Welcome to the 2017 European Reading Challenge – where participants tour Europe through books. And have a chance to win a prize. Please join us for the Grand Tour!
THE GIST: The idea is to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You can participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour. (See note about the UK, below)
WHAT COUNTS AS "EUROPE"?: We stick with the same list of 50 sovereign states that fall (at least partially) within the geographic territory of the continent of Europe and/or enjoy membership in international European organizations such as the Council of Europe. This list includes the obvious (the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy), the really huge Russia, the tiny Vatican City, and the mixed bag of Baltic, Balkan, and former Soviet states.
THE LIST: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.
NOTE: Even after Brexit, the United Kingdom is still one country, in Europe, that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. So one book from any one of these four counts as your one book for the United Kingdom. I'm not going to be a stickler about it because challenges should be about fun not about rules. However, when it comes to winning the Jet Setter prize, only one book from one of the UK countries will count.
LEVELS OF PARTICIPATION
FIVE STAR (DELUXE ENTOURAGE): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.
FOUR STAR (HONEYMOONER): Read four qualifying books.
THREE STAR (BUSINESS TRAVELER): Read three qualifying books.
TWO STAR (ADVENTURER): Read two qualifying books.
ONE STAR (PENSIONE WEEKENDER): Read just one qualifying book.
There's more to it, so pop on over and see what the rules are. I will be signing up for the Five Star level, and hopefully will get into a deathmatch with Maphead over who reads most (it will be him).
- Eneas, by unknown (France)
- My Universities, by Maxim Gorky (Russia)
- Stasiland, by Anna Funder (Germany)
- Germania, by Simon Winder (Germany)
- The Valley of Song, by Elizabeth Goudge (England)
- Steppenwolf, by Hermann Hesse (Germany)
- Girl at War, by Sara Novic (Croatia)
- The Brueghel Moon, by Tamaz Chiladze (Georgia)
- The Widow Killer, by Pavel Kohout (Czech Rep.)
- Bai Ganyo, by Aleko Konstantinov (Bulgaria)
- Alamut, by Vladimir Bartol (Slovenia)
- The Foundation Pit, by Andrei Platonov (Russia)
- The Go-Between, by L. P. Hartley (UK)
- Marie Grubbe, by J. P. Jacobsen (Denmark)
- Letters from Klara, by Tove Jansson (Finland)
- The Dybbuk and Other Writings, by S. Ansky (Ukraine...ish)
- The Man in the Iron Mask, by Alexandre Dumas (France)