Eurovision of books 2013 what to read from the final

Well tonight sees the 2013 Eurovision competition ,I see this as a good chance to do a Europe wide reading guide suggesting a book I’ve read ,A book I want to read (in some cases just this I ve not read books from all 25 countries ).Our entry is from Bonnie Tyler this year ,some I just remember for a huge hit she had in the 1980’s so shall we start I.


Well I ve 25 books under review on the blog from France .I ve chosen is an older review the book is Piano by Jean Echenoz .A very odd book about a man with time running out on his life .

piano jean echenoz

piano jean echenoz

On the radar well there is 2011  Prix Goncourt which I know is being translated into english as we speak .L’art francais de la geurre (the french art of war) contriversal but follows the french in indo china ,I was reminded of the scenes added to apocalypse now with the french in Vietnam .

Lartfrancaisdelaguerretonight’s song from france is L’enter et moi sung by Amandine Bourgeis .


I ve unfortunately not read a book from Lithuania .here is an overview of Lithuania literature I found

So on the radar is this book  The Dedalus Book of Lithuanian Literature  Author/editor : Almantas Samalavicius due out soon to me seems a good place to start .

lithuanian literatureThe song from Lithuania tonight is Something sung by Andrius Pojavis


I have yet to read a book from Moldova .so here is the wiki list of writers from Moldova

So it one for on the radar for Moldova is the piece a year of reading read .I m sure in time we will see a couple of Moldova novel appear in english .there are a short piece in each of the best of European fiction collections as well to try

best european fiction 2010

best european fiction 2010

Moldova song is Omie sung by Alioan Moon


I have at least read Finnish literature there are 7 Finnish books under review on the blog. The human part by Kari Hotakainen ,seems a good choice a women sells her life story and it is rewritten very much one for this modern world .

untitledOn my radar this one isn’t hard it is the next Peirene novel .Mr Darwin’s gardener by Kristina Carlson .Its describe as under Milkwood in Kent and at mr Darwin’s house .

darwin_web_0_220_330The finnish song for tonight is Marry me by Krista Siegfrids


Well the most recent review on the blog seems a great choice for Eurovision Night Lost luggage by Jordi Punti covers part of Europe as four half brothers from four countries meet for the first time .

Jordi-Punti lost luggageOn the radar I think the recent Manuel Rivas novel is one that I will be reading soon .All is silence is about three friends growing up .I have previously read Riva’s carpenter’s pencil it is one of 10 books under review on the blog .

all is silence by Manuel RivasSpains song for tonight is Contigo hasta el final sung by ESDM


Well  this is an easy one for me my choice has to be wonder by Hugo Claus one of my all time favourite books a man driven to the edge in post war Belgium by shadowy groups  of neo Nazis .one of three books from Belgium under review

WonderOn the radar well an old one but   one I love George Simenon, that Nyrb books are slowly reissuing his books and many available second-hand he wrote so many not even his own estate knows how many as he used many names to write under ,even once writing a book in a bubble over a couple of days .

dirty snow

Belgium’s  song for tonight is Love kills by Robert Bellarosa


I ve just one book from Estonia under review but it is a very good one Brecht at night by Mati  Unt follows the German writer Brecht as he escapes from Germany to America as he spends time in Estonia and Finland on route .



On the radar well Dalkey Archive have a couple more books from the late  Mati Unt I so enjoyed Brecht at night I will over time be trying those ,this is the next one that appeals to me is the Diary of a blood donor a retelling of the Dracula story .

diary of a blood donorEstonia’s song for tonight is Et uus saaks alguse by Brigit


Belarus is another country I am yet to read a book from .

On the radar is this collection from Dalkey Archive called Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich .This collection follows the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster

voices from ChernobyklThe song from Belarus is Solayoh sung by Alyona Lanaskay


Malta is another place I ve yet to read a book from.

