Backpack Through Europe Summer Reading Challenge | 2018

Hi, folks!

Summer has come with full force around here. I am back from a short trip to the Alps, but my spirit remains restless. Is there a better way to appease one’s unrequited Wanderlust than to travel through books? That’s why I’ve just signed up for Backpack Through Europe Summer Reading Challenge (BTE), hosted by The Reader’s Room. Starting on July 2, readers have until September 30, to travel/ read through a minimum of four European countries.

“How to play:
All players will begin in their home country and will fly to one of the following airports: Heathrow (UK), Charles de Gaulle (France), or Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands). Once you arrive you must read a book from that country in order to begin your travels and move on to the next country.

To travel across the Europe you must read and review books corresponding to each country that you visit. The book either must be predominantly set in that country or the author has to be from that country. You will be awarded points for each country that you visit. To fully participate you must travel to at least 4 European countries prior to arriving back home. You must move across the continent in the same way you would travel over land. You can’t skip over countries (see exception below) by using water travel. You may only use water travel to visit island countries.

To move across a continent you must complete your book and post a mini review (or link to your review on Goodreads or your blog) as a comment on this page. Your trip will end when you arrive back in your home country and complete a book for your home country.” – For questions, visit The Reader’s Room challenge page.

Here are my plans for #backpackEurope (they will probably overlap with my 20 Books of Summer & Women in Translation Month lists):

  • Starting Location: Germany
  • Traveling to: Destination unknown
  • Location of updates: I will be posting on my blog and Goodreads.
  • Status: Packing my backpack
  • Current location: Germany
  • Currently reading: N/a
  • Countries visited so far: n/a

Possible travel destinations:

  1. UK – Mathilda, by Mary Shelley (1819)
  2. France – Valentine, by George Sand (1832)
  3. Italy – Artemisia, by Anna Banti (tr. Shirley D’Ardia Caracciol, first published 1947)
  4. Switzerland – These Possible Lives, by Fleur Jaeggy (tr. Minna Proctor, first published 2009)
  5. Back home: Germany – Grand Hotel, by Vicki Baum (tr. Basil Creighton, first published 1929)

or, if I really feel in need of something new:

  1. UK – Sight by Jessie Greengrass (2018)
  2. Iceland – Butterflies in November, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir (tr. Brian FitzGibbon, first published 2004)
  3. Norway – The Blue Room, by Hanne Ørstavik (tr. Deborah Dawkin, first published 1999)
  4. Sweden – Complete Poems, by Karin Boye (tr. David McDuff, 1994)
  5. Finland – Purge, by Sofi Oksanen (tr. Lola Rogers, first published 2008)
  6. Russia – The Boarding-School Girl, by Nadezhda Khvoshchinskaya (tr. Karen Rosneck, first published 1861)
  7. Latvia – Soviet Milk, by Nora Ikstena (tr. Margita Gailitis, first published 2015)
  8. Lithuania – Breathing into Marble, by Laura Sintija Cerniauskaite (tr. Marija Marcinkute, first published 2006)
  9. Poland – Flights, by Olga Tokarczuk (tr. Jennifer Croft, first published 2007)
  10. Back home: Germany – Grand Hotel, by Vicki Baum (tr. Basil Creighton, first published 1929)

or, maybe, a shortcut?

  1. UK – Sight by Jessie Greengrass (2018)
  2. Iceland – Butterflies in November, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir (tr. Brian FitzGibbon, first published 2004)
  3. Norway – The Blue Room, by Hanne Ørstavik (tr. Deborah Dawkin, first published 1999)
  4. Sweden – Complete Poems, by Karin Boye (tr. David McDuff, 1994)
  5. Denmark – Baboon, by Naja Marie Aidt (tr. Denise Newman, first published 2006)
  6. Back home: Germany – Grand Hotel, by Vicki Baum (tr. Basil Creighton, first published 1929)

That’s all for now, folks. I will be updating this post with my reading travels.

Which of the above travel plans do you prefer? What are you going to read this summer?

Yours truly,

J.


