For World Book Day, Amazon Crossing Rolls Out Its 2019 ‘Read the World’ Offer

In News by Porter Anderson

In this year’s ‘Read the World’ promotion for World Book Day, Amazon Publishing’s translation imprint is giving away titles translated from Spanish, Dutch, German, Hebrew, Swedish, Japanese, and Norwegian.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Nine Countries, Nine Translations
If you can break away from reading the redacted Mueller report, you’re invited to “Read the World” free of charge in Amazon Crossing’s second annual promotion of some of its most prominent works in translation. The promotion opened Thursday (April 18).

Just in time for the Easter and Passover weekend, a selection of Amazon Crossing books are available for free download until 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on Wednesday (April 24), the day after World Book Day (April 23). That’s 07:59 BST, British Summer Time in London, and 06:59 GMT, on April 25.

Here’s the main link on the US site at which you’ll find the page from which you can download all nine titles without cost.

Additionally, the free books can be accessed at these Amazon international sites:

As it did last year, Amazon has included a counter on the page, which is quickly updating the number of pages read on the nine Kindle editions of these books. At press time, the counter is showing that more than 600,000 pages already have been logged as read by the counter. Within seconds of your arrival on the page, you’ll see the page numbers flipping over like departures on the board on a busy day at Charles de Gaulle.

Image: Amazon Crossing ‘Read the World’ page

Books Included in the Offer

Downloads related to this promotion will remain available on your device after the offer ends on April 24.

And this selection of titles from Amazon Crossing’s list features some of its most significant titles from:

  • Norway
  • Argentina
  • Japan
  • Sweden
  • Israel
  • Germany
  • Spain
  • The Netherlands
  • Mexico

Regular Publishing Perspectives readers will be familiar with several of them from our coverage.

“Suspended for a moment between voluntary verticality and permanent horizontality, between lucidity and confusion, Francisco had the time to think that, when he reached the end of the fall … he would tell Francisco Junior that it was time to go home.”Sofía Segovia, 'The Murmur of Bees, translated by Simon Bruni

The Murmur of Bees (April 16) Sofía Segovia’s lyrical novel translated by Simon Bruni, is the newest of the group, released Tuesday (April 16), and one of our favorites of the group. By the second page of this thoroughly engrossing story, you’ve already learned about the baby Simonopio “abandoned under the bridge, naked and hungry … they all wondered how old Nana Reja had found him, covered in a living blanket of bees.” There’s an interview with author Segovia from Amazon’s Day One staff you can read here. In it, you’ll read her saying, “My bees have a message to convey, even if no one but Simonopio listens to and understands it.”

This Life or the Next  (October 2018) by Norwegian author and playwright Demian Vitanza–in its translation by Tanya Thresher–is a harrowing encounter with a jihadist based on an actual case and some ways reminiscent of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.  Our interview with Vitanza is here, and a packed audience at London Book Fair’s Literary Translation Centre in March heard Vitanza talk about his work with Amazon Crossing senior acquisitions editor Elizabeth DeNoma and moderation by Publishing Perspectives. The all but taboo reality of the vulnerable human being inside a radicalized fighter is the stuff of today’s geopolitical pressures, on a most personal level.

An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew (May 2018) by Dutch journalist Annejet van der Zijl and translated by Michele Hutchison is a big success in Historical European Biographies, Biographies of Royalty, and Biographies & Memoirs of Women. Perfect for a screen adaptation for Masterpiece Theater, it’s a tale of an American socialite’s journey into the world of European royalty. You can read our coverage of this one here.

Go (March 2018) is one of the most memorable Amazon Crossing releases of 2018, Kazuki Kaneshiro’s muscular novel of selfhood, alienation, love, and displacement, in the dynamic vernacular of Takami Nieda’s translation. Here’s our Publishing Perspectives interview with Nieda, written during the 2018 Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference.

All This I Will Give to You (September 2018), theater critic Michael Meigs’ translation of Dolores Redondo’s thriller about a man’s introduction to one of Spain’s most powerful families in his search for the reason for his novelist-husband’s death and the secrets of his life.  “The man to whom Manuel was married for fifteen years was not the unassuming man he knew.”

The Hangman’s Daughter (December 2010)–here in its “Kindle in Motion” edition with Lee Chadeayne’s translation and MS Corley’s illustrations– is one of Amazon Crossing’s most durable hits. Germany’s Oliver Pötzsch is, in fact, the descendant of what he refers to as an “executioner’s dynasty” known as Kuisl. In interview, he has conceded that execution is “a fascinating topic often treated with unique prejudice,” and has referred to the series (this is Book 1) as “a defense of my ancestors’ honor.” To get a taste of the animated embellishments that the Kindle in Motion treatment, be sure to look at the image of the book cover as you arrive at its page.

“I’ll go anywhere to find whatever thing will let me forget who I am. And if that thing isn’t here, I’ll get out of this country, which is what you wanted anyway.”Kazuki Kaneshiro, 'Go,' translated by Takami Nieda

About the Night by Anat Talshir and translated by Evan Fallenberg brings you the author’s astute voice as an investigative journalist of real presence in Israel (she’s the 2002 Nahum Sokolov Prize-winner) and the American-Israli Fallenberg’s PEN-shortlisted translation skills. The couple at the center of the story, Elias and Lila, are a Christian Arab in East Jerusalem, and she’s a Jew of the west side of the city. It’s a June 2016 release from Amazon Crossing.

The Passion According to Carmela (October 2018), in Carolina De Robertis’ translation of Marcos Aguinis’ historical novel, is set at the time of the Cuban Revolution, as Aguinis writes in his foreword, “a revolution fueled by the dreams and ambitions of an unknown man named Fidel Castro.” In the book, Carmela and Ignacio meet and “at times,” Aguinis writes, they “feel lost or condemned, while at other times they feel as though they are part of a great epic romance.” The roller coaster of dictatorship is in motion, in other words, as the revolution “ignites the hopes of intellectuals, artists, and politicians” and “awakens the curiosity of millions.”

The Dark Heart (November 2018) is a work of true crime translated by Agnes Broomé and written by the Swedish reporter Joakim Palmkvist who lives under a protected identity for safety after covering extremist groups and mafia operatives.  The case in question dates to 2012 and the disappearance of a wealthy landowner. The promotional copy about the book certainly captures the kind of lingo that true crime fans enjoy, about how a protracted investigation led to “a nest of depraved secrets, lies, and betrayal.”

More from Publishing Perspectives on Amazon Crossing is here, and more on translation is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.