Talisman

June's Around the World Book Challenge

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Thanks for that information MrCat, which I have no doubt is well intentioned. We all do this challenge differently - some insist that the books they read have to be written by someone who was born in that country while for some it is enough that the book be set in a certain country. This is the way that I am choosing to do this challenge and I have found it works very well for me. The reasoning I use for this is that although you may be born in a certain place, it does not mean that you will stay there (Herta Muller being a case in point). I have a friend for example who although born in Canada has spent most of her adult life in Spain, where she is married to a Spaniard, has a business and gave birth to her two children. Spain is therefore much more home to her than her native Canada. My next door neighbour, although born in the US has lived here since the age of 16 (she is now in her 70's). Despite the fact that she has never taken out British citizenship, she nevertheless considers herself  much more British than American. By the same token, I work with people from all over the world - including Romania, who although not native to this country now consider it to be their home. Everyone does this challenge in their own way, and as long as it works for them, it's all good. :smile:

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 while for some it is enough that the book be set in a certain country. This is the way that I am choosing to do this challenge and I have found it works very well for me.

 

That's the basis of the English Counties Challenge, and the US States Challenge that I've set up for myself (yet to get going on that one properly).  TBH, I think it's the more interesting way to do it too, but that may be because of my Geography background (more interested in place!).

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That's how I'm treating it too, as long as there's a bit of a "flavour" of the county, rather than it just happens to be the location for the book.

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Posted (edited)

I have found personally that this works far better than the idea that the author has to be born in that country, as like I said, with migration the way it is, people do not necessary stay in their country of birth. As both of you have said, it does give you a flavour of the country as well. It also means that if you really can't find a book from certain countries (and it can be difficult with a lot of the smaller ones), you can read travelogues.

 

I have finished a few more books this month from various interesting countries, some harder to find than others.

 

The first was a book of Lithuanian women's short stories - No Men, No Cry by Ligne Barauskaite. Some of these were better than others, and I found it quite frustrating that of the better ones, none of the books that they are excerpted from are not available as English translations. Some of them really are very good. 

 

The second book, from Cameroon was Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue. There seems to be a bit of buzz around this book at the moment and I can see why. Set in the US, it tells the tale of a couple from this small West African country trying to make a new life for themselves in the US. This for me was an interesting take on the so-called American dream and how tough things are for those at the bottom of the pile. I won't ruin it by saying too much, except to say that for me, this is a book well worth reading.     

  

The book I am reading at the moment is from El Salvador in Central America. The title is Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya. This is a short book of around 160 pages and tells the tale of a man who is proof reading a manuscript to do with atrocities against the Native population. I am about halfway through it at the moment so will report back once I have finished it as to what I felt about it.       

Edited by Talisman

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I have completed a few more countries over the last few weeks:

 

The Golden Shower: Or What Men Want by Luka Novak for Slovenia

Earth Weeps, Saturn Laughs by Abdulaziz Al Farsi for Oman

The Earth Hums in B Flat Major by Mari Strachan for Wales

Beloved Land: Stories, Struggles and Secrets by Gordon Peake for Timor Leste

 

At the moment I am reading a beautiful book from St Pierre et Miquelon, a country that is really hard to find books from - The Sea Around Them by Gordon G Gautreau         

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