666 for 2020 - an around the world reading challenge

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This has been an interesting reading challenge for many on BookCrossing, and has seen people read outside their comfort zone and find some treasures along the way. Feel free to join at any point during the year.

Around the World Reading Challenge - The Rules:

You aim to read 6 books which are set in OR are written by an author from 6 different countries in each of the 6 continents within the 12 month period of the 1st day of 2020 and the last. You cannot count books of the same country twice; you cannot count one book for more than one country.
NOTE - The United Kingdom is made up of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland & Wales. These are not considered independent countries for this challenge.

The 6 continents are:
Africa
Asia (includes the Middle East and SE Asia)
Europe
North America (includes Central America and the Caribbean)
Pacific (includes Antartica)
South America

The following site will help you with which countries are in which continent: https://www.worldatlas.com/---/cntycont.htm

***********************************************

Post your reads in this forum thread to tell people a bit about the book.
As this challenge has evolved over the years, people have found the following information posted the most relevant: Book title, author, BCID link (if relevant), country, your impressions of it, then totals for each region to date.
An example of what your post could look like is shown below:

CONGO: Pandora in the Congo by Albert Sanchez Pinol

http://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14498104

An adventure tale rather like Conan Doyles "The Lost World", with a ghost writer (Thomas Thomason) listening to a man arrested in Britain after a failed expedition to the Congo. Writing the story in the hopes of proving his innocence, the story combines themes of colonialism, slavery, exploitation, world wars, social classes....and a species never discovered on earth before.

A great holiday read with impressive turns of phrases by the author and a story line that builds to a brilliant crescendo.

-------------------------
Africa (3) - Uganda, Somalia, Congo
Asia (2) - Japan, Russia
Europe (6) - Cyprus, United Kingdom, Finland, Belgium, Sweden, France **done**
Pacifica (3) - Tahiti, Australia, Solomon Islands
N America (1) - USA,
S. America (1) - Chile
16/36

 

 

I second that!

I doubt I'll reach 36 countries this year, as I haven't managed before. But I'll give it a try anyway!

 

..including my own.

I will start fresh for 2020 and hope to do better. :)

Thank you for continuing this.

 

CathrineB 1 yr ago
1/36 - UK
+ Country name: United Kingdom
+ Title: "The Dog With No Name"
+ Author: Lesley Tarleton
+ Link: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14943803

Europe - 1/6 - UK
Africa - 0/6 -
Asia + Middle East - 0/6 -
Pacific + Antartica - 0/6 -
North America - 0/6 -
South America - 0/6 -

 

wingFraukeRowing 1 yr ago
1/36 Syria
This is a nice challenge! Ambitious, but I'll see how far I get :-)

+Country name: Syria
+Title: "De hemlösa katterna i Homs"
+ Author: Eva Nour

The (except for the name) sadly not fictional story of Sami navigating the Syrian civil war in the city of Homs.

Europe - 06 -
Africa - 0/6 -
Asia + Middle East - 1/6 - Syria
Pacific + Antartica - 0/6 -
North America - 0/6 -
South America - 0/6 -

 

winghyphen8wing 1 yr ago
1/36 - USA
North America 1/6: USA
First Flight by George Shea
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15805529

An easy reader with a cute story. A twelve-year-old boy was the second person to fly the Wright Brothers' glider (before the motorized plane).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Africa: 0/6
Asia: 0/6
Europe: 0/6
North America: 1/6: USA
Oceania: 0/6
South America: 0/6

 

I had fun doing this for the first time last year, and I did make the 36 (though barely), but I think I'm going to sit it out this year. I'm kind of focussing on some other things right now. I do have several extra "country books" from last year, so maybe I'll be back next year... we'll see!

For now though, I figured I would offer a few of the books I read last year to people working on this challenge in 2020. If anyone would like something listed below, please reply to this post and I'll send you a PM! I'd be happy to send move them along as RABCKs to whoever could use them! :)




NORTH AMERICA
-Dominica (Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys... parts also set in Jamaica and the UK)
***CLAIMED***-Cuba (A Simple Habana Melody, by Oscar Hijuelos... parts also set in France)

SOUTH AMERICA
***CLAIMED***-Brazil (State of Wonder by Ann Patchett... parts also set in USA)
-Guyana (Journey to Guyana by Margaret Bacon)
***CLAIMED***-Paraguay (The News From Paraguay by Lily Tuck... parts also set in France)

EUROPE
-Bosnia and Herzegovina (My Childhood Under Fire: a Sarajevo Diary by Nadja Halilbegovich)
***CLAIMED***-United Kingdom (I read this last year, but didn't count it for the challenge as I'd counted something else for the UK already. This one is called The Rules of Gentility, by Janet Mullany, and is described as "a delightful marriage of Pride and Prejudice with Bridget Jones's Diary")

ASIA
-Yemen (I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced, by Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui)

AFRICA
-Egypt (Distant View of a Minaret by Alifa Rifaat)

 

Just wanted to update this list-- the Paraguay, Cuba, and Brazil books are now spoken for, but everything else is still available; if there's something on this list that would help you (or you'd just like to read), please let me know!

 

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Trevor has always been an outsider, relying on humor and his gift for languages to get by. And it was not easy to get by as a (very cheeky) mixed race kid in apartheid South Africa.
His memoir is a really good read. He's had an interesting early life and has done a really good job writing about it. The book is not jokey, but he definitely doesn't take himself too seriously, and there are a few embarrassing stories many celebrities would have probably left out! The book really only covers up to 18, except for one more incident from his twenties. I'd like to read another memoir covering his early career in SA, hope he writes one someday.

Africa (1) - South Africa
Asia (0) -
Europe (0) -
Pacifica (0) -
N America (0) -
S. America (0) -

 

for organising the 2019 challenge. I was well off the mark this year with only 10 as my reading dipped after changing jobs.
I've really enjoyed it though and reading other people's posts.

