Books in translation....

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The reader on the 6.27/ Jean-Paul Didierlaurent ; translated by Ros Schwartz
Guylain Vignolles leads a dull and solitary life. He hates his job and his only company at home is a goldfish. Every morning he takes the 6.27 to his tedious job at a book pulping factory. He hates his boss and his assistant but he finds companionship with the factory's guard, an eccentric aficionado of classical literature. On the train each morning on the way to work, Guylain reads aloud to his fellow commuters the disparate pages that he rescues from the jaws of the monstrous pulping machine. One morning on the train, he finds a USB stick which contains the diary of a young woman. As Guylain reads the diary, he finds himself falling love with its author ...This enchanting novel is a warm and funny fable about literature's power to uplift even the most monotonous of lives; and how there can be dignity and poetry for even the most misunderstood.

Fever at Dawn/ Péter Gárdos

In July 1945, Miklós, a Hungarian survivor of Belsen, arrives in a refugee camp in Sweden. He is skin and bone, and has no teeth. The doctor says he has only months to live.

But Miklós has other plans. He acquires a list of 117 young Hungarian women who are also in refugee camps in Sweden, and he writes a letter to each of them—obsessively, in his beautiful hand, sitting in the shade of a tree in the hospital garden. One of those young women, he is sure, will become his wife.

In a camp hundreds of kilometres away, Lili reads his letter. Idly, she decides to write back.

Letter by letter, the pair fall in love. In December 1945 they find a way to meet. They have only three days together, and they fall in love all over again. Now they have to work out how to get married while there is still time…

This story really happened.

Little Aunt Crane/ Geling Yan
In the last days of World War II, the Japanese occupation of Manchuria has collapsed. As the Chinese move in, the elders of the Japanese settler village of Sakito decide to preserve their honour by killing all the villagers in an act of mass suicide. Only 16-year-old Tatsuru escapes. But Tatsuru's trials have just begun. As she flees, she falls into the hands of human traffickers. She is sold to a wealthy Chinese family, where she becomes Duohe - the clandestine second wife to the only son, and the secret bearer of his children. Against all odds, Duohe forms an unlikely friendship with the first wife Xiaohuan, united by the unshakeable bonds of motherhood and family. Spanning several tumultuous decades of Mao's rule, Little Aunt Crane is a novel about love, bravery and survival, and how humanity endures in the most unlikely of circumstances.

One hundred days of happiness/ Fausto Brizzi
What would you do if you knew you only had 100 days left to live? For Lucio Battistini, it's a chance to spend the rest of his life the way he always should have - by making every moment count. Womanizing, imperfect, but loveable, Lucio Battistini has been thrown out of the house by his wife and is sleeping in the stock room of his father-in-law's bombolini bakery when he learns he has inoperable cancer. So begins the last hundred days of Lucio's life, as he attempts to care for his family, win back his wife (the love of his life and afterlife), and spend the next three months enjoying every moment with a zest he hasn't felt in years. From helping his hopelessly romantic, widowed father-in-law find love, discovering comfort in enduring friendships, and finding new ones, Lucio becomes, at last, the man he's always meant to be.

The hanging girl/ Jussi Adler-Olsen
In the middle of a hard-won morning nap in the basement of police headquarters, Carl Morck, head of Department Q, receives a call from a colleague working on the Danish island of Bornholm. Carl is dismissive at first, but then he receives some shocking news. Carl then has no choice but to lead Department Q into the tragic cold case of a vivacious seventeen-year-old girl who vanished from school, only to be found dead hanging high up in a tree. Theinvestigation will take them from the remote island of Bornholm to a hidden cult, where Carl and his assistants must stop a string of new murders by a skilled manipulator who refuses to let anything-or anyone-get in the way.


Reckless/ Hasn Ali Toptas
Thirty years after completing his military service Ziya flees the spiralling turmoil of one of Turkey's great sprawling cities to seek a serene existence in a village of which he has long heard dreamlike tales. Having endured two years of gruelling military life, taking brutal orders from a man hiding behind his rank, and then losing his wife and child in a terrorist attack, Ziya has never quite been able to return to the life he once had until one day he breaks free. Arriving in the village, Ziya is greeted by his old friend from the army, Kenan, who has built and furnished a vineyard house for him. There he is welcomed by Kenan's family, but the village does not provide the total isolation Ziya yearns for and he is forced back through the tangled web of his memory to the time he and Kenan spent defending the treacherous Syrian/Turkish border in search of the reason why Kenan feels so extravagantly in his debt. Hasan Ali Toptas masterfully blurs the boundaries between dream and reality, truth and memory, past and present, to create a gripping and surprising tale that introduces a major writer to English-language readers for the first time.

