Talisman

June's Around the World Book Challenge

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Completed A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka for Ukraine and have now started Once Upon a Country - A Palestinian Life by Sari Nusseibeh for Palestine. Hopefully I will manage to complete it before the year is out. This will mean I have read a total of 63 books this year from a further 28 countries, which is not bad at all.

Edited by Talisman

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Finished my third book of 2013 last night - The Granta Book of the African Short Story - an anthology of African short stories and novel extracts. This was an opportunity to complete another 13 countries - Kenya, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Morocco, Gambia, Uganda, Sudan, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Angola and Guinea - in the one book, so for me was brilliant. The stories were pretty good too, with only one exception.

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You're on fire, June! :) Do you have any particular goals for this year regarding this challenge? Good luck for 2013, I hope you find some amazing reads this year, too!

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I haven't set myself any goals if I am honest, other than to simply enjoy the books that I read. Having completed 28 countries last year, I suppose it would be nice to at least equal that this year - judging by what I have read so far I shouldn't have too many problems !

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28 countries in one year is pretty superb :D

 

It is indeed!

Have a good reading year Talisman :)

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I haven't set myself any goals if I am honest, other than to simply enjoy the books that I read. Having completed 28 countries last year, I suppose it would be nice to at least equal that this year - judging by what I have read so far I shouldn't have too many problems !

 

That sounds like a much more sensible approach . I need to use the same system,just read whatever I want and no pressure to complete it at a certain date or anything. Just read ...

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Finished 2 more countries in the last week - Monica Ali's Brick Lane for Bangladesh and for the small country of Togo in West Africa - Do They Hear You When You Cry by Layli Miller Bashir and Fauziya Kassinga. This is an incredible book, and the best that I have read in a long while. The true story of a young Togolese woman who was forced to flee her own country for the US and claim political asylum in order to avoid to forced polygamous marriage and female circumcison. Her case made legal history and set a precedance in the US as the first woman to be granted asylum on these grounds. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story and has a reasonably strong stomach, as some of the descriptions of what they do to these women are pretty graphic.

Edited by Talisman

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I am off to Lundy for 11 nights later on today (13 nights allowing for an overnight stay at either end of the trip), and have downloaed books from another 4 countries to keep me company - Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Kosovo and Mali - I also have one each from Iceland and the US. By the time I get back I should have hopefully added at least 3 more countries then to the list.     

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Hi June. The book you read for Togo sounds absolutely fascinating! I said I would try and stick to fiction for this challenge (there will be countries where there just isn't enough translated material I'm sure) but I might try and pick this up anyway whether I end up counting it or not. Sounds an incredible read.

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It was - and don't let the idea that it is non fiction put you off, as well written books of this genre read very much as a story and so often feel like fiction anyway. That's the thing that I love about this challenge - learning about all these different cultures and how people live and experience life in different parts of the world. I have also learnt a lot about the history of these places as well.

 

The weather was so cold on my recent trip to Lundy that I managed to get through 6 books in less than the 2 weeks that I was there, as I was forced to spend more time indoors rather than out and about. I still managed an average of about 5 miles a day though (walking that is) - it will be twice that when I go back in the summer.

 

Anyway - the books I read were as follows:

 

Drown - Junot Diaz (Domincan Republic)

Evening is the Whole Day - Preeta Samarasan (Malaysia). This was by far the best book - about a highly dysfunctional Indian family living in Malaysia.

Travels in Blood and Honey - Elizabeth Gowing (Kosovo)

Black Skies - Arnaldur Indridason (the 8th in a series of Icelandic detective novels) 

The Good Father - Noah Hawley (United States)

Monique and the Mango Rains - Kris Holloway (Mali) - another very good book about a midwife working in Mali, West Africa 

 

I had already done Iceland and the US, so that's four more countries complete. I am now reading a book from Chile.

Edited by Talisman

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I have The Good Father waiting to be read.  What did you think of it?

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I enjoyed it. It is a bit 'American' in places, but it a thought provoking read. The main theme I would say is atonement, whatever that means to you. I guess you could also call it responsbility.

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Finished the book from Chile tonight - Ways of Going Home by Alejandro Zambra. It was okay but not the best I have read. I am havig a rest from the challenge for my next read - the new Elizabeth Haynes.

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Finished another country after having had a break from this challenge for a while - American Samoa - Pago Pago Tango by John Enright. This is a small US owned island in the South Pacific with non US owned Samoa as its next door neighbour. It is one of those places that is very difficult to find a book that was written by someone actually born there. This author then was not born there, but did spend 26 years living around what the books blurb describes as the Pacific Islands. I would give it an average rating. The story itself (the usual island detectives) is not that brilliant, but the descriptions of the island are good, and there are a few snippets about the history of the place thrown in.   

Edited by Talisman

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How many countries are on your list, June?  I know it differs slightly from mine.  :)  And how many countries have you completed so far? 

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I have completed 83 out of 231 countries, which is not bad at all.

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That's really good - well done  :)

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Completed another country the day before yesterday - Nowhere Man by Aleksandar Hemon. This was for Bosnia and Herzegovina (author was the born in Bosnia). Several of his books have been converted to Kindle, but this for me was the one that sounded the most interesting. It did dart about a bit, which made it difficult in places to follow, but overall I would give it 4 stars.

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Completed another country last night - this time United Arab Emirates - Dubai Dreams by Raymond Barrett. This was the best of several similar books that I considered buying, although not the cheapest at £8. It was nevertheless a good introduction to the history and lifestyle of at least one of the emirates, that did not gloss over the bad points, such as the treatment of construction workers.  

 

That brings the total now to 89 countries completed out of 231.  

Edited by Talisman

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Finished yet another country yesterday - Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid for Antigua. A nice easy read coming of age novel.  

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I have this on my Amazon Wish List. I felt sure our library had it but I've just looked and they don't!  :roll:

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Maybe they can order it for you.

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Bath & NE Somerset libraries charge £8 for inter-library loans!  :o    I'll probably buy it from Amazon at some stage - I can get a marketplace copy for £2.81 delivered. :)

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Librarieswest has got some other books by Jamaica Kincaid - could you try one of them instead, Janet?

Edited by chesilbeach

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