Monday, 30 September 2013

My Mediterranean Reading Summer 2013: The Summary

Here in my corner the weather has turned autumnal, even prematurely hibernal. The summer is irrevocably over and on this last day of September My Mediterranean Reading Summer 2013 is going to an end, too. For four months I’ve been reading my way criss-cross through twenty-one countries around the Mediterranean Sea plus Palestine and Gibraltar, but although I found at least one novel for each country I couldn't read them all. The summer has been too short as always!

This bookish odyssey has been a very interesting experience for me. A welcome side-effect of it is that I had the pleasure of discovering some wonderful stories and authors on the way that otherwise might have completely slipped my attention. Some of the novels figuring on my list haven’t yet made it into the bookshops here in Graz and some never will because they aren’t to the taste of the average reader. Others are popular here and almost unheard of in the Anglo-American world.

Out of twenty-four novels I had to order about half and even that way some of them have been really hard to come by through my usual channels. A couple of books didn’t even make it on the list because I couldn’t get them at all like a novel by the Portuguese writer Helena Marques set in Malta. The only German edition of A deusa sentada is long out of print and unavailable in the libraries nearby. Well, the book has never been translated into English and I wouldn't blog about it, anyway.

Over the past weeks I reviewed most of the books which I thoroughly enjoyed and left others to write about later because they didn’t seem to fit in right then. My personal favourites of the summer have been The Calligrapher’s Secret by Rafik Shami, Small Wars by Sadie Jones and The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna. However, here’s the complete list of my Mediterranean reads including those five which remain for the time being on my pile of books to be read. Just follow the links to read my reviews!

Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
Bosnia & Herzegovina
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
TBR: The Lady of the Shroud by Bram Stoker
The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay
TBR: Wild Mulberries by Iman Humaydan Younes
Israel and Palestine
TBR: Gold Dust by Ibrahim al-Koni
TBR: Sword & Scimetar by Simon Scarrow
TBR: The Pillar of Salt by Albert Memmi
What the Day Owes the Night by Yasmina Khadra
Horses of God by Mahi Binebine
The House of Ulloa by Emilia Pardo Bazán
Nada by Carmen Laforet


  1. That's a great tour!
    I'm keeping your list for future references.
    Thanks for sharing

    1. That was the idea - to make a list with other books than those which use to be referred to on other blogs and literary websites. I'm thinking of continuing this list outside the context of a reading challenge, but that takes time which I didn't have during the past couple of months. Anyway, I'm glad that you like my list, Emma. Maybe I'll find some of the books in your lists soon?

  2. Lots of new books here to add to my to-read list, thanks. SD

    1. Always happy to help! Thanks for commenting Sandra.


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