Intercultural Virtual BOOK BOX - round 1 CLOSED

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Do you like reading books that deal with different cultures and their contacts and conflicts?
Are you willing to ship international?
Then maybe you’d like to take part in this new virtual book box which is a product of an intercultural exchange between a Greek and a German BookCrosser ;-) contraforsa and ApoloniaX.

How it works:
This is a book box that deals with interculturalism. It’s all about books that are about contacts between different cultures, about culture conflict, cross-culture experiences, migration, inter-cultural communication – we concentrate on fiction, but there might also be a travelogue account or semi- or autobiographical novels.

There are 12 books in the virtual book box. No titles or authors are given, but the countries that the book deals with.

EDIT: For some countries there might be lots and lots of books, you might have read some already - so we decided on adding some more information: The first and the last letter of the book's title (only the main title, in case there is a subtitle).

For example: “Black Orchids” by Gillian Slovo (who is South African) is about a young English woman who marries a Sinhalese, part of the book is set in Sri Lanka, part in the UK. That is: Sri Lanka & UK - "B---s".
Or “A Chameleon’s Tale. True Stories of a Global Refugee” by Mo Tejani would be just perfect: Thailand & Mexico & Nepal & Uganda & … - "A---e"
Kate Grenville’s “Secret River” would be: UK & Australia - "S---r"

We will start by adding 12 books to the box, i.e. a list, which looks like this: (just examples)
Sri Lanka & UK (ApoloniaX) - "B---s"
Greece & Italy & Sweden (contraforsa) - "T---e"
Mexico & UK (ApoloniaX) - "C---r"
USA & Poland (contraforsa) - "T---s"
Germany & India (ApoloniaX) - "A---n"

- The list will be PMed to the first person. (No authors or titles given)
- He/she chooses 1 to 3 books and PMs the owner(s) with his/her address.
- He/she then replaces the chosen books with her/his own – naming the countries, title's first & last letter, and adding his/her screen name, and
- PMs the updated list to the next person, and
- posts here which “country-combination” he/she has chosen.
- The owner(s) of the chosen books send them off to the first person.
- When a book arrives please update here – we’d all like to hear about this, of course - tell us what books you got! And don’t forget to journal them.

Please be quick to make your choices, replace the books and PM the list to the next person – a week or two maximum.
There should always be 12 books listed.
When somebody asks you for a book that you have put on the list, please send it off ASAP, this might be international (but sending it by surface mail is perfectly alright).

Maximum a dozen participants (including us). When the virtual book box comes back to us we will take part as everybody else (that’s what we are waiting for!!!) and then send it off to another round. We will ask you first if you want to participate another time.

Round 2 is here:


Just wanted to add, that the books included in the virtual box are really interesting ones! Lets help them "cross some borders" ;-)


It´s an interesting project and I consider to participate but I´ve only books in german which deal with the challenge


aber wenn mehr Deutsche Interesse daran haben, könnten wir so was ja auch im deutschen Forum starten
(but if some more Germans are interested in this, we could start another book box in the German forum)


wingauweiawing 10 yrs ago
never mind :-)


How about this: if we add auweia in the end of the list for the box, I would be more than happy to read her books in german!


okyrhoe 10 yrs ago
a question
Will the participants receive a list with the title & author of the available books, or will they have to choose from the 'countries list' like the one you have started here?
I really like this topic, but since the bi-cultural theme is a favorite of mine, I don't want to select books I already read/have :-))


We wanted a little surprise to go with it, that's why.
Same risk for me when it's my turn, but so what if I know it already... ;-) Somebody else will be happy when I RABCK it forward.
And maybe there's a country combination that does not sound familiar to you... there are so many books that might fit in here...





Α possible solution is to post the list of the countries or the encounters presented in the books here in advance. Like ApoloniaX already pointed out, we wanted the box to have a surprise element, that is why we have not listed the books (I don't even know which books Apolonia is contributing, although she has figured out most of mine!). But then again, I think that as we will start with something like 12 books, there should be at least 2 or 3 that one has not read.


> But then again, I think that as we will
> start with something like 12 books, there
> should be at least 2 or 3 that one has not
> read.

But you might not know which 2 or 3 you haven't read just by looking at the list of countries and therefore pick incorrectly. There are a lot of books that could be listed Australia/UK.

I do like the idea a lot though, and will think if I have suitable books so I can take part.


