The European Reading Challenge
January 1, 2017 to January 31, 2018




Welcome to the 2017 European Reading Challenge – where participants tour Europe through books.  And have a chance to win a prize. Please join us for the Grand Tour!

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. (See note about the UK, below)

WHAT COUNTS AS "EUROPE"?: We stick with the same list of 50 sovereign states that fall (at least partially) within the geographic territory of the continent of Europe and/or enjoy membership in international European organizations such as the Council of Europe. This list includes the obvious (the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy), the really huge Russia, the tiny Vatican City, and the mixed bag of Baltic, Balkan, and former Soviet states.

THE LIST: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City.

NOTE: Even after Brexit, the United Kingdom is still one country, in Europe, that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. So one book from any one of these four counts as your one book for the United Kingdom. I'm not going to be a stickler about it because challenges should be about fun not about rules. However, when it comes to winning the Jet Setter prize, only one book from one of the UK countries will count.


FIVE STAR (DELUXE ENTOURAGE): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.

FOUR STAR (HONEYMOONER): Read four qualifying books.

THREE STAR (BUSINESS TRAVELER): Read three qualifying books.

TWO STAR (ADVENTURER): Read two qualifying books.

ONE STAR (PENSIONE WEEKENDER): Read just one qualifying book.


The participant who reads and reviews the greatest number of qualifying books (more than five) will get a $25 gift card to Powell's Books (can be used in store or on line). Participants living in Europe will get a $25-equivalent gift card to the Amazon store in your country, if possible. If you live in a country where neither Powell's nor Amazon will work, then sorry, you are out of luck.

Each book must be by a different author and set in a different country. This means that only one book from one of the four UK countries will count. Only books reviewed count towards the prize.

  • Read all books between January 1, 2017 and January 31, 2018. I like having 13 months so there is extra time to finish after the holidays. However, if you participated in the 2016 European Reading Challenge, you can only count books read in January 2017 for one year -- either the end of the 2016 challenge or the start of the 2017 challenge -- you don't get to count one book for both challenges. 
  • Sign up here using Mr. Linky under the "PARTICIPANTS" heading below. Please use a link to your challenge post, not your blog home page  
  • If you do not have a blog, please leave a comment below with the level you are signing up for, and your list of books if you want to name them now, and I will add you to the list.
  • You do not have to commit to your choices now; you can change your mind about books at any time.
  • Overlap with other challenges is allowed -- and encouraged! Have ideas for good overlapping challenge opportunities? Please leave links in comments.
  • Re-reads count. Audiobooks count. E-books count. Self-published books count.
  • As you progress, please link to your reviews on the review list page. Reviews are not necessary, unless you are going for the prize, in which case only books reviewed count. If you do not have a blog, put your reviews or reports in a comment on the review list page. When you finish, please link to your wrap-up posts on the wrap-up page.
  • You can copy and paste the button. Or, if you want me to send you the code, please leave a comment with an email and I will. I cannot figure out the fancy ways of giving button instructions.
(To post a review, go to this page)


  1. Hi, I'm in again. Thanks for hosting.

  2. Terrific Jamie! Thanks for being the first to sign up!

  3. I'm in again, thanks for hosting!

  4. This looks awesome! I'm excited to join in this year!

  5. I would like to sign up, but I am struggling with the URL part...

  6. I would like to sign up, but I am struggling with the URL part...

  7. I'm going to give this a try, although it will be a real challenge lol. Thanks for hosting!

  8. So excited! I look forward to making my new reading list up, but I think the hardest part will be writing the reviews, lol!

  9. No Greenland? What continent is Greenland a part of if not Europe? I wanted to read The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley but I'll await your ruling. I haven't posted my sign up page yet, but I plan to participate!

  10. Carin -- Greenland is geographically part of North America! It is not included in the official list of 50 recognized European states (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_in_Europe#Recognized_states), although it is culturally and politically tied to Europe, particularly Norway, Denmark, and nearby Iceland.

  11. I'm in. Not sure what level yet.

  12. Wow, that is so interesting! Greenland is Nortb America. Very cool. Thanks for letting me know! Although I wish I could read The Greenlanders for the challenge. But I can find plenty of others.

  13. I'm in! Going for five-star. :)

  14. I'm ready to start and have a tentative list already! -- Kathryn H.

  15. I'm signing up for Five Stars, and I'm now narrowing my list to a combination of "stretch" reads and "doable!"

  16. I'm signing up for Five Stars, and I'm now narrowing my list to a combination of "stretch" reads and "doable!"

  17. I'm sure I can do Five Stars, the total will all depend on the availability of the following:

    Albania - Pran of Albania
    Armenia - The Greedy Sparrow
    Austria - The Devil in Vienna
    Belgium - The Golden Basket
    Bosnia and Herzegovina - My Palace of Leaves in Sarajevo
    Bulgaria - Dobry
    Cyprus - The Hermit, the Icon, and the Emperor
    Czech Republic - The Jewel of the Kalderash
    Denmark - Sticks Across the Chimney
    Estonia - It's Pancake Time
    Finland - The Summer Book
    France - The Greengage Summer
    Germany - The Parent Trap
    Greece - Theras and His Town
    Hungary - Dangerous Journey
    Iceland - Half a Kingdom
    Ireland - Shawneen and the Gander
    Italy - Nino
    Malta - The Knights at Bay
    Netherlands - Journey from Peppermint Street
    Norway - Eight Children and a Truck
    Poland - The Silver Sword
    Portugal - I Challenge the Dark Sea
    Romania - The Gift of a Traveler
    Russia - In Place of Katia
    Spain - Shadow of a Bull
    Sweden - The Golden Name Day
    Switzerland - Treasures of the Snow
    Turkey - The Stone of Destiny
    Ukraine - The Birds' Gift
    United Kingdom - The Summer Birds

  18. I'm excited to be joining this challenge! Thanks for hosting.

  19. Just curious as to the length of books requirement. I imagine picture books would not work but do children's chapter books count? I could see this as a fun reading project with my son who is now just getting in to chapter books. Even if they don't count for the prize I might still sign up to do this with my son.

