World Book Day is on April 23, and each year Amazon is coming up with something new and meaningful to celebrate it.
While major Kindle deals for World Book Day are still to be revealed, users can already start the celebrations by downloading some of the best foreign-language books translated into English by AmazonCrossing.
The initiative is called Read the World, and enables Kindle users to download and read for free nine most important contemporary books from around the world.
Mikyla Bruder, Publisher of Amazon Publishing, says:
Today we are making an investment in books in translation and giving readers access to stories from diverse cultural perspectives with an aim to reach one million readers in honor of World Book Day.
The list includes bestselling or award-winning books written by authors from Japan, Spain, Greece, Sweden, or Russia.
The most interesting title is A River in Darkness, Masaji Ishikawa’s memoir of living in totalitarian North Korea, and the harrowing escape from the oppression of the regime. The book was translated from Japanese by Risa Kobayashi and Martin Brown and is a constant Amazon Charts Most Read and Most Sold book.
The Read the World list is curated by AmazonCrossing, an Amazon imprint focused on bringing readers from around the world together through literature in translation. So far, the company published over 350 books in several categories, including biographies, literary fiction, and mystery & thrillers.
The current offer is valid in the United States only. It means that if you are a customer of the U.S. Kindle Store but connect from abroad, you may not be eligible for a free download.
The offer has already started and will be concluded on April 24 at midnight, Pacific Daylight Time.
Read the World – free Kindle books in translation
- A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea – written by Masaji Ishikawa, translated from Japanese by Risa Kobayashi and Martin Brown – An Amazon Charts bestselling memoir about one man’s harrowing escape from the oppression of North Korea.
- The House by the River – written by Lena Manta, translated from Greek by Gail Holst-Warhaft – An epic saga of love, adventure and family from Greece’s reigning #1 best-selling author.
- Still Waters written by Viveca Sten, translated from Swedish by Marlaine Delargy – The first book in the nearly 4 million-copy best-selling Swedish Sandhamn Murders series.
- The Great Passage – written by Shion Miura, translated from Japanese by Juliet Winters Carpenter – This award-winning novel, adapted into a major motion picture, about the making of a Japanese dictionary is a reminder that a life dedicated to passion is a life well lived.
- Last Train to Istanbul – written by Ayşe Kulin, translated from Turkish by John W. Baker – A sweeping story of love, adventure and compassion, about a young Turkish couple traversing Nazi-occupied Europe to gain their freedom, from one of Turkey’s most beloved authors.
- The Gray House – written by Mariam Petrosyan, translated from Russian by Yuri Machkasov – An astounding and award-winning tale of a mesmerizing space where disabilities symbolize strengths.
- The Question of Red – written by Laksmi Pamuntjak, translated from Indonesian by Laksmi Pamuntjak – A saga of love, revolution and resilience and one woman’s courage to forge her own path, from an award-winning Indonesian novelist.
- The Light of the Fireflies – written by Paul Pen, translated from Spanish by Simon Bruni – A haunting page-turner about a boy who lives underground and discovers that light exists in even the darkest of places.
- Ten Women – written by Marcela Serrano, translated from Spanish by Beth Fowler – A group of women with divergent life stories bond over triumphs and heartaches in this beautiful tale about universal connections from an award-winning Chilean author.
A River in Darkness: One Man’s Escape from North Korea
The harrowing true story of one man’s life in – and subsequent escape from – North Korea, one of the world’s most brutal totalitarian regimes.
In this memoir translated from the original Japanese by Risa Kobayashi and Martin Brown, Ishikawa candidly recounts his tumultuous upbringing and the brutal thirty-six years he spent living under a crushing totalitarian regime, as well as the challenges he faced repatriating to Japan after barely escaping North Korea with his life.
A River in Darkness is not only a shocking portrait of life inside the country but a testament to the dignity—and indomitable nature—of the human spirit.
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