corner corner (CLOSED - see county-hopping thread)2012 52 Countries reading challenge - thoughts needed

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(CLOSED - see county-hopping thread)2012 52 Countries reading challenge - thoughts needed

I think this may also be on some of the "other" reading group discussions, but I can't access them from work - so I'll start this challenge here. I've done hyphen's 50 states, and J4shaw's 666 challenge - and still have a ton of 'international' books on the TBR pile. When another bookcrosser mentioned this at a meetup, I thought it would be a great way to get through some of the Mt TBR that I tend to skip over.

Initial thoughts on rules (and please feel free to advise below!)
1) Book setting or author from 52 different countries (dependencies and territories can count too)
2) Only one book/country
3) Instead of a long single list like the 666, I'll post a reading thread quarterly. You keep track of the # you're up to. On THAT thread, post WHEN DONE reading the book with the country, book, author, BCID (if applicable) and a little about the book (loved it, hated it, where it's going next, whatever)
4) All genre's welcome, as long as it's a book. Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children's, Teen. No travel books, like Zagat's guide to xxx, please. That makes it TOO easy.

Ideas for countries can be found here: http://www.worldatlas.com/nations.htm; dependencies here: http://www.worldatlas.com/---/dependtr.htm and FICTION authors here: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/. You can also search your public library site, by typing in the keyword of the country you're looking for - I would advise that for only the obscure countries though!

Thoughts? Anyone want to join me?

Nancy

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I think this may also be on some of the "other" reading group discussions, but I can't access them from work - so I'll start this challenge here. I've done hyphen's 50 states, and J4shaw's 666 challenge - and still have a ton of 'international' books on the TBR pile. When another bookcrosser mentioned this at a meetup, I thought it would be a great way to get through some of the Mt TBR that I tend to skip over.

Initial thoughts on rules (and please feel free to advise below!)
1) Book setting or author from 52 different countries (dependencies and territories can count too)
2) Only one book/country
3) Instead of a long single list like the 666, I'll post a reading thread quarterly. You keep track of the # you're up to. On THAT thread, post WHEN DONE reading the book with the country, book, author, BCID (if applicable) and a little about the book (loved it, hated it, where it's going next, whatever)
4) All genre's welcome, as long as it's a book. Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children's, Teen. No travel books, like Zagat's guide to xxx, please. That makes it TOO easy.

Ideas for countries can be found here: http://www.worldatlas.com/nations.htm; dependencies here: http://www.worldatlas.com/dependtr.htm and FICTION authors here: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/. You can also search your public library site, by typing in the keyword of the country you're looking for - I would advise that for only the obscure countries though!

Thoughts? Anyone want to join me?

Nancy
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or would it be up to each person to choose?
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or would it be up to each person to choose?


Like the 666 challenge - the countries and choices are up to you. I'm sure we all have different country books languishing on our Mt. TBR pile - I sure do!

Off the top of my head, I have France, Italy, Iraq, Egypt, Ethiopia, Cuba, India, China, Japan, Spain - and I haven't even REALLY checked my TBR stash.
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I'd like to join the challenge, but read other books in between "official"
titles so they don't become a chore.
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it would be okay for me to set my own number goal. 52 is definitely too high for me, but I'd like to join in anyway because the discussion structure you laid out sounds perfect!
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I certainly don't want it to be a chore - for me either! For me, it's to get some 'international' authors/settings read instead of languishing.

The States challenge was 51 books, 666 was 36 books. I just pulled 52 out of the air!

The books don't need to be tomes either - a few of us passed around a couple of children's (elementary school age) books for the 666 challenge that were very good.
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but I think I would need to set my own target of about 20 books for this, all from my tbr stacks. I like the idea of posting in this way and having more freedom with the countries, I loved 666 until it started getting difficult and I was finding books just so I could tick coutries off the list
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So I'll stick with that one. (Also, I'm planning a big life change for July 2012, so I'm going to try and read all 52 in the first half of the year.)
I plan to finish the 666 challenge by the end of this year. What I like more about the idea of the 52 book challenge is that there is greater freedom to choose countries - I can read all 52 from one or two continents if I choose.
Another thing, for something like this I go by setting. It makes absolutely no sense to me to go by author's birthplace. Counting Philippa Gregory for Kenya, for example, is just silly, as her books have nothing do to with that country at all.
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Some others have too - but I can't get to Goodreads from work, so never started with that site.

