The Island

“The Island” by Ana María Matute (Spain) Review Once they had gotten used to the style of writing and dated language, most readers liked this coming-of-age story. They felt that the long passages and the frequent use of parenthesis as commentary demanded that they pay attention. They loved the descriptions of the people and places, and thought the imagery used was highly evocative of both … Continue reading The Island

Summer Light, and Then Comes the Night

“Summer Light, and Then Comes the Night” by Jon Kalman Stefansson (Iceland) Review Readers loved this book, describing it as light, uplifting, gentle and philosophical. They loved the small world of the village with its little details, its simmering sexual undertones, the delicate balance between life and death, and the villagers’ search for meaning in their humdrum routines. Readers warmed to the various characters, and … Continue reading Summer Light, and Then Comes the Night


“Embers” by Sandor Marai (Hungary) Review Readers enjoyed this book a lot, finding it a really easy read. They thought the writing was beautiful and evocative, and liked how it flowed. They loved the descriptions of the different places: from the Hungarian castle and grounds, to the Viennese apartment and the Tropics. Readers found the General a fascinating character and liked how he slowly brings … Continue reading Embers

The Chosen Maiden

“The Chosen Maiden” by Eva Stachniak (Poland) Review “The Chosen Maiden” by Eva Stachniak (Poland), a close runner-up, was chosen as the Summer Reading Group’s Coup de Cœur Summer 2017. It was the longest of the four books, and masterly mixes fact and fiction to tell the story of the Nijinsky siblings from the point of view of the sister, Bronia. Readers loved their story, … Continue reading The Chosen Maiden

Life Begins on Friday

“Life Begins on Friday” by  Ioana Pârvulescu (Romania) Review Although they found it difficult to get into due to the alternating narratives, readers warmed to the many varied characters as the plot unfolded. They were grateful that the author had included a list of characters at the beginning of the book as it helped to keep track of them. They particularly warmed to Iulia and … Continue reading Life Begins on Friday

The Lazarus Project

“The Lazarus Project” by Aleksandar Hemon (Bosnia-Herzegovina) Review Readers liked the layout of the book, they liked how the author alternated the two stories set a hundred years apart intertwining the narratives at times, and they appreciated the black & white photos that separated each passage and that spoke of things to come in them. Some readers said they preferred the modern day story, especially … Continue reading The Lazarus Project


“Buried” by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Denmark) Review From a first novel to a first attempt at a new genre by a well-known writer, this year’s Summer Reading selection of crime fiction covered a wide range of writing styles. “Buried” is one of a detective series set in Copenhagen. Readers described it as captivating and addictive, a page-turner great for long-haul travel reading. They found the writing … Continue reading Buried