thornton37814's European Vacation - Part II.

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thornton37814's European Vacation - Part II.

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1thornton37814
Jul 17, 2012, 11:23 pm

This is continued from the thread http://www.librarything.com/topic/71175 because I can no longer get the touchstones to load. I'm going to be breaking my alphabet into much smaller segments than I originally did. In addition to the countries, I'm breaking the United Kingdom up as well as including many smaller dependencies which are not necessarily countries but are more or less self-governing. The list includes books I read beginning in 2009, and I should complete the challenge by the end of 2012. While I only need to include one book for each country, I'm including additional books that I read for each country as part of the list as long as they were read prior to my completion of the challenge.

2thornton37814
Editado: Nov 29, 2012, 8:32 am

4thornton37814
Editado: Nov 27, 2012, 8:03 am

England (I'm sure I've omitted some that I read for England.)
And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander
A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Winter of Discontent by Jeanne M. Dams
Dreaming of the Bones by Deborah Crombie
Slay Bells by Kate Kingsbury
A Very Private Grave by Donna Fletcher Crow
Water Like a Stone by Deborah Crombie
No Clue at the Inn by Kate Kingsbury
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths
The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
Birds of a Feather by Jacqueline Winspear
The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley
Kissed a Sad Goodbye by Deborah Crombie
Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Reluctant Detective by Martha Ockley
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Emma by Jane Austen
A Finer End by Deborah Crombie
The Most Beautiful Villages of England by James Bentley
Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer
To Love and Be Wise by Josephine Tey
Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers
Behold, Here's Poison by Georgette Heyer
Shrouds of Holly by Kate Kingsbury
A Dark and Stormy Night by Jeanne M. Dams
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Death at Whitechapel by Robin Paige
A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley
Bleeding Heart Square by Andrew Taylor
The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
The Evil That Men Do by Jeanne M. Dams
A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow
Dissolution by C. J. Sansom
A Most Contagious Game by Catherine Aird
Dark Fire by C. J. Sansom
Blind Justice by Bruce Alexander
Weighed in the Balance by Anne Perry
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
A Shilling for Candles by Josephine Tey
Death at Dartmoor by Robin Paige
Wedding Rows by Kate Kingsbury
The Blood Detective by Dan Waddell
The Estate of the Beckoning Lady by Margery Allingham
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd
Grave Consequences by Dana Cameron
The Children of Willesden Lane by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

9thornton37814
Jul 26, 2012, 11:43 am

Slovakia - Katarina by Kathryn Winter - Katarina, a young girl of Jewish descent in Slovakia, finds herself separated from her family during the Holocaust and World War II. Katarina does not practice the Jewish faith and loves Catholicism which had been taught to her by the family's maid. Most people are afraid to take in a Jewish girl. This story will invite many questions about the Holocaust and its atrocities for middle school aged readers. 3.5 stars.

10thornton37814
Jul 30, 2012, 12:01 pm

Czech Republic - Time's Magpie: A Walk in Prague by Myla Goldberg - Goldberg resided in Prague in 1993 and returned in 2003 for the purpose of writing this book. It takes the reader on a tour of Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. In the book, the reader becomes acquainted with the changes that freedom has brought to this city--from toppled statues to escalators. The reader is also exposed to the remnants of the former Communist State through police corruption. My favorite portions of the book were the descriptions of a couple libraries and cemeteries. The work could have been greatly enhanced by the addition of photographs to accompany the narrative. 3 stars

11thornton37814
Ago 6, 2012, 1:44 pm

I want to include a second book for the Czech Republic. This one is a work of fiction. I couldn't decide between the non-fiction book above, and this fictional one, so I decided to read both.

The Fifth Servant by Kenneth Wishnia - This historical mystery takes place during the Jewish Inquisition of the 17th century in Prague. A girl is found murdered, and the Jewish shop owner is taken into custody in spite of his innocence. The Jews are given 3 days to prove the man's innocence, and one of the days is a Sabbath, which poses a problem. The "sleuth" is a rabbi-in-training. This is a book that I both loved and hated. The book is well-written, but parts of it are not very readable. The reason for this is the abundance of terms in other languages. Only a few are explained in the text itself. There is a glossary in the back which includes some, but there are terms which are not explained at all. It makes for some very slow reading when one is constantly having to flip to the back of the book to locate the meaning of a term, especially if it is not there and one must search elsewhere for its definition. The historical research done by the author is quite evident to the reader. The acknowledgements in the back of the book not only mention persons but also the sources that were consulted in preparation of the book. I found that the mystery somehow got lost in much of the discussion of the Tanakh and Rabbinical literature (Midrash, Mishnah, etc.) I suspect that this novel will appeal more to those of Jewish faith than those who have little familiarity with the rabbinical literature. Fortunately, I was able to follow some of the discussion based on my knowledge of the Old Testament. It was the rabbinic discussions that sometimes lost me. I enjoyed learning more about the Jewish Inquisition in that part of Europe. It was certainly not humane treatment they received. 3 stars.

