In addition to this list, check out books by Henning Mankell (Kurt Wallander), Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend) and Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove), among others. Many classics of the Western Canon are translated from Russian, French or Italian, and if you check Yakima Valley Libraries’ manga collection, you’ll find many titles from Japan.
She Lover of Death by Boris Akunin, translated from Russian by Andrew Bromfield – Detective Erast Fandorin must infiltrate a secret suicide society, the cause of widespread hysteria in Moscow, to stop its leader from using trickery and psychological manipulation to kill, while Columbine, a reckless and daring young woman—and member of the society—contemplates taking her own life.
Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar, translated from Persian – After fleeing from Tehran with her family to a new life in a small village, a thirteen year old girl gets caught up in the post-revolutionary chaos that sweeps across Iran following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
The Last Winter of the Weimar Republic: The Rise of the Third Reich by Rudiger Barth & Hauke Friederichs, translated from German by Caroline Waight – An extensively researched, day-by-day account of the final months of the Weimar Republic examines the economic and political factors that shaped the collapse of democracy in Germany and Hitler’s frightening rise to power.
The Teacher by Michal Ben-Naftali, translated from the Hebrew by Daniella Zamir – Based on true events, the story of a Holocaust survivor who spent her life trying to disappear.
Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins by Katarina Bivald, translated from Swedish by Alice Menzies – The Pine Creek Motel has seen better days. Henny would call it charming, but she’s always seen the best in things. Like now, when she’s just met an untimely end crossing the road. She’s not going to let a tiny thing like death stop her from living fully—not when her friends and family need her the most.
No Friend But the Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison by Behrouz Boochani, translated from Farsi by Omid Tofighian – In 2013, Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani was illegally detained on Manus Island, a refugee detention centre off the coast of Australia. This book was tapped out on a mobile phone during his detainment and translated. It won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Literature, Australia’s richest literary prize.
It Would be Night in Caracas by Karina Sainz Borgo, translated from Spanish by Elizabeth Bryer – A woman tests the limits of what she is willing to do to secure her future in turbulent modern Venezuela overrun by violent revolutionaries.
Hunger: The Oldest Problem by Martín Caparrós, translated from Spanish by Katherine Silver – An up-to-the-minute global investigation of famine and the persistent issues the keep most of the world hungry by one of Latin America’s most famous and formidable journalists.
The Tenant by Katrine Engberg, translated from Danish by Tara Chace – Copenhagen detectives Jeppe Korner and Anette Werner investigate the murder of a woman whose story is being suspiciously chronicled in her landlady’s novel, in a U.S. debut of a best-selling series from Denmark.
White Fox: Dilah and the Moon Stone by Jiatong Chen, translated from Chinese by Jennifer Feeley – When a young white fox named Dilah discovers a human family, he begins to dream of being human himself. But when his parents are assassinated, long-held secrets and a legend about a miraculous treasure rise to the surface. A treasure with the power to make animals human… The clues to its location are contained in a moonstone buried beneath their den. But evil blue foxes seek the treasure too and Dilah must race to find it first.
The Crossed-Out Notebook by Nicolás Giacobone, translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell – Pablo, a failed Argentine novelist-turned-screenwriter, has been kidnapped by the greatest Latin American film director of all time and is kept in a basement where he works, day after day, on what he is told must at all costs be a great, world-changing screenplay. Every night, after finishing work on the script, Pablo writes in his notebook and every morning he crosses out what he wrote the night before.
City of Jasmine by Olga Grjasnowa, translated from German by Katy Derbyshire – Three young adults in war-torn Syria unexpectedly become refugees in this searing portrait of what it means to do anything to stay alive.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, translated from Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot – In a small back alley in Tokyo at a century-old coffee shop rumored to offer patrons the chance to travel back in time, four customers reevaluate their formative life choices.
The Ten Loves of Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami, translated from Japanese by Allison Markin Powell – Ten women who have a loved the seductive and mysterious Nishino discuss the profound effect this unattainable man had on each of them in this new story by the popular Japanese author of The Nakno Thrift Shop.
Welcome to America by Linda Boström Knausgård translated from Swedish by Martin Aitken – A family on the brink of disaster: The young daughter blames herself for her father’s death and has stopped talking.
Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri, translated from Japanese by Morgan Giles – Haunting the park near Tokyo’s Uneo Station, the ghost of a man whose life eerily paralleled the Emperor’s reflects on the milestones that impacted his existence, from his homelessness and the 2011 tsunami to the 1964 and 2020 Olympics.
Beyond the Rice Fields by Naivo, translated from French by Allison M. Charette – The first novel from Madagascar ever to be translated into English, Naivo’s magisterial Beyond the Rice Fields delves into the upheavals of the nation’s past as it confronted Christianity and modernity, through the twin narratives of a slave and his master’s daughter.
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, translated from Japanese by Stephen Snyder – An Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance finds a young novelist hiding her editor from mysterious authorities who would erase all memories of people who once existed.
Bright by Duanwad Pimwana, translated from Thai by Mui Poopoksakul – Explores the quality of human resilience through the adventures of Kampol Changsamran, a young boy left behind by his parents after their break-up.
The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, translated from Dutch by Michele Hutchison – Jas, a girl whose brother’s death punctures the routines of her devout farming family. In the vacuum of their parents’ own unraveling, Jas and her siblings develop a curiosity about death that leads them into increasingly disturbing rituals and fantasies.
The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski, translated from Polish by Danusia Stok – Geralt of Rivia is a Witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixer, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multigarious monsters and vie fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.
Adèle by Leila Slimani, translated from French by Sam Taylor – Adáele seems to have a perfect life as a successful journalist living with her surgeon husband and young son, but she is consumed by boredom and a sex addiction that she has to organize her entire day around.
A Hero Born by Jin Yong, translated from Chinese by Anna Holmwood – A U.S. release of an epic Chinese classic is set in the years between the Song Empire and the rise of Genghis Khan and traces the story of a murdered patriot’s son who fulfills his destiny in a divided China.