Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Reading My Way Around the World

The blog has been languishing since the wind up of the Tuesday Poem community - but now I have a new project that I thought was worthy of being shared. This is not original, I have been inspired by a number of others on the internet. The plan is to try and read a book (mostly fiction) from each of the 196 or thereabouts countries in the world. (Ann Morgan has 196 on her list, my daughter's list is 206 countries, some of which are not yet officially recognised).

I have been compiling lists of potential books to read that are available in our local library, or could be ordered on the internet. For some countries, it's a challenge. And I realise that I haven't quite managed to define for myself what is a book from a particular country. For instance, I have been reading a book by an author born in Kabul, brought up in Damascus, who now lives in Karachi - set in the border provinces of Pakistan, near the Afghan border. So is that a Pakistani book, or an Afghan book? And I am also reading a book by a "Finnish Estonian" author, set in Estonia. After a bit of research however, I found that the author is Finnish, with an Estonian mother. So it is as much an Estonian book as if my mother had written a book set in Scotland - which I would not have considered a Scottish book at all. Still, I haven't located anything else Estonian, so I think this one will probably have to do in the meantime.

Ideally of course each book would be written by an author both born and raised in the relevant country (leaving at the age of two hardly counts), and set in that country. But for many war torn countries, this is a pretty tall order. I am rapidly learning how many people have had to flee their birth countries over the years - something very relevant at the moment to the situation in North Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

I plan to review each book I read here - or describe it at least, I'm not sure what constitutes a "review". I'm close to twenty books already, so I have a bit of catching up to do. Look for the first one soon.

(Any suggestions for books to read, particularly from obscure countries, will be very welcome).

1 comment:

solarity said...

I look forward to this project, although I do not think I will follow in your footsteps.

Mary Anne in Kentucky