12thornton37814
Ago 25, 2012, 9:16 am

I read some of my Europe books for August at the end of July. I had to order one via Interlibrary Loan. Because we didn't go back to work until August 15, it wasn't ordered until then, and it still hasn't arrived. If it doesn't arrive by Monday, I'll end up with 4 Europe books to read in September since I'm leaving early Tuesday morning for a conference. Keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed that the Kazakhstan books arrives Monday.

13thornton37814
Set 4, 2012, 8:18 pm

Turkey:

Belshazzar's Daughter by Barbara Nadel - This mystery, set in Istanbul, Turkey, features Inspector Cetin Ikmen and Sergeant Mehmet Suleyman. The body of a Jewish man is found, having been horribly mutilated by sulfuric acid with a swastika of the man's own blood painted on the wall. An English teacher appears to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He thought he spotted his girlfriend in the area and fears that she may have committed the crime. The girl's grandmother and family does have a tie with the man as does a prominent businessman who is a known Nazi sympathizer. The puzzle is quite perplexing. I loved this novel for its writing and Turkish atmosphere for about two-thirds of the novel, then it started getting a bit far-fetched. There are some sexual scenes and some minor foul language that I would have preferred to not be included. Still, I liked the novel well enough that I would probably read the second one in the series. 3 stars.

14thornton37814
Set 4, 2012, 9:41 pm

Kazakhstan:

Apples Are From Kazakhstan by Christopher Robbins - The author traveled to Kazakhstan, a country about which he knew very little. He did a bit of research before going. The American title of the book comes from a comment one person made to him before he went there. The woman told him that "Apples are from Kazakhstan." Indeed, he knew little more about the country. The author tells us about the culture, geography, and recent history and politics of the former Soviet Republic. I learned a great deal about the country. It's not a particularly easy read, but the author manages to mix some humor into his narrative and does an excellent job describing what he encountered and learned from the Kazakhs. He even met the president of the country in his travels and met with him. The points dealing with the recent elections and with the current president at the time of the book's writing could have probably used a more objective voice than the author gave; however, this is a good book for someone to read who wants to become acquainted with the country without reading a scholarly volume. 4 stars.

15thornton37814
Set 15, 2012, 1:30 pm

Montenegro:

The Black Mountain by Rex Stout - Wolfe's investigation into the death of his friend Marko Vukcic in New York City leads him back to his native Montenegro to search for the killer. He and Archie travel under a false identities since it would be dangerous to go as themselves. I started this book in audio format and finished it in print as the audio version just wasn't working for me. I did not watch the television program regularly and have not read other books in the series. I feel that I probably missed a lot of back story jumping into the series at book 23. 3 stars.

16thornton37814
Set 28, 2012, 8:12 pm

Slovenia:

Of Whom the World Was Not Worthy by Marie Chapian - According to the back of the book, the author traveled to what was then Yugoslavia to interview Christians whose faith had been challenged during the oppressive times of World War II. The resulting book is the story of Jakob and Jozeca and their children. Their story took place in what is now the country of Slovenia, although it was then just a part of Yugoslavia. We learn of his commitment to preaching the gospel and of Jozeca's conversion from Catholicism to Protestantism. We see Hitler and Mussolini, and the horrors wrought by their regime. We see the fear under which even those who were doing no wrong lived. It was quite easy to be imprisoned and tortured for one's faith and to be seen as aiding the enemy by unknowingly giving housing to someone who might have been working for the other side. We see the economic problems of the time, which were at least, in part, due to the war. We also see the power of prayer. Perhaps the saddest thing for me is the manner in which she was treated by the German missionary who took her husband's place in the church upon his death. I am thankful that her faith was stronger than the persecution she faced so we could hear her story. 3 stars.

