Worldly Literature in 2015: summary so far

Here will be a summary of books (sorted by author’s countries) that I read so far in 2015 and some that I have in my current pile. Feel free to comment, if you have some suggestions for books for me.

I have made two challenges: one is more Poland oriented (but nobody said you can’t read books/comics from other countries), one is about reading literature from across the world (Around the World: A to Z 2015).

I only read 19 books so far this year, so far (not counting comics) from 9 countries. Six more countries on my list. I owned only 2 books (e-books), the rest was borrowed from libraries. Continue reading to see the list and my short opinion on each book.

The read, currently reading and to read are all mixed in this list. I’m a fan of science fiction and fantasy, so it’s hard to omit the USA writers, even when I try.

Europe

Poland

I do take part in the challenge of reading Polish books. It started in November 2014, but I lately made a list of all the Polish books I read for it, so I won’t repeat myself. The 2015 list starts with Warszawa literacka lat międzywojennych. None of the books have English versions, afaik.

Finland

  • The Purge – Sofi Oksanen. A famous novel, published in 28 countries (including Poland). The author is coming to Polish book festival in June, so I decided to try the book.

France

  • Odyssée sous contrôle… – Stefan Wul. I read Polish version titled Remedium. A mix of crime and sf in space, quick read for 1 evening. Not that bad… Makes better sense than Hollywood hits including The One.

Iceland

  • Someone to Watch over Me – Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Crime novel (actually 5th in a series, but oh well) set in psychiatric ward, on my to read list. Polish book is titled Spójrz na mnie. I bought it in Auchan, in the cheap books section. 😉

Norway

  • Kristin Lavransdatter – Sigrid Undset. Literature Nobel Prize award author. If you like a person’s tale from birth till grave and a lots of descriptions and hardly any action. I found it dull.
  • I refuse – Per Petterson. I was recommended to read this book by Norwegian bookshop staff. The author is popular in Norway, the book too. On my to read list.

Russia

  • Witajcie w Rosji – Dmitry Glukhovsky. Short sf stories on Russia. Not sure of English title, but I’m interested in other works by Metro 2033 author. Which I didn’t read yet.
  • по страницам Пушкина – Alexander Pushkin. Russian graded reader. Boring.
  • Прощай, мой ангел– Maria Galina. Russian sf on my to read list. I read the Polish version titled Ekspedycja.

Serbia

  • Kosingas – Red Zmaja (volume 1/3) – Aleksandar Tešić. Serbian fantasy set in 1388 – 1389. The Kosingas trilogy. I’m currently reading the Polish version titled Zakon Smoka. English version is titled Kosingas – The Order of the Dragon. Great fantasy so far, I recommend it.

 

Asia

Kurds

  • Opowieści dengbeżów – an anthology of Kurds’ tales, translated from Kurdic dialects into Polish. Not sure about English translations, but there should be Russian somewhere. A great book, beautifully illustrated. If you can read Polish, I highly recommend it.

Bhutan

  • Live in Bhutan – an anthology of children writing the stories from their lives, with photos. It was made with foreign children in mind. It’s not long, it gives you even a small chance to see the life in this country, but somehow it doesn’t feel “real”. Read by yourself to know why.

Israel

  • Sharfik – Dina Rubina. A Novel as a Russian graded reader. On my to read list.

South Korea

  • Korean Writers: The Novelists (Korean Literature Translation Institute). An interesting way to discover South Korean literature, unless you can’t read in Korean (minority of authors’ books were translated into English) or you’re a fan of genred literature (most of the books are about society, history, politics).
  • Wampir i inne opowiadnia – Kim Youngha (anthology of short stories). Some of them are translated into English.

 Australia and Oceania

New Zealand

  • The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton. This book generated a lot of buzz. I’m currently reading it and it’s good, but definitely not a masterpiece. Lots of flashbacks in the first part, a lot of characters, and tons of descriptions. You could get lost.

North America

Canada

  • Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town – Cory Doctorow. Urban fantasy, absurd and the mystery. Not a bad read.

Jamaica

  • The Last Warner Woman – Kei Miller. A lady who can sense earthquakes and hurricanes moves out from Jamaica to England. On my to read list.

USA

  • Babel-17 – Samuel R. Delany. Language, poetry, alien invasion. I recommend.
  • The Storm Front – Jim Butcher. I was a fan of the Henry Dresden Files when I was younger. Ubran fantasy: magic and a detective. I still have sentiment for the TV series, but I probably won’t rewatch it. Nor never take up on 2nd volume.
  • Russel is Extra Special: A Book for Children About Autism – Charles A. Amenta. A book by a doctor and a parent of autistic child at the same time. Good for younger children or reading by a parent/child together. The basics of basics, in short it would be: “Russel is an autistic boy, behaving this or that way, but other autistic children might not behave the same and do something else…”.
  • Star of Gypsies – Robert Silverberg. An old sf with Gypsies in space. On my to read list.

 

Where in my list is South America, Africa or Arab countries? South America isn’t one of my favourite parts of the world, so since last year I read some South American writers, I’m not in hurry to do so again. I’d rather try a Nicaraguan writer. I plan to read some African writers, but due to my reading/writing block, I’m falling behind in my schedule. I plan to read Agualusa’s My Fathers’ Wives in June. I have some African poetry anthologies in mind too. One of those books is over 300-pages long. Due to my block, I didn’t finish reading e-book on UAE modern poetry, and I need to buy an access again.

 

What countries’ writers have you read so far this year? What books could you recommend (especially from the countries I haven’t read yet)?

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2 thoughts on “Worldly Literature in 2015: summary so far”

  1. Is the Per Petterson the Norway book you mentioned? I’m thinking I will probably read one of his books for Norway. I don’t know which one yet though.

    1. Yup, Per’s I refuse. his most popular book is Out Stealing Horses, but I refuse is the newest (2012) to be translated into English. Have fun reading. 🙂

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