Reading Suggestions

Find your next great read here

Europe

<–Return to Map

William Blatty. Dimiter/Albania

As state security in 1970s Albania tortures a prisoner named Dimiter, known as the American “agent from hell,” the staff at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital becomes enmeshed in a series of unexplainable deaths–until events explode in a surprising climax.

a

a

a

a

a

a

Olen Steinhauer. 36 Yalta Boulevard/Austria

A member of the homicide department of the people’s militia, State Security Officer Brano Sev is sent to the village of his birth to interrogate a potential defector, but his mission is complicated by a murder in which he becomes the prime suspect, sending him into exile in Vienna and into the heart of high-level political intrigue.

a

a

a

a

a

a

Tracy Chevalier. The Lady and the Unicorn/Belgium

A set of bewitching medieval tapestries hangs today in a protected chamber in Paris. They appear to portray a woman’s seduction of a unicorn, but the story behind their making is unknown – until now. Paris, 1490. A shrewd French nobleman commissions six lavish tapestries celebrating his rising status at Court. He hires the charismatic, arrogant, sublimely talented Nicolas des Innocents to design them. Nicolas creates havoc among the women in the house – mother and daughter, servant and lady-in-waiting – before taking his designs north to the Brussels workshop where the tapestries are to be woven. There, master-weaver Georges de la Chapelle risks everything he has on finishing the tapestries – his finest, most intricate work – on time for his exacting French client. Ill-prepared for temptation and seduction, he and his family are consumed by the project and by their dealings with the full-blooded painter from Paris. The results change all their lives – lives that have been captured in the tapestries, for those who know where to look. Interweaves historical fact with fiction to explore the mystery behind the creation of the remarkable Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, woven at the end of the fifteenth century, which today hang in the Cluny Museum in Paris.

a

a

Joe Kubert. Fax from Sarajevo/Bosnia

Told through a combination of comic-book graphics and copies of the faxed communications sent back and forth between Sarajevo and the outside world, this dramatic account tells how the Rustemagic family survives the deadly siege of their homeland. Based on a True Story.

a

a

a

a

a

M.M. Kaye. Death in Cyprus/Cyprus

Twenty-year-old Amanda Derington’s world cruise with her uncle is transformed into a nightmare after she decides to make a short side trip to the island of Cyprus.

a

Liani Taylor. Daughter of Smoke and Bone/Czech Republic

Seventeen-year-old Karou, a lovely, enigmatic art student in a Prague boarding school, carries a sketchbook ofhideous, frightening monsters–the chimaerae who form the only family she has ever known.

a

a

a

a

a

a

Bernard Cornwell. Sharpe’s Prey/Denmark

Richard Sharpe’s plans to leave the army are put on hold when he embarks on a secret mission to Copenhagen to deliver a bribe, but when he arrives in Denmark, he is plunged into a world of danger where enemy spies lurk behind every corner.

a

a

a

a

a

a

Arto Paasilinna. The Year of the Hare/Finland

After his car hits a bunny, which ultimately survives, a man decides to quit his job, leave his wife, sell his possessions, and spend a year wandering around the countryside of Finland–with the rabbit as his only companion.

a

a

a

a

a

a

Diane Johnson. Le Divorce/France

Le Divorce is about Americans in Paris. Worse, Americans from Santa Barbara, California, in Paris. Also, French cultural superiority and American innocence. One sister’s marriage. Another’s illicit love. Infidelity. Family disapproval. A crime of passion. Perhaps murder. When California girl Isabel Walker, film school dropout, comes to visit her stepsister Roxy in Paris, she arrives on the day that Roxy’s French husband, Charles-Henri de Persand, has left her for another woman. Roxy is distraught and pregnant. Charles-Henri’s powerful and prestigious French family is counseling patience and acceptance: Isabel is soon caught up in the romantic intrigue and Roxy’s parents are just as soon on their way to France to lend their daughter support. Add to all of this a contretemps over a painting belonging to the Walkers but given by Roxy as a wedding gift to her husband, which turns out to be extremely valuable. It is, as the French say, a situation. It is also the basis for a comedy of manners that looks with delicious wit at cultures and carnal desires in collision: at the absurd way in which love can lead us toward grand tragedy or, at least, toward jealous crimes of the heart.

