One of our Summer Reading themes is Explore Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which means it’s also one of the Activity badges Adults can earn as an entry for the grand prize drawings. There are four different Activities that are part of the badge (you have to complete two to earn the badge), and one of those Activities is to read a book in translation. I will admit that I love international literature, so putting together this list of suggested books was a lot of fun for me. The translated book you read to check off this activity does not have to come from this list, but if you’re unsure where to start, this list might help you out.

To create this list, I used our NoveList database, which you can also use here. I also couldn’t help myself from including some of my favorites! (Dostoevsky is the best!!!! Trust me, it might seem counterintuitive, but Crime and Punishment really is a perfect summer read.) Hopefully you find a great book in translation to read this summer, and if you do, I’d love to hear about it!


Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
translated from the Swedish by Neil Smith

A Night in the Cemetery: And Other Stories of Crime and Suspense by Anton Chekhov
translated from the Russian by Peter Sekirin

A Beast in Paradise by Cecile Coulon
translated from the French by Tina Kover

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein

The Summer of Ellen by Agnete Friis
translated from the Danish by Sinead Quirke Kongerskov

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
translated from the Spanish by Gregory Rabassa

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
translated from the French by Simon Pare

Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano
translated from the Italian by John Brownjohn

Dear Child by Romy Hausmann
translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch

The Good Son by Jeong You-jeong
translated from the Korean by Kim Chi-Young

Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann
translated from the German by Ross Benjamin

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
translated from the Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot

Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu
various translations

From the Shadows by Juan José Millás
translated from the Spanish by Thomas Bunstead and Daniel Hahn

Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami
translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel and Ted Goossen

The Kingdom by Jo Nesbo
translated from the Norwegian by Robert Ferguson

The Essential Rumi by Rumi
translated from the Persian by Coleman Barks, with John Moyne, A.A. Arberry, Reynold Nicholson

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski
translated from the Polish by Danusia Stok

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk
translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
various translations

The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem by Sarit Yishai-Levi
translated from the Hebrew by Anthony Berris

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *