Where are you now?

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Where are you now?

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1GingerbreadMan
Editado: Ago 25, 2009, 4:46 am

Just to keep activity up a little in this group while we ponder Armenian murder mysteries (or, heavens forbid, detour to other places in the world and beyond):

Where are you with your reading now?

I'm actually getting a tricky one down for this challenge at the moment. I'm going back and forth between Estonia and Finland in the late Soviet era, with Sofi Oksanens stong debut novel Stalins kossor (Stalin's cows).

2cbl_tn
Ago 25, 2009, 7:52 am

I'm in one of those other places right now. New Zealand, in fact, in Sonata for Miriam. As the novel progresses I'll visit Poland and Sweden.

This book fits nicely with the last book I read. Both have a connection to the Holocaust. I'm still in the early pages of this book, so I don't know exactly where it's going with the Holocaust connection yet.

3RidgewayGirl
Ago 25, 2009, 9:26 am

I'm stuck in England with an Early Reviewer book about Daphne du Maurier called Daphne. There are a plentiful supply of British books! I am thinking about adding Cornwall to the list; the Cornish consider themselves a separate people.

4GirlFromIpanema
Editado: Ago 31, 2009, 2:52 am

I am going back and forth between Belfast, Dublin, London and Berlin (in Belfast Blues by Michael Mueller, a German author). The story spans 40 years, from the beginning of the Troubles to present day, going back and forth in time also.
So,
1. (DE, F) Belfast Blues, Michael Mueller (F for fiction)

As to my list, I'll probably keep to the member states of the European Council. If I list the countries of the UK, then I'll have to list the autonomous regions of Spain or the German Bundesländer as well. The only exception will be Greenland, I think, because it is culturally very different from Denmark, and also is almost an independent state.

5RidgewayGirl
Ago 31, 2009, 10:01 am

I'm in Glasgow. I had assumed that I couldn't count it, but for the purposes of this challenge, Scotland is another country. Yay.

I'm having no trouble with the British Isles; things will only get interesting when I've gotten all the "easy" countries out of the way.

6lindapanzo
Ago 31, 2009, 1:54 pm

I am in 1780s America. I've recently read a few mysteries set in England lately but need to travel over to other countries.

7GingerbreadMan
Ago 31, 2009, 3:51 pm

I'm in America too, on a re-read. Following a star-eyed and naive kid from West Virginian truckstop to West Virginian truckstop in JT LeRoy's dark fairytale Sarah

8sjmccreary
Ago 31, 2009, 5:08 pm

I'm in 19th century America, experiencing civil war reconstruction and western settlement in 2 different books. Not sure when I'll make it back to the old world!

9AnnieMod
Ago 31, 2009, 5:17 pm

Just back from Scotland and 1865. Now following Harry Dresden in Chicago in "The Warrior" (part of the anthology Mean Streets) after making a few stops in Gotham City. Looks like a lot of the people that are supposed to travel around Europe had fled to the States for a while :)

10cmbohn
Set 1, 2009, 12:37 pm

I'm reading The Dragonfly Pool, which is set in a fictional European country, so I can't count it for anything! Darn. I'm really enjoying it though.

11GingerbreadMan
Set 2, 2009, 3:44 am

And I'm leaving Earth altogether for a little while, to visit planet Helliconia in it's stifling summer. Where's the "Read the multiverse Challenge"!?

12GirlFromIpanema
Set 2, 2009, 4:20 am

Wales, sometimes. Hard to say with poetry (started with Dylan Thomas' Poems (Selection)).

13pbadeer
Set 3, 2009, 10:03 pm

I am literally on a road trip right now, and for this trip I brought along a stack of TBRs. This stack was pulled BEFORE I joined this European challenge. So after I finished my Florida read for the 50 State Challenge (Paper Towns by John Green) I noticed with more than a small amount of glee that I actually had an old TBR in the back of the car set in FRANCE. So now I'm "in France" with The Ninth Life of Louis Drax by Liz Jensen

14sjmccreary
Set 4, 2009, 12:10 pm

Finally finished up with 19th C America for a while, and I am actually currently in Moscow (!). I'm reading The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Smith - the sequel to Child 44, which had a great sense of place in Moscow and Stalinist Soviet Union. So far, location hasn't had much role in this book, but I'm still hopeful.