a

Eric Flint. 1632/Germany

A mysterious accident in time causes twenty-first-century American democracy to collide head-on with the Thirty Years War in seventeenth-century Germany as Mike Stearn and a group of armed miners take on a gang of strangely attired invaders who are threatening peaceful Grantville, West Virginia. Original. Freedom and Justice-American Style 1632. And in northern Germany things couldn’t get much worse. Famine. Disease. Religious war laying waste the cities. Only the aristocrats remained relatively unscathed; for the peasants, death was a mercy. 2000 Things are going OK in Grantville, West Virginia, and everybody attending the wedding of Mike Stearn’s sister (including the entire local chapter of the United Mine Workers of America, which Mike leads) is having a good time. Then, everything changed. When the dust settles, Mike leads a group of armed miners to find out what happened and finds the road into town is cut, as with a sword. On the other side, a scene out of Hell: a man nailed to a farmhouse door, his wife and daughter attacked by men in steel vests. Faced with this, Mike and his friends don’t have to ask who to shoot. At that moment Freedom and Justice, American style, are introduced to the middle of the Thirty Years’ War.

a

Fred Saberhagen. Ariadne’s Web/Greece

Ariadne is the daughter of King Minos of Crete and has fallen in love with a young man sentenced to be sacrificed to the gods. She conspires to save him but her plans are complicated by mythical beasts and whimsical gods at every turn.

a

a

a

a

a

a

a

Micahel Ridpath. Far North/Iceland

Generations after two boys witness a haunting act in the Icelandic lava fields, a grassroots revolution sparked by the economic crisis of 2009 challenges Magnus Jonson to unravel a web of conspirators who are killing off bankers and politicians.

a

a

a

a

a

a

Maeve Binchy. Circle of Friends/Ireland

It began with Benny Hogan and Eve Malone, growing  up, inseparable, in the village of Knockglen.  Benny–the only child, yearning to break free from  her adoring parents…Eve–the orphaned offspring  of a convent handyman and a rebellious blueblood,  abandoned by her mother’s wealthy family to be  raised by nuns. Eve and Benny–they knew the sins  and secrets behind every villager’s lace  curtains…except their own. It widened at Dublin,  at the university where Benny and Eve met  beautiful Nan Mahlon and Jack Foley, a doctor’s handsome  son. But heartbreak and betrayal would bring the  worlds of Knockglen and Dublin into explosive  collision. Long-hidden lies would emerge to test the  meaning of love and the strength of ties.

a

Chris Pavone. The Expats/Luxembourg

Kate Moore is a working mother, struggling to make ends meet, to raise children, to keep a spark in her marriage . . . and to maintain an increasingly unbearable life-defining secret. So when her husband is offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg, she jumps at the chance to leave behind her double-life, to start anew. She begins to reinvent herself as an expat, finding her way in a language she doesn’t speak, doing the housewifely things she’s never before done—playdates and coffee mornings, daily cooking and never-ending laundry. Meanwhile, her husband works incessantly, at a job Kate has never understood, for a banking client she’s not allowed to know. He’s becoming distant and evasive; she’s getting lonely and bored. Then another American couple arrives. Kate soon becomes suspicious that these people are not who they say they are, and she’s terrified that her own past is catching up to her. So Kate begins to dig, to peel back the layers of deception that surround her. She discovers fake offices and shell corporations and a hidden gun, a mysterious farmhouse and numbered accounts with bewildering sums of money, and finally unravels the mind-boggling long-play con that threatens her family, her marriage, and her life.

a

Jo Nesbø. The Redbreast/Norway

After killing a Secret Service agent who he believed was about to assassinate the president of the United States, detective Harry Hole is assigned to investigate neo-Nazi activity in Oslo, Norway, and learns about an international conspiracy rooted in World War II.

a

a

a

a

a

a

Marzena Sowa. Marzi: a memoir/Poland

In graphic novel format, chronicles the author’s life growing up in Poland during the last ten years of communism, witnessing the crumbling of the ideology, and eventually seeing her country rise to freedom. 

a

a

a

a

a

Diana Gabaldon. Outlander/Scotland

Hurtled back through time more than two hundred years to Scotland in 1743, Claire Randall finds herself caught in the midst of an unfamiliar world torn apart by violence, pestilence, and revolution and haunted by her growing feelings for James Fraser, a young soldier. 

a

a

a

a

a

a

Ernest Hemingway. For Whom the Bell Tolls/Spain

The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerrilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. 

a

a

a

a

<–Return to Map

One thought on “Europe

  1. Pingback: Around the World in 80 Books | Reading Suggestions

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s