literary Favourites of 2014

THE YEAR 2014 HAS COME TO AN END. This has been another vintage year for both fiction and nonfiction. It’s literally a bumper harvest of literature. Here are my favourite reads of 2014, arranged alphabetically by author’s name. They are not necessarily the best books of the year. What I have listed here are merely a selection of some of my favourite books that I have read this year, books that have resonated with me, books that have left an impression on me, books that I enjoyed in one way or another. This list is of course subjective because I have only read a small percentage of the books published this year. It is almost impossible to do a Top 10. I could easily add another hundred books to the list if I wanted to. Like many serious readers, I buy far more books than I can possibly read, but nothing makes me happier. As always, I look forward with anticipation to a new reading year.

Novels
1. The Temporary Gentleman (Faber & Faber, 2014) / Sebastian Barry
2. Above the East China Sea (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) / Sarah Bird
3. All the Light We Cannot See (Scribner/Fourth Estate, 2014) / Anthony Doerr
4. The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Chatto & Windus/Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) / Richard Flanagan
5. The Girl Who Couldn’t Read (Blue Door, 2014) / John Harding
6. In Certain Circles (Text Publishing, 2014) / Elizabeth Harrower
7. Dear Thief (Atavist Books, 2014) / Samantha Harvey
8. The Book of Unknown Americans (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) / Cristina Henríquez
9. The Emperor Waltz (Fourth Estate, 2014) / Philip Hensher
10. Spilt Milk (Penguin Books, 2014) / Amanda Hodgkinson

11. A Brief History of Seven Killings (Riverhead, 2014) / Marlon James
12. Remember Me Like This (Random House, 2014) / Bret Anthony Johnston
13. The Moor’s Account (Pantheon, 2014) / Laila Lalami
14. Florence Gordon (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) / Brian Morton
15. Winter (Fourth Estate, 2014) / Christopher Nicholson
16. Lila (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Virago/Little, Brown, 2014) / Marilynne Robinson
17. The Remedy for Love (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2014) / Bill Roorbach
18. The Architect’s Apprentice (Viking, 2014) / Elif Shafak
19. Family Life (Faber & Faber/W.W. Norton, 2014) / Akhil Sharma
20. Some Luck (Alfred A. Knopf/Mantle, 2014) / Jane Smiley

21. Station Eleven (Alfred A. Knopf/Picador, 2014) / Emily St John Mandel
22. All My Puny Sorrows (Faber & Faber/McSweeney’s, 2014) / Miriam Toews
23. The Paying Guests (Virago/Riverhead, 2014) / Sarah Waters
24. Eyrie (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Picador, 2014) / Tim Winton
25. Nora Webster (Viking/Scribner, 2014) / Colm Tóibín
26. History of the Rain (Bloomsbury Publishing/Bloomsbury USA, 2014) / Niall Williams

Translated Fiction
27. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (trans. from the Italian by Ann Goldstein) (Europa Editions, 2014) / Elena Ferrante
28. F (trans. from the German by Carol Brown Janeway) (Pantheon/Quercus, 2014) / Daniel Kehlmann
29. I Refuse (trans. from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett) (Harvill Secker, 2014) / Per Petterson
30. The Cold Song (trans. from the Norwegian by Barbara J. Haveland) (Other Press, 2014) / Linn Ullmann

First Novels
31. Panic in a Suitcase (Riverhead, 2014) / Yelena Akhtiorskaya
32. Life Drawing (Picador/Random House, 2014) / Robin Black
33. A Song for Issy Bradley (Hutchinson, 2014) / Carys Bray
34. Painted Horses (Grove Press, 2014) / Malcolm Brooks
35. Shotgun Lovesongs (Thomas Dunne Books/Picador, 2014) / Nickolas Butler
36. High as the Horses’ Bridles (Henry Holt, 2014) / Scott Cheshire
37. The Enchanted (Harper/Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2014) / Rene Denfeld
38. An Untamed State (Black Cat/Grove Press, 2014) / Roxane Gay
39. Sedition (Virago, 2014) / Katharine Grant
40. The Bully of Order (Harper Press, 2014) / Brian Hart

41. Elizabeth Is Missing (Penguin Viking, 2014) / Emma Healey
42. Fourth of July Creek (Ecco, 2014) / Smith Henderson
43. Preparation for the Next Life (Tyrant Books, 2014) / Atticus Lish
44. The Undertaking (Atlantic Books/Grove Press, 2014) / Audrey Magee
45. Dust (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) / Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
46. Land Where I Flee (Quercus, 2014) / Prajwal Parajuly
47. After Me Comes the Flood (Serpent’s Tail, 2014) / Sarah Perry
48. In the Light of What We Know (Picador/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014) / Zia Haider Rahman
49. We Are Not Ourselves (Simon & Schuster/Fourth Estate, 2014) / Matthew Thomas
50. The Visionist (Little, Brown/Simon & Schuster, 2014) / Rachel Urquhart
50. The Great Glass Sea (Grove Press, 2014) / Josh Weil

Stories
51. The Emerald Light in the Air (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Granta Books, 2014) / Donald Antrim
52. Young Skins (Jonathan Cape, 2014) / Colin Barrett
53. Man V. Nature (Harper, 2014) / Diane Cook
54. Noontide Toll (Granta Books, 2014) / Romesh Gunesekera
55. Infidelities (Faber & Faber, 2014) / Kirsty Gunn
56. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher (Fourth Estate/Henry Holt, 2014) / Hilary Mantel
57. The Other Language (Pantheon, 2014) / Francesca Marciano
58. Thunderstruck and Other Stories (The Dial Press, 2014) / Elizabeth McCracken
59. Bark (Alfred A. Knopf/Faber & Faber, 2014) / Lorrie Moore
60. The American Lover (Random House, 2014) / Rose Tremain