UPDATE 02.07:
  • Status: Heading to the UK in the company of Mary Shelley!
  • Current location: flying from Germany to the UK
  • Currently reading: Mathilda, by Mary Shelley (originally published in 1819. Melville House, 144 p. Goodreads)
Update 06.07:
  • Current location: UK
  • Here is my post for Special Event (The Henley Regatta). I posted it on Instagram, using #backpackEurope
  • Status: I am still in the UK, but I am finished with Mary Shelley!
  • Traveling to: Destination unknown. I may choose France or Iceland
  • Finished Reading: Mathilda, by Mary Shelley (1819). My review.
  • Currently reading: N/a
  • Countries visited so far: UK
Update 09.07
  • Status: Heading to France in the company of George Sand!
  • Current location: on my way to France
  • Currently reading: Valentine, by George Sand (1832, Goodreads)
  • Countries visited so far: UK
  • Current score: 1 (UK) + 2 (Special Event – The Henley Regatta)
UPDATE 13.07
  • Finished Reading: Valentine, by George Sand (1832). My review.
  • Status: Left France, and have just arrived in Belgium in the company of Amélie Nothomb!
  • Current location: Belgium
  • Currently reading: Kosmetik des Bösen by Amélie Nothomb, translated by Brigitte Große (originally published in 2001). Goodreads.
  • Here is my post for Special Event (Ghent Festival). I created this playlist on Spotify: it is composed of strange sounding classical music (the book is disturbing so far), airport songs (it’s the book’s setting), duets (the book is written as a long dialogue) and one song by a Belgian singer-songwriter (just because :))
  • Countries visited so far: England (UK), France, now Belgium
  • Current score: 1 (England, UK) + 2 (Special Event – The Henley Regatta) + 1 (France) + 2 (Special Event – Ghent Festival)
  • Once I finish and review the Belgian book, I intend to go to The Netherlans -> then Germany (I don’t want to finish my journey there yet, so I will just visit it and read a book for it – if this is allowed…) -> then Switzerland -> and then I don’t know yet! 🙂
Update 15.07
  • Finished Reading: Kosmetik des Bösen by Amélie Nothomb, translated by Brigitte Große (originally published in 2001). My review.
  • Status: Left Belgium, and have just arrived in The Netherlands in the company of Connie Palmen!
  • Current location: The Netherlands
  • Currently reading: The Laws, by Connie Palmen, t r. Richard Huijing (1993, Goodreads).
  • Countries visited so far: England (UK), France, Belgium
  • Current score: 1 (England, UK) + 2 (Special Event – The Henley Regatta) + 1 (France) + 2 (Special Event – Ghent Festival) + 1 (Belgium)
UPDATE 17.07
  • Finished Reading: The Laws, by Connie Palmen, tr. Richard Huijing (1993. De Wetten, 1991). My review.
  • Status: Left The Netherlands, and have just arrived in Germany (vor a visit) in the company of W. G. Sebald!
  • Current location: Germany
  • Currently reading: The Rings of Saturn, by W. G. Sebald, tr. Michael Hulse (1999. Die Ringe des Saturn, 1995. Goodreads)
  • Countries visited so far: England (UK), France, Belgium, The Netherlands
  • Current score: 1 (England, UK) + 2 (Special Event – The Henley Regatta) + 1 (France) + 2 (Special Event – Ghent Festival) + 1 (Belgium) + 1 (The Netherlands
Update 25/07
  • Finished Reading: The Rings of Saturn, by W. G. Sebald, tr. Michael Hulse (1999. Die Ringe des Saturn, 1995). My review.
  • Status: Left Germany and have just arrived in Switzerland, in the company of Fleur Jaeggy!
  • Current location: Switzerland
  • Currently reading: I Am the Brother of XX, by Fleur Jaeggy. Goodreads.
  • Countries visited so far: England (UK), France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany
  • Current score: 1 (England, UK) + 2 (Special Event – The Henley Regatta) + 1 (France) + 2 (Special Event – Ghent Festival) + 1 (Belgium) + 1 (The Netherlands) + 1 (Germany)
Updates 30/07
  • Finished Reading: I Am The Brother of XX, by Fleur Jaeggy. My review.
  • Status: Left Switzerland, and have just arrived in Italy in the company of Anna Banti!
  • Current location: Italy
  • Currently reading: Artemisia, by Anna Banti
  • Countries visited so far: England (UK), France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland
  • Current score: 1 (England, UK) + 2 (Special Event – The Henley Regatta) + 1 (France) + 2 (Special Event – Ghent Festival) + 1 (Belgium) + 1 (The Netherlands) + 1 (Germany) + 1 (Switzerland)
Update 01/08
  • Finished Reading: Artemisia, by Anna Banti. My review.
  • Status: Left Italy – I am going to Austria in the company of Elfriede Jelinek!
  • Current location: in transit
  • Currently reading: I will start The Piano Teacher, by Elfriede Jelinek
  • Countries visited so far: England (UK), France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy
  • Current score: 1 (England, UK) + 2 (Special Event – The Henley Regatta) + 1 (France) + 2 (Special Event – Ghent Festival) + 1 (Belgium) + 1 (The Netherlands) + 1 (Germany) + 1 (Switzerland) + 1 (Italy)
Update 03/08
  • Finished Reading: The Piano Teacher, by Elfriede Jelinek (My review)
  • Status: Left Austria and am going to Czechia in the company of Daniela Hodrová!
  • Current location: in transit
  • Currently reading: I will start A Kingdom of Souls, by Daniela Hodrová, tr. Véronique Firkusny & Elena Sokol (2015, 200 p.. Original: Podoboji – Edice Jadra, 1991)
  • Countries visited so far: England (UK), France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Austria
  • Current score: 1 (England, UK) + 2 (Special Event – The Henley Regatta) + 1 (France) + 2 (Special Event – Ghent Festival) + 1 (Belgium) + 1 (The Netherlands) + 1 (Germany) + 1 (Switzerland) + 1 (Italy) + 1 (Austria)

🙂


Augustus Leopold Egg, “The Travelling Companions”, 1862.
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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds wonderful – Grand Hotel is a great read. I’ll look forward to following your progress!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Karen! I am looking forward to starting my reading journey 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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