Virtual International Literature Book Club
Join us on Zoom for now to discuss recent works written by foreign authors. Expand your literary sensibilities! If you're interested, click on the registration link below to receive an invitation with the joining link to participate. We generally meet every third Wednesday evening of the month. Please either order your books here online or call the store at 435-619-8200 to special order copies. (If you are interested in some of our past titles, scroll down to the bottom to access PDFs of lists from prior years.)
REGISTER ONCE TO BE ABLE TO ACCESS ALL THE MEETINGS HERE.
BOOK BUNGALOW 2022 INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE BOOK CLUB LIST
JANUARY - “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats” by Jan-Philipp Sendker (1/31/2012) 352 pages; $17.95 - When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be...until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of. Intent on solving the mystery and coming to terms with her father's past, Julia decides to travel to the village where the woman lived. There she uncovers a tale of unimaginable hardship, resilience, and passion that will reaffirm the reader's belief in the power of love to move mountains. (The first in a series…Burma)
FEBRUARY - “The Vanished Collection” by Pauline Baer di Perignon (1/11/2022) 256 pages; $17.95 - A charmingly told account of a woman's quest to reconstruct her great-grandfather's art collection that leads her not only to the restitution of looted works, but also to a profound and touching recognition of her family's wartime odyssey and her own place in their myriad generations. (France…author will join) [NOTE: We're holding this meeting at 11:30 AM (MST) to accommodate the time difference between the author and our group]
MARCH - “A Single Rose” by Muriel Barbery (9/28/2021) 160 pages; $22.00 - At forty, Rose gets a call from a lawyer asking her to come to Kyoto for the reading of her estranged father's will. For the first time in her life, she finds herself in Japan, where Paul, her father's assistant, is waiting to greet her. As Paul guides Rose along a mysterious itinerary designed by her deceased father, and she meets acquaintances of her father, she slowly begins to accept a part of herself she has never before acknowledged. (Japan)
APRIL - “The Pastor” by Hanne Ørstavik (10/19/2021) 280 pages; $20.00 - Liv, an intense and probing theologian, moves to a fishing village in the north of Norway to take up a post as the church’s new pastor following the death of her dearest friend, Kristiane. In the upper rooms of a large house overlooking the fjord, Liv plans her sermons and studies the violent interplay of Norway’s Christian colonial past. (Norway)
MAY - “The Spanish Daughter” by Lorena Hughes (12/28/2021) 304 pages; $15.95 - As a child in Spain, Puri always knew her passion for chocolate was inherited from her father. But it's not until his death that she learns of something else she's inherited--a cocoa plantation in Vinces, Ecuador, a town nicknamed "Paris Chiquito." Eager to claim her birthright and filled with hope for a new life after the devastation of WWI, she and her husband Cristóbal set out across the Atlantic Ocean. But it soon becomes clear, someone is angered by Puri's claim to the plantation. (Ecuador)
JUNE - “Fencing with the King” by Diana Abu-Jaber (3/15/2022) 320 pages; $26.95 - Amani is hooked on a mystery--a poem on airmail paper that slips out of one of her father's books. It seems to have been written by her grandmother, a refugee who arrived in Jordan during the First World War. Soon the perfect occasion to investigate arises: her Uncle Hafez, an advisor to the King of Jordan, invites her father to celebrate the king's sixtieth birthday--and to fence with the king, as in their youth. Her father has avoided returning to his homeland for decades, but Amani persuades him to come with her. Uncle Hafez will make their time in Jordan complicated--and dangerous--after Amani discovers a missing relative and is launched into a journey of loss, history, and, eventually, a fight for her own life. (Jordan)
JULY - “The Anomaly” by Hervé Le Tellier (11/23/2021) 400 pages; $16.99 – Winner of the Prix Goncourt, this dizzying literary page-turner ingeniously blends crime, fantasy, sci-fi, and thriller as it plumbs the mysteries surrounding a Paris-New York flight. In June 2021, a senseless event upends the lives of hundreds of men and women, all passengers on a flight from Paris to New York. (France)
