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(Use new Thread for April-June) 2012 January-March Country-Hopping Reading Challenge Post Books read here

Thanks to all who put in input here: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/468236 and I will keep that thread open for further discussions.

Post here
1) Your 2012 goal (and you can change it up or down as the year goes on). Yes, you can post 1 or even "no goal".
2) AFTER you've read the book, post here in a separate entry - the book # towards your goal, title, author, country, BC link (if appropriate) and a little about the book you chose (loved it, hated it, where it's going next, a synopsis, whatever). Others are welcome to comment on your entry.

Rules:
1) Any country, territory or dependency counts
2) Only one book/country
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)
4) All genre's welcome, as long as it's a book. It could be Fiction, Non-Fiction, Childrens/teens (there were some GREAT ones in the 666 challenge). No travelogues, like Zagat's guide to xxx - that's TOO easy
5) Books can be from any source: TBR pile, rabck, library, borrowed

J4Shaw's 666 challenge will still be running too here: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/446323 Yes, you're welcome to post books that you read for her challenge in this thread too.

Ideas for countries: http://www.worldatlas.com/---/nations.htm
Dependencies and territories: http://www.worldatlas.com/---/dependtr.htm
Fiction authors: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/
You can also keyword search for a country in most library searches.

This is a no-pressure reading challenge. Hopefully, you'll expand your reading horizons and find some gems that you may have overlooked along the way.

PS to Goodreads folks - I can't get to goodreads from work, so I started my version here. But feel free to stay on that site, do both or borrow away!

Complete Thread

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Thanks to all who put in input here: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/468236 and I will keep that thread open for further discussions.

Post here
1) Your 2012 goal (and you can change it up or down as the year goes on). Yes, you can post 1 or even "no goal".
2) AFTER you've read the book, post here in a separate entry - the book # towards your goal, title, author, country, BC link (if appropriate) and a little about the book you chose (loved it, hated it, where it's going next, a synopsis, whatever). Others are welcome to comment on your entry.

Rules:
1) Any country, territory or dependency counts
2) Only one book/country
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)
4) All genre's welcome, as long as it's a book. It could be Fiction, Non-Fiction, Childrens/teens (there were some GREAT ones in the 666 challenge). No travelogues, like Zagat's guide to xxx - that's TOO easy
5) Books can be from any source: TBR pile, rabck, library, borrowed

J4Shaw's 666 challenge will still be running too here: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/446323 Yes, you're welcome to post books that you read for her challenge in this thread too.

Ideas for countries: http://www.worldatlas.com/nations.htm
Dependencies and territories: http://www.worldatlas.com/dependtr.htm
Fiction authors: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/
You can also keyword search for a country in most library searches.

This is a no-pressure reading challenge. Hopefully, you'll expand your reading horizons and find some gems that you may have overlooked along the way.

PS to Goodreads folks - I can't get to goodreads from work, so I started my version here. But feel free to stay on that site, do both or borrow away!
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My goal will be rather low to start: 15 books.

I'm starting grad school part-time (and working full time), plus have my first grandbaby due in May.

I may increase or decrease that goal as I see how 2012 settles out!
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I'm going to aim to reading books from 25 different countries, with only six from Europe being counted in this 25. I think this will be a stretch for me (especially the restriction on Europe).
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Welcome to the challenge! From doing the 666 challenge, Asia was also a continent that I had a lot of books for. North America - US & CAnada - easy. But central america and the carribean?? Now that was harder. Dependencies and Territories should help (I hope)
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I will set my goal at 20, which is stretching, I think. I will not put a restriction on any continent yet, but that may change. Now off to find some books to start with :-).
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My goal is 12 books from countries to which I didn't armchair travel in the 666
challenge. The authors should be natives or at least have lived there for many
years. Thanks for setting this up, Nancy.
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I would like to aim for 20 to start with. As for Pinkoeria, this is a stretch for me too but I'll go for it ! And I will also try to achieve that with as many books from my TBR, registered and unregistered, as possible.
Thanks for organising NancyNova! It is going to be good.
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And remember - you CAN move your goal up or down as the year progresses - although sometimes aiming for a goal can influence what jumps off a TBR shelf!
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I have no idea if that's feasible, but I usually read about 100 books a year, and in the past, I've been frustrated when I wanted to read yet another book for Europe, and I'd already read my allotted 6. So I'm looking forward to seeing how many countries I can visit next year;-)
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Welcome. I have "extra" country Europe and Asia books patiently waiting their turn for THIS year.
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I've got several which I could try to read in the last days of 2011 to add to the 666, which I can't possibly finish this year without finding some children's books to read. Or I could save them and get off to a flying start next year with Country-Hopping. No doubt it will end up being the latter, given there will be too much television watching and eating over the festive season. The 666 will carry over into next year too, for me, as usual...
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Goal: 53

