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Backpacking through Europe > Reading Suggestions

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message 1: by Sam (new)

Sam (archie_leach) | 207 comments Ask questions or post suggestions about books that would be ideal for Backpacking through Europe.


message 2: by Liz M (last edited Nov 21, 2010 06:43AM) (new)

Liz M Belgian*:
Hugo Claus
Hendrik Conscience
Kristien Hemmerechts
Amélie Nothomb
Ward Ruyslinck
Victor Serge
Felix Timmermans
Marguerite Yourcenar


*Disclaimer: I have not verified that all of these authors qualify for Belgium.

Goodreads shelves for Belgium and Belgian


message 4: by Liz M (new)

Liz M Portuguese*:

António Lobo Antunes
Luís Vaz de Camões
Fernando Pessoa
José Maria Eça de Queirós
José Saramago

*Disclaimer: I have not verified that all of these authors qualify for Portugal.

Goodreads shelves for Portugal and Portuguese


message 5: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele (Klibrary) | 2490 comments Ursula Hegi was mentioned as approved for Germany in the itinerary thread and I highly reccomend her books. She has a new book coming out in the US in May but unfortunately that one will be too late!


message 6: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Nov 21, 2010 08:32AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 4821 comments Yes, her Stones from the River is on my Top Ten list. I think I will be reading Floating in My Mother's Palm this Challenge. Although written first, it is actually after Stones time-wise.


message 7: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 882 comments Does anyone have any ideas for Greece?


message 8: by Joanna (new)

Joanna (Walker) | 786 comments Coralie wrote: "Does anyone have any ideas for Greece?"

What about some of the ancient Greeks: You could read some plays by Euripides or some Plato or Aristotle...or Aesop's fables...


message 9: by Christy (new)

Christy | 64 comments Another possibility for Greece - Nikos Kazantzakis


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 4821 comments Christy wrote: "Another possibility for Greece - Nikos Kazantzakis"

Christy - fun suggestion. He is the author of Zorba the Greek, which I have not read, but gets a 4 star average and the movie was fun.


message 11: by Coralie (new)

Coralie | 882 comments Thanks everyone. I was hoping for something more modern than the ancients and I do see that my library has some books by Kazantzakis Nikos so I will give him a try.


message 12: by Liz M (new)

Liz M Wiki has a list of modern Greek authors


message 13: by Melissa W (new)

Melissa W (melissawiebe80) In regards to Portuguese books, you may end up with books other than Portugal that speak Portuguese, for example Brazil. Just be careful.


message 14: by Melissa W (new)

Melissa W (melissawiebe80) Here is a list of Danish authors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...


message 15: by Krista (new)

Krista (kacey14) | 1037 comments Melissa W wrote: "Here is a list of Danish authors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_..."

Thanks for that link! I was just trying to decide if I should add Denmark to my lisk. I found Peter Hoeg on the list of Danish authors. I've been meaning to read Smilla's Sense of Snow for ages.

Stopping in Denmark? Check.


message 16: by Rachel Lee (new)

Rachel Lee (rlcwt9) | 27 comments I think this website is posted every challenge, but I always have issues finding it so here is my favorite website for authors by nationality.

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/cou...


message 17: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) | 2544 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Christy wrote: "Another possibility for Greece - Nikos Kazantzakis"

Christy - fun suggestion. He is the author of Zorba the Greek, which I have not read, but gets a 4 ..."


That's one I want to read too. It's referred to so many times in other books and movies etc.. I just read Animal, Vegetable and Miracle by B Kingsolver and she was even quoting from the book!


message 18: by Liz M (new)

Liz M The Summer Book is an excellent choice for Finland. it is an elegant book of simply told vignettes of a grandmother and granddaughter's summer at their island home.


message 19: by Liz (new)

Liz   (LizVegas) Liz- I read that for Finland , too. It's a 1001 book that my library didn't have. I ordered it from Amazon since it was so elusive :)


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 4821 comments OK, so I hated The Name of the Rose: Including Postscript so much, I've set it aside after 150 pages. Since Italy was to be my first stop, this is a problem. I need something rather quick and light to replace it, I think, and if someone has a suggestion, I'd love to hear it.