A year of reading read the book happy weekend by Immanuel Mifsud here is her review 

coverhappyweekendMalta song for tonight is Tomorrow song by Gianluca


Well back to places I’ve read books from ,although I do view russia as a bit of an Achilles heel for me in Europe but of recent books I read from Russia it is this one I remember best .The new Moscow Philosophy by Vyacheslav Pyetsukh set over a weekend end a flat become vacant as an old women dies set in today this book has its routes in classic Russian literature .

the new moscow philosphyOn the radar well there is one writer I have on my radar big time I ve read one book so far the Light and the dark by Mikhail Shishkin a love affair told in letters over time and distance .Also have his other book Madienhair on my tbr pile .


Russia’s song for tonigh is What if sung by Dina Garipova


I’ve  21 books under review from Germany .The most recent seems apt for tonight ,The Mussel feast sees a Germany family sit down for an evening meal ,but this is also just as the new unified Germany is beginning .just as the title for this yearts Eurovision is” we are one ”

the mussel feastOn the radar is the comic German novel currently being translated Er ist wieder da ,a satire that imagine what happened if Hitler returned to modern Germany .


Germany’s song for tonight is Glorious sung by Cascada


I ve not read any books from Armenia

so on the radar I found this book  Armenian Golgotha by Grigoris Balakian a book about the Armenian genocide .

aremnnian golgothThe Aremnia song for tonight is Lonely planets sung by Dorians


Well I have read quite a few Dutch books .My recent favourite has been Amsterdam stories by Nescio ,a collection of short stories in and around Amsterdam a businessman imagines what his life might have been had he chosen different paths .this is one of eleven books under review here .

Amsterdam-StoriesOn the radar is the book mention in an interview as it is one I hope to see in English and this is J. J. Voskuil,’s Het bureau ,the office a  seven novel cycle following thirty years in an office .

bureau_0The Dutch song for this year is Birds sung by Anouk


Well I do have a Romanian writer but Herta muller is more often counted as german ,but her books are set Romania ,of the few books by her I’ve read I suggest starting with Nadirs her short story collection it is short and isn’t maybe as intense as her novels tend to be .

nadirs herta muller

One book that is one my radar by a writer still in Romania is The Fifth Impossibility: Essays on Exile and Language (Margellos World Republic of Letters)  by Norman Manea ,he was expelled from Romania in the sixties ,a collection of essays following his life .


The Romanian song for tonight is Its my life sung by Cezar

United Kingdom

Well to us, as Bonnie Tyler is Welsh I ve decide to choose a Welsh novel that just happens to be a translation .The life of Rebecca Jones By Angharad Price .Follows a family in a valley ,we meet Rebecca and her three blind brothers .


Well I m not doing a on the radar for the UK as there are lots of blogs dealing with English fiction that know a lot better than be what to read from the UK .

Our song is Believe in me by Bonnie Tyler


I’ve read four books from Sweden of those I m going suggest a Non-fiction Title Stieg Larsson my friend by Kurdo Baski ,a fellow journalist a good friend of the later thriller writer ,lifts the lid on his crusading Journalism ,he was a fierce anti fascist as well as a great thriller writer .


Next up for me from Sweden I think will be the new Roslund and Hellstrom  called Two soldiers it is about the gang culture in Sweden and stars Ewert Grens that was a character in the earlier book by them I read Three seconds .

two soldiers roslundThe Swedish song for tonight is You sung by Robin Stjernberg


Well I ve mention Satantango a lot so I will pick the epic Parallel stories by Peter Nadas , here as my choice it starts with a dead body and takes you through life in Communist Hungary .One of the most extraordinary books in translation of recent years and showing how wonderful  Hungarian fiction is .

parallel stories hardback cover

On my radar is one I ll be reading this week in fact be reading it on Monday on my train journey down to London ,The book is Skylark by Dezső Kosztolányi a book that follows a young girl in 1900 Hungary .

skylark by Dezső KosztolányiHungarys song for tonight is Kedvesem sung by Byealex


Not much Choice  on the blog Denmark I have only read one title from there and that is The Murder of Halland ,the longlistee for the Independent foreign fiction Prize this year .Follows a wife as she copes with the her husbands death .A interesting new angle on the crime novel .