I'm shooting for 53 and will be thrilled if I make it
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For those wanting to do the 666 challenge this year (vs. Finishing last year), there is a new thread here in Book Talk for that. Format is slightly different in response to the comments here by kiwi. Hopefully the thread will be more interesting to follow as people finish books with the new "rules."

This is the link to the rules page, and there is a link there to the completed read thread: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/469867
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Or lack of goal I should say. I like to join in with several challenges and and also read anthing else that takes my fancy so goals can be a bit frustrating if I feel that I'm obliged to read a certain book when I'd rather be reading something else.
So, I'm just planning on reading as many Country-hopping books as I can, and hopefully ones that are on the 1001 list. I have plenty of those on Mt TBR so I shall investigate them to see where they're set.
I'll keep track of how many I do read and see how many countries I manage to visit.
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Although my main goal this year is to try to read as many books from other BCers as I can, I'm going to set a goal on this challenge too. That may "force" me to choose certain books I may otherwise pass up, "until another time."

I'll make this goal 12 books (with one from each country). I don't normally pay attention to which country an author is from, so that may get me looking at that as well. I'll make this a somewhat flexible goal, with an average of 1 per month, not necessarily one per calendar month. I'm working on reading for a couple of bookboxes now, and that may keep me busy for the next couple of months. However, one of the books I'd like to read in the next few months is by Sara Douglass, and even though it's a thick scifi since I know she's Australian that should give me the incentive to read it.
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I think I read about sixteen or so for the 666 challenge in 2011? So this seems like a challenging but attainable goal for me.
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I wasn't going to add one more challenge, but I kept coming back to this. I can combine it with some of my other challenges, such as 1001 books, TBR read down, KTM books, read down my books from other BCers.
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I found myself with the 666 challenge, that it got me out of the US/Canada rut and exploring other countries. I still have a few countries that were dups with the 2011 666 challenge, so those will likely be the first read (besides the Book Club books - one i KNOW is set in another country)
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which will be mainly from the 1.000 books to read German version.

The first country I visited was Switzerland, our next-door neighbour. I read a book by Urs Widmer with some short stories over New Year´s. I enjoyed the book, but some of the stories were quite bizarre.

#1: Switzerland, Before us the deluge (Vor uns die Sintflut): http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9699993
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1. IRELAND - The heather blazing, by Colm Toinbin. http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8252701
I liked this book, it gave me the feeling of being IN Ireland. The main character, Eamon, is seen in different phases of his life, with many struggles, family members' deaths, single dad bringing him up, dad becoming ill later etc, as well as his life later with his wife and children, and working as a judge. And again experiencing deep loss when his wife dies. I found him very human, for all his shortcomings.
2. MONGOLIA - The Cave of the Yellow Dog, by Byambasuren Davaa and Lisa Reisch.
I have read two other books set in Mongolia before and it is a bit like coming back.
What an amazing culture.
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Ohh! Awesome! We're doing a similar thing in the Scandinavian Forum. I've tried to create a list with as many countries as possible. Mongolia is one where I missed. Couldn't find any. Could you post here, or PM me the title/author of the other two books as well? Pretty pretty please? If I can get my hands on one of those books I can add another country to my list! Pretty pretty please?! ;-)
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Hi Elskaliam! Interested in books set in Mongolia?
I really like: 'Hearing the Birds Fly', by Louisa Waugh (Publisher Abacus 2003) A woman describes spending a year with the nomads in Mongolia.
The other book is: Horse Boy .I can't look up the author now as someone is asleep inthe room where that book is.Inthis book Amercian parents of an autitsic boy travel with him to Mongolia to find healing. The beginning and end of the book are in USA, the main part is in Mongolia.
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Thank you so much for that! No I've got a few options. :-) Now let's just hope I can find them here in Sweden!
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1) Australia - The Convict Boy by Jackie French
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/3014191
This young adult book is historical literature that follows Tom as he struggles to survive as an orphan in England before being deported to Australia aged nine. This was a fascinating read that recreated life for one of the first settlers from England when they landed in Australia. Great descriptions of travelling on a convict ship.