15lindapanzo
Set 4, 2009, 12:18 pm

I'm making a quick visit to an old hotel in Galway, Ireland that is populated with elderly, permanent residents. I understand that Galway is in the western part of the country.

When I actually visited Ireland a few years ago, I was mainly around Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, and the Wicklow mountains so this should prove to be an interesting visit.

The book is Eilis Dillon's first mystery, from 1953, called Death at Crane's Court.

16RidgewayGirl
Set 4, 2009, 6:29 pm

I'm eager to hear what you think about The Secret Speech, sjmccreary. I really enjoyed (if that is the right word) Child 44.

17sjmccreary
Set 4, 2009, 7:13 pm

#16 I've heard it isn't quite as good, so my expectations are slightly lower. So far, though, no disappointments.

18cyderry
Set 4, 2009, 11:30 pm

My flight has been delayed, I'm still stuck in the states!

19RidgewayGirl
Set 6, 2009, 9:24 pm

I'm stuck in London. With a book that I found while reorganizing my shelves. I've read my English book for this challenge, so now all the books that appeal to me are set in London.

20AnnieMod
Set 7, 2009, 5:21 am

Spent the weekend in England with Poirot and the Lees during Christmas in Hercule Poirot's Christmas. Not planning on using a Christie book for my English book for the challenge though.

21GingerbreadMan
Set 7, 2009, 3:40 pm

I just spent another few, all too short hours in the company of the fantastic Amelie Nothomb. The book of proper names had all the qualities that makes Nothomb one of my favourites: A style that is light and deceptively simple, yet exact and clear as crystal. A poison bon bon of a story, told in a light, almost casual tone. And a twist at the very end that tilts the whole reading experience. She's fantastic.

This book was set in Paris, but with very little sense of place. Could have been anywhere, basically. I can't with good conscience use it for this challenge, unfortunately.

22sjmccreary
Set 7, 2009, 10:10 pm

Today I finished Secret Speech, and like GingerbreadMan, I can't in good conscience count it for this challenge. It began and ended in Moscow, but the major portion of the book took place in Asian USSR, at one of the Gulag work camps in the mines near the Pacific coast. Another signifiicant portion of the book took place in Budapest, but it was a story of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 - lots of descriptions of revolutionary and Soviet actions, but little of the actual place.

#16 How I liked it? On the surface, not at well as Child 44 which I stayed up late and then put off all chores in the morning in order to finish. Not another straight detective story featuring Leo, this book examined how various people at different levels justify their behavior when they "have no choice" or are "only following orders". It may prove to be more thought-provoking, though. I'll probably do a review a little later.

23cbl_tn
Set 10, 2009, 9:48 pm

I'm in Europe, but unfortunately (for the challenge) in England yet again. I like England! I'll eventually make it to the countries I haven't visited yet, but I'm sure I'll be making a few more stops in England along the way.

I'm reading Deborah Crombie's In a Dark House and enjoying it very much so far. It has a lovely hand-drawn map of Southwark in the front of the book to help readers visualize the locations mentioned and their proximity to each other.

24GingerbreadMan
Set 11, 2009, 3:59 am

And I'm back in the states, go figure. But also in Dominican Republic during the horror days of Trujillo, with Junot Diáz' The brief wonderous life of Oscar Wao. Enjoying it a lot actually. Moving, fast and often very funny.

25sjmccreary
Set 11, 2009, 11:44 pm

I'm back in Russia again, with Volk's Game by Brent Ghelfi. I got his new book from the ER program, so I'm reading the earlier books first. I think this one might actually count - set mostly in Moscow, with some action in St Petersburg (and Prague and New York) - lots of observations about modern Russia, after the fall of communism.

