Lost in Translation

Welcome to the Dear Book Nerd podcast, a bi-weekly show that answers your questions about life, love, and literature! This week’s special guest co-host is the great Colin Dickey. Colin and I discuss three listener-submitted questions and discuss topics such as how to find good books in translation, how to effectively annotate your books, and much more. Don’t miss it!

DICKEY Photo 3

Colin is the author of Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius, and Afterlives of the Saints, as well as forthcoming book on haunted houses called Ghostland. You can find him on Twitter @colindickey. Thanks, Colin!

This episode was sponsored by Downpour.com and Tryaudiobooks.com.



Dear Book Nerd,

Love your show and all of Book Riot. I’m 31, a lifelong reader and bibliophile (I read between 100-120 books a year), and have been an American living abroad for the last 6 years. Living abroad has, at times, made getting my hands on books really difficult; between copyright blocks in certain countries and shipping black holes it is not always possible to get books. I now rely exclusively on Kindle, NetGalley, and Audible (love audiobooks).

Each year I set a focus for my reading. 2013- writers of colour, 2014- women, 2015- books in translation. This year I’m a bit stumped. I’m struggling with finding recommendations for books in translation (translated to English). Most recently I Audible searched “translator.” The search yielded a bunch of results but I’m sure there are other resources for finding quality translated books. Or books that were translated but are not tagged as such.

I read very widely (I’ll read anything you put in front of me: fiction, non-fiction, YA, fantasy, horror, romance) so genre is not a huge issue. I’m just looking for good reads to expand my horizons.

If you have any recommendations of books in translation (and less well known) or resources for finding them I’d appreciate it.


Lost in Translation

Dear Book Nerd,

How can I start annotating in my books? Just before we broke up, my partner introduced me to concept of doing it just for fun. I’ve always wished I could remember what I thought about the book the first time I read it. I’ve tried it out in a few books, but I still feel like I’m doing it wrong. Am I supposed to mark as I go or finish the chapter and then go back to make my remarks? Are there any types of books that would be easier for me to hone my skills on?

Annotating Noob

Dear Book Nerd,

I like your column. Perhaps you can help me. I read quite a bit and have the overrunning bookshelves to show for it. But, as my mother is wont to point out, I do not (yet) have the income to show for it. Could you assist me with a good retort when my mother replays her frequently repeated complaint which begins, “CHAUCER? Ha! What’s he good for!”?

Owl Eyes



Archipelago Books

Melville House

NYRB Classics

Imagine a Life Without Books Translation

In Translation: June Fiction and Poetry

Best Translated Book Awards

Fifty Works of Fiction in Translation That Every English Speaker Should Read

Words Without Borders

World Literature Today

Three Percent

Asymptote Journal

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