European Reading List

For some reason I’ve been putting off making my European reading list. But last night I finally got my Global Reads by Region page up and running and I decided I need to get going with my European books as well.

In the past, I have read a number of books written by British authors. Jane Austen is my all time favorite. I read the Night Circus this year by Erin Morgenstern (I definitely recommend it if you are a reader that likes to imagine your books). Of course I’ve read all the Harry Potter novels (who hasn’t), the Lord of the Ring trilogy by Tolkein, and the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, as well as a number of historical fictions on the British monarchies by Philippa Gregory. With all that said, I’ve decided to avoid British writers. Perhaps I’ll give them a section of their own in the future. Instead I’m focusing on books I’ve heard set in Europe but that I’ve never read. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • In the Merde for Love by Stephen Clarke (2005), discovering the culture of the French is a specialty of Stephen Clarke. After reading a great blog post about A Year in the Merde, I scoped out the local library for a copy but instead found the second book in his series. Focused on love in FRANCE, this one is bound to have me laughing.
  • The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1958), set in the 1860s ITALYThe Leopard tells the spellbinding story of a decadent, dying Sicilian aristocracy threatened by the approaching forces of democracy and revolution. I actually read this book in college in Italian but unfortunately it didn’t stick well. I thought I’d give it a try in English.
  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren (1945), in a little town in SWEDEN the outrageous red-headed Pippi Longstocking brings adventure to her neighbors. When I was just 4 or 5 my parents took me to the play of Pippi Longstocking but I haven’t read or really heard of her since. This will be a lighthearted and easy read.
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1873), a classic I’ve not read yet, Anna Karenina is one of the great novels of RUSSIA. The sensual, rebellious Anna renounces a respectable marriage for an affair that offers passion.
  • Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis (1946), the tale of a young intellectual in GREECE who ventures to escape his bookish life with the aid of his boisterous friend, Alexis Zorba

Help me add to my list! Have you read any great books by European authors?


9 thoughts on “European Reading List

  1. Lexi 〮 レクシー

    My favorite Russian classic is Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. It is very long, but if you’ve never read it I promise it’s worth the time investment. And, if you ever want to branch out into poetry and plays, Federico Garcia Lorca is one of my favorite Spanish writers. His works are fantastic.

    1. eliseblalock Post author

      I have a good friend reading The Brothers Karamazov and she’s said the same thing. Long but worth it. With two recommendations, it’s time for it to go on the list. I have lots of travel coming up so perhaps it will be a good airplane read. Thanks for the recommendation, Lexi!

  2. Rachel Hollenbaugh

    Philippa Gregory is one of my favorite authors of historical fiction. After visiting England, Scotland, and Wales, I became fascinated with the history of Great Britain and the long line of Kings and Queens whose lives are woven into that history. I am currently reading THE WHITE QUEEN, telling the story of King Edward IV and his queen, Elizabeth Woodville. Gregory has also written THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL and THE RED QUEEN, which are also on my reading list.

    1. eliseblalock Post author

      I loved the Other Boleyn Girl. I also read the Queen’s Fool, the Boleyn Inheritance, and the Virgin’s Lover. All are good reads if you like the time period. (I do!)

  3. Meredith

    If you like Gregory’s time period stuff you might like Dangerous Liaisons. I read it in college for part of my English 101 class and actually really enjoyed it.

  4. Pingback: “A Year in Provence” or “A Year in the Merde”? It is up to you | GlobalEd

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