When I think of reading internationally I often harken back to my World Lit class with Bronte, Flaubert, and Dostoyevsky. But the truth is, self-publishing has made it easier than ever to read contemporary authors from around the world. With self-publishing (and to some extent indie/small presses) there are not foreign rights that need to be negotiated to make a novel available worldwide. And if English isn't the author's language, they can hire a translator much like they hire an editor or formatter.
I like reading international authors because of the different world views that people from other countries have. I will never visit every country or even a small percentage of the world and reading, at least, gives me a glimpse into how other people think about justice, freedom, love, family, etc.
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Susan and Alison have already highlighted some international authors this month for the A to Z Challenge. Susan shared a favorite Irish writer and Alison discussed her love of Japanese writers.
I mostly stick with authors who write primarily in English. Here's just a few that I recommend if you need a starting point:
- If you enjoy crime fiction, then you should check out Irish author Tana French.
- For mysteries and thrillers, try South African author Lisa Gordon.
- For romance readers, I highly recommend Canadian author Sylvain Reynard and his Gabriel's Inferno series. He also has a supernatural series.
- While I don't personally read horror or books about zombies, but I've heard great things about Australian author Rachel Tsoumbakos.
- I loved Jennifer Worth's memoirs on being a midwife in 1950s east-end London. If you are a fan of the show Call the Midwife I highly recommend you pick up the book by the same name.
- I read the British version of middle grades detective novel Knightly & Son by UK author Rohan Gavin and loved it.
- One of my favorite RomCom authors is UK author Michele Gorman.
Speaking of romantic comedies and Michele Gorman, I just finished up her newest novel which she published under the pen name Lilly Bartlett. I was provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
|April 2017; HarperImpulse|
ebook (339 pages); romance
Needless to say, hilarity ensues as Emma juggle's her future mother-in-law's suggestions of chocolate fountains, butterfly releases, engraved silver picture frames for all the guests (which is much more than the 60 on Emma's guest list) not to mention fancy invitations (with gifts) and fine linen napkins. Oh, and then there is excuses she comes up with as she goes behind her finance and cancels the limo drivers and other "helpful" arrangements. But along the way, we learn what it really means to be family and a part of a community. I think by the end of the novel everyone will want to live in a place like east London (I know I do). I really loved all the characters, even the posh ones, and I hope we get to see more of them in future novels.
Buy The Big Little Wedding in Carleton Square at Amazon
If you want to try some translated literature, I recommend checking out the titles from Le French Book, a publisher who translates bestselling French mysteries, thrillers, and crime fiction novels.
Recently MK French reviewed a women's fiction novel by an author from Slovenia and translated by a UK resident.
|December 2016; Peter Owen Publishers|
9780720619157; ebook, print (288 pages)
A free copy of this book was provided in exchange for a fair review.
Newly single after a long relationship ended, Matias spends his time trying to date other women in Ljubljana, Slovenia. He often complains of his difficulties with his best friends and follows their advice to date other women. Initially, he compares them all to Sara, but meeting up with Sara again lets him see that his memories of her don't quite live up to the reality.
Matias often comes across as a misogynist, and even calls himself that on several occasions throughout the novel. At the same time, he can be very charming and uses his hurtful and sarcastic comments to hold others at length. This is a slice of life kind of novel and is an interesting look at the twentysomething crowd in Slovenia. Matias has a series of interesting dates, some of which end in disaster, and there is often a lot of drinking involved. I don't know if that's common for the age group in Slovenia, or if that is really the only place for young adults to congregate and talk to each other. As in the United States, that much drunkenness also leads to a lot of stupid decisions. It makes for interesting reading, but also a little secondhand embarrassment, especially surrounding the sequence with the wedding that Matias will photograph. Still, he's content at the close of the book, and it was nice to see him really grow over the course of the book.
Buy None Like Her at Amazon
Who are some of your favorite international authors?
Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.
Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.
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