message 21: by Christy (new)

Christy | 64 comments Elizabeth -
I'm planning to read something by Italo Calvino for Italy. I've never tried him, so don't know if he qualifies as quick and light, but he might be worth a look. I'm thinking of If on a Winter's Night a Traveler


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 4821 comments Oh, thanks, Christy. My library does not have that book, but it does have a collection of short stories by that author Numbers in the Dark: And Other Stories. This might be just the thing for me!


message 23: by Liz M (new)

Liz M Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "OK, so I hated The Name of the Rose: Including Postscript so much, I've set it aside after 150 pages. Since Italy was to be my first stop, this is a problem. I need something rather q..."

I'd recommend I'm Not Scared by Niccolò Ammaniti, it's fairly short & a quick read. Don't watch the movie, though.

I'd also recommend Silk by Alessandro Baricco. While even shorter then the above mentioned book, it is more....thoughtful, more lyrical.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 4821 comments Those both look terrific, Liz. Thanks!


message 25: by Krista (new)

Krista (kacey14) | 1037 comments Hi Elizabeth:

I ran out of time last challenge to read The Paper Moon by Andrea Camilleri. He seems to be a popular Italian writer. This particular book is in the middle of his Inspector Montalbano Mysteries series.

I haven't read it but it looked good to me, and it's at least another Italian option.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 4821 comments Thanks, Krista. My library has these. I did pick up a Calvino book yesterday, Numbers in the Dark: And Other Stories. If it doesn't go well . . .


message 27: by Krista (new)

Krista (kacey14) | 1037 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Thanks, Krista. My library has these. I did pick up a Calvino book yesterday, Numbers in the Dark: And Other Stories. If it doesn't go well . . ."

No problem. It's always nice to have options. I'm searching for a book by a German author that isn't too heavy. I'm not having much luck!


message 28: by Liz M (last edited Dec 30, 2010 03:05PM) (new)

Liz M Krista wrote: "No problem. It's always nice to have options. I'm searching for a book by a German author that isn't too heavy. I'm not having much luck!..."

Hmm. I'm only coming up with All Quiet on the Western Front, The Reader, Death in Venice, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, and The Swarm. Not exactly uplifting. The last one is an eco-thriller and a fairly fun read (I skimmed the overly factual boring bits), but at 881 pages, it's a heavy book.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 4821 comments I'm going to read Ursula Hegi's Floating in My Mother's Palm. I really want to read this, and I really need to get the Italian out of the way!


message 30: by Krista (last edited Dec 30, 2010 06:18PM) (new)

Krista (kacey14) | 1037 comments Someone posted that Hegi was approved as a German author, right? I think she lives in US now.

Liz, I looked at Austerlitz from your German backpacking stop. I may try W.G. Sebald's After Nature for Germany. It doesn't sound light, but it isn't long! And my library actually has a copy on hand.

I'm listening to Kafka's The Trial right now for the Jewish Literature task. I don't know how much more of this heavy stuff I can take. Especially since I just this minute finished Alison Weir's new book The Lady in the Tower. What a nice light read about the death of Anne Boleyn. (Not!)

Hey, isn't Cornelia Funke German? I haven't read the Inkheart books yet. Can any one give me a recommendation about the series?


message 31: by Liz M (last edited Dec 30, 2010 07:32PM) (new)

Liz M Krista wrote: "Liz, I looked at Austerlitz from your German backpacking stop. I may try W.G. Sebald's After Nature for Germany. It doesn't sound light, but it isn't long! And my library actually has a copy on hand...."

I didn't recommend Austerlitz for a reason. Now, I may have read it at the wrong time, but I found it extremely difficult to focus on. There were no paragraphs or chapters just pages and pages filled with blocks of text. And it felt far too intelligent for me, more like non-fiction.


message 32: by Karen Michele (new)

Karen Michele (Klibrary) | 2490 comments Cornelia Funke's books are all good. Her newest, Reckless, is on my list and is getting good reviews. My book for Germany is one I've wanted to read for a long time and it is quite good so far, The Center of the World by Andreas Steinhofel. Sorry, I can't link to it from my phone.


message 33: by Rachelccameron (new)

Rachelccameron | 278 comments Krista wrote: "Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Thanks, Krista. My library has these. I did pick up a Calvino book yesterday, Numbers in the Dark: And Other Stories. If it doesn't go well . . ."

