Janet

Janet's *very* long-term Around the World challenge

190 posts in this topic

Thanks, Julie.  :)

 

I use this site to do the map.  :)   It does look like I've done more than 20%, doesn't it!  The US, Canada, Greenland and Russia coloured in huge chunks of it!  :D  There are lots and lots of tiny countries - so many I hadn't ever heard of before!  My list is the one from the site linked, so I'm doing 223 countries in total.  I've got quite a few books from the library (I try to get them from there if I can) and also on Kindle.  I'm trying not to pay full price if I can avoid it!  :giggle2:

 

Thanks for dropping in!    :D 

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Janet, you're making great progress! Excellent :).

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Thanks, Athena.  :)  I have been on a bit of a roll recently!

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Keep up the good work Janet - you are doing very well !

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UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, the books are from the country the author was born in.

This is one such book - Basutoland (now Lesotho)

 

worldmap-2014-05May-06-49countries-Lesot

49 Countries - 21.03%

 

024-2014-May-06-GreenMountainDoctor_zps2

 

Green Mountain Doctor by Colin Smith

 

The ‘blurb’

In the early 1960s, the 'winds of change' were blowing through southern Africa.

 

A young doctor, recently qualified and ridiculously inexperience, found himself in charge of a hospital in Basutoland, high in the Drakensberg mountains.

 

In this remote British Protectorate, in surroundings completely alien to his background and training, he was expected to cover all aspects of medicine, including obstetrics, surgery, public heatlh and forensic pathology, with the sole responsibility for the medical care of many thousands of people.

 

As he struggled to conquer his fear and adapt to his surroundings he was also learning to be a husband and father.

 

This is the story of a fascinating, and extraordinary, period in a young man's life.

 

Although I usually read a book based on the author’s country of birth, it’s not the case with this one.

 

Colin Smith, the author, was my GP from when I was a little girl until I got married just before I was 22. He also sang in the choir at my wedding! When he retired, Colin moved from Kent to Dorset, but kept in touch with my in-laws. I last saw him at my father-in-law’s funeral about 8 years ago! However, I didn’t know until recently that he’d written and self-published books. Some are fiction, but this book is factual and is about his time as a young newly-qualified doctor who went to work in Basutoland – at the time a British Protectorate – as a Government Medical Office. Wikipedia define a British Protectorate as “a territory under the British Empire which is not formally annexed but in which, by treaty, grant or other lawful means, the Crown has power and jurisdiction.” Basutoland is now, since gaining full independence, called Lesotho.

 

The book starts by detailing some of Colin’s childhood and his training before moving to Africa. Whilst in Africa he decided that he should be married – his letter of proposal is very funny – it’s amazing his wife said yes! He then goes on to speak about personal and medical matters, some of which I found rather difficult to read due to their rather descriptive nature (but that’s me – I have to watch programmes like Holby City from behind the sofa! :P ). The African surgeries and hospitals which Colin served in during his time in Basutoland were very basic, and Colin’s training slightly inadequate for the challenges he faced and therefore he had his fair share of very sad failures, but throughout he speaks with compassion and humour – the tone is informal and easy to read and I very much enjoyed it, although having personal experience of the author probably helped!

 

The paperback edition is 160 pages long and is self-published by Colin Smith. It was first published in 2000. The ISBN is 9780953889501.

 

4/5 (I really liked it)

 

(Finished 06 May 2014)

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Sounds like an interesting book - it looks though like it may be out of print as the only (paper) copies on Amazon are second hand ones for a penny ! It doesn't matter though, as I have a nice travel book lined up that includes not only Lesotho, but about 7 or 8 other countries as well.    

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It's self-published so it's possible to buy new copies (not that you need to) direct from the author.  :)  

 

I am going to check out some of those books with multiple stories/countries in.  I have a couple on my Wish List. 

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Personally I would always much rather buy a book if I can, especially when it is self published, as I think is it important that authors are supported financially to be able to carry on their work. Having been there myself and having first hand knowledge of the struggles that the self published in particular have to face, this is very important to me, but I understand that not everyone has the funds to do this all the time. :smile:

 

Travel books are though a great way of getting through multiple countries very quickly. Jason Smart has written a whole series of them on his travels to various parts of the world that I am slowly getting through, although I am not sure if this compromises your idea of the author being born in the part of the world that is being written about ?  

Edited by Talisman

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Ethiopia - Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese - 4/5

 

worldmap-2014-12Dec-01-50countries-Ethio

50 Countries - 21.46%  :)

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50 countries, that's quite a milestone. Well done, Janet :)!

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Thanks, Gaia.  :)  I've only managed two books towards this challenge in 2014.  Maybe I'll do better next year?  

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Good luck for next year! I hope you will find some nice books to read from the countries you haven't read any yet from :).

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Nigeria - The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin - 3/5

51 Countries - 21.89%  :)

It's been aaages since I read a World Challenge book! Sadly I can't get the map to work.

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You are making good progress Janet. Well done. :readingtwo:

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Thanks, June. :) I guess a fifth of the way through isn't bad.

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