A strangeness in my mind/ Orhan Pamuk
Since his boyhood in a poor village in Central Anatolia, Mevlut Karataş has fantasized about what his life would become. Not getting as far in school as he'd hoped, at the age of twelve he comes to Istanbul – 'the center of the world' – and is immediately enthralled both by the city being demolished and the new one that is fast being built. He follows his father's trade, selling boza (a traditional Turkish drink) on the street, hoping to become rich. But chance seems to conspire against him. He spends three years writing love letters to a girl he saw just once at a wedding, only to elope by mistake with her sister. And though he grows to cherish his wife and the family they have, his relations all make their fortunes while his own years are spent in a series of jobs leading nowhere. Every evening, without fail, he still wanders the streets of Istanbul, selling boza and wondering at the 'strangeness' in his mind, the sensation that makes him feel different from everyone else, until fortune conspires once more to let him understand at last what it is he has always yearned for.

The days of abandonment/ Elena Ferrante
Rarely have the foundations upon which our ideas of motherhood and womanhood rest been so candidly questioned. This compelling novel tells the story of one woman's headlong descent into what she calls an 'absence of sense' after being abandoned by her husband. Olga's 'days of abandonment' become a desperate, dangerous freefall into the darkest places of the soul as she roams the empty streets of a city that she has never learned to love. When she finds herself trapped inside the four walls of her apartment in the middle of a summer heat wave, Olga is forced to confront her ghosts, the potential loss of her own identity, and the possibility that life may never return to normal again.


The vegetarian/Han Kang
Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. The acceptable flatline of their marriage is interrupted when Yeong-hye, seeking a more 'plant-like' existence, decides to become a vegetarian, prompted by grotesque recurring nightmares. In South Korea, where vegetarianism is almost unheard-of and societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye's decision is a shocking act of subversion. Her passive rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre and frightening forms, leading her bland husband to self-justified acts of sexual sadism. His cruelties drive her towards attempted suicide and hospitalisation. She unknowingly captivates her sister's husband, a video artist. She becomes the focus of his increasingly erotic and unhinged artworks, while spiralling further and further into her fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming - impossibly, ecstatically - a tree. Fraught, disturbing and beautiful, The Vegetarian is a novel about modern day South Korea, but also a novel about shame, desire and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another.

Laurus/ Eugene Vodolazkin
Fifteenth-century Russia. It is a time of plague and pestilence, and a young healer, skilled in the art of herbs and remedies, finds himself overcome with grief and guilt when he fails to save the one he holds closest to his heart. Leaving behind his village, his possessions and his name, he sets out on a quest for redemption, penniless and alone. But this is no ordinary journey: wandering across plague-ridden Europe, offering his healing powers to all in need, he travels through ages and countries, encountering a rich tapestry of wayfarers along the way. Accosted by highwaymen, lynched in Yugoslavia and washed overboard at sea, he eventually reaches Jerusalem, only to find his greatest challenge is yet to come. Winner of two of the biggest literary prizes in Russia, Laurus is a remarkably rich novel about the eternal themes of love, loss, self-sacrifice and faith, from one of the country's most experimental and critically acclaimed novelists.

Desire for chocolate/ Care Santos
Three women, three centuries and the same porcelain chocolate pot: Sara, the scion of a dynasty of chocolatiers from Barcelona, who prides herself on maintaining the family tradition; Aurora, the daughter of a nineteenth-century maidservant, for whom chocolate is a forbidden luxury; Mariana, the wife of a famous seventeenth-century chocolate manufacturer, an official purveyor to the French court and the inventor of a revolutionary chocolate mill. This novel takes us on a spellbinding journey, masterfully juxtaposing the destinies of the protagonists, chronicling the history of our favourite confection and exploring Europe's changing social norms. Luscious and addictive, this novel will delight the reader's senses from start to finish.

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