The I.B.Tauris 2016 Review – Part One

ibt 20162

In 2016, a remarkable and eventful year, the world of books experienced greatness in many forms and for various reasons.

The IBT team, pooling recommendations from their publications and beyond, curated a collection of favorites.

Whether you’re seeking a unique present or two, this festive round-up offers inspiration for those looking to delve into the literary delights of the year.

Jonathan McDonnell – Managing Director

I.B.Tauris Book of the Year Venice: A Literary Guide for Travellers by Marie-José Gransard

With December mists enveloping La Serenissima, I opt for a cozy virtual tour guided by the city’s foremost expert.

Favorite Book of the Year: “A History of Pictures” by David Hockney with Martin Gayford (2016; Thames & Hudson) Worth it solely for Hockney’s celebration of six tiny pen-strokes in a Rembrandt drawing, condensing a lifetime’s intense observation into a few seconds of pen on paper.

Desired Christmas Book: “The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland” (2016; OUP) Although hesitant about the £400.00 price tag, I can’t help but wish for it.

under the shadowTom Clayton – Marketing Executive

I.B.Tauris Books of the Year Under the Shadow by Kaya Genç

“Under the Shadow” is a timely and crucial work, offering a tapestry of Turkish voices that mirrors the country’s current state: divided, uncertain, yet resolute.

For those who found themselves perplexed by this year’s coup and Erdogan’s subsequent crackdown, the books serve as an essential guide to comprehend modern Turkey.

Favourite Book of the Year The Long View by Elizabeth Jane Howard (2016 [reissue]; Picador)

Discovering Elizabeth Jane Howard later than most, I began with her standalone novel “The Long View.” Howard’s unparalleled exploration of her characters’ inner worlds and abundant wit and grace left me astonished. It felt like fiction bordering on telepathy.

My desired Christmas gift this year is “Angels With Dirty Faces: The Footballing History of Argentina” by Jonathan Wilson (2016; Orion).

Amidst a year of significant football books, Jonathan Wilson’s “Angels With Dirty Faces: The Footballing History of Argentina” stands out as the most original and comprehensive, offering more than the iconic ‘Hand of God’. I’m hoping Santa is up for the challenge.

radicalizedClare Kathleen Bogen

Marketing and Publicity, North America I.B.Tauris Book of the Year Radicalized by Peter Neumann

An excellent overview of the current global terrorist threat, Peter Neumann’s “Radicalized” provides accessible insights into the rise of jihadist terrorism.

Covering historical roots to contemporary motivations, it’s a crucial resource in the current climate.

Favorite Book of the Year

Claire-Louise Bennett’s “Pond” is a breathtaking exploration of a woman’s solitary life, leaving a mesmerizing impact with its unique writing and thought-provoking ruminations. Highly recommended.

The Book I’d Like for Christmas This Year

“The Sellout” by Paul Beatty, winner of the Man Booker Prize, explores the legacy of slavery in a satirical tale set in a suburb of L.A. It promises an intriguing perspective on American society.

Also Read:  What Happened To Barnaby Joyce Face? Footpath Video Viral

one day in france

                                       Tom Stottor – Editor, History

             I.B.Tauris Book of the Year One Day in France (Jean-Marie Borzeix | Translated                    by: Gay McAuley | Introduction by: Caroline Moorehead)

The book, read in one sitting, is a powerful blend of history and investigative journalism. Its compelling narrative and emotional impact make it a must-read, resonating with readers and earning acclaim upon its release in France.

Favourite Book of the Year The Invention of Russia by Arkady Ostrovsky (2016; Atlantic Books)

Ostrovsky’s Orwell Prize-winning book offers accessible insight into the ‘invention’ of post-Soviet Russia, spanning Gorbachev’s reforms, the tumultuous 1990s, to Putin’s rise. The narrative, featuring ideologues, media moguls, and oligarchs, is both enlightening and unsettling, relevant to those interested in Russia and anyone deciphering the media-driven ‘post-truth’ era.

The Book I’d Like for Christmas This Year Atlas Obscura by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, Ella Morton (2016; Workman Publishing)

Recently captivated by Atlas Obscura in Waterstones, this ‘atlas’ of the world’s ‘700 strangest and most curious places’ epitomizes the best of ‘coffee table’ books. A thoughtful gift, reading it alone might consume most of 2017, and perhaps in 2018, I’ll explore some of these intriguing locations.


                             Jo Godfrey – Senior Editor, Politics & History

I.B.Tauris Book of the Year Scotland: A Literary Guide for Travellers by Garry  MacKenzie

I’m a fan of the Literary Guides for Travellers series, especially the Scotland volume by Garry MacKenzie, offering fresh perspectives on familiar places.

My favorite novel this year was the impressive debut, Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (January 2017; Viking), spanning over 250 years of history.

Additionally, Marceline Loridan-Ivens’ memoir, But You Did Not Come Back (2016; Faber), left a profound impact.

The Book I’d Like for Christmas This Year

As I’m heading to Denver early in the New Year, I’ve requested Kent Haruf’s Plainsong (1999; Picador), set in Colorado. I’ve heard great things about it. Also, I’m eager to read Zadie Smith’s latest, Swing Time (2016; Hamish Hamilton).

alice in westminster

Tomasz Hoskins – Senior Editor, Politics, History & Current Affairs

I.B.Tauris Book of the Year
In this challenging year, “Alice in Westminster” by Rachel Reeves, showcasing the impactful legacy of progressive Labour figure Alice Bacon, stands out as a beacon of inspiration.

Although unread, it promises significance. “Venice: A Literary Guide for Travellers” also holds a special place for opening up Europe’s most enchanting city in a new and captivating way, rekindling the wonder felt as a teenager.

Favourite Book of the Year

“Grief is a Thing With Feathers” (2016; Faber) by Max Porter, a dark sort-of-poem, left a profound emotional impact, captivating my journey into Ted Hughes.

Reading “Infinite Jest” was a disturbing yet enlightening experience, with David Foster Wallace’s essay collections providing a brilliant recovery.

However, the standout book of the year is “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York” by Robert Caro (2015; Bodley Head).

This complex 1,377-page book, published in the mid-1970s by an unknown writer about a little-known figure, serves as an inspiration for anyone in publishing.

Edited by Robert Gottlieb at Knopf, it testifies to the power of storytelling, the meticulous craft of good history, and the impact writers, editors, and publishing teams can have.
The Book I’d Like for Christmas This Year
Bruce Springsteen’s Born to Run. Can’t wait.


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