Literary Blog Hop … Book #Giveaway

From now until Wednesday November 5th Word by Word is participating along with other international bloggers in a Literary Blog Hop Giveaway hosted by Judith at Leeswamme’s Blog, an avid reader and reviewer from the Netherlands.

literarybloghopnovember

The blog hop offers you the opportunity to win a book here and you can visit other blogs listed below, each one offering a book of literary merit as a giveaway.

Just leave a comment below to enter the draw and on Thursday 6 November I will notify the winner.  And seriously,  even if you don’t win, you must read this book!

The book is Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend and the giveaway is open worldwide.

Win a copy of

My Brilliant Friend!

My Brilliant Friend

This entire series is definitely one of my Top Reads of 2014.

Elena Ferrante is an Italian author from Naples, where the books are set. We know little about her as she doesn’t accept interviews and uses a pen name, however that hasn’t prevented her books from becoming a word of mouth sensation. You can read my review of My Brilliant Friend here.

My Brilliant Friend is the story of two friends Elena and Lila growing up in an impoverished neighbourhood of Naples and their efforts to escape the inevitability of their fate, as members of a lower class community.

I found it a compelling read and loved the second book The Story of  New Name (reviewed here), as much as the first.

There are three books available in English (I’m reading Book 3 ) and a fourth book due out in 2015. (It was published in Italian on Oct 29 2014).

To Enter:

1. Leave a comment and tell me whether you have ever read a book in a language other than English, or a translated book. If you have, do you have a favourite? (1 entry)

2. Follow this blog. Mention in the comments if you already do. (2 entries)

3. Follow @clairewords on twitter (3 entries)

Then click on the links below to visit other blogs participating in the giveaway.

Make sure to visit the author Juliet Greenwood, whose two books Eden’s Garden and We That Are Left are excellent reads and also reviewed here at Word by WordClick on the titles to read the reviews.

Linky List:

  1. Leeswammes
  2. Read Her Like an Open Book (US/CA)
  3. My Book Self (N. Am.)
  4. The Book Stop
  5. My Book Retreat (US)
  6. Books in the Burbs (US)
  7. Guiltless Reading
  8. Word by Word
  9. Juliet Greenwood
  10. BooksandLiliane
  11. Words for Worms (US)
  12. The Relentless Reader
  13. The Misfortune of Knowing
  14. The Friday Morning Bookclub (US)
  15. Readerbuzz
  16. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  17. The Emerald City Book Review
  18. Wensend
  1. Laurie Here
  2. A Cup Of Tea, A Friend, And A Book (US)
  3. Moon Shine Art Spot (US)
  4. I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach (US)
  5. Lost Generation Reader
  6. Books Speak Volumes
  7. Mom’s Small Victories (US)
  8. Books on the Table (US)
  9. Orange Pekoe Reviews
  10. Lavender Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams
  11. Words And Peace (US)
  12. Booklover Book Reviews
  13. Inside the Secret World of Allison Bruning (US)

Note: Thank you to Daniela at Europa Editions for organising a copy of the book.

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80 thoughts on “Literary Blog Hop … Book #Giveaway

    • Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, who or what are your favourite reads in Arabic literature? I have a book of short stories by Palestinian women writers and love Adhaf Soueif’s novels, I have an Elias Khoury on the shelf and like reading Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I recently read and reviewed Le Gran Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier. I regretted that I couldn’t read it in the original French as the translation felt stiff and awkward. I’m following you via Bloglovin. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    • I read Le Grand Meaulnes recently too, in its 100th anniversary since publication and sadly this year is 100 years since the author died, just one year after writing his book. I read it in English, but have downloaded the French version on my kindle to read, I am sure it will be even better in the original language. Thanks for visiting and entering the draw!

