The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena

Cuplul din veciniRomanian title: Cuplul din veciniTrei, 2017

Shari Lapena is an ex-lawyer turned writer and this is her first novel: a thriller about a couple whose baby disappears one night, while they’re at a dinner party next door. While trying to figure out what actually happened, we end up suspecting each character and finding out that nothing is what seemed at first. An exciting read for mystery and thriller enthusiasts, which is likely to keep you up all night just so you can finish it and find out who did it.

Kensuke’s Kingdom, by Michael Morpurgo

KensukeRomanian title: Regatul lui KensukeNemi, 2017

A classical, beautiful and touching story about a boy who travels with his parents around the world and discovers not only the continents, various countries, the seas and the oceans, but also the power of friendship. After his shipwreck on an island, Michael meets a mysterious old man who will teach him about surviving, about history and war, kindness and family, hope and courage. It was great working on the Romanian version and I hope the young readers will appreciate it and learn from it.

The Girl Before, by J. P. Delaney

Fata dinainteRomanian title: Fata dinainteLitera, 2017, Buzz Books

This is a psychological thriller about modern technology, the illusion of safety, and the need of control (or the lack of it). It’s the story of two women who, years apart, seem to go down the same road: after going through something terrible in their private lives, they rent the same house (a state-of-the art, high-tech, modern one) and fall in love with the same man, who is also the architect and owner of the house. However, the resemblances stop here and lots of secrets come out, revealing unsuspected connections. The novel was very successful at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair and it was equally well received by readers from different countries. The movie, produced and directed by Ron Howard, is expected to be released in 2018.

Grief Is the Thing with Feathers, by Max Porter

GriefRomanian title: Durerea e o făptură înaripată, Pandora M, 2017

Max Porter’s debut novel is, actually, a prose poem, a meditation on grief, love, death, family, and poetry. It’s the story of a father and his two boys who mourn the death of their wife / mother in such a heart-breaking, magical, blackly comic and deep way. They are helped through this process by Crow, a big, black bird, who plays different parts: babysitter, philosopher, and therapist. The book is full of literary references (e.g. to Emily Dickinson and Ted Hughes), of plays upon words, rhythms, rhymes, onomatopoeia, and even invented words. Translating it was equally my most difficult work and the most rewarding one. I’m proud of having succeeded in rendering both its beauty and meaning in Romanian.

How Children Learn, by John Holt

Cum-invata-copiii--editura-trei-holt-johnRomanian title: Cum învață copiii, Editura Trei, 2015

A very useful book, which, although written in the 1950s, is still very valid today. The author’s observations and conclusions apply now as they did last century, and parents all over the world read it as a manual for the upbringing of their children. The author speaks about various children of all ages he met as a teacher or as a friend of their parents and so gives examples of situations, reactions, developments, and lessons related to children’s way of learning about life.

What I liked, apart from the fact that I learned many interesting and useful things about children, was the author’s tone: warm, friendly, full of love and admiration for such small beings, who are so ambitious and capable.

Imitating Art, by Ed Teja

Imitating Art (Romanian)Romanian title: Imitând arta

This is a book translation from English into Romanian on a rather intriguing subject: a writer who seeks inspiration for a new book ends up in a fishing village in Thailand. There he finds not only an exotic landscape, a diverse crowd of locals and inviting food aromas, but also a mystery…

The broken English of the locals had to be rendered accordingly in Romanian, while the dialogue had to be kept as vivid as in the original.

If you want to find out who’s hiding there, what the role of art is and how the story ends, you can find it here (in Romanian): iTunes-Apple,Kobo, inktera, Scribd.

The Art of Reading Minds, by Henrik Fexeus

Arta de a citi gandurileRomanian title: Arta de a citi gândurile, Editura Trei, 2014

This is an interesting book about understanding and reading people’s facial expressions and body language, about detecting lies and making friends with the help of some communication tools. The voice, the look, the expression of the face, and the body language, in general,  are things you can learn to use in order to be more successful in your social, professional or personal interactions.

The author’s humourous and easy style is an extra reason to enjoy this book, just like I did.

