Adult Virtual Reading Club

Welcome to the Adult Virtual Reading Club!

Every month we will explore a new theme, our suggested reads and related articles and topics.

How to participate in the Virtual Reading Club: Adult Edition

Start by locating the book or books you are interested in reading during that month. Try one or try all of the book picks, it is completely up to you. Request a copy from TRAC or find it here at SGPL. Visit us in-person or give us a call as we would be happy to help you!. 

NEW in 2022! Write a book review to be entered in our monthly prize draw. It's easy - all you have to do is choose a book that relates to the current month's theme, submit a review here and you will be entered into a draw to win a book related to that month's theme. Your review may be used in social media (no personal information will be displayed), and only appropriate reviews will be posted. Only participants who have checked the box at the bottom of the form, agreeing to these conditions, will have their reviews used to promote the program.

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January 2022: Lost In Translation

Woman with Mug Reading a Book

"Translators are the shadow heroes of literature, the often forgotten instruments that make it possible for different cultures to talk to one another, who have enabled us to understand that we all, from every part of the world, live in one world." 

 - Paul Auster

Most of us don't need a particular reason to read; we do it because we love to, and chances are you have read more translated works than you think you have! From classics to contemporary hits, more books are being translated every year for readers throughout the world to enjoy. Reading translated works in particular gives us unique viewpoints that we may not otherwise be able to experience or appreciate as it can open a window into another world, give us glimpses into cultures other than our own, present a different way of storytelling, and give us the opportunity to experience genres in a different way.

It also brings into focus the art of translation. More than translating word for word, a good translator understands the heart of the story, the intent and meaning of the writer, and builds bridges between cultures for readers to journey across. A good translator knows both languages, but also needs an excellent understanding of the culture as well for the author's story to reach the heart of the reader.

When you read one of the following translated works this month, read the story and keep in mind the translator. Was it a seamless read? Did the translation flow well? Remember: you're not just reading the author, you're reading the translator too, but their job is to make it so you don't even notice.

 Three Strong Women Book Cover Three Strong Women was written by Marie Ndiaye and translated by John Fletcher.
It was originally published in French (France).

"Moving mainly between France and Senegal, this novel explores survival, inheritance and the feared repetition of history - within families, as between peoples. Its three heroines have an unassailable sense of their own self-worth, while their psychological battles have an almost mythic resonance." -- Maya Jaggi

Reserve your copy here.
 The Three Body Problem Book Cover The Three Body Problem was written by Cixin Liu and translated by Ken Liu. It was originally published in Chinese (China) and is considered by many to be a work of phenomenal science fiction. 

"The Three-Body Problem turns a boilerplate, first-contact concept into something absolutely mind-unfolding. While in the virtual world of Three Body, Miao confronts philosophical conundrums that border on the psychedelic, all while remaining scientifically rigorous. The way the book's alien race seeks to assert its presence on Earth is nothing short of awe-inspiring." -- Jason Heller

Reserve your copy here.
 One Hundred Years of Solitude Book Cover
One Hundred Years of Solitude was written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and translated by Gregory Rabassa and Seckin Selvi. It was originally published in Spanish (Columbia). 

"It is not easy to describe the techniques and themes of the book without making it sound absurdly complicated, labored and almost impossible to read. In fact, it is none of these things. Though concocted of quirks, ancient mysteries, family secrets and peculiar contradictions, it makes sense and gives pleasure in dozens of immediate ways."
-- Robert Kiely

Reserve your copy here.
 My Brilliant Friend Book Cover My Brilliant Friend was written by Elena Ferrante and translated by Ann Goldstein. It was originally published in Italian (Italy).

"An intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends Lila and Elena, Bright and passionate girls from a raucous neighborhood in world-class Naples. Ferrante writes with such aggression  and unnerving psychological insight about the messy complexity of female friendship that the real world can drop away when you’re reading her.” -- Karen Valby

Reserve your copy here.
 Convenience Store Woman Book Cover Convenience Store Woman was written by Sayaka Murata and translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori. It was originally published in Japanese (Japan). 

"Murata skillfully navigates the line between the book’s wry and weighty concerns and ensures readers will never conceive of the “pristine aquarium” of a convenience store in quite the same way... A unique and unexpectedly revealing English language debut.” --
Kirkus Reviews

Reserve your copy here.
 The Waiting Book Cover The Waiting was written by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim and translated by Janet Hong. It is a graphic novel, and was originally published in Korean (South Korea).

"While fully acknowledging the plight of biological family members separated along the North-South border during the Korean War, ‘The Waiting’ also celebrates the beauty of found-family bonds forged to mitigate the destructive forces of history” -- 
Thuy Dinh

Reserve your copy here.
 The Dinner Book Cover The Dinner was written by Herman Koch and was translated by Sam Garrett. It was originally published in Dutch (Netherlands).

"At its best, a chilling vision of the ugliness of keeping up appearances.”
-- Kirkus Reviews

Reserve your copy here.
 The Last Wish Book Cover The Last Wish was written by Andrzej Sapkowski and was translated by Danusia Stok. It was originally published in Polish (Poland). It is the prequel book the 'Witcher' series, and was recently made into a hit show on Netflix.

"Delightfully dry humor, mythology brimming with radical creatures & a group of interesting characters, The Last Wish is a great introduction to this universe... I’m thoroughly looking forward to more of Geralt’s adventures.” --
Holly Grimdragon

Reserve your copy here.
 Death is Hard Work Death is Hard Work was written by Khaled Khalifa and translated by Leri Price. It was originally published in Arabic (Syria).

"A novel that also contains tinges of romance, failed first loves, and even absurdist humor (for example, the corpse requires identity papers), this is a fine example of how literature can parallel and mimic a brutal and inhumane situation. Khaled Khalifa, and the work of translator Leri Price, has brought to the Western sphere a multi-layered book that forces the reader to confront the horrors of the Syrian crisis. The first novel from Syria to make the Best Translated Book Award longlist and a worthy inclusion.”
-- Tony Messenger

Reserve your copy here.
 The Red Haired Woman The Red-Haired Woman was written by Orhan Pamuk and translated by Ekin Oklap. It was originally published in Turkish (Turkey).

"The last section of the book... is genuinely shocking, and it forces the reader to reconsider everything that came before... ‘The Red-Haired Woman’ is often plodding and occasionally ponderous” -- Michael Schaub

Reserve your copy here.

Further Reading

Didn't like any of the selections above? No worries! We got you covered. Check out the many different choices from any of the lists below to find the right book for you.

Additional Resources

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