I shall give it a miss this year but good luck to everyone that joins in.

 

Africa ()
Asia (1) Korea,
Europe (3) Ukrane, Russia, England,
North America (1) US,
Pacific ()
South America ()

Asia (1) Korea,
Island of the Sea Woman by Lisa See (Korea)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15780692

Europe (2) Ukrane, Russia, England
The Middleman by Olen Steinhauer (Ukrane)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14891779
Child 44 By Tom Rob (Russia)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14891786
The Cabin by Natasha Preston(England)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15399612

North America (1) US,
Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns (USA)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14925377


 

wingFifnawing 1 yr ago
1/36 Fiji
Even though I don't really stand a chance of completing the challenge, I'm going to take part this year anyway. It's fun to keep track of this and see what other people are reading.

My first book, for Fiji, is Will Lutwick - Dodging Machetes: How I Survived Forbidden Love, Bad Behavior, and the Peace Corps in Fiji https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12438364/
It's the memoir of an American guy who joins the Peace Corps in the late 1960s, is sent to Fiji, and ends up falling in love with Rani, a local woman. This causes all sorts of difficulties, as you might imagine.

Africa: 0/6
Asia: 0/6
Europe: 0/6
North America: 0/6:
Oceania: 1/6: Fiji
South America: 0/6

 

wingFifnawing 1 yr ago
2/36 France
Where Would I Be Without You? - Guillaume Musso https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15751286
Set in Paris and San Francisco, I will count it for France. A couple have a brief affair as students. He goes back to Paris and becomes a cop, chasing an art thief. I won't give too much away, but to suffice to say their paths ultimately cross again (unsurprisingly).

Africa: 0/6
Asia: 0/6
Europe: 1/6
North America: 0/6:
Oceania: 1/6: Fiji
South America: 0/6

 

+ Country: Afghanistan
+ Title: "The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe"
+ Author: Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
+ Link: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13834990

Europe - 1/6 - UK
Asia + Middle East - 1/6 - Afghanistan
Africa - 0/6 -
Pacific + Antartica - 0/6 -
North America - 0/6 -
South America - 0/6 -

 

hopefully I will be less Northern Hemisphere centric this year.

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/7127107
a story about Trond, which switches between current day when he's 67 yo and moves to the location where he lived in the summer when he was a teen with his Dad, and those war years when he was in his mid teens. Very good book

Africa (0)
Asia (0)
Europe (1) Norway
Pacifica (0)
N America (0)
S America (0)

 

wingFifnawing 1 yr ago
3/36: Japan
The Travelling Cat Chronicles, by Hiro Arikawa.
The story of a stray cat who is taken in by a man whose back story is gradually revealed. Most of the book is told from the cat's point of view, in a way that I'm sure many cat owners can relate to. Good story.


Africa: 0/6
Asia: 1/6
Europe: 1/6
North America: 0/6:
Oceania: 1/6: Fiji
South America: 0/6

 

A Zoo in My Luggage by Gerald Durrell

This is yet another book discovered through this challenge. I don't think I have read anything from Cameroon yet. Thank you to whoever it was who recommended the sequel, which led me to this one!

The book is about an eccentric Englishman collecting rare animals to be the start of his zoo. By the way, he doesn't actually have the zoo yet, he has to keep the animals in his sister's back garden for a year when he gets back while he finds a place! It was a fun read, just keep in mind that it is from a different time!

Africa (2) - South Africa, Cameroon
Asia (0) -
Europe (0) -
Pacifica (0) -
N America (0) -
S. America (0) -

 

A Zoo in My Luggage by Gerald Durrell

This is yet another book discovered through this challenge. I don't think I have read anything from Cameroon yet. Thank you to whoever it was who recommended the sequel, which led me to this one!


Not sure if it was me, but I did read The Whispering Land, which is the sequel to this book, based in Argentina. To any one interested, it's a small, interesting book that is great if you are not that into magical realism fiction and the many political or religious memoirs common in S America.

 

Not sure if it was me, but I did read The Whispering Land, which is the sequel to this book, based in Argentina. To any one interested, it's a small, interesting book that is great if you are not that into magical realism fiction and the many political or religious memoirs common in S America.


It was probably you then, thanks! I'll be reading The Whispering Land as well. I don't mind magical realism when its not soooo dark and oversaturated with symbolism!

 

The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch (Germany)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12479523
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn (France)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14892141


Europe (5) Ukrane, Russia, England, Germany, France
The Middleman by Olen Steinhauer (Ukrane)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14891779
Child 44 By Tom Rob (Russia)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14891786
The Cabin by Natasha Preston(England)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15399612
The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch (Germany)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12479523
The Alice Network by Kate Quinn (France)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14892141

 

Tea With Hezbollah by Ted Dekker and Carl Medearis
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/8520851

 

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter -- Poland
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15399602

This was an excellent book. My only negative is that there were too many characters to keep track of.

I have now finished Europe

 

https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14468326

A historical fiction following the final 12 months of the last person executed in Iceland. A domestic servant, abandoned by her mother and working as itinerant labour becomes part of a conflict based on jealousy and anger.

I really enjoyed the details of domestic life, and learning about the role of families and females in Iceland during this time.

-------------------------
Africa
Asia
Europe (1) - Iceland
Pacifica
N America
S. America
1/36

 

wingFifnawing 1 yr ago
4/36 Turkey
The Silence of the Girls, by Pat Barker: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15784755

I'm going with Turkey for this one. Scholars don't agree on the exact location of Troy, but it's generally accepted that it was in what is now Turkey. It's a retelling of the story of the Trojan War, but from the point of view of the women, specifically Queen Briseis. Very good.

