Wednesday, December 23, 2020

2020 CHALLENGE: My Wrap-Up Post for the 2020 European Reading Challenge



This is my wrap-up post for the 2020 European Reading Challenge. To link your wrap-up post, please go to THIS PAGE and add your link. 

To sign up for the 2021 European Reading Challenge, and I hope you do, please go to the main challenge page HERE

Unlike most reading challenges, the European Reading Challenge ends on January 31 of the following year. I just think there's so much going on at the end of the year with holidays and many people busy with work that it's nice to have the extra time to finish. You do not have to take the extra time. Personally, I finish reading all the books I'm going to read for the challenge by December and usually give myself January to do my wrap-up post and any reviews I still have to write (if I write them).

But I have the luxury of a few days off this year for the first time in forever so I'm doing my wrap-up post now. 


I visited 10 countries for the 2020 European Reading challenge, which is pretty good, since I signed up for the 5-Star, Deluxe Entourage level to read five books. I don't get to compete for the Jet Setter prize because it's my challenge, but even if I did I wouldn't qualify because I didn't review any of the books! I read a lot in 2020, but I couldn't concentrate enough to review anything. 

I'm listing the countries in the order I visited them. Only one book from each country counts for the challenge, but I'm listing all the books from each country just because. It makes it easier to track from year to year, especially to see if I'm making progress on reading more books in translation.

Of course, most of the books are still from the UK. That always happens. 

GREECE: Circe by Madeline Miller. Ok, it was ancient Greece, but it counts. 
Home Fires by Kamila Shamsie
The Egyptologists by Kingsley Amis and Robert Conquest
Party Going by Henry Green
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers
Warlight by Michaele Ondaatje
Have His Carcase by Dorothy L. Sayers
Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L. Sayers
Lost for Words by Edward St. Aubyn
Death in Holy Orders by P. D. James
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch
House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym
The Adventures of Sally by P. G. Wodehouse
The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Murder Room by P. D. James
For the Sake of Elena by Elizabeth George
Room at the Top by John Braine
Just Like You by Nick Hornby
They Came to Baghdad by Agatha Christie
The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton
The Stars Look Down by A. J. Cronin

NORWAY: The Devil's Star by Jo Nesbo

IRELAND: Days Without End by Barry Sebastian
The Likeness by Tana French
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Country Girl: A Memoir by Edna O'Brien

FRANCE: Cheri by Colette
Gigi by Colette
The Vagabond by Colette
The Shackle by Colette
The Stranger by Albert Camus 

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

PORTUGAL: Night Boat to Tangier by Kevin Barry

SWEDEN: Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

RUSSIA: Make Russia Great Again by Christopher Buckley, a very 2020 choice
Letters to Yesenin by Jim Harrison
Bend Sinister by Vladimir Nabokov 

ITALY: The Invitation by Lucy Foley
A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi
The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante
A Venetian Reckoning (aka Death and Judgment) by Donna Leon

All in all, I read 62 books in European countries or by European authors. I made some progress in venturing outside the UK, but still spent most of that time in France, Italy, and Ireland. 10 of the books were translated to English and the Nabokov book almost counts since Russian was his first language and Bend Sinister was only his second book written in English. 

My goal for 2021 will be to spend more time in Scandinavia and venture further into Eastern Europe. I hope to visit some countries I haven't been to before on the European Reading Challenge and read more books in translation. 

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