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June's Around the World Book Challenge

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The one from Gabon was the best - anything by Jan-Philip Sendker is always good as well though.

 

I finished a brilliant one from Curacao last night, this being a country that is really hard to find books from.  

 

The House of Six Doors by Patricia Siebert

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The only book from Curacao I've read, is Frank Martinus Arion - Dubbelspel (I think the English title is Double Play). That one was pretty good. I read it for my Dutch literature lessons. It's true that books from the country are hard to find.

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I haven't come across that one - I will have to see if it's available on Kindle.

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A few more countries to add the list:  

 

The Night of the Rambler by Montegue Kobbe for Anguilla 

The Unfortunate Potcake by Julie Thompson for Turks and Caicos Islands

Mongol by Uuganaa Ramsay for Mongolia

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Hiroshima by John Hersey for Japan   

 

You're doing very well in this challenge, June. :) How did you find Hiroshima? I'm keen to read this one day.

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It was an interesting but short book. I didn't know much about this period of history having not studied the subject past the age of 14, so for me it really brought it to life. I am glad that I read it.

 

It has though been another good year of reading for me with many more countries completed, including some hard to find ones:

 

Gibraltar, Montserrat, Marshall Islands, Tonga, Suriname, Peru, New Zealand, Andorra, Belize, Netherlands, Pitcairn Island, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Malta.  Monaco, Luxembourg, Vatican City, San Marino, Austria, Gabon, Macao, Curacao, Anguilla and Turks and Caicos Islands.

 

It doesn't look like a lot of countries compared to previous years and some have come from travel books that encompassed multiple areas. This is bound to happen I guess as I get nearer completion.

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

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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

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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

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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  

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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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 :)

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

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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.      

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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

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