Africa: 0/6
Asia: 2/6: Japan, Turkey
Europe: 1/6: France
North America: 0/6
Oceania: 1/6: Fiji
South America: 0/6

 

wingFifnawing 1 yr ago
5/36 Ireland
Normal People, by Sally Rooney: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15801472
Two young people, opposites in every way, get together, drift apart, but their paths keep crossing. That sounds quite lighthearted, but some really tough issues, like depression, are addressed as well.

Africa: 0/6
Asia: 2/6: Japan, Turkey
Europe: 2/6: France, Ireland
North America: 0/6
Oceania: 1/6: Fiji
South America: 0/6

 

wingFifnawing 1 yr ago
6/36 Russia
Roadside Picnic, by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15221997
Soviet-era SF that left me with more questions than answers, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Earth has been visited (15 years or so before the story) by aliens, leaving five Zones, dangerous, contaminated, uninhabitable areas, where 'stalkers' venture to retrieve the objects they left behind. The authors are very careful not to give any clues as to the whereabouts of the Zone where the story is set, but as the authors were from the Soviet Union. I'm counting this for Russia.

Africa: 0/6
Asia: 3/6: Japan, Turkey, Russia
Europe: 2/6: France, Ireland
North America: 0/6
Oceania: 1/6: Fiji
South America: 0/6

 

+ Country name: South Sudan
+ Title: "Presidentens mann. Oppdrag Sør-Sudan"
+ Author: Tomm Kristiansen
+ A library book, so no link

Europe - 1/6 - UK
Asia + Middle East - 1/6 - Afghanistan
Africa - 1/6 - South Sudan
Pacific + Antartica - 0/6 -
North America - 0/6 -
South America - 0/6 -

 

Behind the Scenes at the Museum (Canada)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/5240013

The book begins in England but the characters move to Canada

 

+ Country name: Tazania
+ Title: Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
+ Author: Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin
+ Link: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/10341354

Greg Mortenson, an American climber, builds schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. And this is the story about his work and how it started.
The book is set in Pakistan, Afghanistan, USA and Tanzania (as Greg tells about his childhood, and he lived in Tanzania for some years). I have crossed of Afghanistan already in the challenge. And USA will be easy to cross of later. It's usually easy for me to read books from 6 different Asian countries. So I'll count this book for Tanzania, Africa.

Africa - 2/6 - South Sudan, Tanzania
Europe - 1/6 - UK
Asia + Middle East - 1/6 - Afghanistan
Pacific + Antartica - 0/6 -
North America - 0/6 -
South America - 0/6 -

 

Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius (S Africa) - an amazing and uplifting memoir about a man in S. Africa. His mind is alive but trapped in a vegetative body for years.

The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano (Italy) - a boy and a girl who are both prime numbers... lonely people who don't quite fit in, each scarred by an incident in the past. A lovely story.

Castle of Water by Dane Huckelbridge (French Polynesia) - Following a plane crash, Barry, an American who just quit his finance job in Manhattan, and Sophie, a French architect on her honeymoon, found themselves washed up the shore of a small island. They have to work together to survive.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (USA) - a YA story that should be a classic. Stargirl is an angel who we earthlings don't deserve, but she can teach us how to be true to ourselves and make the world a nicer place.

Africa (1) - S. Africa (Ghost Boy)
Asia (0) -
Europe (1) - Italy (The Solitude of Prime Numbers)
Pacifica (1) - French Polynesia (Castle of Water)
N America (1) - USA (Stargirl)
S. America (0) -

 

CathrineB 1 yr ago
#5 Guyana
Set in several different countries, but I picked Guyana because it's a rare country and because I always stuggle reading 6 South American books.

+ Country name: Guyana
+ Title: "Den siste krigsseileren. Ingvald Wahls historie"
+ Author: Jon Michelet
+ Link: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14701507

Africa - 2/6 - South Sudan, Tanzania
Europe - 1/6 - UK
Asia + Middle East - 1/6 - Afghanistan
South America - 1/6 - Guyana
Pacific + Antartica - 0/6 -
North America - 0/6 -

 

Fortunes of War by Stephen Coonts (Japan)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12396537

 

If anyone needs help sourcing books from the Pacific, let me know.

 

Do you have any favorites to recomend?

 

Kon Tiki & Ngaio Marsh

 

https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15226341

In 1686, when The Netherlands is a world power and the guilds are strong, 18 year old Nella marries a wealthy merchant and arrives at his home to be greeted by his spinster sister and two servants. As Nella adjusts to life in the city, where God is to be feared and money is worshiped, she started to receive parcels of exquisite furnishings to fill a replica of her home.

The maker of these items, the miniaturist, seems to be sending her messages about Nella’s fate. Is he trying to save the household, or destroy them?

A fascinating look at social norms during a period of huge economic growth. While rich females in 1686 appear to have a relative amount of freedom, the social norms everyone was expected to conform too stiffling.

-------------------------
Africa
Asia
Europe (2) - Iceland, The Netherlands
Pacifica
N America
S. America
2/36

 

https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15274724

A true story about how Evelyn and her brothers are put into state care in 1953 after their mother abandons the family and her father (Des) leaves Dublin to find work in England. When Des returns to Ireland a few months later he finds that the state won’t release his children until they are 16, and he begins a legal battle to get them back.

The poverty and discrimation of Ireland at this time is well described, and it’s a relief to read about children houses run by Nun’s that don’t involve abuse.

I am interested in reading the second half of the story in the follow up book. Evelyn was taken out of poverty and neglect and cared for by the state. While it would be difficult to imagine a parent not getting their children back from the State nowadays if they were able, Des seemed to be doing it as he hated to lose and not because he loved the children.

