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11 Must-Read Translated Books

11 Must-Read Translated Books

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April 16, 2023 at 10:00:00 PM

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Booknerds newsletter!

Hello and welcome to the latest edition of the Booknerds newsletter!

This time around, we'll be diving into the world of translated books. Whether you're a beginner or an avid book lover, there's always something new to discover when it comes to translated literature.

Reading translated works is important because it allows us to gain access to the ideas, perspectives, and stories of people from different cultures and backgrounds. By reading books that were originally written in languages other than our own, we can explore the nuances of different societies and engage with diverse viewpoints that we may not encounter in our daily lives.

In this way, translated works can serve as a bridge between cultures, helping to break down barriers and build understanding between people. Additionally, reading translated literature can enrich our language and literary traditions by introducing us to new ideas, styles, and techniques that we may not have encountered otherwise.

Without further ado, let’s get to our recommendations!

1. "The Master and Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov (Russian)

This surreal and darkly humorous novel tells the story of the devil and his retinue as they wreak havoc on Moscow society. Full of biting social commentary and unforgettable characters, this is a masterpiece of Russian literature.

2. "The Trial" by Franz Kafka (German)

This haunting and surreal novel tells the story of a man named Josef K. who is arrested and put on trial for a crime he does not understand. As he navigates the labyrinthine legal system and tries to uncover the truth behind his arrest, Josef K. finds himself descending into a nightmare of confusion and despair.

3. "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami (Japanese)

This surreal and haunting novel follows a man named Toru Okada as he searches for his missing wife and confronts a series of strange and unsettling events. Set against the backdrop of 1990s Tokyo, "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" is a mesmerizing exploration of memory, identity, and the human psyche.

4. "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel García Márquez (Spanish)

Widely regarded as a masterpiece of magical realism, "One Hundred Years of Solitude" tells the story of the Buendía family throughout several generations in the fictional town of Macondo. From the arrival of the family's patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, to the tragic end of the family line, this book is a sweeping and unforgettable tale of love, loss, and the complexities of human nature.

5. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" by Stieg Larsson (Swedish)

This bestselling thriller follows journalist Mikael Blomkvist and hacker Lisbeth Salander as they investigate the disappearance of a wealthy businessman's niece. As they uncover a web of corruption and violence, they become embroiled in a dangerous game of cat and mouse that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

6. "The Leopard" by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (Italian)

Set against the backdrop of the Italian unification movement in the 19th century, "The Leopard" tells the story of a Sicilian prince and his family as they navigate the changing political and social landscape of their country. With its lush descriptions and truly unforgettable characters, this book is a masterpiece of Italian literature.

7. "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" by Muriel Barbery (French)

This charming novel takes place in a luxurious Parisian apartment building, where a precocious 12-year-old girl named Paloma and a reclusive concierge named Renée cross paths and form an unlikely friendship. As the two navigate the complexities of their respective lives, they discover unexpected connections and find solace in each other's company.

8. "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho (Portuguese)

This inspirational novel tells the story of Santiago, a shepherd boy who embarks on a journey to fulfill his dreams and find his destiny. Along the way, he encounters a series of mystical and wise characters who help him unlock the secrets of the universe.

9. "Snow" by Orhan Pamuk (Turkish)

Set in the remote Turkish city of Kars, "Snow" follows a poet named Ka as he travels to the city to investigate a wave of suicides among religious girls. As he becomes embroiled in the political and social turmoil of the city, he grapples with his own identity and the role of art in society.

10. "The Housekeeper and the Professor" by Yoko Ogawa (Japanese)

This tender and heartwarming novel tells the story of a brilliant but forgetful mathematics professor and his unlikely friendship with his housekeeper and her young son. As the three characters form a bond over their shared love of numbers and equations, they discover the power of human connection and the beauty of the world around them.

11. "The Tin Drum" by Günter Grass (German)

This surreal and provocative novel tells the story of Oskar Matzerath, a boy who refuses to grow up and instead communicates with the world through his tin drum. Set against the backdrop of World War II and its aftermath, "The Tin Drum" is a powerful exploration of trauma, memory, and the human psyche.

This is where we leave you

The next time you're looking for a great read, consider picking up a book translated into English – you never know what worlds you might discover.

With all that being said, let’s cherish the beauty of our recent Indian festivals that inspired us to pen this newsletter!

P.S. Team Booknerds is presently mesmerized by “The Intentional Being” by Damini Grover although it isn’t a translated novel. This insightful book offers practical guidance for living a more intentional and fulfilling life.

We have gained valuable insights about the importance of self-awareness, resilience, and cultivating meaningful relationships

Happy reading, Booknerds!

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