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Translated Lit Genre Challenge > Bluegrass Pam's Translated Lit Challenge

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message 1: by Pam (last edited Oct 29, 2018 08:48AM) (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 22 Topics (choose 16) Finished!

Completed: 17 & Different Languages: 10

Biography Ostend (German)
Children's/Fairytales The Duck and the Owl (German)
Classic Fiction (>50 years old)Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family (German)
Contemporary fiction
Fantasy The Master and Margarita (Russian)
Graphic Novels/Manga/Comics The Secret of the Unicorn, Red Rackham's Treasure, Tintin in Tibet (French)
History (Non-fiction)
Horror The Hole by Hye-Young Pyun (Korean)
Humor The Year of the Hare (Finnish); A Man Called Ove Swedish)
Literary Fiction/Historical Fiction The Spy(Portuguese)
Memoir/Autobiography The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia (Russian)
Mystery (Crime, Detective. Cozy, Noir, etc.) The Panda Theory (French)
Non-fiction (Essays, Cookbooks, Self-help, True crime, etc.)
Poetry/Epics The Secret of Hoa Sen (Vietnamese)
Romance Doña Barbara (Spanish)
Science Fiction/Dystopia. R.U.R. (Czech)
Short Stories Chess Story (German)
Thrillers/Suspense/Espionage Sand (German)
Travel Writing
Wildcard (Any genre or sub-genre not mentioned)Beartown (Swedish)
Young Adult/New Adult Why We Took the Car (German)

message 2: by Pam (last edited Nov 15, 2017 07:24AM) (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 1 of 16
Literary Fiction/Historical Fiction

The Spy by Paulo Coelho - 4 stars

Original language: Portuguese
Original title: A espiã
Translated by: Zoë Perry

message 3: by Pam (last edited Nov 15, 2017 07:25AM) (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 2 of 16
Wildcard - Sports and Games

Beartown by Fredrik Backman - 4 stars

Original language: Swedish
Original title:Björnstad
Translated by: Neil Smith

message 4: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 3 of 16

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov -3 stars

Original language: Russian
Original title: Мастер и Маргарита
Translated by: Katherine Tiernan O'Connor and Diana Burgin

This was a tough read for me! It had all kinds of bizarre elements to it. I did find it interesting but I can't say that I enjoyed it. Maybe fantasy/magical realism is not my genre.

message 5: by Mome_Rath (new)

Mome_Rath | 1319 comments The Master and Maragarita is a darkly satirical look at the Soviet Union's ban on religion, with echoes of Goethe's Faust; it's not for everyone, and I can understand why you may not have enjoyed it. There are plenty of other books that fall under fantasy/magical realism, though, so I hope this doesn't spoil the genre for you.

message 6: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments Mome_Rath wrote: "The Master and Maragarita is a darkly satirical look at the Soviet Union's ban on religion, with echoes of Goethe's Faust; it's not for everyone, and I can understand why you may not have enjoyed i..."

No, I don't think it ruined the genre for me. I do like some fantasy books like Elric, Wizard of Earthsea, and Game of Thrones. It's the magical realism genre that I'm not too sure about.

message 7: by Mome_Rath (new)

Mome_Rath | 1319 comments There are plenty of other books with magical realism out there. Hope you have a better experience with your next book!

message 8: by Pam (last edited Feb 16, 2018 06:07AM) (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 4 of 16
Graphic Novels/Manga/Comics
Tintin in Tibet-3 stars, The Secret of the Unicorn - 4 stars, and Red Rackham's Treasure- 5 stars by Hergé

Original language: Fench

This was my first exposure to the Adventures of Tintin. I thoroughly enjoyed the books! The stories were fun and humorous. I liked the slapstick and the talking dog, Snowey. The cartoons/graphics were fun to follow, not like some today which I find to be too dark and violent. Being written in the 1940s, there is a real nostalgic feel to the books.

message 9: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 5 of 16
Young Adult
Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf 3.5 stars

Original language: German
Original title: Tschick
Translated by: Tim Mohr

I enjoyed the book but had some issues with a light comedic story centered around teenagers stealing a car. I probably would've liked a more realistic story. For the YA genre (not my favorite), I thought it was good and would appeal to teens and young adults. This book was on a list of books recommended by different countries ambassadors. I'm not sure why! I know there was a movie "Goodbye, Berlin" made based on the book.

