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Book Rambles: Stone in a Landslide by Maria Barbal

This week, my literary journey in the Around Europe in 14 Books challenge took me from France down the Iberian Peninsula, to Spain. Once again, I chose a Peirene book: Maria Barbal’s Stone in a Landslide.

Peirene’s books are promoted as less-than-200-page award-winning books that can be read in a two-hour sitting, the same time it takes to watch a DVD. They are indeed short works (novellas) but for me, it’s impossible to read a whole book in two hours as I’m a bit of a slow reader and I need multiple breaks. However, with this Spanish novella, I sat through all of it in one sitting of about four hours (including the breaks).

It was easy to do so, not only because it’s barely 120 pages long but because the main character and her story were totally captivating. Take a look at my review below to know how.

Read the previous posts:

#1: Ireland – How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern

#2: Iceland – Butterflies in November by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

#3: Norway – Doppler by Erlend Loe

#4: Denmark – This Should Be Written in the Present Tense by Helle Helle

#5: Sweden – A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

#6: Finland – The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna

#7: Russia – Homo Zapiens by Victor Pelevin

#8: Ukraine – Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex by Oksana Zabuzhko

#9: Poland – Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall

#10: Germany – The Eye Collector by Sebastian Fitzek

#11: the Netherlands – The Dinner by Herman Koch

#12: France – Reader for Hire by Raymond Jean

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Book Rambles, Media

Book Rambles: Reader for Hire by Raymond Jean

My next book in the summer reading challenge called Around Europe in 14 Books comes from France. It’s Reader for Hire, a best-selling novella from the 1980s by Raymond Jean, who passed away four years ago.

This time, I started reading this book in a special place: on the aeroplane, during my flight to Denmark (on my way to Sweden). I could have finished it all during one flight since it’s a novella, but unfortunately, I do not belong to the lucky group of passengers who manage to concentrate on whatever they do on a plane.

Take a look at what I thought of this book about the art of reading.

Read the previous posts:

#1: Ireland – How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern

#2: Iceland – Butterflies in November by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

#3: Norway – Doppler by Erlend Loe

#4: Denmark – This Should Be Written in the Present Tense by Helle Helle

#5: Sweden – A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

#6: Finland – The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna

#7: Russia – Homo Zapiens by Victor Pelevin

#8: Ukraine – Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex by Oksana Zabuzhko

#9: Poland – Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall

#10: Germany – The Eye Collector by Sebastian Fitzek

#11: the Netherlands – The Dinner by Herman Koch

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Book Rambles, Media

Book Rambles: The Dinner by Herman Koch

After finishing an excellent German thriller last week, I moved to a different kind of thriller, a Dutch novel named The Dinner by Herman Koch.

So, the Netherlands – or Holland, as some people erroneously call it – is my 11th literary destination in my summer reading challenge, Around Europe in 14 Books.

This novel is a different kind of thriller than the Fitzek book I read last week because, although crime is involved, there is nothing to solve; there is only the problem with how to deal with the crime and its perpetrators. There are also the elements of mystery and psychological tension.

But above all, I call this novel a ‘social’ thriller. Check out my review below to understand why.

Read the previous posts:

#1: Ireland – How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern

#2: Iceland – Butterflies in November by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

#3: Norway – Doppler by Erlend Loe

#4: Denmark – This Should Be Written in the Present Tense by Helle Helle

#5: Sweden – A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

#6: Finland – The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna

#7: Russia – Homo Zapiens by Victor Pelevin

#8: Ukraine – Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex by Oksana Zabuzhko

#9: Poland – Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall

#10: Germany – The Eye Collector by Sebastian Fitzek

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Book Rambles, Media

Book Rambles: The Eye Collector by Sebastian Fitzek

When I thought up the summer reading challenge Around Europe in 14 Books back in March, I had already found most of the books I wanted to read. It was easy thanks to the suggestions on Amazon. I was also recommended a book or two while I picked others because I already owned a copy. I finalised my TBR list by the end of June, however, I still made a couple of changes in due course.

In fact, for my 10th literary destination – Germany – I suddenly changed book. I was going to read a thriller which I had purchased a couple of years ago, but last week I received a birthday gift from my dear friend Myna Kaltschnee. It’s The Eye Collector, a thriller by Sebastian Fitzek. This is the second Fitzek novel she gave me, after The Child, which I really really loved. So, you see, I had to change my plan and include Fitzek in my reading challenge, I just couldn’t wait to read him again!

Read the previous posts:

#1: Ireland – How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern

#2: Iceland – Butterflies in November by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

#3: Norway – Doppler by Erlend Loe

#4: Denmark – This Should Be Written in the Present Tense by Helle Helle

#5: Sweden – A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

#6: Finland – The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna

#7: Russia – Homo Zapiens by Victor Pelevin

#8: Ukraine – Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex by Oksana Zabuzhko

#9: Poland – Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall

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Book Rambles, Media

Book Rambles: Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall

Last week’s book was about identity; the identity as a woman and as a citizen of a country. This week’s read is also about identity but from a slightly different point of view.

The next literary destination in my reading challenge Around Europe in 14 Books is Poland and the book I chose is Hanna Krall’s Chasing the King of Hearts. It’s a novel about the Holocaust, therefore the identity question revolves around being Jewish. Interestingly, Krall herself has survived the war by hiding in a cupboard.

This is, as far as I remember, my second Holocaust book after Anne Frank’s diary. I’ve read some other works in which World War II featured in the background but never from the point of view of the victims. I admit that war novels are not among my favourites, so I was afraid that this Polish read would put me off with depressing or graphic details. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.

Read the previous posts:

#1: Ireland – How to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern

#2: Iceland – Butterflies in November by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir

#3: Norway – Doppler by Erlend Loe

#4: Denmark – This Should Be Written in the Present Tense by Helle Helle

#5: Sweden – A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

#6: Finland – The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna

#7: Russia – Homo Zapiens by Victor Pelevin

#8: Ukraine – Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex by Oksana Zabuzhko

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