Flemish poet Charlotte van den Broeck was a special guest and did a beautiful poetic performance for the audience, reading from her poetry collection Kameleon.
A panel debate on “the power of reading” followed, with Catherine Stihler MEP, Erik Boekestijn from the Royal National Dutch Library and Sue Wilkinson from the UK Reading Agency. The panel discussed both the value and the challenges of new (and good old) strategies for reading promotion and literacy development in Europe, and explored ways in which European initiatives such as 60 Books for the Summer could play a key role.
The 60 Books for the Summer aims to promote reading and literacy and showcase the work of authors from different national and linguistic backgrounds.
MEP Library Lovers were asked to share their reading recommendations for the summer and the list was then edited by literary experts from Passa Porta, the international house of literature in Brussels, and Literature Across Frontiers, an EU-funded programme that promotes literary translation.
The result is an eclectic mix of literary works, as diverse as Europe itself. The list offers inspiration to even the most erudite and up-to-date reader. It is compiled of MEP favourites and reflects the love MEPs share for European culture and cultural diversity, their commitment to social inclusion, and passion for history and literature. More than anything, the list reveals the personal preferences, and even the guilty pleasures MEPs have in common with the people they represent; not only with citizens from their constituency, but with the “European reader” more broadly.
The 60 Books were showcased at the European Parliament library during the launch event, and will be donated to the Muntpunt library in Brussels later this month, available for the public to borrow.
Check out the complete 60 Books for the Summer reading list at: www.mepbooksforsummer.eu.
Photos by Damiano Oldoni.