2) Lebanon - A House at The Edge of Tears by Venus Khoury-Ghata
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/6128921
This is set in Beirut, and tells the story of growing up in a house ruled by a tyranical father whose interaction with his wife and children cause great distress. The author is almost poetic in some of her descriptions of places and characters in the neighbourhood. It was a beautiful, and at times harrowing, short read.
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Finished my Trinidad read, which turned out to take place in Central Africa.
It was A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8512710/ which didn't rock my world like some of my reads from Africa last year. I'm glad I read it, but not thrilled. I reviewed it on my blog:
http://bethslistlove.wordpress.com/---/from-trinidad-via-central-africa-to-kiribati/
That entry also has opening impression of my next book, for Kiribati: Sex Lives of Cannibals, which is already making me laugh out loud. Nice change from the seriousness of Naipaul.
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I'm glad you didn't totally ditch Naipaul, like I did with one of his books. I suspected some were more readable than others.
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1. Mexico
The Power and the Glory - Graham Greene
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/6378750
During an anti-clerical purge in one of the southern states of Mexico, the last priest is on the run. Greene makes you see the people and surroundings beautifully. You can almost feel the heat and hear the mosquitos.
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#2

#2: Germany, Willenbrock, Christoph Hein, http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/: this was the easiest for me as I come from that country. I chose a book from the 1.000-books-to be read German list and I was really amazed by the book as I had not read anything by this author before. The main character in the book is a former engineer who lost his job after the break-down of the GDR and finds himself a second hand car dealer in Berlin. He sells most of his cars to people from the former Warsaw Bloc. He and his wife are victims of an armed robbery and slowly he gets paranoia. An excellent read and I would recommend it if you can get a copy in English or your native tongue.
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Thanks fo much for doing this challenge! The 666 challenge really interested me, but was just too much for me.

Are we allowed to change the country of the book later on if it fits more than one?


So far I have two books for the challenge under my belt:

#1 TURKEY- Dancing With Colonels: A Young Woman's Adventures in Wartime Turkey by Marjorie Havreberg which is a very vibrant, entertaining collection of the author's letters home from Washington D.D. in 1936 where she was working for a senator, and from 1944 - 1946 from Turkey where she was working for the War Dept. I just wished she'd ahd more exposure to the people and culture of Turkey.

#2: CANADA: The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger who is a Canadian author. I had a hard time trying to decide which country to give credit for this book, since it is set in Egypt during the 19th Century. However, I think I'm likely to read another book set in Egypt this year, so I ended up giving Canada the credit. I loved this book, which was based on the true story of Lady Duff-Gordon's maid. Sally Naldrett, who accompanied her Lady to Egypt when her lady became ill, and who found more freedom than she had dreamed possible. When she overstepped the bounds of that freedom by falling in love with an Egyptian dragoman, she also found that she was not as free as she'd believed, and that overstepping the bound of that freedom came with a heavy price.
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Since you're posting AFTER you've read the book, pick the country then (and only one/country though!)
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2. Antigua
Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8095409
A coming of age book set in Antigua. This was a lovely little book. I loved the main character, Annie and the descriptions of the life as seen through a schoolgirl's eyes were excellent.

