Book Review: An Evening with Claire by Gaito Gazdanov (trans. Bryan Karetnyk)

My thanks to Pushkin Press and NetGalley for a review copy of the book. The first book by Russian émigré writer Gaito Gazdanov, An Evening with Claire (1929), opens in Paris where we are introduced to our narrator and main character, Nikolai Sosedov or Kolya. After ten years, Kolya has been reunited with his first…

Book Review: Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann #GermanLitMonth

The delightful, clever and entertaining Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann (translated by Carol Brown Janeway) tells us the stories of two eccentric geniuses—the explorer, geographer and polymath Alexander von Humboldt and mathematician and physicist, Carl Friedrich Gauss. Our story begins in September 1828 when the German Scientific Congress is being held in Berlin, and…

Book Review: The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch #GermanLitMonth

The Hangman’s Daughter is the first in a series of historical mysteries set in seventeenth-century Bavaria, and combines a historical background and characters with a fictional plotline to give us an interesting but intense read. The book takes us to the town of Schongau, where Jakob Kuisl is the hangman/executioner, having taken over the job…

Book Review: The Village of Eight Graves by Seishi Yokomizo

My thanks to Pushkin Press and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. While I have read and enjoyed a fair few Japanese titles, despite all good intentions, I hadn’t gotten down to picking up any mystery title yet; this book gave me the chance to remedy that, and I enjoyed it very much…

Book Review: The Prince of the Skies by Antonio Iturbe

My thanks to Pan Macmillan and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. While I’ve read The Little Prince many times, and find it an endearing read, full of little nuggets of wisdom, I knew very little about its author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, except that he was an aristocrat, a pilot, and an author…

Book Review: Tintin and the Picaros by Hergé #1976Club

This is my first pick for the #1976Club hosted by Karen at Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings and Simon at Stuck in a Book. Politics and Conspiracy are at the heart of the twenty-third Tintin adventure (also the last one to be completed by Hergé), Tintin and the Picaros, which takes us to a fictional South American…

Book Review: The Goldsmith and the Master Thief by Tonke Dragt

My thanks to Pushkin Press and NetGalley for a review copy of this one. A few years ago, I chanced upon the Dutch film version of The Letter for the King by children’s author, Tonke Dragt (with subtitles) and soon after found the English translation of the book on NetGalley, both of which I ended…

Book Review: Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura

My thanks to Ruth Richardson and Doubleday/Random House UK for a review copy of this one via NetGalley. This was in some ways a strange read, rather hard to classify and yet one I ended up enjoying very much. Our story opens with Kokoro Anzai, a teen who has just started junior high but who…

Book Review: The Glory of Patan by K.M. Munshi

The Glory of Patan is the first of a historical fiction trilogy, set in Patan during the reign of Siddharaj Jaisingh, of the Chaulukya or Solanki dynasty in 11th–12th Century Gujarat. The series was written in Gujarati the 1910’s—this first one being published in 1916, and the translation I read is a recent one by…

Book Review: The Great Passage by Shion Miura #JapaneseLitChallenge13

The Great Passage is a Japanese book first published in 2011 and translated in English in 2017 by Juliet Winters Carpenter. The dictionary department of Gembu Books is undertaking a new mammoth dictionary project, The Great Passage—but the one capable full-time employee, Kohei Araki (whose interest in words was piqued at a young age) is…