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Book Rambles, Media

Book Rambles: Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

After My Grandmother Sends Her Regards & Apologises, the next Fredrik Backman novel in my possession was Britt-Marie Was Here.

It’s a spin-off centred around one of the secondary characters in My Grandmother. If you haven’t read the previous book, don’t worry: Britt-Marie can still be read as a standalone because it is unrelated to Elsa’s adventure and it retells the main character’s backstory from scratch. Readers who have read My Grandmother, on the other hand, will learn more details about Britt-Marie’s past and discover a new side of this woman, who had previously seemed too annoying to bear.

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Book Rambles, Media

Book Rambles: My Grandmother Sends Her Regards & Apologises by Fredrik Backman

Ever since I read and loved A Man Called Ove last summer, I’ve been looking forward to reading all the other translated work by the Swedish bestseller Fredrik Backman. At last, I had the opportunity to tackle two of his novels which I had received as Christmas gifts.

The first of these novels, which I’m reviewing today, is called My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises.

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Book Rambles, Media

Book Rambles: Around Europe in 14 Books (Overview)

During the summer of 2016, precisely between the beginning of July and the end of September, I embarked on a literary journey that took me to 14 destinations around Europe. Through European contemporary literature in translation, I have discovered some precious novels and novellas (of course, I’ve had some disappointments as well).

This is the final post about this summer reading challenge. First of all, I wanted to collect the links of all 14 reviews on one single post, for an easier perusal for readers and for myself as well. Secondly, I wanted to write my final comments on this stimulating reading experience.

First, here’s the list of all the reviews in their original order and with my ratings (out of 5 stars).

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Book Rambles, Media

Book Rambles: The Sense of an Elephant by Marco Missiroli

The 14th and last literary destination of my summer reading challenge, Around Europe in 14 Books, is Italy. This choice is appropriate as it coincides with the start of my sophomore year in university, during which I will start my specialisation in Italian.

Actually, the whole idea of this virtual travel plan stemmed from an Italian book I read around April, on which I had to write a paper for my university assessment. It was La valle delle donne lupo (The valley of the wolf-women) by Laura Pariani. I wished to review it for the blog but unfortunately there is no English translation available (nor of any other Pariani books, though there are some in Spanish, French and German).

Since I’m only selecting books translated into English, I had to pick another one. The choice fell on Marco Missiroli’s The Sense of an Elephant, which translation was published just last year. I chose to read the English translation because I wanted to judge the translation quality as well.

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

#13: Spain – Stone in a Landslide by Maria Barbal

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Book Rambles, Media

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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