3. Haiti
The Kingdom of this World by Alejo Carpentier
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/6508995
This has themes of slavery, voodoo and superstition. It's quite brutal in places. There are elements of magical realism. Overall I enjoyed it, but I'm glad it was a fairly short book.
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Just finished
2. The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/7223412/
This is a very funny book which I review in several blog entries at http://bethslistlove.wordpress.com . The author and his girlfriend spend 2 years on the VERY small atoll which is part of the very large, in geographical area, but very small, in landmass, country of Kiribati in the VERY remote South Pacific. Key words: VERY small, VERY remote. And yes VERY funny.

For those attempting the 666 challenge, this one will be up on the RABCK thread.
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#3

#3: Austria, Der kurze Brief zum langen Abschied (The short letter for a long farewell) by Peter Handke: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9925481/
The book is actually set in the States but I view this as a book for Austria because the author is Austrian and he describes a story which also starts in Austria. I have now covered all German speaking countries and am now off to Italy.
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#4: Italy

#4: Italy, The Bicycle Thieves, Luigi Bartolini: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/6932443/
Through this book I visited Italy in 1944. The main character is an Anti-Fascist painter/writer whose bike has been stolen. He tries to take repossession by looking for it in the streets of Rome. This book was part of the 1.000 books-to-read German list. I am now off to France.
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http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9693003
I found some of these short stories very amusing. The culture in this (imaginary) Pacific Island is an extreme of real life. The way the author wrote about the manipulation of overseas aid/ funding, the blind observation of religious life to the detriment of real life, and the pull of family expectations was very interesting.

This book was written by a Tongan born in Papua New Guinea, and was published when the author lived and worked in Fiji. So I am counting this book as Fiji.
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Just finished Pitcairn's Island by Nordhoff and Hall http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10262662
Loved it, but it is tragic. Here is my review: http://www.goodreads.com/---/257781082

I'll make a bookray for this one, which has two other books as well, one in Tahiti, and not sure what to label the other (the section devoted to Captain bligh after the mutiny, which I have't read, but they don't get to Tahiti)
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4. USA
The gravedigger's daughter by Joyce Carol Oates
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/6810025

I really enjoyed this one. I got really drawn into the story and the characters lives.

I seem to be making my way around the N. American continent at the moment. I might make a break for it and try something from Europe or Asia at some point *grin*
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http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9707462

This book concerned the first generation of british born children to immigrants from a small village in the Punjab, and how there is social conflict between the families Indian culture and the British view of relationships.

Like Romeo and Juliet, a teen from each house falls in love with the other. Various amounts of teen angst and sneaking around. The girl lives in a strict family so it outlines the social conflict between the families Indian culture and the British view of relationships.
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http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/6833838
As an expat myself, I enjoyed this tale of an immigrant family, and recognise my children's experience in being born in the country of residence, being accepted and absorbed by the surrounding culture, and yet regarded as foreign whenever anything goes wrong, e.g. dyslexia blamed on bilingualism (and that's without the racial issue).
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High adventure in Kenya, just after WWI. What a page-turner it was!
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#5: France

For my challenge book #5 I visited France in the first half of the 19th century. The book I read was Story of my Life by George Sand who was among others a contemporary of Frédéric Chopin. I read the book as part of the 1.000-books-to-be-read challenge but did not enjoy it that much, probably because I did not know a lot of the real life persons who appeared.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10375063/
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"The Umbrella Country" by Bino A Realuyo: A story of preteen boys in a working class Manila neighborhood trying to figure out their place in the world under the
alternatingly abusive and neglectful rule of their father and the emotionally
distant watch of their mother. I gave it 6 out of 10 stars. (country 1 of 12)

"Barbed Wire Surgeon" by Alfred A. Weinstein, is a memoir of his experiences
in the Japanese prisoner of war camps on the Bataan Penisula and in Japan
during WWII. This is an amazing tale of human endurance and ingenuity under
deprivation, starvation, and cruelty. My copy, inscribed by the author in 1950
to his employee, my mother-in-law, has been on my TBR pile for 20 years. This challenge provided just the push I needed.

My challenge requires the book to be written by someone who's lived for
years in that country. These two, written by nonresidents, may work for someone else's challenge.

Darling Jim, by Danish author Christian Moerk , is the intriguing story of three Irish sisters, the aunt who raised them and Darling Jim, the man who came between them, as related in the diary of a dead girl.

