Saturday, June 21, 2008

Books Around the World Challenge




This week's Weekly Geeks challenge is to organize any challenges. While I'm generally afraid of getting too consumed by challenges and deadlines, The Books Around the World Challenge appeals to me tremendously. I started this back in November but haven't been terribly dedicated about keeping up with it. I needed a challenge to remind me of my challenge!

Being a huge fan of Sonlight as the main course of our homeschooling, I have developed quite a taste for learning about other cultures via literature. The premise of this challenge is to read a book for each country in the world. The book should help us learn something about that country and not just be one written by somebody who lives there. I believe there are something like 193 countries in the world, so this challenge should take a few years. That suits my lackadaisical approach to reading challenges.

And so, here is the list thus far. Obviously many countries are missing. If you have a book for a country either listed here or not listed, please let me know. The books with an asterisk are ones that were suggested didn't look particularly appealing to me, and the ones linked or in italics are ones I've read. So help!


Afghanistan
The Bookseller of Kabul (Asne Seierstad) (review here)
The Kite Runner
A Thousand Splendid Suns

Antarctica
*Decipher (Stel Pavlou)

Argentina
THE MINISTRY OF SPECIAL CASES. By Nathan Englander.

Australia
A Town Like Alice (Neville Shute)
Mutant Message from Down Under by Marlo Morgan (already read)

Bolivia

*I Am a Taxi (Deborah Ellis)

Botswana
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Brazil
*Keeper (Mal Peet)
Child of the Dark: The Diary of Carolina Maria de Jesus

Cambodia
The Stones Cry Out: A Cambodian Childhood by Molyda Szymusiak

Canada
Crow Lake
The Other Side of the Bridge (Mary Lawson)
The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
Latitude of Melt (Joan Clark)
The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie Macdonald

Chile
Portrait in Sepia

China
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Peony in Love

The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan (review here)

Colombia
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (already read but should re-read)

Congo:
The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)--already read

Croatia
The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo AndriƦ

Cuba
*Our Man in Havana (Graham Greene)
DANCING TO “ALMENDRA.” By Mayra Montero.

Egypt
*Napoleon’s Pyramids (William Dietrich)
DOWN THE NILE: Alone in a Fisherman’s Skiff. By Rosemary Mahoney.
Mara, Daughter of the Nile (already read)

England
Black Swan Green (David Mitchell)
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Atonement by Ian McEwan

France
Chocolat (Joanne Harris)

Germany
The Book Thief
The Nazi Officer's Wife


Greece

Haiti
BROTHER, I’M DYING. By Edwidge Danticat.

Hong Kong
The Language of Threads (Gail Tsukiyama)

Iceland

India
Beneath a Marble Sky (John Shors)
Great Hedge of India : The Search for the Living Barrier That Divided a Nation by Roy Moxham (already read)

Iran
Veil of Roses (Laura Fitgerald)
THE SEPTEMBERS OF SHIRAZ. By Dalia Sofer.
Persepolis 1 & 2 by Marjane Strapi (reviews here)

Ireland
An Irish Country Doctor (Patrick Taylor)

Israel

Italy
A Thread of Grade (Mary Doria Russell)

Japan

Kenya

Laos

Libya
IN THE COUNTRY OF MEN. By Hisham Matar.

Lebanon

Morocco
Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail (Malika Oufkir)

New Zealand
The Bone People (Keri Hulme)

Nigeria
Purple Hibiscus (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)

Norway
OUT STEALING HORSES. By Per Petterson.

Pakistan

Portugal
Alentejo Blue (Monical Ali)

Russia
The Madonnas of Leningrad (Debra Dean)
The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig


Rwanda
Left to Tell: One Woman's Story of Surviving the Rwandan Holocaust. (Imaclee Ilibigiza)
We Wish To Tell You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families by Philip Gourevitch

Scotland
*My Heart’s in the Lowlands (Liz Curtis Higgs)
Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott

Sierra-Leone
LONG WAY GONE: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. By Ishmael Beah.

Somalia
KNOTS. By Nuruddin Farah.

Spain
*The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)

Sweden
Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson

Switzerland

Tibet/India
Daughter of the Mountains by Louise Rankin (already read)

Turkey

Wales
How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn (already read)

3 comments:

Dr. H said...

Colombia - Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Jay-O said...

Hi there! You mentioned "a challenge over the challenge" right? hehehe.. well its easy, but not quite.. all you have to do is set yourself a timeframe within the day just to give time for reading.. There's alot in it and its easy to say right? But in fact that this time frame I'm speaking of is the/ d' most important time for you to complete such. As important as you can cancel any important appointments or activities as you have this kinda time. Well I am from the Philippines, found out that you dont have any from your list a book which is a treasure of the southeast. Well we have alot of books but I highly recommend the writings of our national hero. Two books in a row which is entitled with a twist of radicalism against the spanish regime, a turns of being a romantisist and with a touch of realism. These two is actually symbolical and is really a good book! The titles are > Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Visit my site www.jeyogarcia.tk have a nice day and God bless!

Hoopla said...

I have Child of the Dark if you would like to borrow it.


Sarah K.