I'm also mostly in London with Stone's Fall by Iain Pears - some activity in Paris, but since it seems to be mostly England, I don't think I'm going to be able to count it.

26lindapanzo
Set 12, 2009, 10:58 am

I'm in Mexico, in terms of my current read, at least, in the new Aaron Elkins mystery, Skull Duggery. Why is it that I never seem to read books located in my new challenge area?

GingerbreadMan, I do want to read that Junot Diaz book sometime soon, too.

Sandy, though it's good to have books with a strong sense of place, it does hurt that they're split into several locations.

27GirlFromIpanema
Set 12, 2009, 1:46 pm

I'll be travelling to Poland soon, with The Mermaid and the Messerschmitt, a biographical account of the first weeks of WW2.

28cyderry
Set 12, 2009, 5:16 pm

I'm getting ready to fly off to London with A Royal Pain. I just finished the fattie Rhett Butler's People and am ready for something simplier.

29RidgewayGirl
Set 13, 2009, 11:10 am

I have The Secret Speech waiting for me at the library. It's by the author of the excellent Child 44. I'll have to see if I can include it in this challenge since the action is divided between Hungary and Russia.

30sjmccreary
Editado: Set 13, 2009, 12:05 pm

#29 Hope you enjoy it. I decided not to count it for this challenge since so much of it was in the far east, and I knew I had more Russia books lined up. But I'm reserving the right to count it for Hungary if you can come up with a good justification for doing so!

31thornton37814
Set 15, 2009, 7:07 pm

Right now, I'm in the Netherlands with Maigret in Holland by Georges Simenon. I'll be leaving that country in about a half hour though because I'm less than 30 pages from the end.

32RidgewayGirl
Set 16, 2009, 7:47 pm

I've read all but a hundred pages or so of The Secret Speech and unless it completely derails, will use it as my Russia book. It's making me want to go reread A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich next.

33sjmccreary
Set 18, 2009, 11:42 am

I'm back in Russia, again. This time with Volk's Shadow - the sequel to Volk's Game by Brent Ghelfi that I read last week. Again in modern Moscow with Volk, who is a Chechyn war veteran. Just started it, but so far I like it much better than the first book.

34cmbohn
Editado: Set 18, 2009, 4:08 pm

31 - I think I saw that one on TV. They had English subtitles so I could keep up.

I am traveling back and forth across Europe by train with Inspector French in Inspector French's Greatest Case. It's rather funny, because it's set in the 20s and things are so very different from today. Can you imagine a modern police detective sent all over investigating a single murder and robbery case? He hardly even uses a telephone or telegraph.

35RidgewayGirl
Set 18, 2009, 4:25 pm

I'm back in England, which is just useless for the purposes of this challenge, but I may change my English book to Possession as it is much, much better than the book I have there now.

36RidgewayGirl
Set 23, 2009, 4:18 pm

And now I'm in Paris, reading A Moveable Feast, my favorite book. So finally something that isn't set in England and doesn't feature murder.

37RidgewayGirl
Out 5, 2009, 1:06 pm

I have my Swedish book; a German language version of The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. I'm just waiting for life to calm down a bit so that I can concentrate on it.

38sjmccreary
Out 5, 2009, 2:00 pm

Just at the moment, I'm on one of the Greek islands with The Amateur Spy by Dan Fesperman. However, judging from the synopsis, I don't have high hopes that we'll stay put long enough for this book to count for Greece :-(

39GingerbreadMan
Out 6, 2009, 4:20 pm

Just got back from the States (Sittenfeld's The man of my dreams, a bit of a disappointment after Prep but not bad). Now I'll return to one of my favourite places in fiction - the harsh prose and fantastic characters of Sara Lidman's "Jernbane-eposet" series. I'm just starting Lifsens rot, book six in the series. Read this as a stand alone for a literature class many years ago, and am now eager to read it in context.

