Yay for the Europa Challenge Holiday Swap!
The Europa Challenge Blog is a fan blog for anyone who loves to read books published by Europa Editions. The idea is to read the books and then write and post reviews on the blog, with cross-posting to your own blog, if you have one, not only approved but encouraged. There’s no pay, and the publisher by and large doesn’t even publicize our posts or provide review copies, with just a few exceptions (none of which have applied to me, more’s the pity 😉 ). The reward is in the satisfaction of reading really good international literature and then writing as good a post as possible, which, for those of us whose idea of a good time away from work is writing essays, is both considerable and sufficient.
So Marie, who co-founded and administers the challenge blog, had the great idea that we should do a holiday book swap so we could each send and receive a nice EE book that we wanted and didn’t have. She posted the rules and matched us up, and here it is time to post what we’ve received.
I had quite forgotten about the swap after I sent my recipient’s book, so it was actually a surprise when I opened the parcel addressed to me and found an attractively wrapped package with my name on it from Megan. In fact, it was so pretty that I let it sit until the day for posting so I could admire it and wonder which of the several preferences I’d sent Marie it might be.
It turned out to be Angelika Schrobsdorff’s “You Are Not Like Other Mothers,” translated from the German by Steven Rendall. It’s set in Berlin between the World Wars and sounds like a fascinating, panoramic story. I haven’t read a great deal of German literature apart from novels by Thomas Mann and Theodore Fontane, a bit of Grass and Boll, and, of course, folk and fairy tales, though, coincidentally, I did recently read and post about Goethe’s “The Sorrows Of Young Werther.” So I am really looking forward to burying myself in this one in the next couple of months.