Carmen, by Prosper Me'rimee' , the classic French tale of a seductive Spanish Gypsy and her lover/victim, Don Jose - nobleman, soldier, smuggler, condemned man.



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5. Sweden
Vanished by Liza Marklund
The main character in this is a young female journalist. She gets involved in a story about a foundation that helps people to vanish as well as murders by a mafia. There are themes of social responsibility tackled in the book as well as it being a good thrilling read. I like this author's books. They're entertaining and intelligent.

6. Bohemia (Czech Republic)
Closely observed trains by Bohumil Hrabal
Very short but really quirky and enjoyable. Set during the war.
(no link as library book)

7. Slovenia
Veronika decides to die by Paulo Coelho
Fairly short but interesting and enjoyable. Set mostly in a mental institution after Veronika tries to commit suicide.
(no link as library book)
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interesting reads.
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#6

#6: USA, Tooth and Claw, T.C. Boyle: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10364136

This book is a collection of short stories by one of my favourite authors. I enjoyed every one of the short stories and it is a quick read. I would definitely recommend reading this book. I am already off to England for my next book.
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3. Mister Pip, by Lloyd Jones. Solomon Islands http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9797828/
Great book to read. I loved the way the story was told.
Just once or twice I did not understand how something came about in the story. ( for instance: how did Matilda find out that there was a first wife of Mr Watts? She just suddenly visited her)
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1. Turkey - Dancing With Colonels: A Young Woman's Wartime Adventures in Turkey

2. Egypt - The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger (formerly counted as Canada, until I realized it didn't exactly qualify.}

3. Kenya - The White Rhino Hotel by Bartle Bull

4. Italy - The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal

5. Jamaica - Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
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8. South Africa
A dry white season by Andre Brink
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/6742667
This was excellent.
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#7: England

#7: England: Tess of the D´Urbervilles: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/5560014
An excellent book and of course a classic. I read it because it is on the German 1,000 books-to-read list and it was a real treat. Set in England in the late 19th century it reflects on the morals of this time as Tess, the main character, struggles with the consequences of her past. I will not give away more but I would definitely recommend this book. I am off to Egypt or Finland now, have to decide as the novel takes place in Egypt but the author is Finnish.
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Pakistan: The Reluctant Fundamentalist, by Mohsin Hamed.
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I really enjoyed this modern classic, with the focus on a hard to pin down woman trying to make life exciting.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10344979
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House of Flowers is a short story, published in the same book as Breakfast at Tiffany's.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10344979

It looks at the insular world of a young girl who works in a bordello, and then falls madly in love with a man and becomes his wife. It's very short, but describes the locations really well. I could see the events happening and imagine the people very clearly in my mind.
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#1 England

Yippie! My first book. I have not read as much as I expected to so far.

1. When God was a Rabbit - http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10384709/

Despite the odd title (and I have to admit that it did make me hesitate to buy the book initially), I really liked this book a lot. It is a very moving account of a brother and sister growing up and how they deal with each other - and with the past - as adults. I could not put this book down and stayed up till the early morning hours to finish it (despite knowing I'd be woken up at 6am by my kids). Set in England, but also covering a bit of New York.

Interesting trivia: Sarah Winman wrote this book during NaNoWriMo, which all of a sudden inspires me to take part this year.
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#4 Tahiti

After lounging about on Pitcairn through Bounty Day, I have now moved on to and through Tahiti with Breadfruit by Celestine Vaite. It was a fun introduction to Tahitian culture via what was basically chick lit. My blog post is here: http://bethslistlove.wordpress.com/---/from-tahiti-with-love/
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1. Turkey - Dancing With Colonels: A Young Woman's Wartime Adventures in Turkey

2. Egypt - The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger (formerly counted as Canada, until I realized it didn't exactly qualify.}

3. Kenya - The White Rhino Hotel by Bartle Bull

4. Italy - The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal

5. Jamaica - Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

6. U.S. - Sandrine's Letter to Tomorrow by Dedra Johnson

7. Tuva - Tuva or Bust! Mr. Feyman's Last Journey by Ralph Leighton

* Special thanks for doing this challenge, NancyNova. I'm enjoying it very much. I love the books that it's bringing to my attention.
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1. Turkey - Dancing With Colonels: A Young Woman's Wartime Adventures in Turkey

