A friend turned me on to Ann Morgan’s Reading Around the World list (check out her awesome TED talk while you’re over there!) a few months ago and it has intrigued me ever since. A whole list of books from every country in the UN (+ Taiwan, because apparently Taiwan is not part of the UN).
I’ve mentioned this list a couple times recently but I thought I’d do a whole post on it because it fits nicely with my Diverse YA Book Club (which you should totally check out and participate in!).
Things I am going to do:
Read Some Books
For the most part, I will probably stick to books from the list but if I learn/know of a book that’s not on the list that I would like to read, I’m allowing myself to go rogue. Plus, when we get to the United States, I am planning on selecting a American Indian book, instead (I mean, most of the stories I read are from the U.S., anyway).
I will also be checking to make sure the book’s author is from the corresponding country. I noticed at least one entry where this was not the case. Other than this, Morgan herself has already done so much excellent work in compiling this list, why ignore the results?
Now, Ann Morgan read 196 books in a year and I… haha… I cannot do that. I’m planning on a book a month but it’s really more like one after another. If I read two or three in a month, awesome! If life gets in the way and I take a couple months to get through one book, then no big deal.
Google That Scheisse
When I don’t understand some cultural or historical thing depicted in the book, I will Google it before I do the review. I didn’t do that with A Thousand Splendid Suns and I should have.
As stated in my Diverse YA Book Club post, I lean towards fantasy and sci-fi so, where possible, I will choose books in those genres. However, the point of this is to read perspectives I have not read before and understand them, so I expect to need to look something up from almost every book. That and most of the list looks to be contemporary/realistic fiction.
Finally, I’ll review each book in a shameless attempt to get almost 200 blog posts out of this, share what I’ve learned, and get you all to read these books, too!
Because the point is to gain new perspectives but what’s wrong with sharing them in the process?
This is a learning experience. I will try not to write like a know-it-all (and feel free to point out if I do) but sometimes I just get so excited or I want to be a little funny that I overstep. I don’t hail from any of the cultures in the books I will be reading here. Even though I trace my ancestry back to several European countries featured on the list, I don’t partake in their cultures as they stand today. I will make mistakes, misinterpretations, or miss something. If you catch any of these, please please please point it out to me. I want to know! I don’t mind.
Albania – reading already chosen (The Palace of Broken Dreams by Ismail Kadare)
I’ve heard some really good things about Ismail Kadare’s work so I am looking forward to diving in to this book!
What books from countries not your own have you read and enjoyed? Leave a comment below!