No prob..."


I was looking at Herman Hesse for my German author... the books that we own of his are fairly short but I don't much about the content.


message 34: by Krista (last edited Dec 31, 2010 09:20AM) (new)

Krista (kacey14) | 1037 comments Karen GHHS wrote: "Cornelia Funke's books are all good. Her newest, Reckless, is on my list and is getting good reviews. My book for Germany is one I've wanted to read for a long time and it is quite good so far, The..."

Perfect! My library has Reckless in CD Audiobook format. I just put it on hold. I'll listen to it after I finish listening to The Trial - and after I finish reading Smilla's Sense of Snow for my Danish stop.

Thanks! I'm actaully exicted about moving on to Germany when I can now.


message 35: by Krista (last edited Dec 31, 2010 09:19AM) (new)

Krista (kacey14) | 1037 comments Rachelccameron wrote: "Krista wrote: "Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Thanks, Krista. My library has these. I did pick up a Calvino book yesterday, Numbers in the Dark: And Other Stories. If it doesn't go well . ...

I was looking at Herman Hesse for my German author... the books that we own of his are fairly short but I don't much about the content. "


Hi Rachelcameron: Thanks for the suggestions of Herman Hesse. I haven't read any of his books yet. I'm trying to read more contemporary books for the backpacking tasks. I hate to not be able to count the "Oldies" and/or "Canon" style points when they are earned. :-)


message 36: by Sara Grace (new)

Sara Grace  (SaraGrace34) | 141 comments I cannot find a Spanish author to read. Any ideas?


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 4821 comments Sara Grace wrote: "I cannot find a Spanish author to read. Any ideas?"

Have you read The Shadow of the Wind?


message 38: by Katy (new)

Katy | 386 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Sara Grace wrote: "I cannot find a Spanish author to read. Any ideas?"

Have you read The Shadow of the Wind?"


I second that. I just finished that book and I loved it - now I want to go find his other books. I thoroughly enjoyed The Shadow of the Wind.


message 39: by Jayme(the ghost reader) (last edited Jan 17, 2011 10:07AM) (new)

Jayme(the ghost reader) (JaymeILtheghostreader) | 1218 comments Karen GHHS wrote: "Cornelia Funke's books are all good. Her newest, Reckless, is on my list and is getting good reviews. My book for Germany is one I've wanted to read for a long time and it is quite good so far, The..."

I just got "Reckless" on my Nook for free. Yay me! :)


message 40: by Krista (last edited Jan 17, 2011 10:50AM) (new)

Krista (kacey14) | 1037 comments Katy wrote: "Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Sara Grace wrote: "I cannot find a Spanish author to read. Any ideas?"

Have you read The Shadow of the Wind?"

I second that. I just finished that book and ..."


He's written a prequel to this book titled, The Angel's Game. I listened to that a couple of quarters ago. I have The Shadow of the Wind as my Spanish stop. I just have to get through France, then it's on to Spain.

Another author I was looking at for Spain is Arturo Pérez-Reverte. He's written The Flanders Panel among other books.


Elizabeth (Alaska) | 4821 comments I have The Angel's Game as my Spanish stop, which should be next. I'm so far behind on my plans, I don't know what I'm going to do.


message 42: by Sara Grace (new)

Sara Grace  (SaraGrace34) | 141 comments I think I will pick up a copy of The Shadow of the Wind. Thanks everyone!


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Books mentioned in this topic

Floating in My Mother's Palm (other topics)
Stones from the River (other topics)
Zorba the Greek (other topics)
Smilla's Sense of Snow (other topics)
The Summer Book (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Ward Ruyslinck (other topics)
Marguerite Yourcenar (other topics)
Hugo Claus (other topics)
Hendrik Conscience (other topics)
Kristien Hemmerechts (other topics)
More...