Reading Challenge: 8 Books in Another Language 2023
This year I’m on Storygraph and there are challenges on this app, too. In this challenge I need to read 8 books in English which is my second language. These books need to be written originally in English, not translated in English.
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl's castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.
In this giant jigsaw puzzle of a fantasy, people and things are never quite what they seem. Destinies are intertwined, identities exchanged, lovers confused. The Witch has placed a spell on Howl. Does the clue to breaking it lie in a famous poem? And what will happen to Sophie Hatter when she enters Howl's castle?
About the book
Sophie is the eldest of three girls who works in a hat shop. According to a legend she is the unluckiest because she is the first of three. One day Howl’s moving castle appears in the city and Howl is said to eat the girls who are alone for a walk in the evening. But Sophie will find herself right in the castle when the witch of the moors will cast a spell on her.
Grace M. Cho grew up as the daughter of a white American merchant marine and the Korean bar hostess he met abroad. They were one of few immigrants in a xenophobic small town during the Cold War, where identity was politicized by everyday details—language, cultural references, memories, and food. When Grace was fifteen, her dynamic mother experienced the onset of schizophrenia, a condition that would continue and evolve for the rest of her life.
Part food memoir, part sociological investigation, Tastes Like War is a hybrid text about a daughter’s search through intimate and global history for the roots of her mother’s schizophrenia. In her mother’s final years, Grace learned to cook dishes from her parent’s childhood in order to invite the past into the present, and to hold space for her mother’s multiple voices at the table. And through careful listening over these shared meals, Grace discovered not only the things that broke the brilliant, complicated woman who raised her—but also the things that kept her alive.
About the book
Memoir of a Korean-American who tells her story, but above all of her mother and how her (mother’s) life contributed to her illness.
Mrs. Dalloway chronicles a June day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway–a day that is taken up with running minor errands in preparation for a party and that is punctuated, toward the end, by the suicide of a young man she has never met. In giving an apparently ordinary day such immense resonance and significance–infusing it with the elemental conflict between death and life–Virginia Woolf triumphantly discovers her distinctive style as a novelist.
Originally published in 1925, Mrs. Dalloway is Woolf’s first complete rendering of what she described as the “luminous envelope” of consciousness: a dazzling display of the mind’s inside as it plays over the brilliant surface and darker depths of reality.
About the book
I have absolutely no idea. Really. I read this book with the Fable book club and yes, honestly I always wanted to read it and so I took the opportunity because I think I would have never read it alone. But I found it so boring that I couldn’t pay attention to the plot.
Laos, 1976: Dr. Siri Paiboun, a 72-year-old medical doctor, has been unwillingly appointed the national coroner of newly-socialist Laos. Though his lab is underfunded, his boss is incompetent, and his support staff is quirky to say the least, Siri’s sense of humor gets him through his often frustrating days.
When the body of the wife of a prominent politician comes through his morgue, Siri has reason to suspect the woman has been murdered. To get to the truth, Siri and his team face government secrets, spying neighbors, victim hauntings, Hmong shamans, botched romances, and other deadly dangers. Somehow, Siri must figure out a way to balance the will of the party and the will of the dead.
About the book
First in the Doctor Siri Paiboun series. The plot follows Dr Siri, now a coroner, who is faced with peculiar cases such as a body recovered from the river and a judge’s wife whom he thinks has been poisoned.
The world's greatest detective is back in an all-new adventure! When thieves pull off a daring heist that threatens a quaint town in Montana, Virginia Holmes and her partner decide to work "pro bono," taking no pay unless they can solve the case in time to prevent economic ruin. What they find is an elaborately planned theft that baffles them at every turn. And at the center of the mystery is one crucial question ... how does thief steal MILLIONS OF HONEYBEES?!
What I think
Nice story, certainly not full of twists. The style still doesn’t convince me, too many repetitions and a superficial language. Although I learned a lot about bees, I don’t understand what these poor bees did to get stolen. Or rather, I understand the reason given but, bees? really…oh well. I don’t think I will continue with the series. However I have to say that I like Holmes, I feel like I’m reading Hetty from NCIS: Los Angeles when I read her parts.
All my book reviews are and will be 100% honest. I don’t get paid to write them and I don’t get “gifts” to write a good review so what I write is what I think. If I love a book, I’m going to say that, if I don’t like a book, I will write why I don’t. My critics aren’t an attack to the author, they are just how I feel about a subject or a style. See more in my Review Policy.