Widening My Horizons

As you probably know, I love a reading challenge. And inspired by one of my favourite (not particularly active but well worth a read) blogs –  A Year of Reading the World – I’ve decided to make an effort to read a book from at least one different country every month. 

I counted the other day and I’ve read books from 17 different countries which accounts for 7% of the world’s countries. Pathetic right?

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And unsurprisingly the majority of those countries have English as a first language. So my list of read countries as it stands at the moment is this:

  • UK
  • USA
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Ireland
  • France
  • Denmark
  • Netherlands
  • Russia
  • China
  • Japan
  • Afghanistan
  • Colombia
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Sweden

February 2014

And soon to be added is Iceland but I haven’t quite finished that book yet! I don’t expect to be able to tick off the entire world any time soon but I’m going to do my best to  make sure this list grows at a healthy rate. If you’ve got any suggestions to help my list on its way do let me know!

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12 responses to “Widening My Horizons

  1. Wow! That is a challenge and such a good idea! I feel bad about my lack of world reading so I’m looking forward to you recommending a few things!

    • To be perfectly honest I’m not sure how well I’m going to be able to stick with this one but I know Waterstones have a translated fiction section and I currently have a Waterstones gift card so it should start strongly enough!

  2. Actually, 17 sounds pretty good to me! Which Icelandic book are you reading? If you’re a crime fan, you could read some Jo Nesbo and tick Norway off the list. Janet Frame’s Face in the Water is excellent and would cover New Zealand…..

    • Jo Nesbo is one of the options I came up with as well! I like reading crime but they can be very formulaic which puts me off. Have you read any of his books? Worth a go? The Icelandic book is Someone to Watch Over Me by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir which as it happens is a crime book and so far really good.

      I’ve not heard of Janet Frame but I’ll look out for that, thanks for the recommendation 🙂

  3. If you want to tackle the many countries of Africa, I would recommend something by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as a starter. I have only read Purple Hibiscus http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/126381.Purple_Hibiscus which was amazing, if quite confronting, but I hear her other book Half of a Yellow Sun https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18749.Half_of_a_Yellow_Sun is excellent too 🙂

    Are you only reading books that were originally published in a particular country, or is the challenge more about the nationality of the author? Or are you even reading books based on setting? If the third category applies I would recommend The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by British author Alexander McCall-Smith to represent Botswana. Oh! And The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1232.The_Shadow_of_the_Wind?from_search=true for Spain.

    • Wow, thanks for all the recommendations!

      I think I’m going to go mostly by author nationality i.e. the nationality they are identified as (so Rudyard Kipling was born in India but listed as British so he counts for the UK).

      I haven’t read any books by African authors so it’s really helpful that you could recommend something. The Shadow of the Wind is one I started years ago btu didn’t like. I’ve heard so much abotu it since that I think I’m going to have to revisit it though. Especially because Spain is such a big country not to have read anything from!

  4. Great idea for a challenge by the way 🙂

  5. Oh this sounds like an interesting challenge! I’m looking forward to hearing about what you read.

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