The 8th Confession, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

A 8a marturisireRomanian title: A 8-a mărturisire, Editura RAO, 2014

This is a detective story/thriller, the eighth in a series that focuses on four friends in the Women’s Murder Club. A police woman, a coroner, a journalist, and a lawyer walk into a bar… no, wait, that sounds like the beginning of a joke. Let me try again: a police woman, a coroner, a journalist, and a lawyer who have been friends for years work together to solve complicated cases, on the background of their own love stories and problems. The two murder cases bring together two different worlds: the rich and popular, on the one hand, and the drug addicts and homeless, on the other hand. The characters’ efforts to find out the truth are thrilling, while their personal stories give the readers just the touch of tenderness and emotion they need for balance.

I really enjoyed translating this book because of the plot and the characters. I also learned a lot about the effects of hard drugs and about the addicts’ slang, which was a translation challenge.

Safe Haven, by Nicholas Sparks 

Refugiul 2Romanian title: Refugiul, Editura RAO, 2013

This is a romantic story of a woman abused by her husband, who finds the courage to run away and build a whole new life for herself, but she cannot do that until she confronts her past and fears. The book was a big success, like many of Nicholas Sparks’s novels, which is why at some point it was also turned into a movie.

Îngerii vor asculta, by Cătălin Damir

THE-ANGELS-WILL-LISTEN-250x250English title: The Angels Will Listen, Amazon, 2013

This translation was a double challenge: first, because it meant going against the ‘rules’ and translating into a non-native language (from Romanian into English) – at first, I was reluctant, but the author’s enthusiasm and satisfaction convinced me; second, because it contained specialised terminology and numerous quotes from the Bible, which required constant research.


Trade with Passion and Purpose, by Mark Whistler

trade-with-passion-250x250Romanian title: Tranzacționați cu pasiune și motivație (pending publication)

This is a complex book about trading, psychology, sports, health, and philosophy, which the author uses to pass on advice on how to succeed in trading, as well as in life. It is a mix of stories, experiences, advice and interviews, all drawn from many areas of life, which made the translation of this book a real challenge, as well as a source of interesting lessons.

​Check this site for more info.

The publication of this translation has been postponed for economic reasons, but I hope the waiting will soon end.

The Secrets of Selling. How to Win in Every Sales Situation, by Geoff King

Secretele vanzariiRomanian title: Secretele vânzării. Cum să vinzi în orice situație, Editura Curtea Veche, 2012

This is a practical guide for those who work in sales or who are interested in this field. The book has a simple and pertinent approach of sales and includes guidelines, advice, tricks, and techniques which, if correctly applied, will help you be successful, whatever it is you sell. You can find Geoff King’s book useful even if you do not directly sell products and services, because it shows you how to be more convincing when talking to other people and it reveals you what sales agents do when they sell to you.

See the full synopsis and other information about the book here.



Mademoiselle S., erotic letters

Romanian title: Pasiunea domnișoarei S., Scrisori editate și comentate de Jean-Yves Berthault, Editura Trei, Colecția Eroscop, 2015

A former French ambassador found a bag of mysterious letters hidden in an old house. They were written by a certain Simone to a certain Charles in Paris, in 1928-1930. The letters are extremely loving, passionate, sensuous, daring, and modern for their time.

Simone is in love with a married man and looks for all kinds of pleasures and new, exciting, audacious touches and sensations to give him. She goes from sweet love declarations to passionate and bold sexual scenes, she both remembers and fantasizes about them, she is both a loving mistress and a ravaging young man possessing Charles.

Her language is elegant even when she talks dirty, her audacity grows with every letter, her passion is uncontrollable, and her love story is interesting, even if Charles remains elusive.  The editor’s notes help the readers understand the context, the mentality of the time, the French society and civilization of almost a century ago. I suggest you read one or two letters every night. After all, strong essences are kept in small bottles. 😉

A more detailed review of the book can be found here (in Romanian).




The Good Story, by J.M. Coetzee and Arabella Kurtz

Romanian title: Povestea cea bună. Discutii despre adevar, ficțiune și psihoterapia psihanalitică, J.M. Coetzee and Arabella Kurtz, Editura Trei, 2016

When I got the offer to translate a book by a writer I admire a lot, I was beyond myself with joy. My delight was confirmed throughout both the reading and the translation process, as the subjects under discussion are highly interesting, and the diverging points of view of the two authors turn their dialogue into a dynamic and complex one.