So, from Massachusetts to 19th century Sweden. No new countries added here at the moment. Got Russia, Albania, Scotland and Nothern Ireland in the tube though!

40sjmccreary
Out 26, 2009, 11:04 am

Finally made it back to Europe - after starting out in Greece (pst #38) that book ended up in Jordan (too bad that's not on the list). But now, I'm in Ukraine! Just started Moonlight in Odessa - my latest ER book - about a mail-order bride service called Soviet Unions :-). I just hope we get to stay long enough for me to count the book here before Daria, our lovely and lonely translator of letters from American men looking for wives, decides to go get an American man of her own.

41GingerbreadMan
Nov 4, 2009, 4:27 pm

After checking Ireland off my list I jumped the Atlantic, visiting a disturbing and bleak future America clinging to a flaking national identity, in George Saunders Civilwarland in bad decline. Now I'm back in Europe with a book that feels very much like a russian take on the same theme: Vladimir Sorokin's I det heliga Rysslands tjänst about a Russia sealed off from the west, aggressively culturing nationalism. It's really well written and translated, and as lover of a good dystopia I enjoy it a lot.

42RidgewayGirl
Nov 5, 2009, 12:26 pm

Your review of Civilwarland in Bad Decline was excellent! I'll have to find a copy. You are, by the way, no help when it comes to finding books set in Europe!

43AHS-Wolfy
Nov 5, 2009, 4:02 pm

Currently in the mythical Devon village of Wyvern's Cross with Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles.

44GingerbreadMan
Nov 5, 2009, 4:45 pm

42 Oh, thank you so much! It's really well worth checking out, but his Pastoralia is even better, IMO.

No help: I suspect you are referring to my tendency to choose books not translated into english? I've been really surprised several times already actually. If something has been translated into as little a language as Swedish, I assume it's available in english too. I was really surprised to see Sorokin's book not being available in english (it's been a massive hit with the critics here and pretty hyped), as well as my German choice Juli Zeh. For the sake of dialogue alone, I might swap these choices when I read another book set in the same country.

45RidgewayGirl
Nov 6, 2009, 9:29 am

Oh, it's very annoying how few books are translated into English, but they are a difficult sell, at least in the USA. Publishers have to chose very carefully. It is improving, though, with British publishers, especially, putting out a few more books in translation each year.

46RidgewayGirl
Nov 10, 2009, 8:04 pm

I've made it to Malta!

47sjmccreary
Nov 11, 2009, 11:06 am

#46 The Information Officer? I got that book from ER and can't wait to get started on it.

48RidgewayGirl
Nov 11, 2009, 1:43 pm

Yes, it's my ER book, too. It begins well. Let me know when you start it--I think there is a bit of inconsistency in the back story and I'm not sure if it's something that will be corrected for the final edition, or if it will all be made to work at the end or I'm just too tired when I'm reading it to focus properly.

I'm learning lots of interesting things about Malta during the second world war, though.

49GingerbreadMan
Nov 22, 2009, 8:06 am

After some detours to other parts of the universe, I'm currently back in Sweden, with John Ajvide Lindqvist's Människohamn. This, the latest novel by our biggest living writer of horror (now beginning to claim international fame through suburban vampire novel Let the right one in) is not yet available in english it seems, but is bound to be translated. It's a chilling story of the population on a small island in the Roslagen archipelago, and their relationship to a very cruel and very living sea. It very good so far (even though small children faring badly is something that really hits me in the stomach, making the book's opening pretty tough to handle).

50RidgewayGirl
Nov 22, 2009, 9:55 am

Yeah, it's funny how once you have some of your own, how a child's suffering becomes the great unreadable thing, whereas dismemberment or zombies or any other horror is just fine.

I just finished another book set in London, and am now in the American Badlands with Bad Land.

51AHS-Wolfy
Nov 22, 2009, 4:45 pm

Made my way across the water from Wales to Northern Ireland so I can think about Divorcing Jack.

