I hope everyone is doing OK and staying indoors where required! We can all do with some beauty, so for the first day of (northern) spring please accept this sublime sculpture of a lamb by German sculptor Renée Sintenis, who was born on this day in 1888.

None of us is free of concern these days, but even now we can think of others – like small presses and independent bookstores who are the lifeblood of a truly vital literary culture, and the writers and translators they promote, all of whom are facing an uncertain future. But you probably also need distraction, so let’s all help each other by keeping them going. For reading tips, allow me to refer you back to these Strange Flowers-flavoured selections:

  • this list of books coming out in 2020 (although note that even the ones that were originally due out by now may well have changed publication date)
  • this list of original English-language works from 2019
  • this list of translated works from 2019

Most bookstores and presses appear to be maintaining at least minimal operations and will often deliver – please check your favourite/local store and order from them, or from small presses, rather than, well, you know.

Stay safe everyone.





  1. Hands around the globe, dear James air hugs and remembering that Romaine, Natalie, Lily and their circle of free thinkers lived through the great epidemic and two world wars the Great Depression, the Cold War, assassinations and into the 1970s. May we also weather the storms of the 21st as well.

  2. Eddy Falconer

    Thanks for all the renewed tips!

  3. James, you have been on my mind! I just re-watched the first two seasons of Babylon Berlin, and then caught up on the new season. How could I not think of you? I hope you are well. Sending love and hugs just because. XOXO

  4. John Clarke


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