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  2. I am reading French books as a way to learn the language. It has been an uphill climb…but the view is great from the top!
    Here is my 2014 update due to Claire’s ‘ little nudge to write’ and share my thoughts.
    http://ipsofactodotme.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/french-reading-challenge-2014/
    I follow Word by Word
    Your blog is on my blogroll
    I follow @clairewords on twitter.
    I would love to win one of the copies available of Elena Ferrante’s book!

    Like

  3. My favourite translated book is The Yellow Rain by Julio Llamazares. I’ve since read it in Spanish and enjoyed it even more. I’d have chosen Le Grand Meaulnes up there in my top ten but I can see what Lory means. I read it in French before reading the translation so am probably swayed by that. And of course I’m already a follower of Word by Word and @clairewords !!!

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  4. I’ve read The Little Prince in English, Spanish, and French. I feel very proud of that. I’ve also read lots of children’s books in Spanish, but I’m not sure that really counts!

    This sounds like a great book. Thanks for offering it up.

    I’m a follower here and of @clairewords.

    readerbuzz.blogspot.com

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    • Ah yes, The Little Prince, I think it was the first French book passed on to me to read and I can’t belive how it is republished every year in so many different and beautiful formats. I think children’s books count most definitely! Thanks for entering and good luck.

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  5. The fact that the author won’t do interviews and is a mystery herself, makes me very intrigued about this book! I’ve read many books that have been translated, some great, others lost in translation…but I still appreciate the author’s work!

    I followed you on Twitter and subscribed 😀

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    • Yes, the author’s anonymity has provoked quite a few articles in various media recently, it seems even the journalists can’t ferret her out. I am sure you’ll find this book an intriguing and interesting read. Good luck in the draw and thank you kindly for following.

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  6. I used to read a little French but I’ve definitely read a lot of translated books. A recent favorite was The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. Enjoy the blog hop and thanks for the giveaway.

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  7. I have read some French books and Spanish books (translated), though I have no favorite; the translations I’ve read have never really seem to flow smoothly. I know they lost much of the original beauty since many of the words simply are not translatable. I follow you via email and Twitter already.

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    • Thanks Michelle, it’s interesting how much the translation can affect the telling of the story, some books and Ann Goldstein’s translations are like this, I forget that it wasn’t written in English, which is the ultimate experience we all want, to have a similar experience no matter what the language. Thanks for the follows and good luck.

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  8. A favourite translated book of mine is Please Look After Mother by Korean author Kyung-Sook Shin. It was one of the first books I read during a time of readers block, after the loss of my own Mother…it is a powerful story and one that will always stay with me.

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  9. Thanks for the giveaway!
    Being Spanish myself, I read mostly in Spanish, but I also read in English since I wanted to learn this language mainly because I wanted to read books in this language 😀 I’m very slow and I don’t understand all the words, but I know I improve book by book 😉
    My favourite book is The princess bride and I was super happy the first time I could finally read it in English!

    I follow you on Twitter @IsiOrejas
    And I follow your blog via wordpress too.

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    • Thank you for this and for all the recommendations you gave me via your blog, sorry I’m still catching up with all these comments today and hadn’t realised you’d already commented here! And thanks for checking out the Spanish books you mentioned, that they are in English, I’m going to add them to my ever growing list!

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  10. Thanks for the giveaway. I’m curious to read Elena Ferrante; I’ve read so many positive reviews of her books. I’m bilingual, so I read in both English and German. I’d love to brush up my French and read in that language as well, but I simply don’t have the time. My favorite this year has probably been All Quiet on the Western Front (in German). At some point, I hope to read it in English, just out of curiosity. I follow you via the WordPress reader and also Twitter (@mybookstrings).

    Like

  11. I’ve read this book but on my Kindle so would love an actual copy. So far, Ferrante’s books are my favorite translated fiction (only read 2 so far). Other translated favorites: Le Grand Meaulness, The Post-Office Girl, Bonjour Tristesse, Natsuo Kirino’s books…can’t think of any more. Will send you a twitter message if I can think of any thing else. I follow you on Twitter and will now follow your blog.