2. Egypt - The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger (formerly counted as Canada, until I realized it didn't exactly qualify.}

3. Kenya - The White Rhino Hotel by Bartle Bull

4. Italy - The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal

5. Jamaica - Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

6. U.S. - Sandrine's Letter to Tomorrow by Dedra Johnson

7. Tuva - Tuva or Bust! Mr. Feyman's Last Journey by Ralph Leighton

* Special thanks for doing this challenge, NancyNova. I'm enjoying it very much. I love the books that it's bringing to my attention.


You're welcome! I certainly have never heard of some of the places before, like Tuva.
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9. Spain
Fiesta: The sun also rises by Ernest Hemingway
(no link - library book)

Set partly in France, but mostly in Spain which is where the Fiesta of the title takes place. I really enjoyed it, despite its descriptions of bullfighting. The feel for the town of Pamplona while the week long festivities are going on is excellent. Great story.
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And I just got #1! There really were other ones, but they didn't settle in one country long enough to figure out WHAT country they belonged to.

Yep - it's the easiest one: US
1. USA Cloudsplitter by Russell Banks http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/6360135/

If you want a really good (albeit long) read about just WHO John Brown Sr was and what the country was like in the North before the civil war, this is your book.
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10. England
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
(no link - ebook)

A very twisty-turny plot, and quite enjoyable.
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# 8 China

I've just finished Pearl Buck in China: Journey to The Good Earth by Hilary Spurling. Of course I knew the bare, basic facts about Pearl Buck, but I had never read a biography of her life before. This was a good one.
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Hmmm...I read a biography of Pearl Buck, but not this one. I'll have to keep it in mind.
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#8: Egypt

# 8: Egypt: The Egyptian by Mika Waltari: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9961217
Even though the author is Finnish I will count this book for Egypt because it has definitely nothing to do with Finland and as it takes place in ancient Egypt any writer who did some research is entitled to write a book on ancient Egypt. I enjoyed reading this epic (750 pages) which describes the life of an Egyptian doctor (Sinuhe) at the time of Akhenaton.
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http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8254515

Two journalists are recruited to find the kidnapped wife of a British oil engineer, a seemingly common occurance in Nigeria. The story outlines very well the ecological damage being done by drilling oil, as well as the social unrest, destruction of traditional cultures, and unhappiness involved with the industry.

This book was very well written, with flashbacks to provide background information without the pace dropping. I did get a little confused when the flashbacks became real time, but I think that was because of where I stopped in the book for a rest.
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What a variety of countries, dependencies and territories we have so far!
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That would be lovely and I agree about the variety. I have to admit that I had never heard of some of the countries/territories which for me from a German perspective are actually remote. This is the fun of having a truly international group here. Will try to find some exotic ones as well.
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Beginning with Finland, The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson: A grieving family
(elderly grandmother, father and young girl) spend their summers on an isolated
small island in Finland. This story is much loved by others, but I felt the adults were starving the child emotionally. Cultural difference perhaps? Country 2 of 12

Moved on to Sweden, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larrson: Fascinating
characters in this popular thriller, but a bit too dark for my taste. Country 3 of 12

On to Norway, Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson: A jewel of a coming-of-age
story, full of sparkling prose and crisp imagery. Country 4 of 12

Ending the month as the Swedish army invades Bavaria/Germany in
the 1630s in the Thirty Years War in
"The Adventurous Simplicissimus, being the description of the
life of a strange vagabond named Melchior Sternfels Von Fuchshaim"
by Hans Jacob Christoph Von Grimmelshausen.
My version is a free download of the rather clunky 1912 translation of the German classic published im jahr MDCLXIX.
I understand the later translation is more readable, but the author's first hand
war experience and sense of humor still shine through. Country 5 of 12
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1) Canada

The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx is set in Newfoundland, Canada. The author is American, but at least as of the time the book was published, lived part-time in Canada. It definitely evokes a very strong sense of place, although reading more about it around the web, it seems as though there is controversy about whether that aspect of the book is actually accurate. Any Canadians care to weigh in?

