One of the publishers I noted a day or two ago as being one of those that has an uncanny ability for generating a disproportionate quantity of "I gotta read it!" and even "I gotta buy it -- NOW" books is Europa Editions. So much so, that when they announced they were launching the "Europa Challenge", I decided that I'd have to join in.
So, if I read 4, I win the title of Europa Ami; if I hit 7, I rise to become a Europa Haver and if I hit 14, I'll become an Europa Amante. Since I'm feeling pro-Italian this week, I'll opt for the Amante title, which will mean I'll have to devour about two or three Europa titles every month. Eh, nessun problema; possa fare questo! And just for the fun of it, I'll try to win the "Passport Holder" designation (by reading books from different countries, published in different languages) and will ponder becoming a "perpetual" reader -- in other words, to read all the Europa titles. Only time will just how irrationally optimistic I am being in aiming for these!
So far, I've read A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse; Muriel Barbery's two novels; In a Strange Room by Damon Galgut and the books that I've reviewed on my blog, Rondo by Kazimierz Brandys, French Leave by Anna Gavalda and The Shadow of What We Were by Luis Sepulveda. On a five-star scale, Rondo was a six, and the others all somewhere between 3.9 and 4.5 stars. I've got about four Europas that I have purchased but that linger unread (shame on me...) and a few more I've obtained from the library, so all I have to do now is decide whether to kick off with Chalcot Crescent by Fay Weldon, Heliopolis by James Scudamore or Carte Blanche by Carlo Lucarelli. Decisions, decisions...
I'll be cross-posting my reading on my own blog, and look forward to seeing what everyone else is reading! I'm not trying to pursue any particular theme, just looking for books that pique my curiosity, whether because of the topic, the setting, the author, the context, or reviews/comments from other readers. One of the joys of a Europa Editions book is that whatever it is like, it's unlikely to be like anything else I've ever read. Which, in these days of all-too-generic books, is a very, very good thing.
Happy reading to all!