Poetry
61. Bright Travellers (Jonathan Cape, 2014) / Fiona Benson
62. All One Breath (Jonathan Cape, 2014) / John Burnside
63. Moontide (Bloodaxe Books, 2014) / Niall Campbell
64. Faithful and Virtuous Night (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Carcanet Press, 2014) / Louise Glück
65. Corridor (Graywolf Press, 2014) / Saskia Hamilton
66. Fire Songs (Faber & Faber, 2014) / David Harsent
67. Second Childhood (Graywolf Press, 2014) / Fanny Howe
68. The Stairwell (Jonathan Cape, 2014) / Michael Longley
69. This Blue (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014) / Maureen N. McLane
70. Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014) / Claudia Rankine

Nonfiction
71. Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East (Atlantic Books, 2014) / Scott Anderson
72. Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence (Alfred A. Knopf/The Bodley Head, 2014) / Karen Armstrong
73. Updike (Harper, 2014) / Adam Begley
74. Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love (Bloomsbury Publishing/Bloomsbury Press, 2014) / James Booth
75. Moral Imagination: Essays (Princeton University Press, 2014) / David Bromwich
76. Joan of Arc: A History (Faber & Faber, 2014) / Helen Castor
77. Loitering: New & Collected Essays (Tin House Books, 2014) / Charles D’Ambrosio
78. The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014) / Meghan Daum
79. The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) / David Brion Davis
80. Dublin: The Making of a Capital City (Profile Books, 2014) / David Dickson

81. Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts (Yale University Press, 2014) / Robert M. Dowling
82. The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World (Metropolitan Books/Oneworld Publications, 2014) / Greg Grandin
83. Gandhi Before India (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) / Ramachandra Guha
84. Eleanor Marx: A Life (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014) / Rachel Holmes
85. Ten Cities that Made an Empire (Allen Lane, 2014) / Tristram Hunt
86. Revolutionary Ideas: An Intellectual History of the French Revolution from The Rights of Man to Robespierre (Princeton University Press, 2014) / Jonathan Israel
87. The Empathy Exams: Essays (Graywolf Press, 2014) / Leslie Jamieson
88. Midnight’s Descendants: South Asia from Partition to the Present Day (William Collins, 2014) / John Keay
89. Rocket and Lightship: Essays on Literature and Ideas (W.W. Norton, 2014) / Adam Kirsch
90. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Bloomsbury Publishing/Henry Holt, 2014) / Elizabeth Kolbert


91. Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh (Bloomsbury Circus/W.W. Norton, 2014) / John Lahr
92. Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) / Hermione Lee
93. Berlin: Imagine a City (Weidenfeld & Nicolson/St Martin’s Press, 2014) / Rory MacLean
94. Baghdad: City of Peace, City of Blood: A History in Thirteen Centuries (Allen Lane/The Penguin Press, 2014) / Justin Marozzi
95. My Life in Middlemarch (published in the U.K. as The Road to Middlemarch: My Life with George Eliot) (Crown/Granta, 2014) / Rebecca Mead
96. The Novel: A Biography (Belknap Press/Harvard University Press, 2014) / Michael Schmidt
97. The Golden Fleece (published in the U.S. as The Informed Air) (ed. Penelope Jardine) (New Directions/Carcanet Press, 2014) / Muriel Spark
98. Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) / Jan Swafford
99. The English and Their History (Allen Lane, 2014) / Robert Tombs
100. Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (Oxford University Press, 2014) / Marina Warner

Monday, December 01, 2014

December 2014 Highlights

Novels
1. A Price to Pay (trans. from the German by John Brownjohn) (Haus Publishing, 2014) / Alex Capus
2. The Boston Girl (Simon & Schuster, 2014) / Anita Diamant
3. The End of Days (trans. from the German by Susan Bernofsky) (Portobello Books, 2014) / Jenny Erpenbeck
4. Vanessa and Her Sister (Ballantine Books/Random House, 2014) / Priya Parmar
5. Volcano Street (Atlantic Books, 2014) / David Rain
6. Skylight (trans. from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) / José Saramago
7. How to be Both (Pantheon, 2014) / Ali Smith

First Novels
1. Ridley Road (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2014) / Jo Bloom
2. The Bishop’s Wife (Soho Crime, 2014) / Mette Ivie Harrison
3. Last Days in Shanghai (Counterpoint, 2014) / Casey Walker

Stories
1. Love & Hate (Faber & Faber, 2014) / Hanif Kureishi

Poetry
1. A Woman Without a Country (W.W. Norton, 2014) / Eavan Boland
2. The Poem She Didn’t Write and Other Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2014) / Olena Kalytiak Davis

Nonfiction
1. Empire of Cotton: A Global History (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) / Sven Beckert
2. The World of Raymond Chandler: In His Own Words (ed. Barry Day) (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) / Raymond Chandler
3. Henry VIII: The Quest for Fame (Allen Lane, 2014) / John Guy
4. Essays After Eighty (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) / Donald Hall
5. Juvenescence: A Cultural History of Our Age (The University of Chicago Press, 2014) / Robert Pogue Harrison
6. Where Have You Been?: Selected Essays (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014) / Michael Hofmann
7. A Tremendous Thing: Friendship from the Iliad to the Internet (Cornell University Press, 2014) / Gregory Jusdanis
8. Modernity Britain: 1957-1962 (Bloomsbury USA, 2014) / David Kynaston
9. Loving Literature: A Cultural History (The University of Chicago Press, 2014) / Deidre Shauna Lynch
10. The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books (and Two Not-So-Good Ones) Saved My Life (Harper Perennial, 2014) / Andy Miller