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/6623999/
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2) Italy

SUMMER in Tuscany by Elizabeth Adler http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10202699/

I read this YEARS ago from the library when it first came out - and have been looking for it ever since (since I didn't keep track of books in those days & didn't remember the title).

I'm so glad I found the *right* one finally to reread it!
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# 9 - Peru

The Green House by Mario Vargas Llosa

Even after I finished it, I still don't know if I loved it or hated it! One thing is certain - it was interesting and much different from my usual fare.
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The Green House by Mario Vargas Llosa

Even after I finished it, I still don't know if I loved it or hated it! One thing is certain - it was interesting and much different from my usual fare.


I don't think I've had that reaction to a book before. I'll have to think on that.
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Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9709539

This might have actually been the first book by a South African author and I truly enjoyed it. Some parts of the story are irritating like the putting to sleep of the dogs but then again this might be metaphorical for solving the small problems whereas the bigger personal problems are not really solved. I read this book as part of the 1,000-books-to-read challenge.
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#3 Austria

3. Promises to Keep by Nina Beaumont http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8343591/

Since this came out of a romance bookbox for the obcz, I really didn't expect much "meat" to it. But the author did her research and wrote a lot about a little known revolution in the mid-1800's in Austria, that I never knew about.
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11. Chile
2666 by Robert Bolano
This was mostly set in Mexico but as I've already claimed that, I'll go with the author's nationality and take Chile.

This was split into five books with the link between them being a town in Mexico. There are stories within stories within stories and it rambled on in places, which I loved. In the first book the focus is a German author but you don't find out until later how important he is to the whole book. It really was amazing.
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I read the book some years ago and once I got into the story I found it very interesting. Hopefully, the book I sent out as a ring will come back to me one day so that I can read the book again.
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1. 74 Seaside Ave. by Debbie Macomber -- USA (1 of many set in the US)

I am reading this series and enjoying it. Nice light reading.
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2. Mercy at Midnight by Lois Hoadley Dick -- Finland --

the true story of a baroness who sacrificed her position and wealth to help the prisoners.



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3. Embers by Sandor Marai -- Hungary -- a 1001 book; well written.

The writer is Hungarian. This is a sad tale of lost lives (though living).

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/7894373

This book is available to any 1001 library members.
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#2 USA

The Help by Kathryn Sprockett.

No link, as I borrowed the book from someone.

I was a bit disappointed with this book. It came highly recommended by several people, but even though it was a compelling story, it left me very dissatisfied in the end. I also did not think it was very well-written, it was not always easy to spot who the narrator was (which is probably why the change over to another narrator had to be announced with their name). The style of writing was pretty much the same for all three women, although Aibeleen's narration was in more of a "black" style. All in all a good book but it does not live up to all the hype.
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12. Netherlands
The Twins - Tessa de Loo
The book was set about half in The Netherlands and I believe that is also the author's nationality.

The story of twin girls who are separated at the age of six and find themselves on opposite sides during WWII. They don't meet again properly until very late in life where they talk about what their lives were like.
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ENGLAND: Hard Times, by Charles Dickens.
Enjoyed this book.
But it is amazing how decisions are made, so quick and with so little ground or evidence.
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Number 6

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10262670/
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (Congo)
Released it and it was caught before I could even log it as released.
I loved it. I reviewed it on my blog: http://bethslistlove.wordpress.com/---/welcome-to-the-jungle/
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be topical seeing as you're all hopping round the globe.You hear about countries in the older books or ones set in the past and wonder where's that to? Only to find it's a phantom country,it's changed it's name,borders,or just plain imploded into a whole mess of littler places.
Whatever happened to Tanganyika?
http://online.wsj.com/---/SB10001424052970204619004574320640704902268.html
I'm currently trying the 666 challenge,though more out of an interest in seeing where my reading takes me than any hope I'll manage it.It's nice seeing all these books and ideas for what I might read next, though it's doing terrible things to MTBR ;)
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be topical seeing as you're all hopping round the globe.You hear about countries in the older books or ones set in the past and wonder where's that to? Only to find it's a phantom country,it's changed it's name,borders,or just plain imploded into a whole mess of littler places.


