Where are you, part two

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Where are you, part two

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Fev 4, 2010, 5:53 pm

I thought the old thread was getting a little long.

I just finished In the Woods, set in a suburb in Ireland. I sort of liked it, enough that I finished it, but I didn't love it. I just couldn't connect with the characters. I liked Detective Cassie Maddox more than her partner, but not enough that I'm going to read the next one.

Fev 4, 2010, 7:59 pm

Cindy, I think your's is the first comment I've read that didn't love that book! I started it last spring, but didn't finish. Nothing to do with the book - just too much life intruding at the time. I still plan to come back to it.

I'm currently in Glasgow (I think), Scotland - listening to Garnethill on audio. The reader has a strong accent - not what I think of as Scottish, sounds more Irish, but what do I know? Anyway, accents don't normally bother me, but this one is so heavy that I must listen more actively than I'm used to, so it's going slow. I'm liking it, though.

Fev 4, 2010, 8:10 pm

Yeah, maybe it was just me, but I felt the book just didn't live up to anything close to the hype. Rob/Adrian could have been a great character, but I felt like it was just watching him fall apart. And yet, the writer could have taken it even further. I was just a little disappointed.

Fev 5, 2010, 2:21 am

Good idea with the new thread! I'm spending times in other worlds again - the decadent city Ashamoil in KJ Bishop's The etched city. Am planning to continue with my european travels soon though - expecting to tick both Hungary and Ukraine off my list in the next month or so.

Fev 24, 2010, 9:09 am

I've just begun my Chechnya book, The Angel of Grozny but it may take awhile. It's not a cheerful read.

Editado: Fev 24, 2010, 5:56 pm

...And on the same note, I'm currently spending time in Auschwitz, Poland, in Kertesz´ Fateless. It'll probably be my Hungary book though - it starts out in Budapest.

Mar 7, 2010, 12:42 pm

I've managed to stay out of England for a while! I'm currently in Vatican City, reading God's Spy by Juan Gomez-Jurado. Pope John Paul II has just died, millions have flocked to Rome for his funeral, and there is a serial killer on the loose.

Mar 14, 2010, 2:56 pm

I just started Vienna Prelude. It's set during the buildup to WWII. So far it's a little slow, but then, I've just started.

Mar 22, 2010, 4:41 pm

I gave up on Vienna Prelude a while back. Now I'm reading Doctor Zhivago, and I may give up on this one too! I'm tired of seeing characters with complicated names drop in and out of the story without doing anything! Frustrating reading so far.

Mar 23, 2010, 4:28 pm

I'm in China with Wild Swans and in London with Sebastian Faulks's newest, A Week in December.

Mar 24, 2010, 6:11 pm

I'm back in Russia, about halfway through Metro 2033, a neat post-apocalypse where the remaining humans are setting up city states in the Moscow metro system...As usual when the russians are writing sci-fi, it's full of metaphores, political comment, mystery and philosophy. It's only major flaw so far is there is not ONE female character of importance...

Abr 11, 2010, 9:55 am

I am stuck in London, first with Blackout by Connie Willis, which was excellent, and now I'm back to A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks.

Abr 11, 2010, 11:06 pm

I'm alternating between Revolutionary France and England in The Time of Terror by Seth Hunter, with time out for a quick excursion to the Netherlands listening to the audio verson of Alexandre Dumas' The Black Tulip in the car.

Abr 17, 2010, 7:11 pm

Just finished Copernicus' Secret. If you're looking for a non-fiction book about Poland, this one was a lot of fun. It's not about WWII either, which is all I seem to be finding about Poland and Germany lately. Although now I'm reading All Quiet on the Western Front, which is about WWI. And I have to say, I'm about 1/3 of the way done, and it is a gripping must read. If you haven't ever read it, it is worth picking up. Be prepared - the violence is graphic and fills most of the pages. But for getting a look at what it was really like at the front or in the trenches, this is excellent.

Abr 22, 2010, 2:11 am

I'm in Norway, with Erlend Loe's parody on heroic ventures of exploration: Expedition L. Inspired by Thor Heterdahl's Kon-Tiki expedition and embarressed he hasn't really contributed to the glory of his country, Erlend sets out to prove that the first settlers in fact came to Polynesia on ice skates. Right now, he's trying to find "good, solid men" to join him and looking for funding - with mixed results. It's hilarious. I'm laughing loudly.

