Translation Reading Challenge 2013 – Wrap-up

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It was Curiosity Killed the Bookworm’s Translation Challenge that I found the most ‘challenging’ of this year’s reading challenges. But it also delivered some of the best and most thought-provoking books I read this year.

I started and finished the challenge with books about mothers (both were brilliant) – Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother by Xinran and The Lost Daughter by Elena Ferrante. Xinran’s stories will never leave me – steel your heart a little before beginning it although regardless of how prepared you feel, you’ll finish in tears. Continue reading

What’s in a Name Challenge Wrap-up

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It’s that time of year when the reading challenge wrap-up posts begin. I’m starting with the What’s in a Name challenge.

The challenge was simple – read one book that fits each of the six ‘categories’ – Continue reading

‘Someone I Loved’ by Anna Gavalda

It’s just a wisp of a book but an odd wisp at that.

Someone I Loved by French author, Anna Gavalda, is the story of Chloé, whose husband suddenly leaves her and their two daughters for another woman. Unexpectedly, her usually cold and distant father-in-law, Pierre, comes to her aid, sharing what he has learned about life and love.

Interestingly, the book is subtitled ‘A Novel’. Hmmm – that made me wonder. Did the publishers add that because at just short of 160 pages, it’s straying into ‘novella’ territory – what are the official guidelines, anyway? Or did they add ‘A Novel’ because everyone in Gavalda’s home country knows all about her private life and assumes that she has written all about herself. I couldn’t help myself – took a quick peek at Google. Seems my thoughts were not far off the mark. The book was written after Gavalda’s marriage failed and the publication of Someone I Loved in 2002 was followed by the 600 page doorstop, Hunting and Gathering in 2004 – take that, anyone who mentioned ‘lightweight’! Continue reading