10 translated European books you should have on your bookshelf

Come with me on a European tour through writers appreciated for their work from the 1940s till today, who have written the history of this continent through love stories, thrillers, historical novels and adventures. With these fantastic books, I can understand better my origins and the actual socio-political situation in Europe.

1. The Little Prince

by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Image: Indie Bound

Translated into 253 languages and printed in more than 134 million copies around the world, The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery, French writer and aviator, is definitely one of the most famous books of the twentieth century. A book that appeals to readers of all ages with a very poetic traits, the novel tells the journey of the character the little prince as he travels to different planets and the encounters bizarre characters. It is a strong allegory for life and the world of adults, addressing themes such as friendship, love and the meaning of life.

More: 11 books that humanize World War II’s dark history

2. Purge

by Sofi Oksanen

Image: Amazon

Purge is a very realistic novel about two women who have had a tragic past with problems like collusion and resistance but also terror, rape and sexual slavery all set against the backdrop of the Soviet occupation of Estonia. Published in 2008 and then translated into  38 languages including English, Purge also had great success when the story was turned into a movie.

3. The Terra-cotta Dog

by Andrea Camilleri

Image: Amazon

From the author of a New York Times Best Seller,The Terra-cotta Dog is the second book to portray the well-known Italian character inspector Montalbano. In this novel, he must solve a new case: two young lovers killed, found buried in a cave and guarded by a clay guard dog. Another interesting and adventurous case for the Sicilian detective from the police force known worldwide.

4. Life, Only Better

by Anna Gavalda

Image: Amazon

This is the story of two modern young people, a girl and a boy that live in Paris. They are sated but also hungry, polite but rabid, and still prefer to take the risk of being wrong in life rather than not to live at all. When they meet, they changed their lives for the better.

More: 12 powerful books that celebrate the female voice

5. The Summer Book

by Tove Jansson

Image: Amazon

On a Finnish island, Sophia and her grandmother spent the entire summer together. Freedom and the world of nature are explored with curiosity and respect, an inner world of feelings and deep fears that slowly accompany growth — as an initiation — of the protagonists. Each chapter of this novel carries great emotion, the rediscovery of a forgotten and unusual perception of reality.

6. Lands of Glass

by Alessandro Baricco

Image: Amazon

A book with a thousand faces, those of the characters who live in an unreal place. Through their actions, the novel tells a tale of secret loves, war and madness, where their dreams crumble and lives go unfulfilled.

7. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared

by Jonas Jonasson

Image: Amazon

The main character of the story is Allan Karlsson, who, with a lot of humor and suspense on the day of his 100th birthday, decides to escape through a window from the nursing home where he lives. With a stolen suitcase from someone young and unexpectedly bad, Allan is in the middle of a whirlwind of misunderstandings. Several occasions are intertwined with flashbacks that trace the life of the hero in an incredible and grotesque characters gallery.

8. One Day a Year: 1960-2000

by Christa Wolf

Image: Indie Bound

This is a diary where the author, one of the most important of the twentieth century, chooses to describe one day each year, with entries on Sept. 27 from the 1960 to 2000. She shows the inner conflicts and a lucid analysis of German society until the union and beyond. She also tells about her own role as wife, mother and a writer with the doubts and reflections in her daily work on their texts and in her life.

9. You Do Understand

by Andrej Blatnik

Image: Amazon

Andrej Blatnik, a Slovenian writer and university professor, shows in this book how difficult it is in daily life to understand who lives beside us. Talking with the others, such as with our families, lovers and friends, there will always be some misunderstandings and barriers that separate us from the rest of the world.

10. Love in Lowercase

by Francesc Miralles

Image: Amazon

Samuel begins a new year without knowing that the cat in front of his front door will change his routine and lonely life. Love does not need grand gestures, just a few lowercases like offering a bowl of milk to a cat to catch up with old loves and new and unusual friendships.

More: 12 dystopian novels where women kick the future’s ass


Comments are closed.