Abr 22, 2010, 7:51 am

I'm in, of all places, Andorra. I'm reading Shirley Deane's The Road to Andorra, an account of her family's move to an Andorran village on a whim. The book was published in 1960, so the events it describes probably took place in the late 1950s.

Abr 22, 2010, 3:46 pm

Wow. Looking forward to hearing what you think!

Abr 25, 2010, 7:00 pm

Just started an audiobook with my daughter which puts me in Ireland - Airman by Eoin Colfer. Only a little bit into it so far, but enjoying it. Very different from his Artemis Fowl series - so far this is far more "realistic/historical fiction" as opposed to the Fowl series' fantasy components. I saw a review which called it "Steampunk" - not sure what that is, but maybe I will by the end of the book.

Abr 28, 2010, 4:52 am

I'm in Berlin with March Violets by Philip Kerr, and I'm also in Spain with Hape Kerkeling in Ich bin dann mal weg.

I think I'll count it as Spain because he's walking the St Jacques de Compostela pilgrimage, but he's a German author...

I've just left Sicily with Inspect Montalbano in The Shape of Water.

It's been ages since I had such a good run of European books, and it made me remember that I'm in this group - I'm off to start a challenge thread of my own now!

Abr 29, 2010, 4:20 pm

I'm in France - with 2 different books. First, examining prehistoric cave paintings in the nonfiction The Cave Painters by Gregory Curtis, and also in Paris with The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. It's been a long time since I've been outside the US or England.

Maio 17, 2010, 9:18 am

I just read a book set in Norway--Karin Fossum's The Water's Edge and I'm currently reading Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky, set in wartime France.

Maio 20, 2010, 5:06 am

I'm still in Spain walking the Jakobsweg and I'm taking longer to read the book than I would to do the walk. And I'm in England with Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Maio 20, 2010, 9:55 am

I want to walk the Jakobsweg in real life, and am curious to hear your final thoughts on the book.

And I read your profile and saw you're in Basel - I just moved from Freiburg a year ago back to the US. I used to go to Basel to watch movies since CH shows them in original and Germany usually dubbed them. Enjoy your time in Europe!

Maio 27, 2010, 4:00 pm

I'm in Paris with The Three Evangelists. Planning to dig up a tree that mysteriously appeared in a neighbour's garden.

Maio 27, 2010, 7:03 pm

I'm in Victorian England with Molly Gibson in Wives and Daughters.

Maio 28, 2010, 3:08 pm

I'm finally in Sweden with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Have been waiting for this book for months from the library, but luckily my friend bought it and I snagged it as soon as was decently possible.

After the first 50 pages, I immediately put myself on the waiting list for book two. I hope it won't be another couple months until I return to Sweden. Might have to suggest he purchase book two!

Jun 7, 2010, 8:44 am

I'm nowhere useful for the purposes of this challenge. I'm bouncing between Milan and Paris with Foucault's Pendulum and experiencing turn of the century England in The Children's Book.

Has anyone else seen the Swedish movie version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? An American version is scheduled for 2012, but I can't imagine that it will do a better job than the Swedish film.

Jun 7, 2010, 9:56 am

The Swede hasn't seen it...Haven't been anywhere near a cinema in ages. I blame my son, the little goblin.

Jun 7, 2010, 7:44 pm

Well, don't take him!

I'm finding that I am going to the occasional movie, however they are usually chosen by my offspring and they tend to chose animated 3-D extravaganzas or anything featuring talking animals. The Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland was stunning and imaginative, though.

Jun 10, 2010, 12:37 am

I just entered Ireland with A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle. I'm not sure about it yet. I'm not that far into it, but other than the image of an infant with the ability to curse silently at his parents, I don't know what it will be about or where it will take me. But I'm assured good things await.

Jun 12, 2010, 10:39 pm

Coincidentally, I'm reading A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle too, as this was the one I chose in between the United Kingdom and Iceland on my geographic tour through Europe.

Jun 13, 2010, 5:24 pm

I just finished The Black Mountain where Nero Wolfe goes back to Montenegro to solve the murder of his best friend. I really liked it. It's set during Tito-era Yugoslavia, with his forces on one side and the Russians on the other.

Jun 13, 2010, 10:18 pm

Technically, I'm not sure how to categorize this one, but I thought it would fit well with this group. Join Us at the Embassy by Summer Whitford is a non-fiction book structured around a number of embassies in Washington, DC. Within each chapter (including a number of European embassies), she provides background into the culture, food, history, etc. of each country.