-------------------------
Africa
Asia
Europe (3) - Iceland, The Netherlands, Ireland
Pacifica
N America
S. America
3/36

 

The Whispering Land by Gerald Durrell

More tales of Durrell's animal collecting adventures. This one is more of a travelogue, far off the beaten path. Just as much ink is dedicated to the interesting people he meets (most are as eccentric as he is), as to the animals he's searching for. Although now that I think about it he does rhapsodize over the seals for ages! The book is definitely "of it's time" there are a few patronizing to the native moments, and a few less than ideal animal moments by today's standards but I can see that it was better than most when written. Overall I enjoyed it, especially as it is a painless checked box in the dreaded South America category!

Africa (2) - South Africa, Cameroon
Asia (0) -
Europe (0) -
Pacifica (0) -
N America (0) -
S. America (1) - Argentina

 

wingMrsPeelwing 1 yr ago
4/36 Mexico
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This is a page turning supernatural quest. It caught my eye as soon as it was released last year, and did not disappoint!
An ordinary girl in 1927 accidentally releases one of the ancient gods of the underworld from an enchanted chest where he was imprisoned by his brother. Now she has to help him track down some missing pieces and prepare for battle with him. But is she on the right side? Will she survive?

Africa (2) - South Africa, Cameroon
Asia (0) -
Europe (0) -
Pacifica (0) -
N America (1) - Mexico
S. America (1) - Argentina


 

The Bone People by Kari Hulme

Blurb: "In a tower on the New Zealand sea lives Kerewin Holmes, part Maori, part European, an artist estranged from her art, a woman in exile from her family. One night her solitude is disrupted by a visitor—a speechless, mercurial boy named Simon, who tries to steal from her and then repays her with his most precious possession. As Kerewin succumbs to Simon's feral charm, she also falls under the spell of his Maori foster father Joe, who rescued the boy from a shipwreck and now treats him with an unsettling mixture of tenderness and brutality. Out of this unorthodox trinity Keri Hulme has created what is at once a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where Maori and European New Zealand meet, clash, and sometimes merge. The Bone People is a work of unfettered wordplay and mesmerizing emotional complexity."

Review:
This is a really interesting book (it won the 1985 Booker Prize),but won't be everyone's cup of tea.
The author is a native New Zealander poet with Maori roots, so there are some wonderful lines like "a shield to raise against his dreams" and "a spiral fretted with stars".
I like how the Maori language is used in the book, not explained, just woven into the conversation. (don't worry there is a glossary)
The characters are very flawed, one of them is pretty terrible actually. But I appreciate how complex they are, and how we slowly get to know them.
The end is unfortunately a bit too convenient, too unbelievable even for this book. But in spite of the ending not turning out the way it should, and some things not addressed the way they should be, overall I enjoyed the book, I liked its strangeness.

Africa (2) - South Africa, Cameroon
Asia (0) -
Europe (0) -
Pacifica (1) - New Zealand
N America (1) - Mexico
S. America (1) - Argentina

 

I only saw this challenge a couple of days ago, but I'll take it up. I think it's a great opportunity to read outside one's comfort zone.

So far I've read 2 books that count towards the 36 books to read:

Adam Kay: This is Going to Hurt
Diaries describing the hilarious and tragic aspects of working for the NHS in the UK
Steffen Jacobsen: Hvis De lige vil sidde helt stille, frue
Also a doctor's hilarious take on the ins and outs of the health service, including the red tape and bureaucrats, this time in Denmark

Africa (0) -
Asia (0) -
Europe (2) - UK, Denmark
Pacifica (0) -
N America (0) -
S. America (0) -

 

wingMrsPeelwing 12 mos ago
5/36 Ecuador
The Sisters of Alameda Street
by Lorena Hughes

A young woman finds out she was adopted and searches for her birth mother. She finds a big house with a big family, and 4 women who either aunt or mother, but which? They mistake her for a family friend come to stay a while, and she tries to solve the mystery before they find her out. There are so many family secrets and dramas to sort through! It gets a little soap opera sometimes but never gets super dark and tragic (as South American fiction is prone to do). Overall I really liked it.

Africa (2) - South Africa, Cameroon
Asia (0) -
Europe (0) -
Pacifica (1) - New Zealand
N America (1) - Mexico
S. America (2) - Argentina, Ecuador

 

wingbooklady331wing 12 mos ago
14 - 15/36
The Black Widow by Daniel Silva( Israel)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15399560
The Falcon at the Portal by Elizabeth Peters (Egypt)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15669230

Africa (1) Egypt
Asia (4) Korea, Lebonon, Japan, Israel
Europe (6) Ukraine, Russia, England, Germany, France, Poland
North America (2) US, Canada
Pacific ()
South America (2) Brazil, Peru

 

The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15174596 A classic haunted house story.

Africa: 0/6
Asia: 3/6: Japan, Turkey, Russia
Europe: 2/6: France, Ireland
North America: 1/6: USA
Oceania: 1/6: Fiji
South America: 0/6

 

wingFifnawing 12 mos ago
8/36 Poland
De experimenten, by Marion Pauw.
A woman goes, reluctantly, to look after her dying stepmother, who treated her badly as a child but at the same time smothered her with love. Only now does she find out her stepmother is a survivor of Auschwitz who has had horrific experiments carried out on her, as her terrible story is told.

Africa: 0/6
Asia: 3/6: Japan, Turkey, Russia
Europe: 3/6: France, Ireland, Poland
North America: 1/6: USA
Oceania: 1/6: Fiji
South America: 0/6

 

wingNancyNovawing 12 mos ago
2/36 Canada
The Missing One by Lucy Atkins https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13223752 Very good psychological thriller

 

wingNancyNovawing 11 mos ago
3/36 Dubai
The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15133842
very good mystery - Did the functioning alcoholic flight attendant really kill the man she slept with in Dubai?