17thornton37814
Out 14, 2012, 1:39 pm

Belarus:

The Bielski Brothers by Peter Duffy - In Belarus during the Holocaust years of World War II, three brothers rescued over 1200 Jews by building a village in the forests that were well-known to them. While only a small portion of these survivors were armed and considered to be fighters, their watchfulness and resourcefulness saved many Jews that would have otherwise fallen victim to the madness created by Hitler and his supporters. It's a remarkable story demonstrating courage in the face of adversity. (4 stars)

18PawsforThought
Out 14, 2012, 1:43 pm

->17 thornton37814:. Oh, I'm going to have to pick that one up. It's a fascinating story and though it's not the most gripping WW2 film ever, I really liked Defiance (which is based on the story of the Bielskis).

19thornton37814
Out 14, 2012, 8:11 pm

Belarus is one of those that has fewer books. I had another book identified to use, but I noticed that my library had this one so I decided to try it. I'm glad I did! There is a nice section of plates in the middle of the book too!

20thornton37814
Out 17, 2012, 9:29 am

Faroe Islands:

The Strange Intruder by Arthur Catherall - A ship carrying several of the islanders is wrecked off the shore of one of the larger islands of the Faroe Islands. The islanders want to rescue them, and a teenage boy is sent to help what is thought to be a survivor swimming to the island. Instead it is a very hungry polar bear. What follows is an account of the islanders' efforts to remove the polar bear threat as well as to rescue their men. I got a sense of some of the geography of the island as well as the unusual nature of a visit by a polar bear in this story written for about a middle age audience. While the story probably fails to build action in the sense that more recent survival stories for young adult readers do, it is still a great visit to an island group for which few works of fiction exist. (3.5 stars)

21thornton37814
Out 19, 2012, 1:41 pm

Jersey:

This Royal Breed by Judith Saxton - During World War II, Charles Laurient is taken by the Germans to a concentration camp. It is up to his adopted daughter Rochelle to keep up the estate in his absence. The business of the estate is orchid growing. His illegitimate American son "Laurie" is with the American forces. If I say much more, I'll give away too much of the plot. The author uses very descriptive language, but the pacing of the novel is far too slow, and the novel itself is too long. Characters are well-drawn, and the plight of the island of Jersey during World War II is portrayed well. (3 stars)

22thornton37814
Nov 7, 2012, 9:33 am

Georgia:

The Georgian Feast by Dara Goldstein - Part culinary history and part cookbook, this volume highlights the cuisine of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. The narrative sections were a bit dry, but they did give you a sense of the culture and the history of the people and how their cuisine developed. While I'm not likely to incorporate most of these recipes into my regular cooking, there are a few ideas that I may take away that will influence my twists on recipes. Recommended for persons interested in Eastern European cuisine. (3.5 stars)

23VivienneR
Nov 7, 2012, 2:35 pm

Congratulations on finding a book for Georgia, it's not easy. The only one in my local library is Walking Dead by Greg Rucka, which will be my choice.

24thornton37814
Nov 9, 2012, 12:31 pm

San Marino:

A Freak of Freedom by J. Theodore Bent - This is an overview of the history of the Republic of San Marino, and about how it came to be an independent country surrounded by another country. Although its coverage stops in the late 19th century when the book was written, it is a useful resource for persons wanting to become a little more familiar with the tiny republic. It does not endeavor to offer in depth treatment of its government, which I found to be a blessing. It puts the tiny republic in the greater culture of what was going on in Italy and the rest of Europe over the years. (3 stars)

25thornton37814
Nov 12, 2012, 10:12 am

Isle of Man:

The Folklore of the Isle of Man by Margaret Killip - This book is for the hardcore folklorist rather than a person wanting to read the folktales themselves. I expected to be reading a book of folk tales from the Isle of Man. Instead, I got a book that analyzed and studied tales in the greater context of the culture of the island. For a person already familiar with these folk tales, this book would have been a wonderful study, but for a person such as I who was unfamiliar with the tales and the culture, it was a chore to read it. I did learn a little about the culture of the island in the process of reading it. I was surprised by the great influence that Charles Wesley and his followers exerted upon the island. Certainly many of the folk tales have roots in the island's pre-Christian days, but it was interesting to see how Christianity, specifically Methodism, sometimes inlfuenced the tales in later years. (2.5 stars)

26thornton37814
Nov 26, 2012, 9:22 am

Monaco:

The Fall of Prince Florestan of Monaco by Charles Wentworth Dilke - This is a brief account of Prince Florestan's short reign in 19th century Monaco. He had never really been groomed to rule the country. He noted that there was too high percentage of a population employed by the government. He wanted some reforms such as separation of church and state, but he was never able to rally the people behind him. He eventually went to live in exile in England. The book does give a sense of Monaco's dependence upon the gambling income even in the 19th century. (3 stars)

27VivienneR
Nov 26, 2012, 3:20 pm

It looks like you are nearing the end of your European journey. Am I right in saying you have only one country left to visit? You certainly have read some interesting material, off the beaten track.