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    • Thanks for the recommendations, there are so many great translations to read and now I have a wonderful list of recommendations, thanks to everyone commenting here. I don’t know the author Natsuo Kurino, will have to them them out. Thanks for the follows too.

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  12. Ah I didn’t read the instructions properly. I loved reading All Quiet on the Western Front earlier this year and also my re-read of Madam Bovary which kind of blew my socks off. Both of them in translation.

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    • Brilliant, I think I’ll almost definitely read All Quiet in November while some of our fellow bloggers are doing German Literature Month, it’s had so many great recommendations and Madame Bovary is one of my all time favourites, I must reread it one day in French since I loved it so much in translation.

      Multiple entries for you, since you are already a follower etc 🙂

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  13. Hi Claire, no need to enter me in the draw as I’ve already read My Brilliant Friend (as you know!) – fab giveaway. It’s so difficult to pick a favourite book in translation, but All Quiet on the Western Front blew me away, and it’ll definitely make my end-of-year list. Also, have you read anything by Valeria Luiselli? If not, I think you’d really like her work. Granta published a slim collection of her essays last year; they focus on spaces. locations, cities, the use of language…many ideas and themes. I’ve reviewed it if you’re interested.

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    • Oh great! And thanks for commenting to answer my question, I love recommendations and translated works are so scattered and not that well read, so its an even harder job to find the hidden gems.

      Nada by Carmen Laforet was one of those for me this year and I’m looking forward to adding what has become another classic All Quiet on the Western Front (such a great and memorable title even when we haven’t read it).

      No, I haven’t heard of Valeria Luiselli, but I will certainly look her up and see if I can get hold of her essays. Thank you so much Jacqui. I’m off to read that review now 🙂

      Like

  14. I would love to read this book, I read your review recently. I follow your blog but I am not on twitter. My top two favourite books in translation read this year are Journal by Helene Berr and Me and You by Niccolo Ammaniti.

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  15. Ha ha, I’m Dutch and I have read many books in Dutch! My favorite is Beyond Sleep by W. F. Hermans. I’ve also read books in German and French, at school.

    I follow your blog (via wordpress) and I follow you on twitter, too.

    Thanks for joining in the blog hop. The book sounds very interesting. I know almost nothing about Naples and surroundings.

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    • I need a special question for you then Judith, a favourite book that wasn’t written in Dutch or English originally? But thanks too for the Dutch recommendation, will have a look for sure.

      A great blog hop and I have such a lot of fabulous recommendations, it’s going to be the most expensive blog hop ever for me, I have already bought 7 books today based on the comments I have solicited! Hadn’t been planning on that, but so glad I asked, feels like early Christmas shopping here.

      I hope you get a chance to read Elena Ferrante.

      Like

  16. Just wanted to comment on favourite pieces of translated fiction this year (no need to participate in giveaway, as I already follow you on Twitter and on your blog). Some great suggestions in the comments above, many of my own favourites, so it will be a challenge to come up with something new. However, a book I read this year which I really enjoyed was Minae Mizumura’s A True Novel, translated from Japanese by Juliet Winters Carpenter – it’s a retelling of Wuthering Heights in a Japanese context.

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    • Thanks for commenting to share your recommendations Marina, there are some excellent ones here as you have noted. A True Novel sounds intriguing, especially as Wuthering Heights was one of in not the first adult novels I ever read, so has a special place in my reading history!

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  17. Have been following your blog for a few years now and always enjoy your reviews. Have heard a lot about Elena Ferrante on social media of late so would love a chance to win a copy of one of her books. I haven’t read all that much translated fiction this year, although I did love reading Tove Jannson’s The Summer Book. One of my all time favourites has to be Pereira Maintains by Antonio Tabucchi, along with Bonjour Tristesse by François Sagan (first read in Higher French – I think I read passages in French but devoured the English version!).

