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Beyond the Lone Islands

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Foreign

Name a book (or books) from a country other than your own that you love. Or aren’t there any?

Now that is so obviously a question from someone who has English as their first language...! I'm Swedish, and I've been reading books by English and American authors as long as I've been reading my own language; and books in the English language since my early teens.

So I'm going to make it more difficult than that for myself and come up with some that are neither Swedish, nor English, nor American, nor Canadian.

The Diary of Anne Frank - originally published in Dutch. (Have it in Swedish, read it the first time in my early teens, and have reread it many times since then. )

Momo by Michael Ende (German). I have it in Swedish, read it several times. I think I also read it in German once. The Never-Ending Story by the same author. Read it in German, I think at least three times. I have the lovely original edition printed in green and red, with illustrations.

The Moomin series by Tove Jansson (Swedish-Finn author; Swedish-speaking Finns constitute a lingustic minority in Finland. The books were originally published in the Swedish language, but in Finland.) I've read them all several times. As a child I read Moomin in the form of comic strips. The novels I came to love as an adult.

French author Jules Verne - read several of his books in my youth, and have reread some later. In my own bookshelves are still found  From the Earth to the Moon, and Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (in Swedish translations).

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Russia). I read many other Russian authors as well, especially in my youth - like Solzhenitsyn, and Chekov, and Tolstoy - but this particular book I know I read at least twice and liked. I still have it, in a Swedish paperback edition.

One book from different part of the world than Europe which I read perhaps ten years or so ago and that left an impression was The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (Indian author). I can't find it now, I'm not sure whether I read it in English or in Swedish. I might have borrowed it from the library.

Moomin and some other little creature from the Moomin world.


Gramma Ann said...

What a great selection so books! My list is much shorter.

Sandra said...

as far as i know i have not read books from other countries except for mysteries from the UK. I used to read a lot of them, but due to OLD AGE can not come up with a name right now of the authors I loved. maybe later it will pop in my head and i can come back. now i might have read one that was translated into english and not known it was from another country.

Hilde said...

Oh, I forgot about Michael Ende. He's wonderful, I love all his stories. And the Mumintrollen are so cute! :) As fellow Scandinavians we have the same approach to this meme. :)

Ginny said...

I would have to say my favorites are from South America. Gabreil Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende. I love the magic realism that is so interwoven in the classic South American literature. I really want you to read "One hundred Years Of Solitude", it is a classic and considered one of the best books ever written from that country. It is my favorite book ever. Marquez is the author and he has written many more, and also fine short stories. It is just your style, with lots of magical realism that saddens and uplifts, and lots of quirky characters. It has been translated into many languages and should bbe easy to find.

martine said...

If you liked Arundhati Roy you must read Salman Rushdie, when I read God of small things it reminded me very strongly of Rushdie, or maybe Indian writers have a particular style of story telling that is culturally based, but not sure I have read any other Indian writers. I very much like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, his books are all based in Latin America.
thanks for sharing

DawnTreader said...

I know I read something by Marquez. I think it was The General in his Labyrinth. Can't say I remember the story, though. By Allende I read Eva Luna.

Ted said...

Oh yeah - Jules Verne! Another one of my favorites. I like your list. Mine included a Swedish author!!

jlshall said...

Interesting list! The Diary of Anne Frank is definitely one of my favorites, too - probably one of the first translated books I ever read.

Clare said...

I completely forgot Jules Verne is French! Silly me–thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

I forgot about Anne Frank, that book is so good. Depressing, but good.

Momo by Michael Ende sounds really interesting. I used to watch The Never Ending Story so much when I was a kid, but haven't read the actual novel yet, so I know the name. I might have to check that one out.

Great list! Thanks for sharing it.


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