11. Seeing Things As They Are: Selected Journalism and Other Writings (Harvill Secker, 2014) / George Orwell
12. Jealousy (Yale University Press, 2014) / Peter Toohey
13. Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (Oxford University Press, 2014) / Marina Warner

Saturday, November 01, 2014

November 2014 Highlights

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and NOVEMBER arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.” J.K. ROWLING, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Novels
1. The Emerald Light in the Air (Granta Books, 2014) / Donald Antrim
2. Far As the Eye Can See (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014) / Robert Bausch
3. Amnesia (Faber & Faber, 2014) / Peter Carey
4. Treat Us Like Dogs and We Will Become Wolves (Grove Press, 2014) / Carolyn Chute
5. The Happiest People in the World (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2014) / Brock Clarke
6. Getting Colder (Virago, 2014) / Amanda Coe
7. The Burning Room (Little, Brown/Orion, 2014) / Michael Connelly
8. The Penguin’s Song (trans. from the Arabic by Marilyn Booth) (City Lights Publishers, 2014) / Hassan Daoud
9. Crooked Heart (Doubleday, 2014) / Lissa Evans
10. The Book of Strange New Things (Canongate, 2014) / Michel Faber

11. The Barefoot Queen (crown, 2014) / Idelfonso Falcones
12. The Italian Wife (Sphere, 2014) / Kate Furnivall
13. Sylvia Garland’s Broken Heart (Halban Publishers, 2014) / Helen Harris
14. The Final Recollections of Charles Dickens (Counterpoint, 2014) / Thomas Hauser
15. Funny Girl (Viking, 2014) / Nick Hornby
16. A Map of Betrayal (Pantheon, 2014) / Ha Jin
17. The Laughing Monsters (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014) / Denis Johnson
18. Revival (Scribner/Hodder & Stoughton, 2014) / Stephen King
19. Mermaids in Paradise (W.W. Norton, 2014) / Lydia Millet
20. The Forgers (Mysterious Press, 2014) / Bradford Morrow

21. The Fires of Autumn (trans. from the French by Sandra Smith) (Chatto & Windus, 2014) / Irène Némirovsky
22. When the Night Comes (John Murray Publishers, 2014) / Favel Parrett
23. The Siege (trans. from the Spanish by Frank Wynne) (Random House, 2014) / Arturo Pérez-Reverte
24. Peace and Conflict (Corsair, 2014) / Irene Sabatini
25. Shark (Grove Press/Atlantic Monthly Press, 2014) / Will Self
26. The Architect’s Apprentice (Viking, 2014) / Elif Shafak
27. Some Luck (Mantle, 2014) / Jane Smiley
28. All Days Are Nights (trans. from the German by Michael Hofmann) (Other Press, 2014) / Peter Stamm
29. All My Puny Sorrows (McSweeney’s, 2014) / Miriam Toews
30. Anna Karenina (trans. from the Russian by Marian Schwartz) (Yale University Press, 2014) / Leo Tolstoy

31. Balancing Act (Black Swan, 2014) / Joanna Trollope

First Novels
1. Preparation for the Next Life (Tyrant Books, 2014) / Atticus Lish
2. Three Bargains (W.W. Norton, 2014) / Tania Malik
3. Everything I Never Told You (Blackfriars, 2014) / Celeste Ng

Stories
1. Let Me Be Frank With You: A Frank Bascombe Book (Ecco/Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014) / Richard Ford
2. Infidelities (Faber & Faber, 2014) / Kirsty Gunn
3. Life-Like (Seagull Books, 2014) / Toby Litt
4. Frog (Hamish Hamilton, 2014) / Mo Yan
5. Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas (trans. from the French by Mark Polizzotti) (Yale University Press, 2014) / Patrick Modiano
6. Family Furnishings: Selected Stories, 1995-2014 (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) / Alice Munro
7. New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 (FSG Originals, 2014) / Shelly Oria
8. Something Rich and Strange: Selected Stories (Ecco, 2014) / Ron Rash
9. The American Lover (Random House, 2014) / Rose Tremain

Poetry
1. Ask the Moon: New and Collected Poems, 1948-2014 (Hutchinson, 2014) / Dannie Abse
2. You Must Remember This (Milkweed Editions, 2014) / Michael Bazzett
3. Slant Six (Copper Canyon Press, 2014) / Erin Belieu
4. New Selected Poems, 1988-2013 (Faber & Faber, 2014) / Seamus Heaney
5. Sack (Picador, 2014) / John Kinsella
6. One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (Faber & Faber, 2014) / Paul Muldoon
7. When God Is a Traveller (Bloodaxe Books, 2014) / Arundhathi Subramanaiam
8. The Other Mountain (Carcanet, 2014) / Rowan Williams

Nonfiction
1. Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love (Bloomsbury Press, 2014) / James Booth
2. Wounding the World: How Military Violence and War-Play Invade Our Lives (Virago, 2014) / Joanna Bourke
3. Theater of Cruelty: Art, Film, and the Shadows of War (New York Review Books, 2014) / Ian Buruma
4. Ultrasonic: Essays (Lavender Ink, 2014) / Steven Church
5. Life, Love and the Archers: Recollections, Reviews and Other Prose (Two Roads, 2014) / Wendy Cope
6. Loitering: New & Collected Essays (Tin House Books, 2014) / Charles D’Ambrosio
7. The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014) / Meghan Daum
8. Visitants (Hamish Hamilton, 2014) / Dave Eggers
9. Vivid Faces: The Revolutionary Generation in Ireland, 1890-1923 (W.W. Norton, 2014) / R.F. Foster
10. My Life in Houses (Chatto & Windus, 2014) / Margaret Forster