> you might not know which 2 or 3 you
> haven't read just by looking at the list
> of countries and therefore pick
> incorrectly. There are a lot of books
> that could be listed Australia/UK. I do
> like the idea a lot though, and will think
> if I have suitable books so I can take
> part.

You are right. Well, how about we add as a rule, that in such a case one is allowed to clarify whether or not the to book to be selected is not the one one already has? Say, I have listed the Short Border Handbook as Greece-Albania, and you suspect it could be the handbook, you are free to ask and make sure it is not! I have to go again, I will be online later this evening and we can talk with Apolonia and see what other possible solutions there are.


in such a case tell the book's owner your speculation... if it isn't your book s/he will send it to you, if yes better choose another one - and don't tell anybody ;-)
For some country combinations this might happen more often than for others....


How about including the first sentence of the book (if it doesn't give away the title)? You can check the book if you've got it at home and it may sound familiar if you've already read it. It may be tricky because some catchy phrases sound familiar anyway but it could also be fun.


I've just e-mailed another possibility to contraforsa for her opinion:
First and last letter of the title, i.e. Gillian Slovos's Black Orchids would be "B...s". I think would kind of keep the surprise, but give you a clue if you suspect a certain book.
I also like the first sentence (if it doesn't give away too much information) - but what if you don't have the book anymore?
What do you think???


I've sent you an email, I think the first and last letter of the title is a good solution! It is so nice to see people are interested in this!



My TBR list is long enough but I couldn't resist the topic so please include me.



It's a great idea and I miss my cultural studies after having finished college.



1. ApoloniaX
2. contraforsa
3. Evablue
4. DitteL
5. KiwiinEngland
6. jumpingin
7. chucklesthescot
8. Shroffland
9. katrinat
12.contraforsa (VBB is here)

next round: Dubai-reader (? on holiday?), Shroffland, chucklesthescot, Annimanni ...)


I have a lot of reading to do in the next few weeks and would like a chance to dig out and find some books I could include




I spent a few days pondering what I thought I might like to read, and have choosen the following

Ethiopia & Poland: "T....r"

I'm trying to read six books from each of the six continents this year (and am failing pretty badly). But hopefully this book will help me get another African country explored.

I've pm'ed the next person







wingApoloniaXwing 10 yrs ago
done so :-)



evablue 10 yrs ago
Got it
Taking out
Poland & Africa: "T....n" (contraforsa)
Seemed like an intriguing combination. Haven't read much about Africa, so here's my chance.
Sending PM to DitteL right away. Thanks ApoloniaX and contraforsa, this is fun!


I'd love to take part in this - but can I just confirm one thing?
Are we posting the full box of 12 books or just doing the exchange by PM and then sending the books individually to the named BCers?
And I'm away from July 10th ot 31st - does that pose a problem?


The exchange is done by PM - that's why it's called a virtual box (main reason: would be rather costly to send it around half the world...)
As we don't know how fast the box will travel, it might be a problem not being there for 20 days - it would probably stall it and people who choose your books would have to wait - but we'll do another round - what about joining then???


OK, count me in.


DitteL 10 yrs ago
I've got it.
I've taken out:

- Cambodia & US, "G....S" (ApoloniaX)
- Greece & Albania, "T....K" (contraforsa)

I've PMed the updated list to KiwiinEngland


It's 'A Short Border Handbook' by Gazmend Kapllani. It'll definitely be one of the books that I'll read this summer.

Thanks for during this box. If I can find more books to include in the box, I'll sign up for the next round.


I am happy your first impressions about the book and your general impressions about Greece are positive! As you are about to read, there is sadly more to it, than only kindness... But then again, that's how it is: one can find every aspect of human behavior in any culture, as in any person. I love the book you picked (like already stated: an excellent choice!) and I am looking forward to your reading it! Have fun!


DitteL I hope you enjoy this book. I read it on a ring that contraforsa started and enjoyed it a lot.


It's Gecko Tails by Carol Livingston

Included in the package was a 'krama' - A Cambodian scarf. I was told by my friend not to wear it in the traditionel way as it made me look like a milkmaid :o)


It's "the shadow of the sun" by Ryszard Kapuscinski and it looks very interesting! Will start reading it soon.
Thank you contraforsa and ApoloniaX for starting this, I wish I had the time to read more of your intercultural bookbox.


wingjumpinginwing 10 yrs ago
My choice
I chose this book:

Morocco & UK: "H....y"

I can't wait to see what it is!

