Blogs to Bookmark: Literature in Translation

By Gillian Watson

Mrs Peabody Investigates


Pile of Books

Mrs Peabody is the alter ego of translator, editor and expert on crime literature Dr Kat Hall. Here she casts her eagle eye on the crème de la crème of international crime fiction, with a focus on the German Krimi. ‘Since 2011, I’ve been showcasing international crime fiction on my blog, with a special focus on German crime in translation. Thanks to the generous support of the Goethe-Institut London, twelve of the Krimi authors featured on the blog have taken part in panels I’ve chaired at CrimeFest and Newcastle Noir. Together, these events and blog posts bring the best of German crime fiction to English-language audiences, and open up wide-ranging discussions about German history, politics and culture.’


Love German Books


Love German Books Badge

Award-winning translator Katy Derbyshire loves German books. She reviews the latest in German literature and shares her thoughts on the art of translation. ‘I started blogging as an enthusiastic amateur, wanting to share thoughts about books I was reading and loving. I taught myself as I went along, just trying different things out, wanting to experiment and entertain. Over the years the frequency has changed but it still feels like a place where I can easily offer my opinions to anyone who might be interested.’


Tony’s Reading List 


Tony Malone Profile

Tony Malone, an Englishman abroad in Melbourne, reviews the latest in international fiction, with a focus on untranslated gems in German. ‘There are plenty of avenues out there to find information regarding English-language books, but fiction in translation can often struggle to reach an audience.  My site is one place where readers can learn about quality writing from all over the world, whether that’s the classics or contemporary fiction.  Hopefully, my reviews help people find the perfect book, one they never even knew existed!’ – Tony Malone 


Beauty Is A Sleeping Cat  


Black Cat

Multilingual translator and writer Caroline’s blog features her favourite fiction from around the globe, with special weeks focusing on individual authors such as Hermann Hesse – and cute pictures of her cats, too. ‘In 2010, I accidentally stumbled upon a book blog and loved the idea of sharing thoughts on books and reviews so much that I started my own. Since then I’ve reviewed hundreds of books, and have hosted and co-hosted events like German Literature Month, the Literature and War Readalong, and weeks dedicated to authors including Angela Carter, Antonio Tabucchi and Hermann Hesse.’ – Caroline 


Lizzy’s Literary Life  


Lizzy Siddal Profile

21st-century bookworm and German literature aficionado Lizzy Siddal would much rather be reading – but she still takes the time to share book reviews, author interviews and other snippets from her literary life. 

‘A lifelong bookworm with an (increasingly) appalling memory, I have always kept reading notes.  Then one day I lost a notebook containing five years of scribbles!  To prevent this happening again, I decided to start a blog. (The theory being I can never lose it.) That was eleven years ago now. The missing notebook never did turn up. Lizzy’s Literary Life still serves as a reading notebook. Every book I read gets a mention, though not necessarily a full review, because of the time it takes to write reviews that do justice to both reading material and those who read my thoughts. (And, if truth be told, I’d much rather be reading). In addition, I report on literary events, trips, festivals and book fairs I attend. I also like to interview authors and translators of books I enjoy. The focus is very much on the pleasures of a 21st-century bookworm.  With German literature one of my greatest pleasures, there are now over 200 reviews of German-language books (the vast majority translated into English) on my site.’ – Lizzy Siddal