11. Discontent and Its Civilizations: Dispatches from Lahore, New York and London (Hamish Hamilton, 2014) / Mohsin Hamid
12. Twenty Poems That Could Save America and Other Essays (Graywolf Press, 2014) / Tony Hoagland
13. Rocket and Lightship: Essays on Literature and Ideas (W.W. Norton, 2014) / Adam Kirsch
14. Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found (Granta/Liveright, 2014) / Frances Larson
15. Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) / Hermione Lee
16. Germany: Memories of a Nation (Allen Lane, 2014) / Neil MacGregor
17. “Literchoor Is My Beat”: A Life of James Laughlin, Publisher of New Directions (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014) / Ian S. MacNiven
18. In America: Travels with John Steinbeck (trans. from the Dutch by Liz Waters) (Harvill Secker, 2014) / Geert Mak
19. Why Homer Matters (Henry Holt, 2014) / Adam Nicolson
20. Where I’m Reading From: The Changing World of Books (Harvill Secker, 2014) / Tim Parks

21. Napoleon: A Life (Viking Adult, 2014) / Andrew Roberts
22. A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz (Granta Books, 2014) / Göran Rosenberg
23. Capitalism: A Ghost Story (Verso Books, 2014) / Arundhati Roy
24. Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East (Simon & Schuster, 2014) / Gerard Russell
25. Men Explain Things to Me and Other Essays (Granta Books, 2014) / Rebecca Solnit
26. Chaucer’s Tale: 1386 and the Road to Canterbury (Viking, 2014) / Paul Strohm
27. The English and Their History (Allen Lane, 2014) / Robert Tombs
28. In These Times: Living in Britain Through Napoleon’s Wars, 1793-1815 (Faber & Faber, 2014) / Jenny Uglow

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sweet Passion

SHANTINI SUNTHARAJAH traces CHARMAINE AUGUSTIN’s journey from broadcasting and boardrooms to gourmet food and confectionery

Photos by AHMAD ZURIN NOH for Quill
Coordinated by ERIC FORBES

IF YOU WERE A CHILD of the Eighties growing up in Malaysia, chances are good that you will remember Charmaine Augustin. Back in the pre-American Idol days when TV3 was a brand-new television station, there was Juara Lagu and Muzik-Muzik. As co-host of the channel’s wildly popular singing competition and music show, Augustin’s visage graced millions of small screens across the country and around the region.

You might remember Augustin for her remarkable ability to connect and engage with live audiences and viewers, or how she seemed to effortlessly radiate glitz and glamour on the screen. Delve a little deeper, and it becomes abundantly clear that she is a deep thinker—a characteristic that she is well aware of.

Kuala Lumpur-born Augustin describes herself as passionate and intense, sensitive and very private. She also calls herself a “quiet observer,” a trait that was born of necessity when she was a child. Her late father, Dato Capt. Patrick Augustin, was in the Army and Special Branch, so her formative years were marked by travel and plenty of it. “On the move” is the phrase that best describes her childhood, she explains.

All that movement and change brought with it both the good and the bad. “My nomadic childhood created insecurities. It also built reserve and innate self-belief,” she explains, candidly. “I was an outsider, an avid observer of life, an adventurer. Incessant daydreaming was my insulation from the uncertainties of growing up. It was fertile ground for unbridled imagination.”

While a nomadic lifestyle created an unusually high level of unpredictability in her childhood years, Augustin also fondly remembers the good times. The middle child among three siblings and the only girl, Augustin recalls growing up in gorgeous Lutyens-style bungalows with gleaming arches and wide wooden verandahs, surrounded by lush spacious gardens. “There were gazebos, giant rubber and banyan trees with branches reaching to the sky. Sometimes we lived in forests in newly cleared jungles turned into housing residences. Other times it was by the sea.”

She also vividly remembers long bicycle rides with her younger brother, down winding paths that led to the beach when the family lived in Penang and Butterworth. “The breeze, salty from the sea, whiffed across our nostrils. We picked up starfish and endlessly tickled their legs. It was a favourite pastime.”

Seaside bicycle rides and playing with starfish are undeniably idyllic ways to while away the hours, but these days, Augustin has time to indulge in these pursuits only in her memories.

Today, Augustin, who speaks and writes French fluently, is a busy businesswoman who co-runs Passion Doux (which means “sweet passion” in French) with her best friend Lee Yulie. Passion Doux is a wholesale provider of premium gourmet foods. “We import and distribute gourmet and specialty fine foods with a penchant for confectionery. We also work with individuals with rare and specialty products. These include handmade award-winning nougats, pickles and jams, cookies, coconut candies, pate des fruits and calamansi honey nectar juice, among others.”

Passion Doux clients are highly discerning and demand the finest, but judging from the company’s growth, the two co-owners are more than able to deliver. “Our clients include five-star hotels, upscale grocery outlets, private premium gift retailers and blue-chip corporations. My roles and focus include product identification and development, packaging, sales, marketing and branding, client relationship, import and logistics,” explains Augustin.

So how did a renowned TV personality end up in the wholesale food industry? As it turns out, much like her childhood, Augustin’s career path is nothing if not unusual and her choices reflect the deep courage of a woman who isn’t afraid to follow her heart.

For those who remember her polished professionalism during her days at TV3, it would be hard to believe that the young broadcast announcer had no media experience or training at the time. Despite this “drawback” she enjoyed a meteoric rise up the ranks and while many others in her place would have played it safe, she dropped everything to go to college.

