The list continues.


1: El Ingenioso Hildalgo Don Quijote de La Mancha, by Miguel de Cervantes. A man reads so many stories about great knights that he goes a little mad and decides he HAS to be one.

2: Río Subterráneo (Underground River) by Inés Arredondo. A book of short stories.

3: Queen Kat, Carmel and St Jude Get A Life by Maureen McCarthy. Three girls from a small country town have very little in common, but share a house in the city as they start university. Carmel is shy, overweight and needs with all her soul to be anywhere that isn’t the family farm. Jude lives with her dead father’s ghost and is totally okay with that, thanks. Katerina is rich, beautiful, ambitious and thinks she’ll be just fine...until she’s not.

4: Sagittarius Rising by Cecil Lewis. The author’s account of life as one of the very, VERY early fighter pilots with the Royal Flying Corps, over the Western Front in WW1.

5: The Confession of Brother Haluin by Ellis Peters. A monk falls from the roof of Shrewsbury Abbey. The accident leaves him so shattered that no one thinks he can possibly live, so he makes a deathbed confession seeking absolution for the death of a young girl he once loved. Fifteenth of the Cadfael books.

6: La Villa (Shantytown) by César Aira. Maxi is strong as a bull, but not so bright, and for lack of any other real purpose this solidly middle class boy spends his time helping the trash pickers of a Buenos Aires shantytown. A corrupt, trigger-happy policeman can’t figure him out, and eventually pins the blame on him for a drug ring operating out of the slum’s heart.

7: El Cielo Árido (The Arid Sky) by Emiliano Monge. Interesting structure, but it didn’t entirely grab me. Not surprised, since if this reminds me of anyone it’s probably Cormac McCarthy, and Cormac McCarthy doesn’t often grab me in English either.

8: Cafe Scheherazade by Arnold Zable. A collection that might be short stories, or they might be a memoir...he says it’s fiction, but if it is then the layer of fiction laid over truth must be very, very thin.

9: The Odyssey as translated by Emily Wilson. Let me tell you about a complicated man...

10: Eva Luna by Isabel Allende. There is a storyteller. She is the story.

11: The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht. What? Matchbox is reading magical realism that ISN’T from South America?!

12: The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. An English village begins to realise that there’s something wrong with their children...

13: The Heretic’s Apprentice by Ellis Peters. A pilgrim returning from Jerusalem arrives in Shrewsbury to some very serious charges of heresy. Sixteenth of the Cadfael books.

14: The White Mouse by Nancy Wake. An autobiography of a French Resistance fighter who for a while topped the Gestapo’s most-wanted list

15: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Because it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife...

16: Mort Cinder by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Alberto Brecchia. There is a man who cannot die. Every time he dies, is buried and then wakes up in his grave and begins all over again. One lifetime of being a witness to the worst of humanity is bad enough, but this man has seen almost all of human history. I LOVE this comic.