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    • This is certainly the year for reading Tove Jansson, it being her 100th anniversary. In fact I just noted today that the winter read I am most looking forward to is Boel Westin’s biography of Tove Jansson, I’ve read enough of her adult books to be increasingly intrigued by her life and influences, so thought that would be a good book to follow up with.

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  18. Hi Claire, I’d love to win this book as it’s been praised so much by fellow bloggers. I used to read books in French, my favourite was Camus’ La Peste but I also developed an obsession with Maigret! Sadly, my French has slipped so I’d find this almost impossible now, although I have a plan to read in French books I’ve already read in English – Zola, for example. Then I might stand a chance!

    Have you read Kamchatka by Marcelo Figueras? It’s a translation from the (Argentine) Spanish about a child growing up during the era of the Disappeared in Argentina which has really stayed with me, although I read it a couple of years ago.

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  19. Only read occasional poem in german as for translated books well hard to pick a favourite but current read a big german book that needs read Raw material by Jörg Fauser a classic counter culture german novel

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    • Thanks Stu, being November that’s a great one to add for German Literature month. I am sure you’ll have recognised many of the recommendations being made here. I know you read translated works exclusively, so it’s great to have a recommendation from you. Thank you so much.

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  20. It’s very hard to pic a fave ….but I suppose my all time favourite would have to be Germinal by Zola which completely blew me away when I first read it MANY years ago ! I keep on meaning to reread it in French …altho I’m not sure my language skills would be quite up to Zola who, I think, uses quite a lot of contemporary and regional slang !
    I am reading an excellent book in translation atm for German lit month which I will review in due course !
    No need to enter me in the draw as I have all the Ferrantes already . They are so wonderful and brilliantly translated….can’t wait for number 4 !

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    • I think I have Germinal on my shelves, but I may have dig deep to find it! I think it was a very small print version that kind of put me off, but I am somewhat ashamed that I live in his hometown and have not yet read one of his books! Woe is me, Ok in 2015 I pledge to read Zola. 🙂

      Looking forward to your German Lit month read, I’m watching from the sidelines but will try to add a book or two to my reading, to be part of the conversation on twitter at least! I’m too slow for those challenges.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. My favorite read in French was Madame Bovary. It took me a while, but I was glad to have made the effort. My impression of Emma Bovary, of Leon, and Rodolphe, and poor Charles, will always be shaped by the feeling I had reading Flaubert’s mots justes, his words chosen so precisely.
    A favorite translation, which I am still reading is Edith Grossman’s Don Quixote. I had read, and loved, the venerable Jarvis version, but I am constantly amazed by the ease and flow of Grossman’s language and how it enhances the gentle humor and pathos of Don Quixote and Sancho.

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    • I loved Madame Bovary, it was the most compelling classic I have ever read and although I read it in English, it was just that, the way he used language to describe, I had had it on my shelf for years and was so shocked at how riveted I was, I imagined that because it was a classic it would be hard work.

      Edith Grossman is a star translator, she also translated Carmen Laforet’s Nada which I read for the first time this year and really enjoyed.

      Thanks so much for entering and commenting with your excellent recommendations.

      Like

    • I am a big fan of Dostoyevsky and loved The Idiot, I remember it was recommended as a book to study for how to write characters and I remember rereading those early passage when they are on the train and he describes the characters, amazing.

      Thanks for commenting/following and participating in the draw.

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  22. Thanks for hosting this giveaway, Claire. I would love to participate in it. I read a lot of translated books. My alltime favourite translated book is ‘The Wall’ by Marlen Haushofer. It is one of the great works of twentieth century literature, atleast in my opinion. and for many readers, I think it is a secret which is waiting to be discovered. I hope it gains a wider readership one day.

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  23. Hi Claire, don’t enter me for the giveaway – I’m a huge Ferrante fan, as you know. I second Jacqui on Valeria Luiselli, I reviewed her novel ‘Faces in the Crowd’ for Bookmunch a few years ago now and thought it was superb. I’m a big fan of Yoko Ogawa, her novels are very disturbing, and at the beginning of the year, I read Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami which I loved – very gentle with a catch-in-the-throat ending. Probably the ‘best’ book I’ve read in translation though is Anna Kim’s ‘Anatomy of a Suicide’ it’s utterly bleak, completely uncompromising in the telling but so cleverly layered. You could probably write a thesis on it!

