Books · Events

Eurovision 2017

On last week’s One Show, Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that Brexit wouldn’t stop the UK taking part in Eurovision. This won’t be the last chance for Britain to vote on musical acts from Europe and elsewhere*, but it might be our first chance to win in twenty years. If you’re planning on hosting a Eurovision party, check out this blog post on how to bake and decorate amazing cupcakes! This post looks at music inspired by literature, with Shakespeare, David Bowie and Kate Bush all representing England. If you aren’t a fan of Eurovision (let’s face it- it really isn’t for everyone) then we present a list of books from some of the competing countries. Follow the links to hear this year’s songs, if you’re curious!

*Competitors this year include Australia, Israel, Georgia and Azerbaijan- this article explains why!


The Siege by Ismail Kadare BOOK ZONE 823.92 KAD

The story of Albania’s national hero, Skanderbeg: a military tactician who saved the country from the invading Ottoman Empire.


Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey BOOK ZONE 823.91 CAR

Two gamblers make a wager- is it possible to send a glass building from Sydney to a remote town 400km down the coast?

Czech Republic

Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka BOOK ZONE 833.91 KAF

A man wakes up to find he has transformed into a giant beetle!

Czech Republic


Hamlet by William Shakespeare BOOK ZONE 822.33 HAM

The King of Denmark is murdered by his brother, who steals the throne and marries the dead king’s wife. His ghost appears to his son, Prince Hamlet, who pretends to be mad in order to unmask the murderer.



Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky BOOK ZONE 843.91 NEM

A Nazi officer and a married woman fall in love during the uneasy occupation of a French village.


The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood BOOK ZONE 823.91 ISH

Christopher Isherwood moves to Berlin as the Nazis take control of the formerly decadent city.


Dr Who star Matt Smith played Isherwood in the BBC adaptation of The Berlin Stories, called Christopher and His Kind


Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières NORFOLK HOUSE 823.91 BER

The Greek island of Cephallonia is invaded by Italian and German forces. Pelagia, a doctor’s daughter, falls in love with an Italian mandolin player whilst she is engaged to a Greek soldier.


Dracula by Bram Stoker BOOK ZONE 823.91 STO

Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to meet the otherworldly Count Dracula, and barely escapes with his life. Dracula is shipwrecked on the Whitby coast, and runs into Jonathan’s fiancé Mina…



Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy QUICK READS 823.91 LAN

An undead detective assists a young girl in the hunt for her uncle’s murder.


The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco BOOK ZONE 853.91 ECO

A monk tries to catch the serial murderer stalking the monastery library



The Witches by Roald Dahl QUICK READS 823.91 DAH

A retired Norwegian witch hunter and her orphaned grandson discover a plot to turn all the kids in England into mice!


The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman NORFOLK HOUSE 741.5973 SPE

A comic book artist draws the story of his father’s imprisonment in Auschwitz, and tries to come to terms with his mother’s suicide.


In Maus, Jewish prisoners are drawn as mice; the cats are German guards.


The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon BOOK ZONE 823.91 ZAF

A young boy is allowed to read a single book from the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, which he must vow to protect with his life.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson BOOK ZONE 823.92 LAR

A journalist and a hacker are hired to investigate a deeply disturbing family.



Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner BOOK ZONE 823.91 BRO

A romance writer is ordered to ‘grow up’ and moved into a hotel on Lake Geneva, convinced that she will not change her ways.

The Netherlands

Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach BOOK ZONE 823.91 MOG

An artist and his model take advantage of the sudden craze for tulip bulbs in seventeenth century Holland.

And last year’s winners and Saturday’s hosts, Ukraine

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer BOOK ZONE 823.91 FOE

An American man hires a pair of corrupt local guides to help him track down the woman who saved his grandfather from the Nazis.


Sammy Davis Junior Junior, an unconventional Ukrainian guide dog.

Our list is missing books from a number of competing countries, like Belgium, Finland, Moldova, Malta and Cyprus. Can you recommend a book from one of the 42 countries on this list? Share your suggestions (and your vote for the winner!) over on our Facebook page or Twitter.


Burdock, R (2010) When words takes a backstage Available at: (Accessed: 10 May 2017)

Claudio (2016) RIP Umberto Eco Available at: (Accessed: 10 May 2017)

cliff (2010) dr who on set of new film Available at: (Accessed: 10 May 2017)

Dru! (2009) As Above So Below Available at: (Accessed: 10 May 2017)

Gottsabend, B (2014) Inside the Glass House Available at: (Accessed: 10 May 2017)

Houle, K (2006) Hamlet Available at ( (Accessed: 10 May 2017)

Marisol* (2010) Everything is illuminated Available at: (Accessed: 10 May 2017)

Random McRandomhead (2008) Maus, by Art Spiegelman Available at: (Accessed: 10 May 2017)

Tom (2006) Dracula Available at: (Accessed: 10 May 2017)

Zeng, W (2012) The Girl… Available at: (Accessed: 10 May 2017)


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