It's difficult to read straight through, so I've had it sitting to the side and just picking it up to cover one embassy at a time. Doing it that way, the writing stays strong and fresh and each country's identity remains crisp. The only potentially negative comment I have so far is geared at which countries she chose to include/omit. There's Austria, but not Germany. There's Portugal, but not Spain. I guess she just needs to write another edition.

Jun 13, 2010, 10:21 pm

I've just taken an unnerving trip to Albania with Ismail Kadare's Spring Flowers, Spring Frost.

Ago 25, 2010, 1:23 pm

Due to the many comments and reviews, I'm in Estonia with Purge by Sofi Oksanen and I'm contemplating the north side of Everest from Tibet in Dark Summit.

Ago 26, 2010, 5:31 pm

Just got out of crime ridden Napoli with Saviano's Gomorra. Deadly, corrupt, poor...and unfortunately boring as all hell. I think I'm off ot Panama next, with Canal dreams by Iain Banks.

Jan 7, 2011, 6:19 pm

I'm jumping back to the States for a bit with Shirely Jackson's The lottery and other stories, but will soon return to Europe, Belarus and Jachym Topol's Kallt land.

Jan 7, 2011, 6:43 pm

Thanks for resurrecting this thread...I'd forgotten about it

I'm seriously planted into centuries of history in Italy and the UK with The Portland Vase by Robin Brooks. Excellent read. Little can be said about a 2000 year old vase from the time it was made, so Brooks starts the story from the time it was unearthed in 16th century Italy. You may think a book about a vase would be dull, but it includes social history, industrial revolution developments, a chapter dedicated to Wedgwood. Very enjoyable - and interesting that such a major exhibit at the British Museum has been shattered and reassembled at least 4 different times - the last time it was shattered while on DISPLAY at the museum, and the culprit was convicted of damaging only the display case that held it and fined 3 pounds!

Jan 7, 2011, 8:30 pm

I've spent a fair bit of time wandering around various eras and locations in the UK in recent weeks. However, I have managed to tear myself away and I'm currently in Hungary circa 1900, reading Skylark by Dezso Kosztolanyi. I love that one of the characters is a genealogist!

Jan 10, 2011, 12:17 pm

I'm up on a mountain in the Swiss Alps with Heidi and her Grandfather in Johanna Spyri's children's novel.

Jan 29, 2011, 1:02 am

Just finished up Greenmantle which started in France, then went to England, then Germany, through all sorts of rivers and then down the Danube to the Black Sea to Constantinople and into Turkey during World War I. Very exciting adventure story, not very believable, but action packed spy thriller with plenty of evil Germans to fight.

Fev 6, 2011, 5:12 pm

I'm on a tour of Swiss history and culture in Swiss Watching by British author Diccon Bewes. I'm only a couple of chapters in, but so far I'm enjoying the author's light-hearted style.

Mar 14, 2011, 4:49 pm

I just finished The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer, which is set in Paris and Budapest and am now in the rural south of Mississippi in the USA with Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin.

Mar 14, 2011, 6:08 pm

I just left Slovenia and I'm now in Italy with Michael Dibdin's Ratking.

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Mar 17, 2011, 8:45 am

I'm beginning Skippy Dies by Paul Murray, set at a Catholic school for boys in Dublin, Ireland.

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Abr 8, 2011, 3:06 pm

Is anyone surprised that I'm back in England yet again? I'm reading God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible in honor of its 400th anniversary.

Abr 8, 2011, 5:15 pm

I have just left England and am currently in Crete, Greece. The Island by Victoria Hislop is the book.

Maio 17, 2011, 5:32 am

I'm in a steampunk version of England at the moment, and also on the fading countryside in my native Sweden. Planning to read my first Slovakian novel shortly though - Samko Talé's Boken om kyrkogården!

Maio 17, 2011, 7:16 am

I'm in Paris in the mid-nineties with Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik and I'm just beginning to explore the gulf coast islands on the edge of the Florida everglades in Swamplandia.

Maio 17, 2011, 7:44 am

It may be hard to believe, but I'm not in England! Right now I'm in Renaissance Italy, waiting for Leonardo da Vinci to solve a murder in The Queen's Gambit.

Maio 30, 2011, 1:45 pm

I'm in Berlin, 1938, reading Philip Kerr's The Pale Criminal.

