Wednesday 31 December 2014

European Reading Challenge 2014 Wrap-Up Post

European Reading Challenge 2014

I love this challenge, and tackle it every year I've seen it offered.

The gist: The idea was to read books by European authors or books set in European countries (no matter where the author comes from). The books can be anything – novels, short stories, memoirs, travel guides, cookbooks, biography, poetry, or any other genre. You could participate at different levels, but each book must be by a different author and set in a different country – it's supposed to be a tour. (See note about the UK, below)

What counts as "Europe"? For this challenge, they use the list of 50 sovereign states that fall (at least partially) within the geographic territory of the continent of Europe and/or enjoy membership in international European organizations such as the Council of Europe. This list includes the obvious (the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy), the really huge Russia, the tiny Vatican City, and the mixed bag of Baltic, Balkan, and former Soviet states.

Note: Technically, the United Kingdom is one country that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.  So one book from any one of these four should count as your one book for that one country. The host isn't a stickler about it because challenges should be about fun not about rules. However, when it comes to winning the Jet Setter prize, only one book from one of the UK countries will count.

Here is the list, in alphabetical order: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican City. 

Five Star (Deluxe Entourage): Read at least five books by different European authors or books set in different European countries.


The participant who reads and reviews the greatest number of qualifying books (more than five) will get a $25 gift card to Powell's Books (can be used in store or on line).  Participants living in Europe will get a $25-equivalent gift card to the Amazon store in your country, if possible. If you live in a country where neither Powell's nor Amazon will work, then sorry, you are out of luck.
Each book must be by a different author and set in a different country. This means that only one book from one of the four UK countries will count.  Only books reviewed count towards the prize.

  • Read all books between January 1, 2014 and January 31, 2015. The host offers 13 months so there is extra time to finish after the holidays.  However, if you participated in the 2013 European Reading Challenge, you can only count books read in January 2014 for one year -- either the end of the 2013 challenge or the start of the 2014 challenge -- you don't get to count one book for both challenges. And since I do it every year, I generally stop each year at the end of December.
  • You do not have to commit to your choices at the beginning of the year; you can change your mind about books at any time.
  • Overlap with other challenges is allowed -- and encouraged! Have ideas for good overlapping challenge opportunities? Please leave links in comments.
  • Re-reads count. Audiobooks count.  E-books count.  Self-published books count.

I went for the Five Star level this year again, and tried to get some of those countries I hadn't got before.

My books:
1. Death of a Nightingale by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis (Denmark) Finished January 11
2. Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie (England) Finished January 12
3. The Tulip Eaters by Antoinette van Heugten (Netherlands) Finished January 15
4. A Jew Must Die by Jacques Chessex (Switzerland) Finished January 17
5. Drawing Conclusions by Donna Leon (Italy) Finished January 20
6. Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson (France) Finished February 2
7. Graffiti Knight by Karen Bass (Germany) Finished February 9
8. In the Darkness by Karen Fossum (Norway) Finished February 16
9. Lost Cause by John Wilson (Spain) Finished February 19
10. Close to the Heel by Norah McClintock. (Iceland) Finished March 6
11. Tyringham Park by Rosemary McLoughlin (Ireland) Finished May 19
12. Attack in the Library by George Arion (Romania) Finished June 11
13. Little Bastards in Springtime by Katja Rudolph (Bosnia) Finished September 10
14. Petrified by Barbara Nadel (Turkey) Finished September 13
15. Just Send Me Word by Orlando Figes (Russia). Finished October 11

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