Reading Challenge: Books in Translation

readingchallenge150Are you taking the DCL 2016 Reading Challenge? One of the challenge items is to read a book that has been translated into English. There’s an entire world of great literature out there! Get your literary passport stamped, by traveling to countries around the world through these translated works:






Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Translated from the German by Anthea Bell

Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly it is Gwyneth who, in the middle of class, takes a sudden spin to a different era!









The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Translated from the French by Richard Howard

Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as The Little Prince. The Little Prince describes his journey from planet to planet, each tiny world populated by a single adult. It’s a wonderfully inventive sequence, which evokes not only the great fairy tales but also monuments of postmodern whimsy.








Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Translated from the Spanish by John Rutherford

Don Quixote chronicles the adventures of the self-created knight-errant Don Quixote de La Mancha and his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, as they travel through sixteenth-century Spain.









Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Translated from the Spanish by Carol and Thomas Christensen

Each chapter of screenwriter Esquivel’s utterly charming interpretation of life in turn-of-the-century Mexico begins with a recipe–not surprisingly, since so much of the action of this exquisite first novel (a bestseller in Mexico) centers around the kitchen, the heart and soul of a traditional Mexican family.







The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Translated from the Italian by William Weaver

The year is 1327; Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, and the empirical insights of Roger Bacon.





41zbeIroRRLThe Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Translated from the French by Robin Buss

The victim of betrayal by friends and an insidious plot to hide another’s perfidy, innocent young sailor Edmond Dantes is imprisoned for life at the island fortress of the Chateau d’If. After fourteen years, he makes a harrowing escape and works his way to the island of Monte Cristo, where he recovers abundant treasures whose location were made known to him by a fellow prisoner. Wealthy beyond imagination, Dantes sets about engineering the downfall and ruin of the men who stole his youth and robbed him of everything that he held dear in life.







Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Translated from the Russian by Max Hayward and Manya Harari

Doctor Zhivago is the story of the life and loves of a poet/physician during the turmoil of the Russian Revolution. Taking his family from Moscow to what he hopes will be shelter in the Ural Mountains, Zhivago finds himself instead embroiled in the battle between the Whites and the Reds.







The Three-Body Problem (Book 1 of the Three-Body Trilogy) by Cixin Liu

Translated from the Chinese by Ken Liu

With the scope of Dune and the commercial action of Independence Day, this near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking readers to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from China’s most beloved science fiction author. Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.




1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s — 1Q84 was an instant best seller in Murakami’s native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.







The Dinner by Herman Koch

Translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett

A summer’s evening in Amsterdam and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant. Between mouthfuls of food and over the delicate scraping of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of politeness – the banality of work, the triviality of holidays. But the empty words hide a terrible conflict and, with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened…







The Last Execution by Jesper Wung-Sung

Translated from the Danish by Lindy Falk Van Rooyen

Based on the chilling true story of the last execution in Denmark’s history, this award-winning, mesmerizing novel asks a question that plagues a small Danish town: does a fifteen-year-old boy deserve to be put to death? This remarkable, wrenching story is told with the alternating perspectives of eleven different bystanders–one per hour–as the clock ticks ever closer to the moment when the boy must face his fate.




A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Translated from the Swedish by Henning Koch

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon–the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul.




The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

Translated from the German by Kevin Wiliarty

A poignant and inspirational love story set in Burma, The Art of Hearing Heartbeats spans the decades between the 1950s and the present.  When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be…until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father’s past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader’s belief in the power of love to move mountains.





My Brilliant Friend (Book 1 of the Neapolitan Series) by Elena Ferrante

Translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship.

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