Edited to add: I sent a PM to chucklesthescot with the updated list.


Uk/Ukraine/various "T....s" contraforsa
India/UK/Germany "T...s" ApoloniaX
US/Iran "D....a" jumpingin

Will PM list on to Shroffland today or tomorrow


I've received the list, and will post my choices and replacements later today!


I picked Ethiopia & Poland: "T....r" and have ended up with

The Emperor by Ryszard Kapuschinski! It looks like an interesting read, so that's good.


As I wrote in the JE, this is the one book, that I' ve put in the box, that I did not have the chance to read at all, so I am very anxious to know, what you thought about it! Have fun reading it!


Shroffland 10 yrs ago
My choices:
UK and Burma "B....s" DitteL
Bangladesh,UK, Jamaica "W....h" Evablue
Sri Lanka and UK "O....d" KiwiInEngland

I am enjoying this VBB very much, and would love to be included in round 2 if you plan to continue!

Will PM katrinat shortly with the updated list.


DitteL 10 yrs ago
Re: My choices:
UK and Burma will be posted to the US tomorrow.



A big thank you to ApoloniaX for sending the India/UK/Germany book which was Vikram Seth's 'Two Lives', and to contraforsa for her Ukraine book which wasMarina Lewycka's 'Two caravans'. Brilliant books, thank you!


:)) I am actually very happy to "see" such a happy reaction! Glad you liked the books!


yes, wasn't his perfect timing?!!!! It was really hard to bribe the Greek, German and UK postal services to make them work together and deliver the books the same day, but it worked out, yeah! Glad you like the books!!



you're very welcome, Annimanni!!!

we'll open a new thread for round two after this round is completed (soon!) - this thread will probably get too long when everybody has entered what books they got

I've already noted some names, but will ask all other participants of round 1 by PM if they want to join again


White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Thank you, Evablue, for the book and the postcard, which arrived so amazingly quickly from Greece.


DitteL!! Thank you for the book, the marzipan candy, and your lovely note. I am touched reading about how the candy evokes the warmth and comfort of being with loved ones, and the Danish idea of 'hygge'.

Not only are we all exchanging intercultural books, but creating a wonderful cross cultural community of friends. Thank you, ApoloniaX and contraforsa for this special experience.


. . . and I'm thrilled. The clue was "Morocco & UK: "H....y" (ApoloniaX)." The book is "Hideous Kinky" by Esther Freud, about a hippy mother who takes her young daughter to Morocco.

I'm really looking forward to reading it. Thanks, ApoloniaX!


A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies by John Murray - I love short stories so this is right up my street. Thanks a lot
I also requested "T....r" (UK, Burma) from Shroffland.

I have pm'd the updated list to loveamystery, hopefully it'll work this time!


Your Selection UK, Burma T...r will be mailed tomorrow, katrinat; regret the delay.


The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason, an English man in Burma, I have a copy of this already (its a great read) so I'll be taking it to a local bookcrossing meeting tomorrow where hopefully it'll find a new home.


The list has come around to me and I made my choices:
Hong Kong and China, UK and India, USA and India (owners have been PMed)
It very soon goes to contraforsa with my additions, after I have made up my mind about them, and then we'll go in for another round... there will be a new thread soon.
... and my Mexico & US book will start its travels to loveamystery today.


I am suspecting that I'm not receiving PMs. If I am the owner of on of your choices and you haven't heard from me, could you post hee, and we can correspond by email....


Once Upon a Time in England, by Helen Walsh.

Thank you, kiwiinEngland!


Thank you jumpingin for sending me Anne Tyler 'Digging to America'! It looks really good!


Thank you chuckles!!!
For In the Year of the Woman by Jonathan Gash (it was my Hong Kong & China choice)
This seems so interesting! Brilliant!


arrived today: Magic Seeds by V. S. Naipaul. Brilliant!
I read quite a few of Naipaul's books and this one seems very promising.
Thank you, katrinat!!!


The Bonesetters Daughter by Amy Tan came on Aug. 5th from katrinat and Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener arrived today from Shroffland.



It is "The Tortilla Curtain" by T. Coraghessan Boyle.


It is Serving Crazy with Curry by Amulya Malladi - brilliant!!!





Chucklesthescot 10 yrs ago



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