The Observer's Books of the Year list -- the first of the many to come -- is up online. Like Steve, I was really pleased and very surprised to see Toby Litt choose Pierre Joris's translations of Paul Celan (issued by Green Integer Books; Celan, it seems, would have been 87 last Friday had he not killed himself back in 1970) and intrigued by Peter Ho Davies' recommendation of the work of Charles Baxter. I'm a big fan of Pierre so it was a real thrill to see the Litt notice; the Baxter book, The Art of Subtext, arrived here a week or so ago -- I'll try to get around to it this coming weekend. The rest of the list didn't really bring anything exciting to light ... but, regardless of the almost inevitable disappointment, one always trawls such lists in the hope that they might turn up something good or surprising.

Readers Comments

  1. Gratifying that you mention Litt's comments on Breathturn. I was also pleased to note that Iain Sinclair cited Ken Edwards' Nostalgia for Unknown Cities (asthe wild card in his favorite deck).

  2. I myself was tickled, in the Guardian's list, by Colm Tóibín's recommendation of Elizabeth Hardwick's Sleepless Nights:

    It's on its way...

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