Africa (0)
Asia (1) Dubai
Europe (1) Norway
Pacifica (0)
N America (1) Canada
S America (0)

 

wingbooklady331wing 11 mos ago
16/36 Iraq
The Devil You Don't Know by Zuhair Al-Jezairy -- Iraq
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14628223

 


https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15691525
A multi timeline mystery, set in Oxford in (mainly) 2059 and Victorian England. Whilst overlong you could see the fun romp it should have been, however the dropping of literature and history points made me feel uneducated rather than let me into a joke.

Jasper Fforde does this style of writing better.

-------------------------
Africa
Asia
Europe (4) - Iceland, The Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom
Pacifica
N America
S. America
4/36

 

wingAzukiwing 11 mos ago
6/36
The Samurai's Tale - Japan - A story set in the war-torn medieval Japan, where a small orphan boy comes to be a trusted samurai of a daimyo.

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pim - Antartica - A fantastical tale by Edgar Allen Poe, about a young man, who after a shipwreck, boarded another ship and traveled to South Pole and met some unfriendly natives. I seriously don't like this.

Africa (1) - S. Africa (Ghost Boy)
Asia (1) - Japan (The Samurai's Tale)
Europe (1) - Italy (The Solitude of Prime Numbers)
Pacifica (2) - French Polynesia (Castle of Water), Antartica (The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pim)
N America (1) - USA (Stargirl)
S. America (0)

 

CathrineB 11 mos ago
#6 Bulgaria
Set in USA and Bulgaria. I bet I'll end up reading another book during the year that I can count for USA, so I'll count it for Bulgaria.

+ Country name: Bulgaria
+ Title: "The Shadow Land"
+ Author: Elizabeth Kostova
+ Library book, so no link.

Africa - 2/6 - South Sudan, Tanzania
Europe - 2/6 - UK, Bulgaria
Asia + Middle East - 1/6 - Afghanistan
South America - 1/6 - Guyana
Pacific + Antartica - 0/6 -
North America - 0/6 -

 

wingNancyNovawing 11 mos ago
4/36 UK
After the End by Clare Mackintosh https://www.librarything.com/---/reviews A book that I never would have picked up on my own, but was very sad and written very differently. Max and Pip's have differing opinions on whether their brain damaged son lives or dies. They go to court....and their the book splits into what happens if Max wins and what happens if Pip wins.

Africa (0)
Asia (1) Dubai
Europe (2) Norway, UK
Pacifica (0)
N America (1) Canada
S America (0)


 

CathrineB 11 mos ago
#7 - Norway
+ Country name: Norway
+ Title: "Odinsbarn"
+ Author: Siri Pettersen
+ https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/12739525/

Europe - 3/6 - UK, Bulgaria, Norway
Africa - 2/6 - South Sudan, Tanzania
Asia + Middle East - 1/6 - Afghanistan
South America - 1/6 - Guyana
Pacific + Antartica - 0/6 -
North America - 0/6 -

 

wingMrsPeelwing 11 mos ago
7/36 India
The Milk Lady of Bangalore by Shoba Narayan

The author moves back to Bangalore after living in New York for most of her life, and becomes completely obsessed with cows. The urban dairy system was pretty interesting. The author was pretty annoying.

Africa (2) - South Africa, Cameroon
Asia (1) - India
Europe (0) -
Pacifica (1) - New Zealand
N America (1) - Mexico
S. America (2) - Argentina, Ecuador

 

3/36

Stephen Fry's Mythos, the first of two books on Greek myths, legends and heroes.

Africa (0) -
Asia (0) -
Europe (3) - UK, Denmark, Greece
Pacifica (0) -
N America (0) -
S. America (0) -

 

Playing in the Light by Zoe Wicomb https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13179873

Excellent book, set in the 1990's Cape Town after apartheid, but confronting the racism that occurred.

Africa (1) South Africa
Asia (1) Dubai
Europe (2) Norway, UK
Pacifica (0)
N America (1) Canada
S America (0)

 

4/36

Rudi Thomsen: Fønikerne Libanons gamle handelsfolk
A little book about the phoenicians, which I reread with great pleasure.

Africa (0) -
Asia (1) - Lebanon
Europe (3) - UK, Denmark, Greece
Pacifica (0) -
N America (0) -
S. America (0) -

 

Finished the 8th book today. A major part of the book is set in the Ulithi atoll in the Caroline Islands in Micronesia. So I'll count that book as my first set in the Pacific.
+ Country name: Federated States of Micronesia
+ Title: Krigerens hjemkomst - En sjøens helt 6
+ Author: Jon Michelet
+ Link: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15527626

Europe - 3/6 - UK, Bulgaria, Norway
Africa - 2/6 - South Sudan, Tanzania
Asia + Middle East - 1/6 - Afghanistan
South America - 1/6 - Guyana
Pacific + Antartica - 1/6 - Micronesia
North America - 0/6 -

 

5/36

James Dawes: The Shortest History of Germany.
226 pages packed with German history from the Iron Age to Angela Merkel.

Africa (0) -
Asia (1) - Lebanon
Europe (4) - UK, Denmark, Greece, Germany
Pacifica (0) -
N America (0) -
S. America (0) -

 

6/36

Rosalind K. Marshall: Mary of Guise
Set partly in France and partly in Scotland, I'm going to count this as France.

