Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Beginning to Read the World

I've been talking about diversity for a while and I've even mentioned wanting to read a book from every country in the world more than once in the past on the blog, but now I'm actually going to do it. With a little nudge from my friend Louise I've been inspired to join her in her #readtheworldproject

I'm planning to read a book from every country in the world by the time my 35th birthday rolls around in 2022 (eek it sounds so far away!), so this is an ongoing project... I am going to include a couple that I've read fairly recently but mostly I'll be starting from scratch. The idea is that in as many cases as possible I'll read books by authors originally from that country, but where that proves difficult or impossible then I'll be going for books set in that country instead. 

For inspiration I'm reading Ann Morgan's Reading the World and her blog, A Year of Reading the World, along with other things.

First up I'm ticking North Korea off my list because in the last couple of weeks I finished In Order to Live; Yeonmi Park's incredible, inspirational memoir of how she and her family escaped from North Korea.

Today I went to my bookshelves and pulled off everything I could see that I owned which fit in with the criteria. I felt good about it until I realised that this pile represents less than 10% of the countries in the world... I have a lot of reading to do! I thought it would be good, since I've been such an absent blogger of late, to post about this challenge in small stages and set myself smaller, more achievable goals. A TBR of 15 doesn't seem too overwhelming to keep in the corner somewhere, so here's my starting line of countries! 

Argentina : The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara

Canada : How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti

China : Empress Orchid by Anchee Min

Croatia : Girl at War by Sara Novic

Finland : Moominland Midwinter (or anything else by her, really) by Tove Jansson

France : The Outsider by Albert Camus

Germany : Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes

Ireland : Philomena by Martin Sixsmith (I will probably find another book actually by an Irish author to read for this as well)

Italy : The Periodic Table by Primo Levi

Malaysia The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twang Eng

Mexico : I'll Sell You a Dog by Juan Pablo Villalobos 

Native American : The Bingo Palace by Louise Erdrich

The Netherlands/Australia/Scotland : The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (who has a whole section on his nationality in Wikipedia because it's so confusing!)

Nigeria : Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Non White/Immigrant Experience: Sketcher by Roland Watson-Grant, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Spain : The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Thailand : (unpictured) The Sad Part Was by Prabda Yoon

I'm looking forward to the London Bookshop Crawl in February to stock up on some titles from other countries. Feel free to leave me any and all recommendation in the comments! 

Friday, 11 November 2016


I've been doing lots of talking about books on twitter recently and I stumbled across this diversity bingo running in December. It's a constant quest of mine to read more diversely and events like this are brilliant for that. I'll be posting about it mostly on twitter and it's pretty low commitment- you just have to complete a line of the bingo chart below.

I've picked a pile of four titles but only need to read two since three of my books fill three different criteria (sneaky, I know).

Secretly I want to read something for every category (and if you need suggestions there are some awesome ones on #DiversityDecBingo), but in the interests of actually being able to do the challenge I've picked the middle row. I have several choices, and I picked from my shelves because I have SO MANY BOOKS and need to read some of them, so here we go. 

Mental Health Awareness: The Silver Lining's Playbook by Matthew Quick (I may also watch the movie)

Asian Main Character/Own Voices/Non-Western (real world) Setting - In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park/The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng/The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri 

I'm probably going to compile a list of all the recommendations I come across during the event too,so look out for it! Let me know if you're taking part and where I can follow you to keep up with your diverse reading. So exciting!

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

#LittleHouseRAL: On the Way Home & November Link up!

Keeping with the tradition of this read-along I finished On the Way Home early last month and then totally forgot about it until I picked up West from Home to read yesterday!

So here's the deal: On the Way Home was much more enjoyable to me than The First Four Years, but still nowhere near as enjoyable as the rest of the series had been. It's Laura's diary of their trip from De Smet to Missouri and it's pretty much just what they did each day. How far they travelled, who they saw, how hot it was etc, and it's fine but I wasn't enthralled. I miss the storytelling of the earlier books if I'm honest, but they're short so I'll get through West from Home pretty quickly I'm sure.

Link up your posts about West from Home here. Just two more months to go, guys - next month we're reading Pioneer Girl, A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert or your choice of Laura related book!