AUGUST - “Country of Origin” by Dalia Azim (3/15/2022) 320 pages; $16.95 - Seventeen-year-old Halah Ibrahim has always known a privileged life and never had cause to question it until Cairo goes up in flames. Not only does she start to doubt her father and his role in the new military-backed government--but she ultimately decides to flee to America with a young soldier she hardly knows, an impulsive act that has far-reaching consequences on both sides of the ocean. A powerful and universal debut novel about family, identity, and independence, Country of Origin is as much about a nation's coming-of-age as it is about secrets and lies, love and truth. (Egypt)
SEPTEMBER - “Peach Blossom Paradise” by Ge Fei (12/8/2020) 392 pages; $17.95 - A meditation on revolution, idealism, and utopia by one of China's greatest living novelists. In 1898, China experienced one hundred days of utopia, after a cabal of reformist intellectuals persuaded the young emperor to enact sweeping changes intended to modernize the country and bring about the "Great Unity." Their movement ended in blood and the crowning of two more dictators, but not before it whetted an appetite for revolution all across the country. (China)
OCTOBER - “In the Shadow of the Yali” by Suat Dervis (9/14/2021) 336 pages; $17.99 - This 1940's Turkish classic - translated for the first time into English - holds all the beauty of “Anna Karenina” with all the feminist power and fury of “The Second Sex.” (Turkey)
NOVEMBER - “Beirut 2020: Diary of the Collapse” (8/3/2021) 192 pages; $14.99 - Told in elegant, evocative prose, a devastating and necessary testament to the August explosion that thoughtfully examines the crises that preceded it and its aftermath. (Lebanon)
DECEMBER - “When We Were Birds” by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo (3/1/2022) 304 pages; $27.00 - A mythic love story set in contemporary Trinidad & Tobago about two young outsiders brought together by their connection with the dead. (Trinidad and Tobago)
Alternates to consider for 2023
“Fresh Water for Flowers” by Valérie Perrin (5/4/2021) 496 pages; $16.95 - Violette Toussaint is the caretaker at a cemetery in a small town in Bourgogne. Her life is lived to the predictable rhythms of the often funny, always moving confidences that casual mourners, regular visitors, and sundry colleagues share with her. Violette's routine is disrupted one day by the arrival of Julien Sole--local police chief--who has come to scatter the ashes of his recently deceased mother on the gravesite of a complete stranger. It soon becomes clear that Julien's inexplicable gesture is intertwined with Violette's own complicated past. (France)
“His Name Was Death” by Rafael Bernal (11/2/2021) 144 pages; $15.95 - A bitter drunk forsakes civilization and takes to the Mexican jungle, trapping animals, selling their pelts to buy liquor for colossal benders, and slowly rotting away in his fetid hut. His neighbors, a clan of the Lacandon tribe of Chiapas, however, see something more in him than he does himself. When he falls deathly ill, a shaman named Black Ant saves his life. Slowly recovering, weak in his hammock, our antihero discovers a curious thing about the moquitoes' buzzing, which may, in fact, constitute a language he might learn. Slowly, he masters Mosquil, with astonishing consequences. (Mexico)
“I Was a French Muslim: Memories of an Algerian Freedom Fighter” by Mokhtar Mokhtefi (9/21/2021) 448 pages; $26.99 - A vivid account of a childhood under French colonization and a life dedicated to fighting for the freedom and dignity of the Algerian people. The son of a butcher and the youngest of six siblings, Mokhtar Mokhtefi was born in 1935 . . . In 1957, at age twenty-two, he joined the National Liberation Army (ALN), the armed wing of the National Liberation Front (FLN) that had been waging war against France since 1954. (Algeria)
*If you are interested in buying any of the above titles, either to participate in the book club or for your own pleasure and enlightenment, please order below or put your order in at our cash counter in person or over the phone. In case we encounter difficulties ordering any of the above titles, we will select others as needed.
**For lists of past picks, plus some other recommended titles for 2022, please see the attached PDF documents below.