“My time in TV3 inspired me to go pursue a degree in Broadcast and Film. I left for Boston in 1991 and returned in 1994.” The Malaysian media landscape had changed dramatically in those three years and there were many more opportunities for Augustin to dive into. “Upon my return I joined MetroVision Channel 8, known as 8TV today, as Program Manager, followed by a stint as the Asian Managing Director with Articulate Asia, a Dutch telecommunications and content company.” Time at the telecommunications company proved to be a turning point in her career. “While in Articulate I realised that the future was in the direction of convergence of content, multimedia and technology.”

The next few years were a whirlwind of upward mobility and career changes, which included time working as a Marketing Manager at the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC) when she became part of the pioneering effort that created the Malaysian Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC). Next she was headhunted to join Ericsson Malaysia as General Manager of Mobile Internet and Systems Integration and became the first Malaysian woman and the youngest person to take over the role.

Then it was on to Malaysia Biotechnology Corporation as Branding and Marketing Vice-President. Augustin’s corporate career culminated in 2008 when she was appointed General Manager for DDBPR, the public relations arm of Naga DDB, Malaysia’s largest marketing and communications advertising company. Like her decision to drop everything during the height of her success at TV3, Augustin made a decision to turn away from the corporate fast track to focus on her secret love—food. “Food has always fascinated me. It is one of the greatest pleasures of the senses and a playground for creativity and visual art.”

As with all her career moves, she combined heart with smarts and looked at ways to turn her love into a viable, lucrative business. This focus and direction inspired her to combine food with trading and thus Passion Doux was born. “I have always loved the idea of trading. Even in the companies I used to work for, wherever there was an opportunity, I would create business-inspired events,” she reveals.

These days, Augustin’s daily routine overflows with “work, work, and more work” plus time stolen here and there for leisure pursuits like reading and jazz piano classes but the popular media personality turned entrepreneur will have it no other way.

Other than serving an ever-expanding clientele, Augustin, along with Lee, works with less fortunate individuals and families who possess the fire and spirit of an entrepreneur but not the financial means to support their dreams. “We develop recipes, formulas and ideas with them and brand and market their products. This gives them sustainable income, new-found confidence and knowledge that they have special skills and are able to contribute to society and to their families.”

Passion Doux also serves as a channel for the two women to bring alive the food tradition and memories of their beloved mothers and grandmothers. “We resurrect long-forgotten or rarely produced traditional favourite delicacies like handmade coconut candies the way Granny used to make them.” Augustin says this brings back the past in a beautiful way while reviving disappearing tastes and senses. “We take quiet pleasure in seeing the look of happiness on the faces of clients who come across a long-forgotten aroma or a taste from their childhood.”

Reproduced from the July-September 2014 issue of Quill magazine

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Verve & Versatility

Trainer, coach, cat lover, baker and author ANNA TAN shows SHANTINI SUNTHARAJAH that self-improvement isn’t too much of a stretch

CATHOLIC SCHOOL, with all its rules and regulations and the nuns who enforce them, might not sound like a great way to spend most of your growing-up years. Anna Tan, however, has nothing but warm memories to share and credits those schooldays for inspiring her reading habit.

“My reading habit was inculcated by the nuns in the Catholic school I attended, called St Teresa, in her hometown, Kuching, Sarawak. The head nun—Mother Monica—started a library and stocked it with many Enid Blyton books as well as magazines from the Vatican City,” she explains. “So I read whatever Mother Monica brought to the library. My brother and I would compete to see who finished a book first!”

Mother Monica must have done a fine job because the consultant trainer, human resource practitioner and change leader is now a full-fledged author. Stretched: Unleash Your Team’s Potential by Coaching the “Rubber Band” Way! captures Tan’s proven coaching ideas and techniques and aims to guide readers to extraordinary growth and breakthroughs.

Tan says that the advice in her book, which is geared towards leaders, employers and managers who are keen to create passionate, productive, action-oriented teams, is based on long experience in the trenches. “In a career spanning over fifteen years, I worked in various multinational companies as a senior corporate leader helming the human capital and talent functions.” Her work exposed her to a vast range of people and corporate cultures. “I had the opportunity to interact and socialise with people at all levels, experiencing both Western and Asian leadership and cultures.”

Tan confides that she has always wanted to write a book and didn’t hesitate to grab the chance to do so when she took a six-month break from corporate work at the end of 2010. Any other hard-working denizen of the corporate world might have used the time to kick back and relax but she is nothing if not focused. “It was six months of ideas, writing fluidly, freestyle.”

Even after going back to work, Tan did not waver from her writing routine and completed the book at an admirably quick pace. “I went back to corporate HR and it was another six months of fine-tuning the typescript. Getting feedback from corporate folks, HR practitioners, college students and incorporating their input, editing by my publisher and publishing took another four months.”

Tan’s speed is also attributed, in no small part, to the fact that she is able to write “wherever I have my Mac” as well as to the way she thinks. Part of the writing process, such as creating the chapters—something that makes many other writers falter—turned out to be a breeze. “I am lucky that I think in ‘categories’ or have my ideas in buckets. Hence, dividing the chapters was quite easy.” However, she is also quick to admit that creating Stretched from scratch did have its challenges. The biggest among these was “simplifying the concepts without sacrificing the essence of the book,” she says, referring to the complex concepts related to coaching teams to do their best at work.

Tan admits that she loves her work but takes care to spend as much quality time as possible with her loved ones on weekends. In her case, her loved ones happen to include three felines. A huge cat lover, she describes her furry family members with some detail. “They each have very different personalities. Girlie, the eldest at twelve years, is the most introverted. Furrygamo is three and is your typical “scatty” cat. Cotton is two years old and is the most extroverted and social one.”