  20. MamaWantsHerBooks: Chapter books would count towards the prize as long as you do reviews for each one. Anything counts towards completing the challenge, but only books that get a review count toward the prize. Doing book reviews with your son might be a fun project. :)

  21. Happy New Year everyone! Starting off this cold, snowy morning with Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and a creamy capuccino. "You must live according to circumstances"

  22. Happy New Year to you too! Capuccino and a classic novel sounds like a great way to start the new year!

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. I'M joining this challenge and I will post my reviews on my Goodreads page in a special shelf

  25. I'm in again! I think I actually made it to five last year but fell off the review wagon. Hopefully I make it PROPERLY this year!

  26. I plan to keep track of my books again in 2017 and will post qualifying books. In other words, I am in again.

  27. Just found this and I'm definitely in. I'm going to try for the 5 books, a combination of mysteries and cookbooks (random I know).

  28. I'm definitely in! I'm always looking for books from other countries, and I hope to read at least ten books from my list.

  29. Hi everyone, I'm officially in for the challenge. (Five Star and beyond!) I'm hoping to hit every country this year. It's time to test the limits of the inter-library loan system! Haha. I think the really challenging part for me is going to be the reviews, but I think writing them will be a good exorcise for me.

  30. I'm going for the jet setter prize!

  31. I'm going for the jet setter prize!

  32. I want to try at least one, then we will see...

  33. I'm in!
    Going Jet-Setter all the way!!

  34. It's Been a while since I joined in. But as I'm in the mood for some jet-setting ......

  35. I just read this and am down to do jetsetting. Since January 2017 I've read Patrick Leigh Fermor's Between the Woods and the Water (which I think should count for either Hungary or Romania), Victor Serge's The Case of Comrade Tulayev (Russia), and Elizabeth Gaskell's Sylvia's Lovers (England). So reviews of those plus 2 more over the course of this year should be doable!

  36. Welcome to all those of you who have joined since I last checked!

    Happy reading! Happy touring!

  37. Does a book set in the USSR count? The Soviet Union? What do you think?

  38. I'm adding "The Paris Librarian" by Mark Pryor. A book by an English writer, about an American, set in Paris. I'll enter it for "France."

  39. 2017 is almost finished, so here my results:
    - Franck & Vautrin: La fête à Boro.
    (1) (2017 European Reading Challenge: auteurs français, se passe en France, Paris principalement)
    - Agatha Christie: Passenger to Frankfurt.
    (2) (2017 European Reading Challenge: British author, happens in Frankfurt, Austria, Germany, London, etc)
    - Henning Mankell: Le guerrier solitaire. (title in English: Sidetracked)
    (3) (2017 European Reading Challenge: Swedish author, happening in Scania, Sweden)
    - Hans Fallada: Seul dans Berlin. ("Jeder stirbt für sich allein" and "Alone in Berlin")
    (4) (2017 European Reading Challenge: German author, happening in Berlin, Nazi Germany)
    - Michèle Barrière: Natures mortes au Vatican (relu)
    (5) (2017 European Reading Challenge: Auteur français, l'histoire se passe à Rome et à Genève)
    - Amélie Nothomb: Le crime du Comte Neville.
    (6) (European Reading Challenge; my first e-book and I loved it, Belgian Author, happening in Belgium)
    - Jo Baker: Longbourn - The Servants'Story.
    (7) (European reading challenge: English writer, happening in England)
    - Dominique Costermans: Outre-Mère.
    (8) (European reading challenge: Belgian writer, happening mainly in Belgium)
    - Several Authors: The Global City on the streets of Renaissance Lisbon.
    (9) (European reading challenge: several authors about Lisbon, Portugal - Non-fiction)
    - Erich Maria Remarque: La nuit de Lisbonne.
    (10) (European reading challenge: German author happening in Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal)
    - Marc Vignal: Haydn & Mozart (versao abreviada)
    (11) (European reading challenge: French author, happening in Austria, Hungary, London etc)
    - Sonia Serrano: Mulheres Viajantes.
    (12) (European reading challenge: Portuguese author about the world)
    - Jean-Paul Dubois: La succession.
    (13) (2017 European Reading Challenge: Auteur français, l'histoire se passe en France et à Miami)
    - Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt: La nuit de feu.
    (14) (2017 European Reading Challenge: Auteur français, l'histoire se passe dans le Sahara algérien)
    - François Weyergans: Royal Romance.
    (15) (2017 European Reading Challenge: Auteur français, l'histoire se passe en France et à Montréal, Canada)
    - Philippe Claude: L'Arbre du pays Toraja.
    (16) (2017 European Reading Challenge: Auteur français, l'histoire se passe à Paris)
    - Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt: L'Elixir d'amour.
    (17) (2017 European Reading Challenge: Auteur français, l'histoire se passe entre Paris et Montréal)

  40. Are you going to be doing this Challenge in 2018? I did 5, although the last one was a struggle--I ended up reading multiple books set in Britain and Germany and I could only mark those countries off once, which was a little frustrating for me (not frustrated with the challenge, but with the way my own reads were just laying out.)


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