I have decided to add another tier to my Patreon—The Untranslated Book Club. Please do not rush to join it yet and read carefully what I have to say. The main goal of the Book Club is to encourage learners of a foreign language to read a long, challenging novel in that language reviewed on my blog. For the time being, I have chosen four most popular languages: French, Italian, German, and Spanish; there might be more in the future. If you are at least an intermediate reader in any of these languages, you can try. A simple test would be getting a copy of The Little Prince in your target language and trying to read it. If you can get 90% of the information without using a dictionary, you are good to go. Once you join the Book Club, you will also get the benefit of the previous tier—early access to my reviews. If you read only one foreign language, say French, then at the end of the reading period for the French book you can either cancel your subscription or switch to the lower tier. Here is the tentative reading schedule for the four-book reading cycle starting with October 4, 2021:
- October, November, December – Le maréchal absolu by Pierre Jourde (French)
- January, February, March, April, May, June, July – Horcynus Orca by Stefano D’Arrigo (Italian) — That’s a tough one, I know, but to get you going I will share my detailed glossary.
- August, September, October, November, December – Schattenfroh by Michael Lentz (German)
- January, February, March, April – A Spanish-language novel (title to be announced). I do not have the Spanish-language title yet because the books I would like to include like Los sorias or La tejedora de coronas are very difficult to get, and it goes without saying that a novel for the Book Club should be readily available.
For the duration of your pledge, you will have access to my weekly Patreon posts about the portion of the novel we are currently reading. Depending on the length of the book, those chunks could be anywhere between 50 and 80 pages a week. The posts will include a short summary, analysis of some interesting words and expressions, explanatory notes, and questions for discussion. Every month, the members of this tier will be invited to the exclusive Discord voice chat meeting at which we are going to discuss the part of the book covered that month, share impressions, ideas, and help one another with the most obscure or difficult aspects of the text. (If your time zone is anywhere between GMT+7 and GMT+12, maybe it’s not a good idea, unless you can’t fall asleep and feel like talking about untranslated literature with us!) It is not recommended to join the Book Club late as it might be too difficult to catch up with the others. Two weeks of tardiness is the maximum, in my opinion. Since all new Patreon supporters are charged immediately upon joining the given tier, I strongly suggest joining The Untranslated Book Club not at the end of the month previous to the one in which our reading starts, but at the beginning of that month. For example, the first week for reading Le marechal absolu starts on October 4, so you have 3 days, beginning from October 2, to do your pledge. Even if there is only one person participating, the reading will go ahead.
Before joining The Untranslated Book Club, consult this checklist, which will help you to decide if it’s a good idea:
- You have read my review of the book and it is the kind of book you might like.
- You can get hold of a copy, either physical or in e-format.
- You are at least an intermediate reader in the given language. (The Little Prince test)
- You have at least 2 free hours a day to dedicate to reading the book.
- You have the stamina and perseverance to continue reading the text despite any setbacks.
Challenge yourself and improve your reading skills in a foreign language by reading some of the weirdest and the most linguistically inventive untranslated books in that language!