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Read a book from each country in Europe.

(160 Posts)
sonjadog Sun 04-May-14 18:32:47

I was just reading an article about someone who had a goal to read one book from each country in the world and it has inspired me to start my own project to read a book from each country in Europe.

I want to read a novel or a biography or something along those lines and it must be set on the country with an author from the country.

So, do you have a favourite author from your country? Do you have a book recommendation?

I'm thankful for all suggestions, even if you aren't from the country the book is from.

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 04-May-14 19:34:22

Agree with Requiem for a Spanish peasant. We did it at Uni, poignant story.

kelda Sun 04-May-14 19:41:25

Grimm's fairy tales for Germany/ Hans Christian Anderson for Denmark.

HermioneWeasley Sun 04-May-14 19:42:51

I enjoyed "the visit of the royal physician" which is set in Copenhagen and was translated from Danish.

kelda Sun 04-May-14 19:43:35

The 100 year old man who jumped out of the window and disappeared (Sweden).

Loads of Scandinavian/Icelandic detective books.

Scotland is easy too - Ian Rankin/Alexander McCall Smith.

PetiteRaleuse Sun 04-May-14 19:47:24

I'd second The Historian by Ana Kostova. Wonderful book.

kelda Sun 04-May-14 19:47:56

Diary of Anne Frank (Holland)

Verycold Sun 04-May-14 19:49:09

from Germany

Bluestocking Sun 04-May-14 19:51:14

Finland: Any of Tove Jannson's wonderful Moomin books - she was a Swedish-speaking Finn. Don't be fooled into thinking they are children's books, they are for discerning readers of all ages!

Spain: As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee - although he was English, this is a great book about Spain in the 1930s.

Germany: The Tin Drum by Günter Grass. Weird, spooky, fantastical.

Greece: Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis. A classic and hugely evocative of its time and place.

France: Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. How Emma Bovary would have loved MN! (In fact, I think I feel a spoof AIBU coming on).

Simone de Beauvoir: Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter. I love a childhood memoir and this is a wonderful one.

Inkspellme Sun 04-May-14 19:52:31

from Ireland:

maeve binchy's "light a penny candle". A wonderful story about a london girl evacuated in ww2 to Ireland and her life long friendship with the family she is evacuated to.

John Boyne's "the thief of time" is excellent to.

Is Henri Charriere's book "Papillon" French?. Great story.

revolutionarytoad Sun 04-May-14 19:55:34

Zlata's Diary by Zlata Filipovic (Bosnia?)

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (Holland)

My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (Turkey)

My Life- Marc Chagall (Russia)

Aimee & Jaguar- Erica Fischer (Germany)

My Mother's House- Colette (France)

Don't think I've read anything Spanish ever but that'd be easy, be Marquez wouldn't it.

not very original! makes me realise how limited my reading is!

Karenthetoadslayer Sun 04-May-14 19:55:40

Fruttero et Lucentini, any one of their books, but especially "L'amante senza fissa dimora". smile

From Italy.

theresnowheretohidewithachip Sun 04-May-14 19:56:44

'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini (Afghan/American writer)

'Perfume' by Patrick Suskind" (translated from the German)

Loved both of these.

oricella Sun 04-May-14 19:58:49

Arthur Japin, the two hearts of Kwasi Boachi... Dutch, with a touch of Africa and Java. Based on a true story..

revolutionarytoad Sun 04-May-14 19:59:48

I also read a kid's book recently called The Hungry Wind (by Soinbhe Lally) about some Irish kids who get sent to Australia during the famine.

Bluestocking Sun 04-May-14 20:00:32

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was Colombian.

Another Finnish suggestion, The Summer Book by Tove Jannson, who wrote the Moomins books. It is a beautiful part fiction, part memoir story set at her family's summer home in Finland.

somewherewest Sun 04-May-14 20:03:40

For Ireland I would recommend John McGahern's Amongst Women. There are also several wonderful stories in James Joyce's Dubliners. My favourites are A Painful Case and The Dead.

Suttonmum1 Sun 04-May-14 20:04:05

There are always good recommendations at the back of the Rough Guide books.

Allalonenow Sun 04-May-14 20:05:36

The Reader by Bernhardt Schlink from Germany, wonderful book.

somewherewest Sun 04-May-14 20:05:36

Just wanted to add that most of the stories in Dubliners are very accessibly written. Joyce didn't go entirely impenetrable for a little longer!

starkadder Sun 04-May-14 20:05:53

I Served the King of England by Hrabal (Czech) is excellent.

starkadder Sun 04-May-14 20:07:19

Also Blindness by Jose Saramago (Portugal). A bit weird but v beautiful and memorable.

znaika Sun 04-May-14 20:10:26

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Allalonenow Sun 04-May-14 20:10:40

The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman (Poland) heartbreaking but wonderful too.

HazleNutt Sun 04-May-14 20:12:03

From Estonia, you could read either this:

or I guess this one, but it's not really that well written:

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