Forethoughts: Oh Sweden! Oh Israel! by Stephan Mendel-Enk

Outside of literature I have a profound interest in religion. I may be an atheist myself but religion has long fascinated me. My main interest lies in the Islamic and Judaic religions and their associated histories and architecture, but I'm also … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Me and You by Niccolò Ammaniti

*Please note, I've now posted my afterthoughts for Me and You. It's not every day that I'll leapfrog a new arrival to the top of my review pile (especially while I'm reading as a shadow judge for this year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize), but … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Scenes from Village Life by Amos Oz

*Please note, I've now posted my afterthoughts for Scenes from Village Life. And so I take a first tentative step into this year's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize as a 'shadow judge', by reading one of the shortest books on the longlist, … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Accabadora by Michela Murgia

Hand's up, who knows what an accabadora is? I'd be impressed if you did know. I didn't, but I soon found out when I picked up my lasted read which uses this word as its title. The meaning of accabadora is revealed in the cover blurb (see below). … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Atlas of Remote Islands by Judith Schalansky

Note: My afterthoughts for Atlas of Remote Islands have now been posted (but I'd still like it if you read my forethoughts for this title, if you haven't already). The first thing I have to make clear about this, my next read in preparation for … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Bitter Bitch by Maria Sveland

So I come to my latest translated fiction read - Bitter Bitch (Corsair); a debut novel from Swedish author and journalist, Maria Sveland, which was originally published in 2007 under the title, Bittenfittan. Before I head off into this novel though, … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Monsieur Linh and His Child by Philippe Claudel

You won't find a review on RobAroundBooks at this time of Philippe Claudel's Independent Foreign Fiction Prize winning novel, Brodeck's Report (it lingers on my 'reviews still to write' list. You can catch my forethoughts on it, HERE), but I can tell … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Earth and Ashes by Atiq Rahimi

And so I come to the next novel that I'm going to be turning my attention to on RobAroundBooks, and I thought, through fear that you guys may forget that works-in-translation are a big feature around here, that it was about time that I featured a … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: A Dream in Polar Fog by Yuri Rytkheu

A Dream in Polar Fog by Yuri Rytkheu (Telegram Books) is one of those books that has languished on my bookshelves for a long time now. But it's not a lack of interest that has prevented me from reading it thus far. Ever since I featured this book in … [Read more...]

Forethoughts: Brodeck’s Report by Philippe Claudel

Exciting times ahead then as I set off on my reading journey through this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize shortlist. And my excitement couldn’t be higher as I begin with the novel that in my mind holds the most expectation - Brodeck’s Report … [Read more...]