Eur Crazy! HRO Travels Through Europe

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Eur Crazy! HRO Travels Through Europe

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Editado: Ago 28, 2011, 4:41 pm

I started this a few months ago as a personal challenge. I'm looking forward to posting here and following the progress of others.

I don't recall where I acquired this list of European countries. There seems to be some confusion about what does, and does not, qualify. The one special rule I have allowed myself is this: "There are also 8 microstates. If you cannot find a book you'd like to read for a particular country, you may substitute a book from one of the microstates." (For example, I plan to substitute a book from Cyprus for Latvia.)

My ultimate goal is a total of 42 books.

1. Albania - Broken April by Ismail Kadare (3 Stars)
2. Austria
3. Belarus
4. Belgium
5. Bosnia
6. Bulgaria
7. Croatia
8. Czech Republic
9. Denmark
10. England - A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo (3 Stars)
11. Estonia
12. Finland
13. France - Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda (4 Stars)
14. Germany - The Blindness of the Heart by Julia Franck (2 Stars)
15. Greece
16. Greenland
17. Hungary - Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb (1 Star)
18. Iceland
19. Ireland
20. Italy
21. Kosovo - The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson (3 Stars)
22. Latvia - substituted Cyprus
23. Lithuania - Vilnius Poker by Ricardas Gavelis (3 Stars)
24. Macedonia - The Internationals by Sarah Mae (3 Stars)
25. Moldova - Stella's Sisters by Philip Cameron (2 Stars)
26. Montenegro
27. Netherlands
28. Norway
29. Poland - The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen (2.5 Stars)
30. Portugal
31. Romania - Coming from an Off-Key Time by Bogdan Suceava (2 Stars)
32. Russia - The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky (4 Stars)
33. Serbia
34. Scotland
35. Slovakia - Zoli by Colum McCann (2 Stars)
36. Slovenia
37. Spain
38. Sweden
39. Switzerland - Transparent Things by Vladimir Nabokov (3 Stars)
40. Turkey - The Oracle of Stamboul by Michael David Lukas (1 Star)
41. Ukraine
42. Wales

1. Andorra
2. Cyprus - Small Wars by Sadie Jones (3 Stars)
3. Liechtenstein
4. Luxembourg
5. Malta
6. Monaco
7. San Marino
8. Vatican City

My Map:
View Eur Crazy in a larger map

Maio 17, 2011, 11:55 am

I'm impressed with how you have begun with some of the less common countries, literarily speaking. It's easy enough to find oneself reading books set in, say, England or Germany and quite a different thing to be reading books set in the Balkans.

Maio 17, 2011, 4:26 pm

Thanks RG.

So far, I've read somewhat thematically. For example, The Day of the Pelican and The Internationals are both about the Kosovo War in 1990, and Coming from an Off-Key Time and Stella's Sisters both take place following the oppression of Ceausescu's regime. This wasn't really intentional, though, and won't apply to many of the other books I have planned.

P.S. I poked around in your bookshelves and noticed you have The Diary of Trilby Frost. {squeee} That's reason enough for me to send you a friend request. :)

Maio 25, 2011, 3:47 pm

Added The Blindness of the Heart for Germany.

It is about a German family and how they survived two world wars. It is primarily Helene's story, whose father fought in WW1 and whose mother was insane, and the impact that this had on her life. She becomes a woman who is capable of doing the unthinkable and unforgivable.

Combine a dark, brooding, heavy plot with a clunky translation and the result is this book. The combination created a book that I just could not enjoy.

"The Blindness of the Heart" was recommended to me by a German blogger, and the book won the German Book Prize, so I think the affect of the book just got lost in the culture and language transition.

Editado: Jun 12, 2011, 7:38 pm

Added Small Wars for Cyprus.

"Small Wars" is about a British military couple living in Cyprus in the 1950s.

The author presupposes a knowledge of Cyprus history & the British military which makes for a very frustrating read. Also, the execution is a bit daring so it took me quite awhile to like the book.

Jul 21, 2011, 11:13 pm

I have been reading in France all this month, so I have many books to select from for this location. Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda was translated from the French, and is a lovely book, so I'm choosing that.

Editado: Ago 10, 2011, 3:56 pm

The exact location of The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky is never stated, and I suspect it's Asia-Russia rather than Europe-Russia, but I'm counting it anyway. :)

The narrator of the book is Rosa, who is quite possibly the nastiest character I've ever encountered. She's hateful and judgmental and manipulative and narcissistic. But it's utterly brilliant how Bronsky makes this story highly readable, and how she stays in Rosa's head throughout.

I cannot say that "The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine" was an enjoyable read. But it is immensely readable and thought-provoking. And it's worth reading just to appreciate Bronsky's genius in creating this story.

4 Stars.

Ago 19, 2011, 10:42 pm

Slovakia: Zoli by Colum McCann
2 Stars
The pace was slow and the tone was distant. I think this was intentional as a way of setting the mood for the book, but it prevented me from becoming involved in the story. I really just wanted it to be over.

Hungary: Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb
1 Star
Szerb was a well-known Hungarian author before his death in a concentration camp, and this book has received good ratings from other readers. But I found it dreadfully boring - I didn't like the characters or the story or the writing style.

Ago 28, 2011, 4:32 pm

There are probably several dozen books that I could list for England, but I randomly selected A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers. And for Poland, I read The Devil's Arithmetic.