So, I thought I'd post this in bookcrossing, which I CAN get to from work, to see if there was interest here.
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Some others have too - but I can't get to Goodreads from work, so never started with that site.

So, I thought I'd post this in bookcrossing, which I CAN get to from work, to see if there was interest here.


I'm not saying there can't be one here :) Just that I personally won't sign up since I'm already involved elsewhere.
It's a good idea, and for many people probably also a good way to whittle down Mount TBR. Although to my surprise, when starting the 666 challenge I found that I had not one single book from Oceania in my collection, and only one from South America!
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and I might combine this challenge with the 52 books released in 52 towns.
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But I have a question: do the books have to be on TBR or can they also be books I might acquire during the year?

I also may not be able to commit to read a book per week, and would like to set my own target (and hopefully exceed that). But it would really help to vary and expand my reading-range.
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But I have a question: do the books have to be on TBR or can they also be books I might acquire during the year?

I also may not be able to commit to read a book per week, and would like to set my own target (and hopefully exceed that). But it would really help to vary and expand my reading-range.


No books do not need to be on TBR. Most folks want to set their own target. The idea is to expand your reading horizons.
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Other thoughts? I rethinking this one - and maybe doing an "around the World" reading challenge, where you set your own # of countries goal. I'll be starting grad school, plus working, plus the first grandchild will be born this spring....52 books is probably a little out of my own reach for 2012.
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I'm doing it on goodreads, but I'm happy to do it here too. If you go to Goodreads, there are GREAT lists people have developed and some reading groups for particular books. We also found a great travel site that lets you map your "travels." Lots of fun!! If you go to Goodreads, my list is there under Beth's 1001 and 666 list. I picked so I can meet 666 challenge goals at same time and read most of my books from 1001 books you must read before you die list. Having done 666 this year, I am so excited to read a wide range of world lit. I have enjoyed discovering new authors and learning about so many places.
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I will also combine this challenge with the 1,000 books to be read challenge. The German list gives also the origin of the author and I would probably go by this. I have not yet had a look at the list and do not know whether there are 52 countries represented but I read about 70 books from this list in 2011 and therefore it would be great to combine the two challenges. I am also happy to give advice if you were interested in reading a book with a German/Indian background.
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country?
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country?


No - It will probably be the usual. Whatever book jumps off the TBR sooner pile first when January comes around! I do have quite a few that were not used for the 666 challenge (duplicate countries, or didn't need another country for that continent), so will likely look through those first. I also try to combine challenges, so if there's a RABCK or release challenge that will also match something in the TBR pile, that will be the deciding factor.
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it coming! At this point, I think I may change this to an "around the world" country challenge - and let each participant choose their own country "goal" (i.e. # of countries they plan to read in 2012). That way, if some want to do 52 countries (and have the time to do it) they can, but those of us with life getting in the way can choose a more reasonable target.

Thoughts on that?
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I doubt I'd manage 52 in a year as there are so many other books that I want to read but if I can read less then that'd be great. It'll be good for combining with the 1001 list too.
Would we need to set a goal or can we just keep track of how many we do read?
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Would we need to set a goal or can we just keep track of how many we do read?


Thoughts from others? Is a goal helpful (it is to me) or a hindrance?
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Thoughts from others? Is a goal helpful (it is to me) or a hindrance?

To me it's helpful, it gives something to aim for.

Perhaps you could do something like for the pages read challange. People set their own goal at the end of 2011 for how many books from different counties they think they'll read. For some this may be 12 (one book a month they purposefully read for this challenge). For others it could be much higher.
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Thoughts from others? Is a goal helpful (it is to me) or a hindrance?


This is virtual tourism for me. I like to "read up" on the country - a bit of history,
current events, geology and geography. Then I read a novel written by a native
author or at least an author who has lived in that country for years. Then I'll read
a couple of fluff books to clear my mental palatte. I'll probably aim for one a month,
choosing books that others are reading so I can join in on discussions.
For me, the numerical goal doesn't matter - I'll still take it at my own pace. 26 might
be a more realistic goal if you have a lot going on this year. Or we could keep it at 52 and let it run indefinitely. That will allow others to join in when they
get a chance without feeling they're coming too late to the party. It also allows
us to sklp a month or two to fit in real life.
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I'll probably aim for one a month,
choosing books that others are reading so I can join in on discussions.