The ending definitely felt like the author had a sequel in mind. I don't know if it was written and if it was, whether it was translated. The author died a few years after this book was published.

message 10: by Pam (last edited Mar 04, 2018 07:15PM) (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 6 of 16
The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna 3.5 stars

Original language: Finnish
Original title: Jäniksen vuosi
Translated by: Herbert Lomas

I enjoyed the audiobook! It was a short & crazy (humorous at times) adventure across Finland by a man and a hare that he saves (after hitting him with his car). I am going to browse through he physical book to see what I may have missed and to look up the locations on a map.

message 11: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 7 of 16
Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family by Thomas Mann 4.5 stars

Original language: German
Original title: Buddenbrooks: Verfall einer Familie
Translated by: John E. Woods

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it thought-provoking. It was a bit over-descriptive, which is my only complaint. I plan on eventually reading Mann's Magic Mountain and trying some other German authors.

message 12: by Mome_Rath (new)

Mome_Rath | 1319 comments Glad you enjoyed Buddenbrooks -- it's one of my favorite books. I particularly like the arc of Tony over the course of the years. Someday I'll have to visit Lübeck.

message 13: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 8 of 16
The Secret of Hoa Sen by Nguyen Phan Que Mai. 4.5 stars

Original language: Vietnamese
Translated by: the author & Bruce Weigl

I am not a poetry reader but I enjoyed this collection. A few poems in the beginning were so emotionally touching that they brought tears to my eyes. Many of the poems were about her family members in Vietnam and referenced the effects of the Vietnam War. Beautiful imagery and emotional stories! I would read more of her works.

message 14: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments Read a second book for the Humor category - A Man Called Ove (Swedish). I really enjoyed it but didn't find it as humorous as other readers have. I wasn't laughing out loud but I certainly appreciated the humor. The beginning was a little slow but once Ove's backstory developed, I became more engaged in the book.

message 15: by Pam (last edited Jul 22, 2018 08:35AM) (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments I’m currently reading Dona Barbara for the Romance 💕 category. It’s not listed as a MPG on Goodreads but the back of the cover states that it “blends fantasy, adventure, and romance.” I haven’t gotten to the romance part yet but I’m going with Romance for this one! This is my first ever book set in Venezuela.

message 16: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 9 of 16
Doña Barbara by Rómulo Gallegos - 4 stars

Original language: Spanish
Translated by: Robert Malloy

I really enjoyed this book! I am glad it was on the Great American Read list or I would have never picked it up. Beautiful language and story. I felt transported to the Venezuelan llano (prairie).

message 17: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 3017 comments That sounds like a good book for me too.

message 18: by Pam (last edited Aug 15, 2018 05:21PM) (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 10 of 16
The Duck and the Owl by Swiss Hanna Johansen - 4 stars

Original language: German
Original; Title: Die Ente und die Eule
Translated by: Christopher M. Franceschelli

Charming book for pre-school to early grade school level kids. My favorite part is the illustrations. The book can be used for teaching children to appreciate differences and maybe to instill a love for birds, of all kinds!

*Currently reading a brand new translation of Sand by Wolfgang Herrndorf for the Thriller category. This is my 2nd book by this author. It is interesting and unusual (I don't know how else to describe it) and starting to make some sense after ~page 100. I takes awhile to get into it because of the structure of the book.

