Tag: Rose City Reader

European Reading Challenge 2017 Wrap Up Post

I participated in a few reading challenges in 2017 and one of my favorite was the European Reading Challenge hosted by Rose City Reader.

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.

I was aiming for the Five Star (Deluxe Entourage) level of participation, which meant reading at least five such books.  Surprisingly I was able to read NINE such books.

The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero, by Timothy Egan – Ireland

 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson – Sweden

 My Paris Market Cookbook: A Culinary Tour of French Flavors and Seasonal Recipes, by Emily Dilling – France

 The Other Einstein, by Marie Benedict – Switzerland

 Palm Trees in the Snow, by Luz Gabas – Spain

 Push Not The River, by James Conroyd Martin (The Poland Trilogy, Book 1) – Poland

 And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini   – Greece (& other locations)

 Us, by David Nicholls – Italy (& other locations)

 The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt – The Netherlands (& other locations)

This was an interesting reading challenge and I seriously considered joining again for 2018.  Ultimately, I decided to concentrate on some other reading lists, but I will definitely keep this challenge in mind for the future.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo book review

When I saw that we would be reading The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest for The Bestseller Code 100 Books Challenge, I knew I couldn’t read it without first reading the preceding two books in the trilogy by Stieg Larsson.  A recent trip away from home, and the resultant several few days without wifi, gave me the perfect opportunity to read all three books, which have long been on my “to read” list.

 

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
 

Stieg Larsson created a couple of memorable characters in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Lisbeth Salander is a young woman with a deeply troubled past, a photographic memory, and a near savant ability with computer programming (a.k.a. hacking).  Salander has learned that she can only rely upon herself and, as such, refuses to talk to any person of authority about anything, is almost compulsive about her personal privacy, and believes she doesn’t need friends.  Mikael Blomkvist is a 42-year-old investigative business reporter who has just been convicted of libel against a prominent businessman.  In this first book, Salander and Blomkvist become an improbable team as they investigate the disappearance of a young woman more than forty years ago.

One of the reasons I held off reading this trilogy when it first exploded on the scene (bestseller’s lists, movies) was due to the extreme violence mentioned in the reviews, particularly sexual violence against women.  I wasn’t in a place emotionally where I would have handled those dark topics well.  And I was right to wait, as this first book presents sex trafficking and sex abuse pretty starkly.  That said, Stieg did a masterful job of creating a compelling storyline and memorable characters.  If you read this first book in the trilogy, I guarantee you will not be able to ignore the remainder of the series.

I read this book as part of the 2017 European Reading Challenge, hosted by Rose City Reader.   This book takes place in Sweden and was originally written in Swedish by a Swedish author.

2017 European Reading Challenge

I have decided to participate in some reading challenges in 2017.  The first one is a European Reading Challenge, hosted by Rose City Reader.

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.

 I am aiming for the Five Star (Deluxe Entourage) level of participation, which means reading at least five such books.  Ideally, I’ll read more.

I’ve already picked out and started my first book:


The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero, by Timothy Egan.

I’m excited about this reading challenge.  Do you participate in reading challenges?