52sjmccreary
Nov 22, 2009, 11:49 pm

I'm in Norway! Don't Look Back by Karin Fossum is really just getting started, but I'm quickly becoming a fan of Inspector Sejer.

53RidgewayGirl
Nov 27, 2009, 7:09 pm

I really liked the one Karin Fossum book I've read (The Indian Bride).

I'm in Ireland, having purposefully avoided the dangerous lure of another book set in England. Anyway, The Dark Eye is another very dark mystery novel set in Dublin. The first of the series surprised me because I'd always seen Dublin as a cheery, albeit rainy, place and Ingrid Black portrays it as a black pit of despair.

54Cloud9
Nov 28, 2009, 5:16 pm

Looking forward to this challenge.
I've just finished The Proud Tower which could have stacked up quite a few countries but I think that would be cheating, I want the books to be country specific, and probably fiction.
I think I will travel to Wales next with Aberystwyth Mon Amour by Malcolm Pryce which has been laying on my TBR pile since I bought it on holiday in a bookshop in an Abergavenny bookshop in Wales

55GingerbreadMan
Nov 29, 2009, 5:08 am

53 Any place described by the natives is bound to be seen at least a litte bit of a black pit of despair. My guess it has something to do with human nature :)
@54 Welcome to the challenge! Aberystwth Mon Amour is a great title!

56nans
Dez 8, 2009, 9:21 am

Have been jaunting around the US quite a bit but am finally back in Europe with Snow by Orhan Pamuk. I'm only a couple of pages in, but already the main character is in a bus caught in a blizzard in Turkey. Probably not a good read for me as I'm terrified of the first big snow this year as I haven't really driven in snow in years.

57RidgewayGirl
Dez 8, 2009, 9:45 am

I learned to drive in Phoenix, AZ, then moved to Munich, Germany. The first few times I drove in snow were pretty hairy, but it becomes routine with surprising speed. Just go slow at first and you'll be fine.

I just got my Early Reviewer book and it's set in Finland. It's very kind of the ER powers to help me along in this challenge.

58nans
Dez 8, 2009, 1:01 pm

Funny. I unlearned how to drive by living in Freiburg, Germany for the last 10 years. People always think of Germany and think of snow, but we were protected by the hills and rarely saw any. And whenever it did snow, I could hop on the train and avoid driving altogether. Enjoy your book on Finland.

59cbl_tn
Dez 8, 2009, 8:34 pm

I'm currently in 19th century Turkey, reading The Winter Thief. Like RidgewayGirl, I have Early Reviewers to thank for helping out with the challenge. I wasn't expecting to "visit" any more countries until January, so this was a nice surprise.

60sjmccreary
Dez 9, 2009, 12:04 am

Early Reviewers is sending me to Sicily! But for now, I'm in Malta (also thanks to ER).

61GingerbreadMan
Dez 10, 2009, 5:45 pm

That's really handy, having ER hepling you out (also, you seem lucky in getting ER books! I was under the impression actually getting a book through ER was a pretty rare thing with so many interested)!

Like so many of my fellow Endless Europeans, I'm back in England, trying to figure out The meaning of night. I don't read much historical fiction, but I like it so far!

62cbl_tn
Dez 10, 2009, 7:02 pm

>61That one's on my wishlist! I'll be interested in hearing what you think of it when you've finished reading.

63RidgewayGirl
Dez 12, 2009, 8:53 am

Having left the dark snowfields of Finland, I'm back in the United States, reading Scottsboro, an historical novel about racism in Alabama in the 1930's. Another light, feel good read for the holiday season!

64cmbohn
Dez 15, 2009, 9:35 pm

I just finished two today, The Alienist set in 1896 NYC and 1066 The Year of the Conquest on audiobook. Both very good.

