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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.

SilverHawk Mon 04-Jan-16 20:57:53

I'm not the OP. I have change my mind about North to South. I'm going to do the core countries of the EU first. Starting with Germany.
I've actually read quite a few already, that did surprise me.
I have never read any books (--I don't think--) about the Iberian Peninsula.
One book that I picked up in Prague (and doesn't fit any rules) is 'Czechoslovakia, the state that failed' by Mary Heimann.

My German book list is looking healthy and a relatively new addition is 'Alone in Berlin' Hans Fallada. Only recently translated.

OnlyLovers Mon 04-Jan-16 17:49:09

Brilliant idea. I am shamefully written-in-English-centric in my reading habits (not deliberately but out of laziness, I suspect).

I'll start as soon as I've finished my current read.

BarbaraofSeville Sun 03-Jan-16 17:09:33

Fascinating project. I will read the thread and tripfiction properly when I have more time.

Do you think there are going to be all the books you need translated into English, where you don't read the native Language?

I love travel books and have read quite a few set all over Europe, but I don't know how many fit in with the rules that you have set yourself.

If you find yourself needing to relax your rules, can I suggest 'Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, and One Hit Wonderland by Tony Hawks, which is set in Albania.

Red Quest and Balkan Odyssey by Jason Smart will also you to tick off a lot of Eastern Europe.

DapperDame Sun 03-Jan-16 15:22:17

For Estonia: The Saviour of Lasnamae, by Mari Saat. Set in the late 1990s/ early 2000s, it's about a woman of Russian origin who lives in Tallinn and how she and her teenage dd are adjusting to the realities of life after the fall of the USSR. Written by an Estonian of Estonian(not Russian) ethnicity. V interesting novella from a prize winning author.

SilverHawk Wed 30-Dec-15 23:03:10

As stated...
Portugal: Eca de Quieroz, O crime do Padre Amoro
Spain: Ildefonso Falcones, Cathedral of the Sea.
Couldn't see these mentioned on the quick scan.
As it stands, I think that I will start in cold countries. It's winter (?) and then move south as the year progresses.

tripfiction Wed 13-Aug-14 19:24:38

Thank you!! It's a lot of hard work and research.... but fun!

Theas18 Tue 12-Aug-14 13:22:31

bril idea!

tripfiction Tue 12-Aug-14 13:15:22

That should be part of the mumsnet blogging network! Got so carried away by this! smile

tripfiction Tue 12-Aug-14 13:00:21

Soooo excited about this thread. I am a Mumsnet book blogger and have ALWAYS taken novels with me, set in the place I am visiting. Way back I started to collate books, because I could never easily find books set in location. So decided to start a website - I would be only too happy to suggest books to add when you feel stuck - though there are already LOTS of wonderful suggestions! Just about to start The Aftermath by Rhidian Brook set in Hamburg, Germany for the blog - Waterstone's book of the month.

Buntymomma Mon 11-Aug-14 17:57:48

For a good read about the Turkish invasion of Cyprus there's Daughter of the Winds by Jo Bunt (who was born there). At this point I should also admit that she is me!!!

FrauEnglischLehrerin Mon 11-Aug-14 16:58:56

Isn't Süskind's Perfume set in France (or am I totally misremembering)?

If you read German, then iirc Die Dunkle Seite des Mondes by Martin Suter is by a Swiss author and set in Switzerland (there may of course be an English translation). All about hallucinating on mushrooms, very interesting and weird read, if perhaps not quite the classic Heidi is!

SecretSpi Mon 11-Aug-14 16:38:40

... sorry, you wanted authors from those countries - I've just realised those I've suggested aren't all from the countries in question.

SecretSpi Mon 11-Aug-14 16:29:59

What an inspired thread! Lots of my favourite books have already been mentioned but here are some more:

Hungary (and France) "The Invisible Bridge" by Julie Orringer
Estonia "Forest Brothers" by Geraint Roberts
Czech "The Glass House" by Simon Mawer
and my favourite German novel at the moment
"Mephisto" by Klaus Mann

all set pre/during WW2

SayuriSan Sun 10-Aug-14 00:40:52

Ooooh this thread is amazing!!i love all the suggestions.
Am travelling to Edinburgh & Bulgaria this summer, any suggestions of what to read please?xx

expectantmum79 Sun 10-Aug-14 00:21:12

Oops, already said by bibliomania but definitely worth considering.

NerfHerder Sun 10-Aug-14 00:14:41

I can recommend for Finland- The Rabbit Back Literature Society by Pasi Ilmari Jaaskelainen. It's sort of magical realism, gripped me from the start.

expectantmum79 Sun 10-Aug-14 00:11:08

For a German one I'd recommend Patrick Suskind's novel 'Perfume'

antimatter Sun 10-Aug-14 00:03:32

I second Joseph O'Connor's 'Star of the Sea'
loved it too

Valsoldknickers Sat 09-Aug-14 23:52:37

For an Irish book I would like to throw Joseph O'Connor's 'Star of the Sea' into the mix.

It is a fascinating read and is one of those books that stays with you long after you finish reading it.

samthewolf Sat 09-Aug-14 23:33:50

Also agree with the master and the margarita

And another Gibraltar

samthewolf Sat 09-Aug-14 23:28:32


antimatter Sat 09-Aug-14 23:18:49

for Belgium readers for that blog recommend the fllowing books:

Hergé The Adventures of Tintin
Peter Terrin The Guard
Stefan Brijs The Angel Maker
Francois Emmanuel Invitation to a Voyage
Dimitri Verhulst The Misfortunates
Louis Paul Boon My Little War
Paul Paul Verhaeghen Omega Minor
Amélie Nothomb

antimatter Sat 09-Aug-14 23:15:06

Oh so I am too late to recommend you a book from Poland
It would have been:
Isaac Bashevis Singer - The Magician of Lublin

For Russia please consider - The Master And Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
IMHO one of the best book I ever read.

I also want to recommend this blog I came across:

I ordered few books from her reading list.

gastrognome Wed 06-Aug-14 19:20:04

I know Belgium has been done, but it's worth mentioning Amelie Nothomb who is a fabulously original Belgian author. The Stranger Next Door is a good one of hers.

For Portugal, something by Jose Saramago?

sonjadog Sun 03-Aug-14 16:58:43

I read the Dimitri Verhulst book mentioned above for Belgium. It was okay and fairly quick to read. I enjoyed getting to know an author who is little known outside Belgium a little bit.

I am thinking of reading Cees Nooteboom for Netherlands. Can anyone recommend a specific book?

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