Jun 3, 2011, 7:36 am

I'm back in Europe, but in a country I've already visited. I'm in Italy with Michael Dibdin's Vendetta. I hope to add another stamp in my challenge passport later this month. I've got a Moldova book lined up.

Jun 3, 2011, 4:45 pm

I'm reading my first ever Slovakian novel. Samko Talé's Cemetary book by Daniela Kapitanova (which I'm reading in Swedish translation) is pretty unique. The language is something else! A book I probably wouldn't have found if it wasn't for this challenge.

Jun 27, 2011, 12:36 pm

I'm in Moldova, one of the more difficult countries for this challenge. I'm reading Playing the Moldovans at Tennis by Tony Hawks. It's a book I never would have discovered if I hadn't sought it out for this challenge. I'm learning a lot about a country I knew next to nothing about. So far there's been a lot more description of Moldova than of tennis.

Editado: Jun 27, 2011, 7:43 pm

Right now I'm in 17th century Germany with The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch. I'll be heading to Romania after that with Taste of Romania: Its Cookery and Glimpses of Its History, Folklore, Art, Literature, and Poetry. (The touchstone doesn't work with the subtitle.)

Glad to hear that Playing the Moldovans at Tennis is worthwhile. I've discovered my public library has that one so I plan to use it for Moldovo too.

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Jun 28, 2011, 8:57 pm

It's non-fiction. It started off as a bar bet between the author and a friend. They were watching Moldova play against England in an international football (soccer) tournament, and somehow the author ended up betting that he could beat all 11 of the Moldovan players at tennis. The book is his account of his attempt to win the bet.

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Jun 29, 2011, 5:23 pm

It's a light read, yet it's also educational and thought-provoking. Tony Hawks is a comedian, and I think successful comedians are successful because they are good observers of human behavior and society.

Jun 29, 2011, 8:18 pm

I just finished 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson and gave it 4.5 stars. It does take place in England, but about half of it is about how a husband and wife, separated when the husband goes off to fight, survive WWII in Poland. 22 Britannia Road is where they end up after the war (and where the book starts) so the book is told in flashbacks within flashbacks of their separate ordeals leaving their homeland and arriving in the UK. I would definitely recommend it.

Out 1, 2011, 11:27 am

I'm currently in Iceland with The Fish Can Sing by Halldór Laxness. I couldn't resist the musical angle to the novel.

Out 16, 2011, 6:32 pm

Now I'm in Latvia with The Dogs of Riga, the second book in Henning Mankell's Wallander series. The book starts out in Sweden, but Wallander's investigation of the crime takes him to Latvia, during the period when the nation was in transition from a Soviet state to an independent nation.

Out 17, 2011, 2:50 am

I'm currently in England, France, and Germany with The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern It's absolutely wonderful so far, and I'm loving it!

Out 17, 2011, 11:14 am

I'm in Belfast in the mid-70ies with Resurrection man. What a scary place!

Jan 14, 2012, 9:07 pm

I've made it back to Europe! I'm currently in Ukraine. To be exact, in Bolekhiv, with Daniel Mendelsohn on his quest to find the The Lost six members of his extended family who were killed by the Nazis during WWII. It's one of those towns that's changed jurisdictions more than once. It was part of Poland before WWII.

Jan 14, 2012, 9:59 pm

I'm nearby you in Warsaw. I'm reading Rondo by Kasimierz Brandys, and enjoying it - it's a very confusing but gripping book, set in Warsaw before, during and after WW2. Am looking forward to colouring in another part of my map.

Jan 15, 2012, 4:21 am

I'm in Switzerland reading I'm Not Stiller by Max Frisch.

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Editado: Jan 15, 2012, 11:55 am

I'm time traveling between current and 18th century London with Gideon the Cutpurse by Linda Buckley-Archer

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Fev 21, 2012, 9:34 pm

I'm presently in Bulgaria preparing for the April 1876 Uprising with Ivan Vazov's Under the Yoke.

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Dez 8, 2012, 5:37 pm

I'm in traveling between Greece and Persia planning for the big battle of Marathon in Persian Fire. Just started this one.

Dez 8, 2012, 6:55 pm

I've just arrived in Luxembourg with The Expats by Chris Pavone. So far it's intriguing. I'm hooked.

Dez 8, 2012, 8:01 pm

It was so nice of Pavone to write that one for us this year!

Dez 9, 2012, 11:14 pm

This has been a busy week and I've not been able to find enough reading time, just as I get a really promising book.