28thornton37814
Nov 27, 2012, 8:01 am

I have only Andorra left. The book just arrived via Interlibrary Loan. I have to decide whether I will begin it or my Early Reviewer book tonight! I think Andorra might win so that I finish my challenge a month ahead of schedule, Vivienne.

29thornton37814
Nov 29, 2012, 8:35 am

Andorra:

The Road to Andorra by Shirley Deane - Shirley Deane, her husband Malcolm, and their sons decided to go and live a short while in Andorra. Malcolm was a painter. Andorra is very mountainous, and there were very few cars there at the time the family lived there. The family grew accustomed to walking through the mountains and valleys to go shopping, for entertainment, and just about anything else. They lived mainly off the land although they were able to make occasional bread purchases when the baker made his weekly delivery to the village. They were beginning to settle in for the long winter when they expected to be snowed in when Malcolm received an offer to manage a pig farm on Ibiza, an island off the coast of Spain. They spent some time along the coast of the island and on a neighboring island as well. After they had been there about a year, some American reviews of a prior book Shirley had written caused the family to be expelled from Spain. None of their efforts to stop it were successful because the banishment came from a high official. The family went back to Andorra and then back to England. I found this to be one of the more engaging travel narratives that I've read recently. At many points I found myself wondering if the country of Andorra was more modernized now or if he still held some of the rustic charm described in the book. There's quite a bit of humor in the pages as one pictures her trying to travel with her dog and in other situations. I found myself wanting to find the book that caused her banishment, along with the American reviews of it! (4 stars)

This concludes my Europe Endless Challenge. I made it!

30AHS-Wolfy
Nov 29, 2012, 11:47 am

Congratulations! Do you have plans for more travels? Perhaps the 50 States or Canadian Provinces? It's a shame that my own travel threads are so neglected :(

31thornton37814
Nov 29, 2012, 2:35 pm

I've already completed both of those. I believe that there is a Commonwealth Challenge beginning, and I know a few who did an American territories one. I think I want to be free of a geographic challenge for a bit, but I may join some others later.

32Ameise1
Nov 29, 2012, 2:47 pm

Congratulations!! Well done.

33VivienneR
Nov 29, 2012, 3:11 pm

Congratulations! It must feel very satisfying to have completed your journey.

34thornton37814
Nov 29, 2012, 3:58 pm

Thanks Ameise1 and Vivienne. I'm delighted to have completed it. I enjoyed some of the visits more than others, but I found a lot of new authors and experiences along the way.

35Samantha_kathy
Editado: Jul 31, 2016, 8:44 am

Mensagem removida pelo autor.

36thornton37814
Editado: Nov 30, 2012, 12:28 pm

Probably not. I'll be in the 2013 Category Challenge and have a category called "St. Elsewhere" where I'll add books that don't have a U.S. or U.K. setting. I'll also keep posting to the 75 books group.

The first thread for my 2013 Category Challenge is here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/142986

37VivienneR
Nov 30, 2012, 1:14 pm

Love the categories in your 2013 challenge. Very creative!

38thornton37814
Nov 30, 2012, 9:19 pm

Thanks. I had fun picking them out. Now it's just a matter of filling them!

39cyderry
Dez 3, 2012, 3:02 pm

Congratulations on completing this challenge. At least I can check here to find a book for some of those countries I haven't visited yet.

40GingerbreadMan
Set 29, 2013, 5:35 pm

WOW! Only now do I realise that you actually wrapped it up. Sensational!

41thornton37814
Set 29, 2013, 9:00 pm

Anders> I've been done awhile!

42GingerbreadMan
Set 30, 2013, 3:49 am

So I see! I've just managed to miss it up til now :)

43thornton37814
Set 30, 2013, 8:48 am

Anders> That's okay. I'm still hanging around so I don't miss the good reads everyone else finds!