Sunday, December 31, 2023

European Reading Challenge Wrapup 2023


Well, I squeezed in one last book review just yesterday, but there will be no more squeezing in, and my bookish travels in Europe are done for the year. The final list:

1.) Henry James/The Wings of the Dove (Italy)
2.) Robert Gerwarth/November 1918 (Germany)
3.) Eric Ambler/The Levanter (Cyprus)
4.) Samuel Butler/The Way of All Flesh (UK)
5.) Victor Gruen/Shopping Town (Austria)
6.) Honoré de Balzac/Cousin Bette (France)
7.) Georgi Gospodinov/Time Shelter (Bulgaria)
8.) Robert Aickman/Go Back At Once (Croatia)
9.) Olga Tokarczuk/The Books of Jacob (Poland)
10.) Ivo Andrić/Omer Pasha Latas (Bosnia)
11.) Owen Matthews/Overreach (Russia)
12.) Anna Comnena/The Alexiad (Turkey)
13.) Josef Škvorecky/Sins For Father Knox (Czech Republic)
14.) Janwillem van de Wetering/Outsider in Amsterdam (Netherlands)
15.) Homer/The Iliad (tr. Emily Wilson) (Greece)
16.) Leah Horlick/Moldovan Hotel (Moldova)
17.) Herta Müller/The Fox Was Ever the Hunter (Romania)

Seventeen isn't my best ever number for this challenge, but is pretty good for me, and is in any case well over the five I pledged for. 

There are two new countries I haven't previously visited for this challenge: Cyprus and Moldova. There continue to be six I've visited every year: Italy, Germany, the UK, Austria, France, and Romania. This year's best visits were Poland and Italy, though Croatia was fun and quirky, too.

Thanks again to Gilion for hosting!


  1. That's some fun bookish travel you did for this reading challenge! I don't think I've ever read a book set in Moldova! Or Bulgaria. :D

    1. I think that was my first Moldova ever. I know I've read a Cyprus or two, but pre-blogging.

  2. What an assortment! My father used to read every Eric Ambler but I am not sure I have ever read any - I bet he didn't show up much in this challenge. My favorite book set in Poland is While Still We Live by Helen MacInnes.

    The only one of these I have read is The Iliad and as that was for school I was probably absorbing it in a completely different way than I read now!

    Glad to have found your blog!

    1. I love Eric Ambler, but I am getting to the end of them, and this year's one was kind of middling.

      Glad you found it as well! I'm pretty sure I've seen yours., but off to check it out more thoroughly!

  3. So many good books! I am saving your list for inspiration. Thanks for joining the challenge.

    1. And thank you for hosting! I'm glad you've found some inspiration.