Murder of Halland

On my radar well this is a hard on I must admit I know very little about Danish fiction but have had Peter Hoeg the woman and the ape on my tbr pile for a long time .A story following the connection of a wife of a scientist and a 300lb ape .

the woman and the apeThe Danish song for tonight is Only teardrops sung by Emmelie de forest


I have one choice for Iceland Sjon and two books I review by him so Ill pick the whispering Muse .The tale of Vladimir a first class bore that runs a magazine about fishing .As he takes a voyage with what may be the reincarnation of one of Jason and the Argonauts crew .

Whispering Muse

On my radar is a wonderful short story collection from Comma press The stone tree by Gyoir Elfasson a very Icelandic collection of stories .a school boy goes to a chess competition ,sister reading a book .

stone treeIceland’s entry for Eurovision is Ég á Líf  by Eythor Ingi


I not read a book from Azerbaiijan

Here is a year of readings post for Azerbaiijan .I hope there is so more books from here soon this one seems very interesting .A love story set against the backdrop of modern Azerbaijan .

ali and nino

There song for Eurovision is Hold me by Farid Mammadov


I ve read two books from Greece this one seems quite apt set in modern Greece  Ashes by Sergios Gakas .an actress , African family and the landlord all drawn in by a fire .lots of tension and a very noir feel .

ashes sergios GakasWell I’ve just finished a great novel from Greece called What lots wife saw by Ioanna Bourazopoulou it won the Athens prize in Greece .Set in a dystopic future a Crossword setter is trying to find out where a addictive salt called purple salt comes from .

whats lot's wife saw by Ioanna BourazopoulouThe Greek entry for Eurovision tonight is Alcohol is free sung by Koza Mostra feat. Agathon Iakovdis


I ve review two books from Ukraine both written by Andrey Kurkov .I have to pick the classic Death and the penguin ,a man ends up with a penguin and is writing obituries for men that seem to keep dying ,Very dark satire .



I am currently working through another Ukrainian novel The raven by Vasyl Shkliar set in 1921 we follow the Ukraine’s as the try to stop there country being taken over by Russia . Based on Kgb reports of the time Shkliar is one of the most outspoke writers from Ukraine .

raven Vasyl ShkliarThe Ukraine entry for tonight is gravity sung by zlata ognevich


Well I have reviewed 20 books from Italy ,I could choose Italo Calvino or The leopard ,but I decide on the recent collection I reviewed Ten by Andrej Longo .As one of the stories involves a singer .

ten Andrej LongoOne on my radar is my next Italian read Italian  Outsiders stories is a collection of short stories .that was  originally published in Italian newspaper and features the likes of Carlo Lucarelli ,Roberto Saviano and wu ming to name three .

italian outsider storiesThe Italian song for tonight is L’essenziale sung by Marco Mengoni


Well The book of the moment is the epic My struggle the six part fictionalized autobiography of Karl Ove Kanusgaard  This is both my choice and on my Radar I ve read part one death in the family Karl Ove growing up  and am not awaiting part two  a man in love the story of his early romances from My library .

Death in the Family, A


The Norwegian song for tonight is I feed you my  love sung by Magaret Berger


I ve not read anything from Georgia

But Dalkey archive have published a book of contemporary Georgian fiction which feature   work by Mariam Bekauri, Lasha Bugadze, Zaza Burchuladze, Teona Dolenjashvili, Guram Dochanashvili, Rezo Gabriadze, Kote Jandieri, Irakli Javakhadze, Davit Kartvelishvili, Besik Kharanauli, Mamuka Kherkheulidze, Archil Kikodze, Ana Kordzaia, Zurab Lezhava, Maka Mikeladze, Aka Morchiladze, Zaal Samadashvili, Nugzar Shataidze, Nino Tepnadze, and David Dephy.

georgian fiction


The Georgian song for tonight is Waterfall sung by Nodi Tatishvili and Sophie Gelovani


Well finally we reach the end and Ireland ,which I never read enough from recent years having read a lot in my youth .I choose a William trevor of the two Irish stories I ve review but Cheating at canasta is maybe how Uk has fely about Eurovision cheated but I don’t it is great fun I hope you have enjoyed this trip through the books and songs off Europe and Eurovisiong 2013 .

cheating at canastaI won’t suggest any books as lots of great blogs with Irish lit on I suggest Kim of reading matters .My next read will be next year when I plan to read an review all of joyce over next couple of years .







March 2023


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