Africa (0) -
Asia (1) - Lebanon
Europe (5) - UK, Denmark, Greece, Germany, France
Pacifica (0) -
N America (0) -
S. America (0) -

 

wingFifnawing 11 mos ago
9/36 UK

The Familiars, by Stacey Halls. Historical fiction set against the background of the Pendle witch trials: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15775724

Africa: 0/6
Asia: 3/6: Japan, Turkey, Russia
Europe: 4/6: France, Ireland, Poland, UK
North America: 1/6: USA
Oceania: 1/6: Fiji
South America: 0/6

 

CathrineB 10 mos ago
#9 - Spain
Finished anoter book set in Europe.
+ Country name: Spain
+ Title: Los Peregrinos
+ Author: Cecilia Samartin

Europe - 4/6 - UK, Bulgaria, Norway, Spain
Africa - 2/6 - South Sudan, Tanzania
Asia + Middle East - 1/6 - Afghanistan
South America - 1/6 - Guyana
Pacific + Antartica - 1/6 - Micronesia
North America - 0/6 -

 

wingAzukiwing 10 mos ago
10/36
I Shall Not Hate by Izzeldin Abuelaish: A memoir of a doctor who grew up as a refugee in Gaza and despite the many hardship succeed to become a doctor and dedicated his life to promote peace between Israel and Palestine. As the man has spent time often in Egypt, I'll counting this towards the country.

The Rabbi's Cat 2 by Joann Sfar: A graphic novel about a rabbi and his talking cat in Algeria, this is one original, intelligent and thought-provoking tale.

The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan: I totally love this historic fiction about the Mughal Empire. A beautiful love story in an epic setting.

Oranges and Sunshine by Margaret Humphreys: When the author found out that thousands of children, some still have parents, were shipped out from children homes in England to colonial outposts such as Australia and Canada to live a harsh, institutional life, she makes it her life mission to help them find their roots in England and reunite with their families after decades.

Africa (3) - S. Africa (Ghost Boy), Egypt (I Shall Not Hate), Algeria (The Rabbi's Cat 2)
Asia (2) - Japan (The Samurai's Tale), India (The Twentieth Wife)
Europe (1) - Italy (The Solitude of Prime Numbers)
Pacifica (3) - French Polynesia (Castle of Water), Antartica (The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pim), Australia (Oranges and Sunshine)
N America (1) - USA (Stargirl)
S. America (0)

 

7/36

Brian Perrin: Chocoloate, An Exquisite Indulgence
I found this miniature book quite by chance when tidying my stack of cook books. It's small, but it counts.

Africa (0) -
Asia (1) - Lebanon
Europe (5) - UK, Denmark, Greece, Germany, France
Pacifica (0) -
N America (1) - USA
S. America (0) -

 

8/36

Stefan Zweig: Schachnovelle

I've read it before, but it's such a fantastic piece of literature, and I reread it at regular intervals.

And that's Europe done.

Africa (0) -
Asia (1) - Lebanon
Europe (6) - UK, Denmark, Greece, Germany, France, Austria *Done*
Pacifica (0) -
N America (1) - USA
S. America (0) -

 

The White Nile by Alan Moorehead (Central African Republic)
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/59514007694
Africa (2) Egypt, Central African Republic,
Asia (5) Korea, Lebonon, Japan, Israel, Iraq
Europe (6) Ukraine, Russia, England, Germany, France, Poland
North America (2) US, Canada
Pacific ()
South America (2) Brazil, Peru

 

Library book, so no link. (also no way to return the book during the country wide lockdown!)

Eleven New Zealand comic artists create stories about what the future holds for people, if the earth’s climate changes to an extreme. I enjoyed the different types of artwork each author created, as well as their take on the future.

-------------------------
Africa
Asia
Europe (4) - Iceland, The Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom
Pacifica (1) - New Zealand
N America
S. America
5/36

 

Mama Tandoori by Ernest van der Kwast, https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/13716012 (in Dutch)
This is a semi-autobiographical novel written in the form of short, interconnected stories by a Dutch man with an idiosyncratic Indian mother, a long-suffering father and a brother who can cause difficulties, but also be oddly insightful. The book is an investigation into why his mother behaves as she does, visiting different family members scattered around the world. Poignant, funny, he obviously experienced more problems growing up from his family’s behaviour than from any feeling of being split between two cultures.

Africa (0) -
Asia (1) - India
Europe (0) -
Pacifica (0) -
N America (0) -
S. America (0) -

 

9/36

Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness
Set in what is referred to as Congo, it is presumably Belgian Congo, now DRC.

Africa (1) - DRC
Asia (1) - Lebanon
Europe (6) - UK, Denmark, Greece, Germany, France, Austria *Done*
Pacifica (0) -
N America (1) - USA
S. America (0) -

 

+ Country name: Sweden
+ Title: "Ran og rullator" ("The Little Old Lady Who Struck Lucky Again")
+ Author: Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
+ Link: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15017393/

Europe - 5/6 - UK, Bulgaria, Norway, Spain, Sweden
Africa - 2/6 - South Sudan, Tanzania
Asia + Middle East - 1/6 - Afghanistan
South America - 1/6 - Guyana
Pacific + Antartica - 1/6 - Micronesia
North America - 0/6 -

 

Kaas (Cheese) by Willem Elsschot (library book). This is rather like A Diary of a Nobody as it's about a nondescript clerk who decides to give up his steady, boring job to become a travelling salesman selling Dutch cheese to his Belgian compatriots. Like many enthusiastic starting entrepreneurs, he puts more effort into deciding on his company name, ordering stationery and setting up his home office than in actually selling his product. Vaguely amusing and faintly ridiculous. Surely this isn't the best Belgian literature has to offer the 1001 list?
Africa (0) -
Asia (1) - India
Europe (1) - Belgium
Pacifica (0) -
N America (0) -
S. America (0) -

 

3 short stories by Joseph Conrad: Youth (set at sea on the way to Shanghai), Heart of Darkness (Congo) and The End of the Tether. I initially read this to check off Heart of Darkness from the 1001 list, but my favourite story was the third one, set at sea around Indonesia, and on the Malay Peninsula. Old Captain Whalley gaves up his own sailing ship to spend some time in Singapore. It was fun imagining where he was walking as I have visited the island. He then takes a share in an ailing steamer peddling up and down the Malay Straits and signs on as Captain until he can retire and visit his daughter. I really enjoyed Conrad's storytelling, the way he tells us the voyage is doomed, but still keeps up the suspense until the end, with a couple of twists.

