Tuesday 23rd April is UNESCO’s World Book Day, a global celebration of books and of the authors and illustrators that bring their books to us bibliophiles. April 23 also marks the deaths of William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes, the creator of Don Quixote.
We thought we would share some of our favourite globe trotting and international titles to celebrate the day:
OUR TOP GLOBE-TROTTING TITLES
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
By Olga Tokarczuk
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead takes place in a remote Polish village, where Janina, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs. When members of a local hunting club are found murdered, she becomes involved in the investigation. Janina is reclusive, preferring the company of animals to people; she's unconventional, believing in the stars, and she is fond of the poetry of William Blake, from whose work the title of the book is taken.
The Forest of Wool and Steel
By Natsu Miyashita
Tomura is startled by the hypnotic sound of a piano being tuned in his school. It seeps into his soul and transports him to the forests, dark and gleaming, that surround his beloved mountain village.
From that moment, he is determined to discover more. Under the tutelage of three master piano-tuners - one humble, one cheery, one ill-tempered - Tomura embarks on his training, never straying too far from a single, unfathomable question- do I have what it takes?
Death Is Hard Work
By Khaled Khalifa
Abdel Latif, an old man, dies peacefully in a hospital bed in Damascus. Before he dies, he tells his youngest son Bolbol that his final wish is to be buried in the family plot in their ancestral village of Anabiya in the Aleppo region.
Though Abdel Latif was not the ideal father, and though Bolbol is estranged from his siblings, he decides to persuade his older brother Hussein and his sister Fatima to accompany him and their father's body to Anabiya - only a two-hour drive from Damascus but the country is a warzone.
By Niviaq Korneliussen
This is the story of a group of friends, on the cusp of adulthood, exploring life, seeking authenticity and establishing their own queer identities. It's a beautiful novella, intriguing not only because of its unique setting in Nuusuaq, Greenland, but also in its story of growing up and growing into yourself. It is partly told through monologue, and exchanges of emails and text messages.
By Karl Ove Knausgaard
Spring follows a father and his newborn daughter through one day in April, from sunrise to sunset. It is a day filled with the small joys of family life, but also its deep struggles. With this striking novel in the Seasons quartet, Karl Ove Knausgaard reflects uncompromisingly on life’s darkest moments and what can sustain us through them.
MORE ABOUT WORLD BOOK DAY
World Book Day is a registered charity on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. It’s also a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.