Monday, January 10, 2011

Eastern European Reading Challenge

Created to inspire unearthing the 'buried' treasures of Eastern European and Russian literature, I'm signing up for the Eastern Europe Reading Challenge in hopes of broadening my reading scope.

Countries include: Croatia, Ukraine, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, Hungary, Belarus, Estonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Czech Rep., Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Romania, Moldova, and Kosovo; all types of books are allowed.

I'm aiming for Tourist: 4 books over 12 months.

I welcome any and all recommendations!


M.L. Malcolm, Heart of Lies: A Novel (this might be a stretch, but hero was Hungarian)
Susana Fortes, Waiting for Robert Capa (another Hungarian hero)


  1. Cool! I would like to recommend some books for you: Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov, We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera, and This Way to the Gas Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski (it's super depressing, but really really good). I really enjoy Eastern European lit and I took a class in it last year. Maybe I'll try this challenge too. :)

  2. Lit classes are the best for introducing authors/genres -- thanks for the recommendations -- these sound great. I've never read any Nabokov, unbelievably -- this might be the challenge to get him on my plate this year!

  3. I don't know if it would count since it's not entirely set in Eastern Europe, but People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks is fantastic. It traces the history and creation of a famous haggadah that is preserved in Sarajevo in 1996. An Australian specialist is called into authenticate, and the book jumps between the present in Sarajevo, and various destinations throughout the history of the haggadah. It's one of my favorites.

  4. @Herstory: Fantastic suggestion -- I've sort of discounted Brooks after she and I broke up because of Year of Wonders but she's clearly talented and people love her -- I'll see if I can find a copy of People of the Book because the set up sounds marvelous!