Africa (0) -
Asia (2) - India, Singapore
Europe (1) - Belgium
Pacifica (0) -
N America (0) -
S. America (0) -

 

wingAzukiwing 9 mos ago
11/36
Turkey - Dare to Disappoint by Ozge Samanci
A lovely graphic memoir by an artist. Highly recommended.

Africa (3) - S. Africa (Ghost Boy), Egypt (I Shall Not Hate), Algeria (The Rabbi's Cat 2)
Asia (2) - Japan (The Samurai's Tale), India (The Twentieth Wife)
Europe (2) - Italy (The Solitude of Prime Numbers), Turkey (Dare to Disappoint),
Pacifica (3) - French Polynesia (Castle of Water), Antartica (The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pim), Australia (Oranges and Sunshine)
N America (1) - USA (Stargirl)
S. America (0)

 

10/36

Christopher Hull: Our Man Down in Havana

A book about Graham Greene, the creation of Our Man in Havana (book and film) and lots of interesting background etc. I got this by coincidence, and it was a very pleasant surprise.

Africa (1) - DRC
Asia (1) - Lebanon
Europe (6) - UK, Denmark, Greece, Germany, France, Austria *Done*
Pacifica (0) -
N America (2) - USA, Cuba
S. America (0) -

 

wingFifnawing 9 mos ago
10/36 Colombia

Crisis, by Frank Gardner. A spy thriller involving the Colombian drug trade and a terrorist threat to the UK. Pretty good.

Africa: 0/6
Asia: 3/6: Japan, Turkey, Russia
Europe: 4/6: France, Ireland, Poland, UK
North America: 1/6: USA
Oceania: 1/6: Fiji
South America: 1/6: Colombia

 

wingFifnawing 9 mos ago
11/36: Latvia

The Cyclist Who Went into the Cold, by Tim Moore. A funny account of his cycling trip, on a simple shopping bike, along the route where the Iron Curtain used to be. He cycled through 20 countries, so I picked Latvia at random.

Africa: 0/6
Asia: 3/6: Japan, Turkey, Russia
Europe: 5/6: France, Ireland, Poland, UK, Latvia
North America: 1/6: USA
Oceania: 1/6: Fiji
South America: 1/6: Colombia

 

wingFifnawing 9 mos ago
12/36 India
The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/7000279
The story of a slum-dweller who becomes a driver for a rich man, and then later becomes a entrepreneur himself, but only after committing a crime to get there. Poverty, corruption, rigged elections, impunity: a frank, but also humorous insight into a not-so-beautiful side of India.


Africa: 0/6
Asia: 4/6: Japan, Turkey, Russia, India
Europe: 5/6: France, Ireland, Poland, UK, Latvia
North America: 1/6: USA
Oceania: 1/6: Fiji
South America: 1/6: Colombia


 

11/36
C.S. Forester: The African Queen

Set in what is now Tanzania, was a great story. I'd heard of the film adaptation, of course, but never seen it, so I was a bit wary, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Africa (2) - DRC, Tanzania
Asia (1) - Lebanon
Europe (6) - UK, Denmark, Greece, Germany, France, Austria *Done*
Pacifica (0) -
N America (2) - USA, Cuba
S. America (0) -

 

12/36
Tom Buk-Swienty: Løvinden - Karen Blixen i Afrika (The Lioness, Karen Blixen in Africa)

A very detailed narrative about Karen Blixen's time in Africa, which is based partly on some newly published correspondence pertaining to the running of the farm and her time here. She wasn't always an easy person to deal with, just human like the rest of us.

Africa (3) - DRC, Tanzania, Kenya
Asia (1) - Lebanon
Europe (6) - UK, Denmark, Greece, Germany, France, Austria *Done*
Pacifica (0) -
N America (2) - USA, Cuba
S. America (0) -

 

wingFifnawing 9 mos ago
13/36 Germany


Munich, by Robert Harris: https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15439460
A fictionalised account of the infamous Munich Conference of September 1938 and the people involved. A good story, even though we all know how it all ends...

Africa: 0/6
Asia: 4/6: Japan, Turkey, Russia, India
Europe: 6/6: France, Ireland, Poland, UK, Latvia, Germany *done*
North America: 1/6: USA
Oceania: 1/6: Fiji
South America: 1/6: Colombia

 

13/36

Bruce Chatwin: In Patagonia

Patagonia covers both Argentinean and Chilean territory. I'll count this as Chile.

Africa (3) - DRC, Tanzania, Kenya
Asia (1) - Lebanon
Europe (6) - UK, Denmark, Greece, Germany, France, Austria *Done*
Pacifica (0) -
N America (2) - USA, Cuba
S. America (1) - Chile

 

14/36

Joseph Conrad: Nostromo

The book is set in a fictional South American country, but it seems to be modelled extensively on Colombia, so I'm going to count this as Colombia.

Africa (3) - DRC, Tanzania, Kenya
Asia (1) - Lebanon
Europe (6) - UK, Denmark, Greece, Germany, France, Austria *Done*
Pacifica (0) -
N America (2) - USA, Cuba
S. America (2) - Chile, Colombia

 

winghyphen8wing 8 mos ago
2/36 - China
Time to start doing some catching up...

