I have spent almost three years feeling pretty low about Britain voting to leave the EU, but I have decided that in this bonus time created by the latest extension, I want to do something to celebrate the EU. So I’m going to try to read a book from every one of the 28 EU countries (yes, that’s including the UK).
Ideally, I’d like every book in the challenge to be written by an author from the designated country and set in that country. But if that’s not possible for every country, then I’ll take one or the other where I need to. I already have several books to get started with, but I’m going to need to do some research/get some recommendations to complete this.
I started by making a pile of books from my TBR that are by EU authors. There are some duplicate countries in here, so I have some decisions to make (again, recommendations will be welcomed). And I’ve only included one book from the UK – the collection of Welsh legends known collectively as The Mabinogion.
Clara’s Daughter by Meike Ziervogel (Germany)
I am the Brother of XX by Fleur Jaeggy (Italy)
The Polyglot Lovers by Lina Wolff (Sweden)
The Melancholy of Resistance by László Krasznahorkai (Hungary)
The Periodic Table by Primo Levi (Italy)
Moravagine by Blaise Cendrars (France)
To Leave with the Reindeer by Olivia Rosenthal (France)
The Memoirs of Moominpappa by Tove Jansson (Finland)
Moominpappa at Sea by Tove Jansson (Finland)
Dimanche and Other Stories by Irène Némirovsky (France)
The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Spain)
The Sea by John Banville (Ireland)
The Possibility of an Island by Michel Houellebecq (France)
The Iliad by Homer (Greece)
The Odyssey by Homer (Greece)
The Mabinogion (UK)
A couple of those are already questionable. Strictly, Fleur Jaeggy is Swiss (though she has spent most of her life in Italy and writes in Italian) and Irène Némirovsky was Ukrainian (but spent her adult life in France, which is where she wrote her books). Since neither Switzerland nor Ukraine is an EU country, I should probably strike those two off the list. And honestly, while I do really want to read both The Iliad and The Odyssey, it might be ambitious trying to fit that into the next few (six?) months so I should probably add Greece to this list of countries that I need to find a book from:
This calls for a spreadsheet. Do leave your recommendations (titles must be available in English please) in the comments or send them my way via Twitter. And if anyone wants to join me in this challenge, I might even make a logo of some kind.
Let’s celebrate the EU!