I don't think the aim is to all be reading the same book, is it. Sure, someone else *may* have read the book also and join in a conversation, but it's not like a readalong.
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I'll probably aim for one a month,
choosing books that others are reading so I can join in on discussions.

I don't think the aim is to all be reading the same book, is it. Sure, someone else *may* have read the book also and join in a conversation, but it's not like a readalong.


No, I didn't mean all of us reading the same book in lockstep,just that I will probably choose a book or two that others have read and commented on.

"On THAT thread, post WHEN DONE reading the book with the country, book, author, BCID (if applicable) and a little about the book (loved it, hated it, where it's going next, whatever)"
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No, I didn't mean all of us reading the same book in lockstep,just that I will probably choose a book or two that others have read and commented on.

Ahh, now it's clear to me what you meant. Sounds like a good idea.
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I wouldn't make 52 (hey, I don't think I'll make the 36 for the 666 challenge). What I really like is the idea people discuss the books in the challenge and NOT just list the books they've read.

The 666 challenge this year got very boring with the same couple of people just copy and pasting a list of books and adding one to it each time they read it. (Considering the 'edit' function has been avaliable all year I really wish they had just edited one post). The desire to entire the 666 thread was completely gone by about July.
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I wouldn't make 52 (hey, I don't think I'll make the 36 for the 666 challenge). What I really like is the idea people discuss the books in the challenge and NOT just list the books they've read.

With something like this I think it's the discussion, or at least the 'I liked it' or 'this was rubbish' that makes it interesting. Who wants to keep looking at a thread that's just full of lists?

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I don't know how many I have that are set in other countries so I like the idea of setting our own goals.
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I'll be posting something in THIS forum, since it is a reading challenge sometime in Mid-December, so you can start ordering/searching/whatever to be ready for January.
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or alternately a 52/26 challenge. If you don't make it, fine, but goals make us stretch a little. The 26 should be reachable for most, particuliarly with kid's books allowed as a safety valve. To me the idea of a challenge needs that elemet of 'can I do it? Should I try?' The only failure is not trying. Having put in my 2 cents worth, I'm interested however you decide to set it up.
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or alternately a 52/26 challenge. If you don't make it, fine, but goals make us stretch a little. The 26 should be reachable for most, particuliarly with kid's books allowed as a safety valve. To me the idea of a challenge needs that elemet of 'can I do it? Should I try?' The only failure is not trying. Having put in my 2 cents worth, I'm interested however you decide to set it up.


I may be the only one really aiming for 52, but I am, because the 666 challenge was so much fun this year for its capacity to push me to try books I wouldn't have otherwise and to discover literarture from some fairly uncommon places. And I have books already queued up for 2013 because I couldn't fit them into my crazy 52 list. I've actually read 82 books this year already, so 52 next year should be doable. Actually, if I count all the books I read to my 4 year old, I'd definitely be over my Goodreads goal of 100. Need to log those!

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It will be "The Kiss of The Spiderwoman" by Mario Puig which is from Argentina.
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I've been struggling with the 666 for two years now (or is it 3?). I find it really frustrating when I have a book from a particular continent which takes my fancy, but then I "have to" leave it out because I "ought to" be reading a for another continent. Of course the same thing will happen here too, because I'm bound to have more than one book for some countries (Japan, Netherlands and Germany spring to mind), but it will still encourage me to read books from different countries.

I'd rather not have a set goal to aim for, even if we can set it ourselves. If I'm committed to take part, that should be enough motivation to make me think of reading books from around the world. If I reached the goal early, I would still continue, and if I knew half way through the year that I was going to fail, it wouldn't motivate me to read more good books. Although reading children's books is an option, and I often read teen books, I prefer to read *good* literature or books that teach me about a country than just read something to tick a country off the list.

I don't want it to be just a numbers game. I think that's fine for a release challenge, but I'd much rather read 23 really good books or 10 good thick books, rather than achieving an arbitrary goal of 52 books (or any other number), filling it up with short children's books just for the sake of it.

I like the idea of commenting on the books briefly, and posting on individual books, not working with long lists, like in the 1001 thread. If you have to update the same post every time you update, there's no way of seeing who has updated. That's OK for a challenge with a monthly thread like Dove-i-Libri's Reduce MTBR Challenge, but it doesn't stimulate discussion or commenting (unless you post individually for each book as well as editing your own list post). You also need new posts (not edited posts) to bring the thread to the top of the forum.