Asia 1/6: China
The Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15847251

More brothers than I'm used to, but a well-told story, and beautifully illustrated.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Africa: 0/6
Asia: 1/6: China
Europe: 0/6
North America: 1/6: USA
Oceania: 0/6
South America: 0/6

 

Oceania 1/6: Australia
On a Rainforest Quest by Anita Forbes
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15832048

Flynn the ant and Benny the beetle set out on a quest to save the ant queen. Beautifully illustrated by Natalie Jane Parker.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Africa: 0/6
Asia: 1/6: China
Europe: 0/6
North America: 1/6: USA
Oceania: 1/6: Australia
South America: 0/6

 

North America 2/6: Canada
Angel of Darkness by Charles de Lint
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15810642

More horror than urban fantasy; originally published under a pen name to flag these books as different from his norm.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Africa: 0/6
Asia: 1/6: China
Europe: 0/6
North America: 2/6: USA, Canada
Oceania: 1/6: Australia
South America: 0/6

 

winghyphen8wing 8 mos ago
5/36 - Korea
Asia 2/6: Korea
The Kite Fighters by Linda Sue Park
https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/15824396

For younger readers: set in the 15th century.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Africa: 0/6
Asia: 2/6: China, Korea
Europe: 0/6
North America: 2/6: USA, Canada
Oceania: 1/6: Australia
South America: 0/6

 

winghyphen8wing 8 mos ago
6/36 - Italy
Europe 1/6: Italy
Twice in Time by Manly Wade Wellman
e-book

While vacationing in Italy in the late 1930s, American Leo Thrasher finds himself sent back 500 years to the Renaissance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Africa: 0/6
Asia: 2/6: China, Korea
Europe: 1/6: Italy
North America: 2/6: USA, Canada
Oceania: 1/6: Australia
South America: 0/6

 

Europe: Italy
Twice in Time by Manly Wade Wellman
e-book

While vacationing in Italy in the late 1930s, American Leo Thrasher finds himself sent back 500 years to the Renaissance.

Sounds intriguing, was the book any good?

 

Europe: Italy
Twice in Time by Manly Wade Wellman
e-book

While vacationing in Italy in the late 1930s, American Leo Thrasher finds himself sent back 500 years to the Renaissance.

Sounds intriguing, was the book any good?

Not bad for "Golden Era" (1940) science fiction with a fairly predictable punchline. To quote from the introduction to the Baen Books edition:
(Those of you who insist on surprise endings, please stop reading this introduction now and proceed directly to Twice in Time.

Actually it isn't much of a surprise, and I'm reasonably certain most readers will have stumbled onto it after a chapter or two. Still: Fair warning.)

 

Europe: Italy
Twice in Time by Manly Wade Wellman
e-book

While vacationing in Italy in the late 1930s, American Leo Thrasher finds himself sent back 500 years to the Renaissance.

Sounds intriguing, was the book any good?

 

15/36

Arthur Conan Doyle: The Sign of Four

This book is set partly in London, partly in India, both on the continent and the Andamans.

Africa (3) - DRC, Tanzania, Kenya
Asia (2) - Lebanon, India
Europe (6) - UK, Denmark, Greece, Germany, France, Austria *Done*
Pacifica (0) -
N America (2) - USA, Cuba
S. America (2) - Chile, Colombia

 

Due to recent developments, shall we say, I have realized how woefully Eurocentric my reading list is. I vowed to start reading a wide variety of books with voices much different from my own. I am so excited to find this Challenge to keep me going. I'll come back soon and post my first entry!

 

Due to recent developments, shall we say, I have realized how woefully Eurocentric my reading list is. I vowed to start reading a wide variety of books with voices much different from my own.

I generally find Europe & Asia easy, and struggle with the rest of the areas. This year is no exception.

 

Due to recent developments, shall we say, I have realized how woefully Eurocentric my reading list is. I vowed to start reading a wide variety of books with voices much different from my own.

I generally find Europe & Asia easy, and struggle with the rest of the areas. This year is no exception.

I find that a large number of books set in Africa are readily availble, Nigerian authors were popular in the UK reading scene for a bit.

North America....once I’ve ticked off Canada and USA I normally stall.

 

North America....once I’ve ticked off Canada and USA I normally stall.

I'm grateful that you've included the Caribbean and Central America...but yes, after I've done the three biggest (US, Canada, & Mexico), things get trickier. This year I haven't even gotten to Mexico yet.

 

winghyphen8wing 8 mos ago
Africa
I find that a large number of books set in Africa are readily availble, Nigerian authors were popular in the UK reading scene for a bit.

I haven't been all that thrilled with some of the older Nigerian books: that's me, not the books. (Although, on further reflection - I have definitely enjoyed most of Nnedi Okorafor's work that I've read, including those set in Nigeria. She refers to herself as "Nigamerican" rather than Nigerian-American. I'm glad to be reminded of that - I have a couple of her books I need to read anyway.)

Botswana & South Africa I can usually do, no problem. After that, I have to get creative.

 

Bryce Courtney is an African author. His book, One, is about his sons medically aquired AIDS.
Kon Tiki is Pacific.

 

SCOUT-FINCH 8 mos ago
#1 of 36
+Country: Jamaica
+Region: North America
+Book: How to Love a Jamaican
+Author: Alexia Arthurs

From The Atlantic: "In Alexia Arthurs's new short-story collection, How to Love a Jamaican, identity is fluid but not frivolous. The book follows multiple characters of Jamaican descent either on the island or in the American locales that have become an approximation of home—whether that's Brooklyn or Iowa."

June is #ReadCaribbean month, and as the Caribbean is my favorite part of the world, I thought I would dive in with this highly touted selection. I was hoping for more Jamaica and less United States. It was just pretty good and I'm not clear on the hype surrounding this book.

 

https://www.bookcrossing.com/---/14455572

Historical fiction centred about the author’s Great - Grandfather, who left his wife and young daughter in England and travelled to Canada to become a pioneer farmer in the newly opened outback. The social norms and harshness of the life were easy to visualise, and some of the characters made me so angry.

Recommended.

-------------------------
Africa
Asia
Europe (4) - Iceland, The Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom
Pacifica (1) - New Zealand
N America (1) - Canada
S. America
6/36

 

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