I’ve been perusing my stack of books that I have yet to read, and have decided that I’m going on another book trip. I enjoyed “holidaying” over the summer via the books I’d bought on recent holidays. As it’s unlikely that I’ll get to Europe for a while (thanks pandemic, thanks Brexit), I thought I’d knock a few titles off the stack that are by European authors and head off on a virtual tour of the continent.
I’ve put together my list. It’s a combination of books I’ve had hanging around for a while, many of them on my Kindle because I often forget that I’ve bought things as e-books, and very recent purchases or subscription titles. My rules, borrowed from a reading challenge I did a few years ago on The Reader’s Room blog, are that I can only cross to another country that shares a border with the one I’m visiting, and I can only make one crossing by sea and one by plane. Where possible, each book will be by an author from the country, or someone who has become a citizen of the country they’ve moved to.
- Sweden – The Polyglot Lovers, Lina Woolff, tr. Saskia Vogel (my review)
- Lithuania – Vilnius Poker, Ricardas Gavelis, tr. Elizabeth Novickas (Kindle) (my review)
- Russia – Dead Souls, Nikolai Gogol, tr. Donald Rayfield (my review)
- Poland – Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Olga Tokarczuk, tr. Antonia Lloyd-Jones (my review)
- Ukraine – The President’s Last Love, Andrey Kurkov, tr. George Bird (my review)
- [Extra] Hungary – The Invisible Bridge, Julia Orringer (library – my review)
- Slovakia – The Equestrienne, Uršul’a Kovalyk, tr. Julia and Peter Sherwood (Kindle – my review)
- Czech Republic/Czechia – The Trial, Franz Kafka, tr. Willa and Edwin Muir (my review)
- [Extra] Germany – In the Pines, Paul Scraton and Eymelt Sehmer (my review)
- Austria – The Radetzky March, Joseph Roth, tr. Michael Hofmann (my review)
- Italy – On Literature, Umberto Eco, tr. Martin McLaughlin (Kindle) (my review)
- France – Fatale, Jean-Patrick Manchette, tr. Donald Smith (Kindle) (my review)
- Spain – Oldladyvoice, Elisa Victoria, tr. Charlotte Whittle (my review)
- Portugal – The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa, tr. Richard Zenith (my review)
- Ireland – Uncle Silas, Joseph Sheridan le Fan (Kindle)
- England – The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla, various authors
That’s a lot of books, a fair few of them thick ones, so it will definitely take me a while to conclude my European sojourn. I shall endeavour to learn one new fact about each destination or virtually visit one cultural attraction, as though I really am on holiday.
Have you tried to strategically tackle your To Read pile, or are you more of a reader at whim?