Arabella Kurtz brings her experience as a psychotherapist (she is specialised in clinical psychology, practices psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Tavistock Clinic and she is also an Emeritus Professor at the University of Leicester). She helps the patients tell the story of their life so as to detect the source of their problems and guide them towards healing. J. M Coetzee brings the perspective of the writer who creates stories for his characters. Their discussions lead to questions and answers related to numerous topics that both the psychotherapist and the writer are interested in, such as the objective truth (things that really happened and prevent the patients from living a full, happy life) and the subjective truth (stories people invent for themselves and which they come to believe, because this way they re-create a fuller, happier life), the ethics of the psychotherapeutic approach, the reliability of memories, justice, etc.

You can read more about this here.

Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Power Lab, by ”SCIENCE BOB“ PFLUGFELDER and STEVE HOCKENSMITH

Romanian title: Nick și Tesla în laboratorul de înaltă tensiune, de „SCIENCE BOB“ PFLUGFELDER și STEVE HOCKENSMITH, Editura Nemi, 2016

This is my first children’s book translation and not only did I have a lot of fun reading it, but I also took great pleasure in translating it. Although one might think that children’s books are easier, given the shorter sentences and the simpler language, in fact, they too contain jokes and puns that require ingenuity (i.e. both candour and imagination).

Nick and Tesla (I’m sure you didn’t miss the allusions) are twins, very good with science, and forced to spend their summer holidays with a weird, crazy, messy uncle. The interesting thing about
this is that he has a science lab, which the two children can use, provided they don’t touch any hazardous materials. These holidays prove the perfect opportunity to explore the surroundings, to make new friends and allies, to discover a secret hidden in an old mansion, and to hep a damsel in distress. The lab will prove very useful, too.

The drawings are really nice, the reading is fun, the instructions for the young readers, which teach them how to build their own devices are easy and interesting. All in all, this was enough to make me want to pursue this, so now I’ve got three more children’s book translations on the way. :)

Falling in Love, by Donna Leon

Romanian title: Să mori din dragoste, de Donna Leon,

Editura Trei, 2016

This is the 24th volume of a series of novels starring Inspector Guido Brunetti and taking place in Venice. I enjoyed the story, the characters, as well as the lovely descriptions of the little streets, the bridges, the palazzi, and the overall feeling of being in Venice, without actually being there).

The challenges of this translation consisted in rendering the beautiful descriptions of the city, in getting through the inspector’s humour, and in managing to create in the target language the same effects of surprise, suspense, worry, expectation, or whatever it was that the author was trying to convey.
If you’ re a fan of detective novels, maybe you should try this one, as well. Suffice it to say that, besides Falling in Love, I read two more novels from the same series. On the one hand, to see how they had been translated by fellow translators and to get into the mood of the series, and on the other hand, because I was curious to read more about Brunetti and Venice.


Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins

Romanian title: Gregor Pământeanul, de Suzanne CollinsEditura Nemi, 2016

This is the first volume of a series of five novels making up the Underland Chronicles, which take us to a magical, scary, but fascinating world. Gregor, the hero, is a boy who discovers a parallel world under his building in New York and, along with his younger sister, embarks on an adventurous journey. He makes friends and enemies, learns about courage, friendship, war and peace, about loyalty and sacrifice, and also finds his long-lost father along the way.

It’s a wonderful story that will make children and adults alike smile, cry, and turn page after page in search not only of a good story, but also of good and peculiar friends.

The 13-Storey Treehouse, by Andy Griffith, illustrated by Terry Denton

Copacul cu 13 etajeRomanian title: Copacul cu 13 etaje, Arthur, 2017

A hilarious book for children over 9, with lots of drawings and a crazy story to go with them. The two characters who are, in fact, the authors’ alter egos, describe themselves, their treehouse, which is equipped with the strangest and funniest things, and go from one adventure to the next while also involving the readers. I enjoyed translating it and, most of all, I was very happy to see children and adults alike laughing out loud while reading it.