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June's Around the World Book Challenge


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#161 Talisman

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 05:05 PM

All the ones that are not highlighted. As for the best read - far too many to mention.



#162 Talisman

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Posted 22 July 2016 - 08:02 PM

Countries read so far this year:

 

Butterfly Fish by Irenosen Okojie for Benin

Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Everest Conquest by Jon Krakauer for Nepal 

Abyssian Chronicles by Moses Isegawa for Uganda

The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara for Argentina

Fractured by Clar Ni Chonghaile for Somalia

HHhH by Laurent Binet for Czech Republic

Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste for Ethiopia

The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov for Kazakhstan

Journey by Gheysika Adombire for Ghana

The Truce by Mario Benedetti for Uruguay 

Our Musseque by Jose Luandino Vieira for Angola

The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig for Austria

A Father's Betrayal by Gabriella GIllespie for Yemen


Edited by Talisman, 22 July 2016 - 08:05 PM.


#163 Talisman

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Posted 07 September 2016 - 06:37 PM

A few more countries to add to the list that I have completed in the last month or so:

 

Written in Black by KH Lim for Brunei

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique for US Virgin Islands

Secrets of the Vatican by Cyrus Shahrad for Vatican City 

 

I am currently reading My Heart Will Cross the Ocean by Kadiatou Diallo for Guinea



#164 Talisman

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 05:01 PM

It is almost the end of the year and I have managed to get through a few more countries since September:

 

Gone Bamboo by Anthony Bourdain for Sint Maarten

Who Slashed Celanire's Throat by Maryse Conde (a brilliant book) for Guadeloupe

My Beautiful Bahrain by Robin Barratt for Bahrain

When Hoopoes Go to Heaven by Gaile Parkin for Swaziland

End of the Spear by Steve Saint (a really interesting book) for Ecuador

My Heart Will Cross the Ocean by Kadiatou Diallo for Guinea  



#165 Talisman

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 09:23 AM

I managed then to get through a total of 94 books last year, which is a record for me and a fantastic result. I was aiming for 90 which had been my previous record.

 

I didn't get through as many countries as in previous years, but that is bound to happen as I start getting towards the end of this challenge.

 

The last country that I completed for the year was The Man Became I Came by Peter Verheist for Belgium.

 

​The new countries that I managed to complete in 2016 were then ​Belgium, Sint Maarten, Guadeloupe, Bahrain, Swaziland, Ecuador, Guinea, Vatican City, US Virgin Islands, Brunei, Benin, Nepal, Ethiopia, Argentina, Czech Republic, Tanzania, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Uruguay, Angola, Austria and Yemen.

 

I also managed books from Iceland, Colombia, Guernsey, Australia, Indonesia, Sweden, Somalia, South Korea, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Germany, Cuba, Israel and of course England and the United States, ​all of which are countries I had already covered.  



#166 chesilbeach

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 11:05 AM

You've made great progress on your challenge again, June. :)

I can't remember if you've mentioned it, but have you heard of Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer by Ann Morgan? It's about a woman who completed an around the world reading challenge. I've had my eye on it for a while, but waiting for the paperback to come out and hope that the Kindle version will drop in price. I don't think it's a challenge I could do myself, but I do like to read translated fiction and thought the book would be interesting.


#167 Talisman

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 11:21 AM

I don't think I have heard of that one, but will go and have a look and if there is a Kindle version, add to my ever increasing wish list.



#168 Talisman

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 09:54 PM

I completed my first new country of 2017 about half an hour ago from Azerbaijan, a country that is difficult to find books from, especially on Kindle. I get the feeling this is one that will stay with me for a while. Layla and Majnun is billed a classic tale of Persian literature, adpated from a late 12th Century poem penned by Nizami, a Sufi mystic born in what is now Azerbaijan. This is a beautifully crafted epic tale filled with passion and longing - a Persian Romeo and Juliet of star crossed lovers forced to be apart due to tribal feuding. The two characters Layla (the woman) and Majnun (the man - the word means madman in the ancient Persian language) are a Sufi representation of the soul's yearning to return to God. The son Layla by Eric Clapton was apparently inspired by this tale. This is the sort of book that anyone who is interested in mysticism or indeed ancient Persia needs to read.



#169 Inver

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 05:28 PM

Just looking through your list of countries etc and see Wales has a gap. Not sure if you have heard of this one

'The Welsh Girl' ....I read it a good few years back and enjoyed it. The author is half Welsh, if that counts.



#170 Talisman

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 04:50 PM

I don't see why not - as long as the book is set in Wales. I will take a look and see if it's available on Kindle.



#171 chesilbeach

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 05:23 PM

If you want another choice for Wales, I'd also recommend The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan, which I read years ago and absolutely loved :)



#172 Talisman

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 04:32 PM

I will bear it in mind. The title sounds interesting.



#173 Talisman

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 06:38 PM

I finished my 2nd country of 2017 last night - Reading the Ceiling by Dayo Forster for The Gambia.



#174 Talisman

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 05:05 PM

I have finished 2 more countries in the last week or so. The first was A Man was Going Down the Road by Otar Chiladze for the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. This was a very difficult and laborious read for me, which was also very lengthy.

 

The second, which was somewhat easier was Cape Verde Blues by CW Childs for the West African island of Cape Verde.   

 

Both of these are difficult countries to find books from, especially on Kindle, so I am pleased that I managed to find them.      



#175 MrCat

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Posted 07 March 2017 - 05:26 PM

I looked over your list and I'd just like to specify a few things regarding your Romanian picks. Tuomas Kyro and Patrick McGuiness are not Romanians. Herta Muller isn't Romanian either, she was just born in Romania  She moved to Germany in 1987 where she wrote all of her works, except some stories (written in 1982 and 1984) that were heavily censored by the Communist regime. 


Edited by MrCat, 07 March 2017 - 05:26 PM.


#176 Talisman

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 05:00 PM

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:



#177 willoyd

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 08:35 AM

 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!).



#178 Madeleine

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 09:40 AM

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.



#179 Talisman

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Posted 23 March 2017 - 04:33 PM

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, 23 March 2017 - 08:32 PM.





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