Weekends are also a time for pastimes most people would consider typical—save one. “During the weekends, we do normal things like house chores, cook [her husband Allen Yap does the cooking], catch up on reading, watch TV, entertain friends and trim the cat’s nails.” Tan confides that the last is more than a one-weekend job. “The cats hate having their nails trimmed so it has to be stretched over a number of weeks,” she laughs.

Another thing that she enjoys during her downtime is baking. As a coach who trains leaders and managers to find opportunities to bring out the best in themselves and their people, it appears that she walks her talk. Others would never view domestic work as anything more than what it is but she has managed to find a way to turn time in the kitchen into something of a self-improvement exercise. “I love to bake and I teach others to bake. I have learnt to master the challenging French macarons! Baking has taught me to be precise and to persevere.”

Tan hopes that her book will help shine a light on new and better ways to work and shift her readers’ perspectives. “The coaching way—as opposed to the autocratic where you just tell and issue instructions—is one that resonates with younger generations like the millennials. It is high time leaders replace some of their ‘die-hard’ ways to a coaching style that engages the hearts and minds of their team members—yes, be like the rubber band, stretch, be flexible and adapt.”

Coach, trainer and author Anna Tan shares three life-improvement tips that will help people create great teams at work (and maybe in their personal lives, too!):
• Talk less, listen more. 
• Give permission for others to be brave, and challenge the status quo. By doing that, you renew their hope of the possibilities of what they can be and more. 
• Don’t tell people what to do. Facilitate the conversation to enable them to come up with their own solutions. People are spurred to take action based on the solutions they come up with.

Reproduced from the July-September 2014 issue of Quill magazine

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A China Doll in KL, by Ewe Paik Leong

EWE PAIK LEONG talks about the kind of research he undertook while working on his novel, A China Doll in KL

THE STORY is set in the seamier side of Kuala Lumpur, where China dolls solicit clients in an infamous food court called New Peng Hwa. Meisu, the protagonist, comes to KL from Guilin (China) to seek her fortune as a hooker. She falls in love with her client Alvin Au, an alcoholic artist, who has a studio in Central Market. Against the backdrop of their tumultuous romance lurks a serial killer with a troubled past. He has murdered three China dolls and is targeting Meisu as his fourth victim. Meanwhile, Inspector Daniel Chu and his sidekick, Sergeant June Qwong, are assigned to nail the serial killer. The story reaches its climax when Inspector Chu races against time to save Meisu from the killer.

This novel was partly inspired by an accidental visit to New Peng Hwa in Pudu district in KL. One evening, I stepped inside the food court solely for a quick dinner. Dozens of girls and not-so-young women, carrying packets of watermelon seeds, were milling around. One by one, they approached my table and asked in Mandarin, “You want to buy watermelon seeds?” Only then did I realise that they were China dolls. When I said “no”, their next question would often be “Do you want to buy me?” Other girls used innuendos like “Do you want to be happy?” I was shocked by their audacity. The other half of the inspiration came from two novels which I’d read several years back: The World of Suzie Wong (1957), by Richard Mason, and A Woman of Bangkok (1956), by Jack Reynolds. “Why not a Malaysian version of those two books?” I asked myself as I recalled the novels while watching a few China dolls gyrating with their clients to loud music from the band on the stage.

Subsequently, I made more visits to the food court, inviting China dolls for drinks or dinner so that I could interview them. Several were friendly and chatty; others refused my offer. I also mingled around with customers and prospective johns to dig as much information as possible. A few plied me with stories of local men falling in love with the China dolls. Such romances mostly ended in financial ruin for the men except for a few rare cases of happy marriages.

Meisu, the novel’s protagonist, is a composite character of three real China dolls. They spoke to me about their aspirations, motivations and backgrounds. At the back of every China doll’s mind is the hope of snaring a boyfriend so that she can razor him financially or hook a husband and settle down in this country to escape poverty. A big-time john once gave me a tip on how to spot a China doll from a poor village. “Ask her to remove her shoes and feel the soles of her feet,” he said. “They’re often as hard as leather.” He pointed out that in the poor villages of China, almost all children are barefooted.

Meisu’s love interest is Alvin, an alcoholic artist who’s struggling to come to terms with his addiction. As the novel is written in close multiple third-person POV, there are many scenes where Alvin is the POV character. Therefore, I needed to experience what it was like being dead drunk. I don’t drink much except for a couple of beers during Chinese New Year, so I came back one evening with two bottles of cheap made-in-Thailand brandy. Sitting in front of the TV after dinner, I started to gulp down the brandy. My startled wife asked, “Wazzup, darling? You never drink! Are you in a funk?” I told her that I wanted to be in the shoes of my alcoholic character and she quipped, “I hope he’s not also a wife-beater!”

“I can’t leave New Peng Hwa and solicit business elsewhere as I’m contracted to my boss,” said a China doll to me. Her answer indicated that organised crime and vice goes hand-in-hand in New Peng Hwa. Anyone who goes there can see the presence of thugs almost everywhere. Some hang around with walkie-talkies hooked to their belts. Since New Peng Hwa has links to triads, I created a subplot in the story. In Act I, Ouyang Lifu, the head of the Red Centipede Society, tries to extort protection money from Meisu, but she challenges him to a card game instead. During the final hand of the game, Lifu raises the stake to “loser chops off the last finger.”

An unforgettable incident was when the place was raided one evening. I was sitting in Kim Wah Café in the first floor of Ace Electronics Building, adjacent to New Peng Hwa (which houses the apartments used by China dolls), when a lookout employed by the vice syndicate shouted, “Run! Police! Run!” The whole place was in turmoil as all the girls started to stampede down the broken-down escalator. One China doll slipped and nearly fell facedown and several others took off their stilettos and ran barefooted. When I reached the ground floor, I heard the clumping of heels coming from the fire-escape staircase as more China dolls came scrambling down from their apartments. Standing on the sidewalk, I saw a police truck up ahead on the road, trying to manoeuvre through traffic. It was like a scene from a TV cop show.

