Rose City Reader’s European Reading Challenge is one of my favorite reading challenges. Each year Gilion the host encourages participants to read at least one book by a European author or at least one book set in a European country. Because her challenge is a kind of “tour” each book must be by a different author and set in a different country. While the top participation level is the “Deluxe Entourage” of five books, each year she awards a prize to the participant who read the most qualifying books. In past years she’s also awarded honorable mentions to those who read a hefty number of books. (I’m proud to report that last year I read 14 books and was awarded an honorable mention.) I also like this challenge because the host and I live in the same city of Portland, Oregon USA. I’m probably the only book blogger who’s taken part in a reading challenge that’s hosted by a blogger who lives across town!
While composing this post I did a quick tally and it looks like I read 21 books representing 22 different European countries. Not a bad effort if I say so myself! My reading selection was fairly eclectic with biography, memoir, history, travelogue and fiction all represented. One of those books, Christopher S. Stewart’s, Hunting the Tiger: The Fast Life and Violent Death of the Balkans’ Most Dangerous Man (Serbia) ended up making my Favorite Nonfiction list for 2013. Vilmos Kondor’s Budapest Noir, (Hungary) Thomas Glavinic’s Pull Yourself Together (Austria) and Ismail Kadare’s The Fall of the Stone City (Albania) all made my Favorite International Fiction list for 2013.
After enjoying the 2013 European Challenge so much I eagerly signed up for 2014 edition. It makes a nice complement to many of the other challenges I’ll be participating in this year like the History Reading Challenge, Global Reading Challenge, Books in Translation Reading Challenge, British History Reading Challenge, Ireland Reading Challenge, Everything España Reading Challenge and the Nonfiction Reading Challenge. I can’t wait to get started!