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    • Thanks Naomi, I am happy to have been told about Valeria Luiselli, she sounds like a wonderful writer and me too, a real fan of Ogawa, her tales of Revenge were amazing and reminded me of someone participating in a writing exercise, 11 stories on a theme and yet each one was so compelling, a master of the game of writing she is.

      I don’t know Anna Kim, so must look her up too, thanks Naomi!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi Claire, thanks for this wonderful giveaway! I’ve heard so many good things about Elena Ferrante’s books, and I’ve been meaning to read more books translated from Italian. Tough choice in answer to your first question, as many of my favourite books are translated from their original language–Carmen Laforet’s Nada, Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind, Ivan Turgenev’s Fathers & Sons, Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities 🙂

    I’m also following your blog via BlogLovin 🙂

    Like

  25. Impossible to choose my favourite book in translation! My favourite translation is probably Georges Perec’s A Void – a novel he wrote without using the letter e which David Bellos then translated into English – also without using e!
    A couple of favourites not mentioned already I’d recommend are The Half Brother by Lars Saabye Christensen and Piano by Jean Echenoz. Also look out for Jenny Erpenbeck’s new novel this month – The End of Days.

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    • Well that sounds intriguing, novels without the letter e and carried through into translation and then becoming the favourite of an avid reader! Sounds like a literary Houdini. Thanks for the other recommendations too and the jenny Erpenbeck, I have The Visitation still to read but have seen her new book mentioned a few times already. Oh, so many greats! Thank you for contributing to my overwhelming list.

      Like

  26. No need to enter me (I have all the Ferrantes already!). Some writer recommendations: Peter Stamm, Tomoyuki Hoshino, César Aira, Valeria Luiselli, Javier Marías, Jón Kalman Stefánsson, O Chong-hui, László Krasznahorkai, Jenny Erpenbeck, Judith Hermann 🙂

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    • Thank you Tony, for doing the impossible! You do such a great job at the end of each month with the best of your own reading, I knew you’d share some excellent, worthy authors.

      Thanks for the reminder about Jón Kalman Stefánsson, I’ve been meaning to read that but it had gone off my radar!

      Like

  27. Hello!
    I’ve read some books in German. I particularly like an Austrian poet/writer named Ingeborg Bachmann. And Paul Celan. 🙂
    Thank you for hosting this giveaway: I’ve always wanted to read Elena Ferrante!
    I follow Word by Word Feed (via Feedly) and the blog is also on my blogroll. I follow @clairewords on twitter too (I’m @carvedwords). And I would love to win one of the copies available of Ferrante’s book! 😀
    Thank you!

    Like

  28. I am Greek so English is a foreign language for me. I mostly read in English and I read some books in greek but they are foreign translated books like Memoirs of a Geisha. Thank you for the giveaway 🙂

    Like

  29. I read books in Italian every once in a while, so if I don’t win this giveaway I might have to buy the Italian version of it! 🙂 I read lots of translations – Haruki Murakami being my favorite!

    Followed you on Twitter (@lovelybookshelf)

    Like

  30. I actually love reading translated books, especially from the French. I recently read The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol and My Wish List by Gregoire Delacourt. I loved them both! I’ve heard so much recently about Elena Ferrante and the mystery behind who she really is. There was even an article about it recently in Entertainment Weekly. Would love to read the first book.

    I follow the blog and on Twitter (@Suzy4PR).

    Like

  31. I’ve never read a book (other than a children’s picture book) in a language other than English, but I have read enough translations that I can’t pick a favourite.

    Like

  32. I’ve never read a book in another language. Sadly I only speak English and was very poor at learning another language at school.

    Like

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