A China Doll in KL is published by Monsoon Books, Singapore

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

October 2014 Highlights

“It was OCTOBER, and the leaves of the oaks around the language school had turned gold and were batting light into its tall windows. A young Irish woman was seated alone in the teacher’s lounge. She had made herself a cup of tea on the range in the corner, and she was opening a tangerine on a paper napkin, with hungry carelessness.” CALEB CRAIN, in Necessary Errors (2013)

Novels
1. The Prince’s Boy (Bloomsbury USA, 2014) / Paul Bailey
2. There Must be Some Mistake (Little, Brown, 2014) / Frederick Barthelme
3. The Empire of Night (Mysterious Press, 2014) / Robert Olen Butler
4. Confessions (trans. from the Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem) (Arcadia Books, 2014) / Jaume Cabré
5. Limonov (trans. from the French by John Lambert) (Allen Lane/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014) / Emmanuel Carrère
6. The Empty Throne (HarperCollins, 2014) / Bernard Cornwell
7. The Boy Who Drew Monsters (Picador USA, 2014) / Keith Donohue
8. The Book of Strange New Things (Hogarth, 2014) / Michel Faber
9. Hiding in Plain Sight (Riverhead Books, 2014) / Nuruddin Farah
10. West (trans. from the German by Anthea Bell) (Harvill Secker, 2014) / Julia Franck

11. The Far Side of the Sun (Berkley, 2014) / Kate Furnivall
12. The Sleeper and the Spindle (illustrated by Chris Riddell) (Bloomsbury Children, 2014) / Neil Gaiman
13. The Hilltop (trans. from the Hebrew by Steven Cohen) (Scribner, 2014) / Assaf Gavron
14. The Grand Duchess of Nowhere (Quercus, 2014) / Laurie Graham
15. Gray Mountain (Doubleday/Hodder & Stoughton, 2014) / John Grisham
16. Dear Thief (Atavist Books, 2014) / Samantha Harvey
17. J (Hogarth, 2014) / Howard Jacobson
18. A Brief History of Seven Killings (Riverhead, 2014) / Marlon James
19. The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy (Doubleday, 2014) / Rachel Joyce
20. F (trans. from the German by Carol Brown Janeway) (Quercus, 2014) / Daniel Kehlmann

21. First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen (Viking, 2014) / Charlie Lovett
22. The Figures of Beauty (Harper, 2014) / David Macfarlane
23. The New World (Jonathan Cape, 2014) / Andrew Motion
24. The Lives of Others (W.W. Norton, 2014) / Neel Mukherjee
25. Last Winter, We Parted (trans. from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell) (Soho Press, 2014) / Fuminori Nakamura
26. An English Ghost Story (Titan Books, 2014) / Kim Newman
27. Us (Harper, 2014) / David Nicholls
28. The Age of Magic (Head of Zeus, 2014) / Ben Okri
29. I Refuse (trans. from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett) (Harvill Secker, 2014) / Per Petterson
30. Leaving Time (Ballantine Books, 2014) / Jodi Picoult

31. The Girl Next Door (Scribner, 2014) / Ruth Rendell
32. Lila (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Virago/Little, Brown, 2014) / Marilynne Robinson
33. The Remedy for Love (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2014) / Bill Roorbach
34. Electric City (Counterpoint, 2014) / Elizabeth Rosner
35. Lamentation (Mantle, 2014) / C.J. Sansom
36. Some Luck (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) / Jane Smiley
37. Sister Golden Hair (Tin House Press, 2014) / Darcey Steinke
38. Nora Webster (Viking/Scribner, 2014) / Colm Tóibín
39. The Book of Gold Leaves (Penguin, 2014) / Mirza Waheed
40. Sometimes the Wolf (William Morrow, 2014) / Urban Waite

First Novels
1. Academy Street (Canongate, 2014) / Mary Costello
2. Crooked River (William Morrow, 2014) / Valerie Geary
3. The Goddess of Small Victories (trans. from the French by Willard Wood) (Other Press, 2014) / Yannick Grannec
4. The Lodger (Thomas Dunne Books, 2014) / Louisa Treger

Stories
1. Man V. Nature (Harper, 2014) / Diane Cook
2. The Redemption of Galen Pike (Salt Publishing, 2014) / Carys Davies
3. The Best American Short Stories 2014 (Mariner Books, 2014) / Heidi Pilor & Jennifer Egan (ends.)
4. The Wilds (Tin House Press, 2014) / Julia Elliott
5. The Seven Stages of Anger and Other Stories (Press 53, 2014) / Wendy J. Fox
6. The Dunning Man (Lavender Ink, 2014) / Kevin Fortuna
7. White Tiger on Snow Mountain (New Harvest, 2014) / David Gordon
8. The Woman Who Borrowed Memories: Selected Stories (trans. from the Swedish by Thomas Teal & Silvester Mazzarella) (NYRB Classics, 2014) / Tove Jansson
9. Six Stories and An Essay (Tinder Press, 2014) / Andrea Levy
10. There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In: Three Novellas About Family (trans. from the Russian by Anna Summers) (Penguin Books, 2014) / Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