I am hopeful that I can finish this challenge by year-end, with only 6 more to go!

message 19: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 11 of 16

Sand by Wolfgang Herrndorf - rating TBD

Original language: German
Original Title: Sand
Translated by: Tim Mohr

This is the strangest book I have ever read. If not for the Afterword, which explains the mystery of the protagonist and many of the clues, I would not have understood the book and possibly thrown it across the room! The clues are there but they are buried in the crazy details. For most of the book, I felt confused. Parts made sense and were sometimes amusing and other times disturbing but then other parts seemed disjointed. The timeline jumped around, which added to my confusion. I'm sure that this creation of confusion was intentional by the author. The protagonist, who insists he has amnesia, is as confused as the reader is! The plot is intriguing and the book is well-written. It is worth reading but I don't think it's for everyone. There is nothing conventional about this thriller/mystery! Some may find it brilliant and others infuriating. Now that I understand it, I like it better but am undecided on a rating.

message 20: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 12 of 16
Short Story

Chess Story by Stefan Zweig

Original language: German
Original Title: Schachnovelle
Translated by: Joel Rotenberg

I loved this short story and am already planning my next read by Zweig! The writing is excellent. The psychological aspect kept me engaged until the end. I felt sad while reading it, knowing that the author and his wife committed suicide before the book was published.

message 21: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 13 of 16

The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

Original Language: Russian
Original Title:
Translator: Anna Summers

Very interesting but with a sparse writing style. Some of it was a bit disjointed (for me) because it was a collection of vignettes. The flow was not always there, but I still enjoyed it. It's definitely worth reading!

message 22: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 14 of 16
Science Fiction/Dystopian

R.U.R. by Karel Čapek

Original Language: Czech
Original Title: R. U. R.
Translator: Claudia Novack-Jones

Written in 1921, this book (play) is where the word "robot" was coined. (The word was actually invented by the author's brother Josef, whom he frequently co-wrote with.) I definitely recommend reading it! I would love to see it performed as a play.

message 23: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 15 of 16

Ostend: Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth, and the Summer before the Dark by Volker Weidermann

Original Language: German
Original Title: Ostende: 1936, Sommer der Freundschaft
Translator: Carol Brown Janeway

Having recently read and enjoyed Chess Story by Zweig, I was interested to read this book. I found it to be very informative and heart-breaking, as is everything related to WWII. I definitely want to read more by Zweig and try Roth's The Radetzky March.

Only 1 more book to go!!!

message 24: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments 16 of 16!
Mystery (Crime, Detective. Cozy, Noir, etc.)

The Panda Theory by Pascal Garnier

Original language: French
Original Title: La Théorie du panda
Translator: Svein Clouston

I rarely read crime novels. I liked the writing a lot but not sure that noir is for me. Interesting little book (<200 pages) with insight into human nature. I'm tempted to read another by Garnier.

message 25: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 620 comments Congratulations on completing your challenge, Pam.

message 26: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl | 856 comments Congratulations on completing the challenge, Pam.

I found your list of books really interesting and have added The Girl from the Metropol Hotel to my TBR!

message 27: by Rusalka (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 322 comments Nice work, Pam!

message 28: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments Thank you Laura, Cheryl, and Russalka! This was a fun challenge and stretched my reading choices. I’m going to continue reading Translated works and try to read a few more genres, or at least the same genres, this year.

message 29: by Pam (new)

Pam (bluegrasspam) | 122 comments #17 Horror

The Hole by South Korean author Hye-Young Pyun

Original Language: Korean
Original Title: 홀
Translator: Sora Kim-Russell

This book won the Shirley Jackson Award for Novel (2017). Per the GR description, it's a "Psychological Thriller about Loneliness and the Dark Truths We Try to Bury". The 2nd half of the book took me back to Stephen King's Misery. I really liked the author's writing style. It's much more gentle and refined than King. I couldn't put it down and finished it in one day. Great story and definitely worth reading!

message 30: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 620 comments I read The Hole earlier this year, and the correlation to Misery never occurred to me but I can see it now that you mention it.

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