So what are you going to call the challenge? Read Around the World? Country-hopping? A BookCrosser's Guide to the Bookiverse?
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So what are you going to call the challenge? Read Around the World? Country-hopping? A BookCrosser's Guide to the Bookiverse?


I've been kicking around a few ideas on what to call it (52 weeks/52 countries definitely NOT! I was just accepted to grad school and that won't happen in 2012 for me)
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If anyone wants some ideas including obscure places, here's a link to my 666 list from this year. I'm working on the last book (Egypt) now. I'd recommend almost all of them highly. I had to really slog through Zorba the Greek, but it's a friend of mine's all time favorite. Shalom, Japan wasn't great; there are so many better Japan choices. I found Sheltering Sky, the Dana Stabenow one for the US, Zaibatsu, and The Alchemist all pretty forgetable, but most of the rest were truly marvelous. A lot were from the 1001 book list or were recommended by someone who teaches world lit. So here is the tinyurl'd link to the Google doc: http://tinyurl.com/7a6uhaw .
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I read a lot and I would love to challenge myself to read a wider variety of books. As 2012 is going to be a busy year for me too, I don't want to set my goal at 52, in fact, I'd prefer not to set a goal at all, as I find it so hard to judge how many books I will be able to read in a given year. But if we must set a goal, it won't put me off joining this challenge (I'll just make something up). I do like the discussion or comment part of the challenge as I would love to know other people's recommendations.

A very quick and brief perusal of this forum did not show me that the challenge thread has already been opened. If I have missed it, can someone kindly nudge me into the right direction?
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Recuperating from a nasty virus and haven't been on the forums at all for almost a week.

I'll post something in a few days, when the head clears a bit.

Thanks for all the comments - it helps to know what direction to go, besides in circles!
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I'm interested, but troubled by the assumption in
3) Can be setting OR author from the country, if the author makes sense (An american author writing about Japan, doesn't make sense unless s/he was raised in that country)

Are you suggesting that the only 'authentic' voice is a 'particuliar' voice? IE that only 'living', not analysing, not researching, not using life experience, counts as an authentic and approved voice? This troubles me. I certainly wouldn't pick Daniel Defoe as THE voice of colonial America based on Moll Flanders, but I wouldn't say his voice was unauthentic.
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I'm interested, but troubled by the assumption in
3) Can be setting OR author from the country, if the author makes sense (An american author writing about Japan, doesn't make sense unless s/he was raised in that country)

Are you suggesting that the only 'authentic' voice is a 'particuliar' voice? IE that only 'living', not analysing, not researching, not using life experience, counts as an authentic and approved voice? This troubles me. I certainly wouldn't pick Daniel Defoe as THE voice of colonial America based on Moll Flanders, but I wouldn't say his voice was unauthentic.


Certainly, if the author knows the subject, that's fine. But even I stretched the point in the 666 challenge, by using Alexander McCall Smith's country as Zimbabwe, since he was born there - just to get Africa done. Since I have more latitude without the continents, I personally am going to try to avoid doing that this time.
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I did the 666 Challenge but fizzled out about halfway through the year. I know I've read more books than I currently have posted for the Challenge but I never fully embraced Goodreads. Some quiet afternoon I should get caught up and see what I actually accomplished. I think I would set my goal for this Challenge as +1 from whatever I did for 666. I do like not being stuck continent-wise, as I very much like to read books which take place in Asia and Africa, though I'm personally more inclined to visit Europe and South America - what's up with that?? And finding books from Oceania proved a big challenge (within a Challenge)...
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I finshed Oceania only because I got several of the books from other 666r's & they're still being passed around - over in Europe now, I think.
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passed around - over in Europe now, I think.

Yes they are, and thanks for sending them this way NancyNova.
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Thought this needed a little bump. Kiwi, hope you are enjoying the Oceania reads, at least one came to Nancy via me, I think.
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I just started a 2012 666 thread for those who like a distribution requirement with their international reading. I liked being pushed to find books from tougher regions this year, so I thought it would be useful to keep a challenge with that aspect going. I've changed the rules to address complaints from last year, so hopefully it will be a little more fun to read the thread. I've moved the challenge over here, too, so it will be easier to post on both, but also because I think it makes more sense here than in the release category.
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where to post the books we have read?
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and I will see if quarterly works the best:

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/469614

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