11. Spoiled Brats (Little, Brown, 2014) / Simon Rich

Poetry
1. The Heart Is Strange: New Selected Poems (ed. Daniel Swift) (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014) / John Berryman
2. 77 Dream Songs (ed. Daniel Swift) (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2014) / John Berryman
3. Blood Lyrics (Graywolf Press, 2014) / Katie Ford
4. Habitation: Collected Poems (Lost Horse Press/University of Washington Press, 2014) / Sam Hamill
5. Splitting an Order (Copper Canyon Press, 2014) / Ted Kooser
6. The Collected Poems of James Laughlin (ed. Peter Glassgold) (New Directions, 2014) / James Laughlin
7. The Stairwell (Wake Forest University Press, 2014) / Michael Longley
8. To Keep Time (Omnidawn, 2014) / Joseph Massey
9. An Aviary of Small Birds (Carcanet Press, 2014) / Karen McCarthy Woolf
10. Blue Horses (Penguin Press, 2014) / Mary Oliver

11. Digest (Four Way, 2014) / Gregory Pardlo
12. Citizen: An American Lyric (Graywolf Press, 2014) / Claudia Rankine
13. Playing House (Seren, 2014) / Katherine Stansfield
14. Bedouin of the London Evening: Collected Poems (ed. Neil Astley) (Bloodaxe, 2014) / Rosemary Tonks

Nonfiction
1. The History Manifesto (Cambridge University Press, 2014) / David Armitrage
2. Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence (Alfred A. Knopf/The Bodley Head, 2014) / Karen Armstrong
3. The Bookshop Book (Constable, 2014) / Jen Campbell
4. Joan of Arc: A History (Faber & Faber, 2014) / Helen Castor
5. Claxton: Field Notes from a Small Planet (Jonathan Cape, 2014) / Mark Cocker
6. The Bhagavad Gita: A Biography (Princeton University Press, 2014) / Richard H. Davis
7. Alex Miller: The Ruin of Time (Sydney University Press, 2014) / Robert Dixon
8. Eugene O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts (Yale University Press, 2014) / Robert M. Dowling
9. Isabella: The Warrior Queen (Nan A. Talese, 2014) / Kirstin Downey
10. Engel’s England: Thirty-nine Counties, One Capital and One Man (Profile Books, 2014) / Matthew Engel

11. Vivid Faces: The Revolutionary Generation in Ireland, 1890-1923 (Allen Lane, 2014) / R.F. Foster
12. Tales of Two Cities: The Best abnd Worst of Times in Today’s New York (OR Books, 2014) / John Freeman (ed.)
13. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (Metropolitan Books, 2014) / Atul Gawande
14. Coming Ashore: A Memoir (ECW Press, 2014) / Catherine Gildiner
15. Family Politics: Domestic Life, Devastation and Survival, 1900-1950 (Yale University Press, 2014) / Paul Ginsborg
16. How to be a Victorian: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Victorian Life (Liveright, 2014) / Ruth Goodman
17. Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey Into the Heart of Russia (W.W. Norton, 2014) / David Greene
18. Palace of Books (trans. from the French by Alice Kaplan) (The University of Chicago Press, 2014) / Roger Grenier
19. Discontent and Its Civilizations (Hamish Hamilton, 2014) / Mohsin Hamid
20. Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured (Doubleday, 2014) / Kathryn Harrison

21. A Voice Still Heard: Selected Essays of Irving Howe (ed. Nina Howe) (Yale University Press, 2014) / Irving Howe
22. Poetry Notebook: 2006-2014 (Picador, 2014) / Clive James
23. Arabs and the Art of Storytelling: A Strange Familiarity (trans. from the Arabic by Eric Sellin and Mbarek Sryfi) / Abdelfattah Kilito
24. Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans (Crown Publishing, 2014) / Gary Krist
25. The Collected Poems of James Laughlin (ed. Peter Glassgold) (New Directions, 2014) / James Laughlin
26. The Secret History of Wonder Woman (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) / Jill Lepore
27. Common People: The History of an English Family (Fig Tree, 2014) / Alison Light
28. Rising Ground: A Search for the Spirit of Place (Granta, 2014) / Philip Marsden
29. Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime (Profile Books, 2014) / Val McDermid
30. Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries (St Martin’s Press, 2014) / Rory McLean

31. Private Island (Verso, 2014) / James Meek
32. Ciao, Carpaccio! (Pallas Athene, 2014) / Jan Morris
33. The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books (Viking, 2014) / Azar Nafisi
34. Shirley Hazzard: New Critical Essays (Sydney University Press, 2014) / Brigitta Olubas
35. American Pulp: How Paperbacks Brought Modernism to Main Street (Princeton University Press, 2014) / Paula Rabinowitz
36. Napoleon the Great (Allen Lane, 2014) / Andrew Roberts
37. Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East (Basic Books, 2014) / Gerard Russell
38. Mecca: The Sacred City (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014) / Ziauddin Sardar
39. Young Lawrence: A Portrait of the Legend as a Young Man (published in the U.S. as The Young T.E. Lawrence in 2015) (John Murray, 2014) / Anthony Sattin
39. Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness (Trinity University Press, 2014) / Rebecca Solnit
40. The Best American Essays 2014 (Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014) / John Jeremiah Sullivan (ed.)

41. The Best American Travel Writing 2014 (Mariner Books, 2014) / Paul Theroux (ed.)
42. Red Nile: A Biography of the World’s Greatest River (Thomas Dunne Books, 2014) / Robert Twigger
43. And Home Was Kariakoo: A Memoir of East Africa (Doubleday Canada, 2014) / M.G. Vassanji
44. A Delicate Wildness: The Life and Loves of David Thomson, 1914-1988 (The Lilliput Press, 2014) / Julian Vignoles
45. Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (Oxford University Press, 2014) / Marina Warner
46. The Meaning of Human Existence (Liveright, 2014) / Edward O. Wilson
47. The Art of the English Murder: From Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock (Pegasus, 2014) / Lucy Worsley