65RidgewayGirl
Dez 19, 2009, 10:30 am

I'm back in England, in Kingsmarkham, with the newest Inspector Wexford mystery by Ruth Rendell. I have loved her books for years, and she has written an enormous number of books, but this, sadly, will be the last one. It really isn't very good. I think she's just gotten too old to write--it's all "kids today," and "in my time, we never..."

66GingerbreadMan
Dez 19, 2009, 4:35 pm

It's sad when people don't know when to quit. Goes for bands, writers, artists, doctors, teachers...

I've always felt Marcel Duchamp set a shining example: at age 36 he felt he achieved what he should as an artist, and switched to chess and gardening. The key thing here is not age 36 obviously, but being so clearly in charge of your own exit strategy.

67RidgewayGirl
Dez 19, 2009, 5:44 pm

Yes, but as readers we also need to know when to say good-bye. There are several authors I won't read anymore. I do feel a little pang when I see their latest in great, shiny piles on the bestseller tables, but there are simply too many good books out there to waste time on the mediocre.

68GingerbreadMan
Dez 19, 2009, 5:50 pm

67 Extremely true! I'm often battling with a completist urge (but more when it comes to music than books I think), but am more and more comfortable with letting authors go. Jeanette Winterson is an example that comes to mind. I loved her early books (Sexing the cherry! Hmm, might be time for a re-read there...), but her later ones give me absolutely nothing, nada, zilch. Two titles are sitting unread on our shelves, and will very likely remain so for many years.

69RidgewayGirl
Dez 31, 2009, 6:35 pm

I'm in Paris with the first Aimee Leduc mystery, Death in the Marais by Cara Black. The mystery itself is so-so, but the setting is so beautifully described.

70cbl_tn
Jan 2, 2010, 5:11 pm

Where else would I start off the New Year but England?! I'm reading Jacqueline Winspear's latest Maisie Dobbs novel, Among the Mad.

71pbadeer
Jan 2, 2010, 5:45 pm

I had a bad experience with my other Per Pettersen book To Siberia, but everyone told me to give Out Stealing Horses another chance, so I just entered Norway, and I'm hoping for the best (but so far, not impressed...)

72RidgewayGirl
Jan 3, 2010, 12:41 pm

I've returned to Canada, to North Bay, Ontario, with Forty Words for Sorrow.

73sjmccreary
Jan 3, 2010, 9:46 pm

I'm on Sicily with Sicilian Tragedee - my November ER book, but I'm finding it slow going in the beginning.

74cbl_tn
Jan 6, 2010, 4:51 pm

Happily, I've ventured away from England. I'm currently in mid-20th century Barcelona with The Shadow of the Wind.

75GingerbreadMan
Jan 6, 2010, 4:56 pm

And I'm in a twisted steampunk version of Washington state, with Cheri Priest's Boneshaker. Finally getting another one down for my 50 states challenge - on the west coast, even!

76RidgewayGirl
Jan 6, 2010, 5:05 pm

I'm in Baltimore County, Maryland with Life Sentences by Laura Lippman.

77pbadeer
Jan 6, 2010, 8:43 pm

Ireland with Music Lesson by Katharine Weber

78cmbohn
Jan 6, 2010, 10:32 pm

I'm in Victorian England reading about the exploits of Lizzie Eustace in The Eustace Diamonds. I've finished the first 2 volumes and just started the third.

79Mr.Philip.Swan
Editado: Fev 3, 2010, 9:13 am

Ruth Rendell will be 80 on February 17th - I met her in November and I can assure you she has most certainly not 'gotten too old to write' - THE MONSTER IN THE BOX is a very reflective novel, as Wexford looks back not only on his early days, but on the many changes time hath wrought in Kingsmarkham - a critic who reviewed the book missed this entirely. And this is neither her last book (a new one is scheduled for August) nor the last appearance of Wexford - she assured us he'll be back, but in a different capacity. A comparison of Rendell's recent novels to what Agatha Christie wrote at the same age makes it clear that Rendell is still very much on the ball.

80cmbohn
Fev 4, 2010, 5:53 pm