You're right - and then I need to debate whether to post it or not, or WHAT to post it as. This challenge is more liberal than the 666 I did last year, so hopefully older books aren't causing too much trouble.
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The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
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Cutting for Stone by Abraham Varghese http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10202641/

Book club read for this month - was full of detail and description. Recommended by my sister & I thought it was good. We'll see what the book club readers have to say next week. This copy is already on it's way as a wishlist rabck to another bookcrosser.
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if anyone here is interested!

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/472666/

(and it was a good read, too)
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Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman by Marjorie Shostak. I loved that Nisa's voice seemed to come directly through the translation of her words, along with the cadences of the African oral storytelling tradition.

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#10: India

#10: The Girl by Sonia Faleiro: http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10364638/

Surprisingly, this is the first book set in India this year. It is actually set in one of the states, Goa, and has a Goan perspective in the way that Goa has a high Christian population.
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#5 Ireland

The Book of Evidence by John Banville http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/7122755/

A 1001 book. Very hard to get into at first, until I got used to the prose. Once I understood the literary way he was writing, it was quite good....for a 1001 book! I don't know why most of them are hard reads - almost too cerebral.
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Wow - 47 different countries, territories or dependencies. xx bookcrossers participating thus far.

USA in the lead as the country with the most books read, but there's some pretty obscure places making the list too.

Link: http://tinyurl.com/7nx62j9
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Wow, am I behind in my posting!!
SInce leaving the Congo, I have been to
S. Africa with J.M. Coetzee's Life and Times of Michael K http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9748792
Finland with Arto Paasalina's The Year of the Hare (audio)
Hungary with Imre Kertesz's Fatelessness http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/9693028/
and Ukraine with Nicholai Gogol's The Nose (Kindle)

I can say that I have enjoyed all of these for very diferent reasons. You can check my blog for the longer reviews and summaries http://bethslistlove.wordpress.com , but here's the thumbnail for each:

Michael K: City parks employee in Cape Town leaves city with ailing mother in midst of civil war. Hides out from army, is put in work camps, escapes. Lives in very mindful way. Book is pleasantly paced, and enjoyable in an odd sort of way.

Year of the Hare: Journalist goes in search of injured hare when it is hit by car he is riding in. He gives up his life and travels around Finland, living simply with the hare as his companion. Funny celebration of life off the grid. Short, easy read.

Fatelessness: This one blew me away. It is about a 14 year old Jewish Hungarian boy who is sent to Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and a labor camp. It is semi-autobiographical, since the author himself survived these experiences as a teen. In spite of the horror you experience watching a teenager head into what you know is a nightmare, this book is also life-affirming as you see this kid find ways to survive physically and emotionally. It is the first of three books about this character--I've ordered the others and look forward to reading them.

The Nose: Odd little tale (32 pages!) about a nose that turns up first in a barber's loaf of bread and later in the uniform of a guy who out-ranks the nose's original owner. It is amusing to watch the nose's owner try to get it back. Recommended as a quickie classic read.
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13. Italy
A farewell to arms by Ernest Hemingway (set almost entirely in Italy)
WWI from the POV of an American volunteering in the Italian ambulance service. Excellent book.
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Finished Professor Martens' Departure by Jaan Kross for Estonia. Wonderful book.
It is based on a real person--a diplomat in the Russian Court of Tsar Nicholas at the turn of the 20th Century. In the book, he is on a train ride, reflecting on his past personal and professional lives. He also feels an almost supernatural connection to an earlier Martens who was a diplomat in Germany a century earlier, so we learn about his life and choices, too. I recommend this one highly, especially if you are into international relations! My full review is on the blog: http://bethslistlove.wordpress.com/---/moral-self-exploration-and-diplomatic-insight-on-a-train-ride-through-estonia/
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#12 Denmark

I almost forgot to add Hamlet by Willliam Shakespeare! Something sure was rotten in the state of Denmark!
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14. Suriname
Oroonoko or, The Royal Slave by Aphra Behn
http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10388552

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