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EllaTim reading tour

The Global Challenge

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Edited: Feb 22, 6:30pm Top

Hi, everyone. I'm Ella, living in Holland.

I like the idea of reading around the world. I happened upon it in the 75 books Challenge group. I have started to keep track there, but i like the idea of keeping track of my reading around the world here. And maybe get some ideas from the other people in this group.

I started with doing the 80 countries challenge, but I like to read from every country in the world. This will take a lot of time, to finish of course;-)

And as it seems like I've seen more movies from around the world, than read books, I'm going to list those as well.

And here's my map:

visited 32 states (14.2%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Edited: Oct 28, 2017, 11:37am Top

Countries A
AFGHANISTAN: - The Kite runner by Khaled Hosseini

ALGERIA: - The Stranger by Albert Camus

AUSTRALIA:- A town like Alice by Nevil Shute
Movie:- Rabbit-Proof Fence

Austria: I saw the movie The Wall, would like to read the book by Marlen Haushofer

Edited: Oct 29, 2017, 11:09am Top


BELGIUM: - Oorlog en Terpentijn by Stefan Hertmans
Mevrouw Verona daalt de heuvel af by Dimitri Verhulst
Kuifje in Tibet by Hergé

Movie: -Kiss of the Spider Woman, director Héctor Babenco
- O Amor Natural, directed by Heddy Honigman

Edited: Oct 28, 2017, 11:41am Top

CANADA: - Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood

CHINA: - Wild Swans by Jung Chang
Movie: - A Chinese Ghost Story Director: Siu-Tung Ching
- Raise the Red Lantern Director: Yimou Zhang

- Movie: Buena Vista Social Club directed by Wim Wenders

Edited: Dec 5, 2017, 6:37am Top

DENMARK: - Hans Christian Andersen - Fairytales
- Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Høeg
- Ditte Everywoman by Martin Andersen Nexø
Movies: - Babette's Feast, directed by Gabriel Axel
- Riget by Lars von Trier

Edited: Oct 28, 2017, 11:41am Top


Edited: Oct 28, 2017, 12:21pm Top

FINLAND: - Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson

FRANCE: - Sans Famille by Hector Malot
Pietr le Letton by Georges Simenon
Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo part 1
La Belle et la Bete by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Le mystère de la Chambre Jaune by Gaston Leroux
Movie: - La Grande Vadrouille with Louis de Funes

Edited: Nov 19, 2017, 6:37pm Top

GERMANY: - Deutschstunde by Siegfried Lenz
- Gehen, ging, gegangen by Jenny Erpenbeck
Complete Fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm
Das Schloss by Franz Kafka
Movies: - Die Blechtrommel,
- Die Himmel úber Berlin, with director Wim Wenders

GREECE: - Leven en wandel van Zorbas de Griek by Nikos Kazantzakis

Edited: Nov 12, 2017, 10:07am Top

I'd like to read:Embers by Sándor Márai

Edited: Apr 11, 8:44am Top

ICELAND: - Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Movie: - Rams

I'd like to read A fine balance by Rohinton Mistry

INDONESIA: Max Havelaar by Multatuli
The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirata
De tienduizend dingen by Maria Dermoût

Het huis van de Moskee by Kader Abdolah
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Movie: - "Salam Cinema" directed by Mohsen Makhmalbaf

ITALY: - Het Respijt by Primo Levi
- Een zomer in Italie by Barry Unsworth
Movie: - "Novecento" directed by Bertolucci

Edited: Oct 28, 2017, 11:46am Top

Movies: - Tampopo directed by Jûzô Itami,
- Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki

Edited: Nov 1, 2017, 4:48pm Top

KENYA - A Guide to the birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson
KOREA: - A single shard by Linda Sue Park

Edited: Oct 28, 2017, 12:24pm Top

The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig

Edited: Dec 3, 2017, 10:22am Top

Music from Mali is absolutely wonderful, lots of good artists to be found here, like Toumani Diabate, Baaba Maal

Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 2:48pm Top

THE NETHERLANDS: - Meneer Beerta by J.J. Voskuil
Afke's tiental by Nynke van Hichtum
Fulco de Minstreel by C. Joh. Kieviet (historical for youth)
Vuile Handen by J.J. Voskuil **** (dutch)
Het vrome volk **** by Maarten 't Hart
Vincent in Den Haag by Theun de Vries
De aanslag by Harry Mulisch
Kleine gedichten voor kinderen by Hieronymus van Alphen
Warenar, geld en liefde in de gouden eeuw by P.C. Hooft
Nooit meer slapen by W.F. Hermans
Movie: Alleman by Haanstra
(Well, I'm dutch, my list could be a lot longer)

NEW ZEALAND: - The Bone People by Keri Hulme

NIGERIA: De verboden rivier by Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria)

Edited: Oct 28, 2017, 11:49am Top


Edited: Dec 1, 2017, 7:57am Top


Music https://adnanjoubran.com/

POLAND: - Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
- Steen op steen by Wieslaw Mysliwski ****
Movies: There are several by Kieslowski I would like to see again
Loving Vincent, a U.K./Poland coproduction, but mostly Polish I think

Movie: Lisbon Story director Wim Wenders

Edited: Jul 1, 7:27am Top

Q and R

Oorlog en Vrede by Tolstoy
A gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
De Witte Buldog by Boris Akunin
Movie: - Solaris by Tarkovsky

Edited: Feb 22, 6:32pm Top

SOUTH AFRICA: - Begging to be Black by Antjie Krog

SPAIN: - Pa Negre by Emily Teixidor
Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
The shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Safón

Movie: - Hable con ella directed by Pedro Almodóvar
Carmen directed by Carlos Saura

SURINAM: - Hoe duur was de suiker by Cynthia McLeod (Surinam) ***1/2

SWEDEN: - De vrouw in het Gótakanaal by Maj Sjówall
- Niels Holgerssons wonderbare reis by Selma Lagerlöf

Movie: - Sameblod (Sami blood) director Amanda Kernell

SWITZERLAND: - Heidi by Johanna Spyri

Edited: Dec 1, 2017, 7:59am Top

Movie: Les silences du palais
Music Anouar Brahem

Edited: Nov 11, 2017, 2:49pm Top

UK: - David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald (England, autobiography)
The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (England, fantasy)
Sourcery by Terry Pratchett (England, fantasy)
Macbeth By William Shakespeare (England)
Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (fantasy)
Guards, guards! by Terry Pratchett (fantasy)
Equal rites by Terry Pratchett (fantasy)
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnet
A little princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Movie: - A Fish called Wanda by Charles Crichton

USA: - The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
The poet's dog by Patricia MacLachlan
In the Heat of the Night by John Ball
Kindred by Octavia Butler (USA, fantasy)

Movie (too many to count of course)- The Green Mile by Frank Darabont

It's obvious I read a lot of books from England and the USA, no need to keep track here further.

Edited: Oct 28, 2017, 11:35am Top

ZIMBABWE: - The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing

Oct 29, 2017, 9:13am Top

Wonderful to have another reader in the challenge! Good luck - this becomes quite compulsive.

Oct 29, 2017, 9:16am Top

Thank you for the welcome! Up till now I'm really enjoying this challenge.

Nov 1, 2017, 4:53pm Top

A Guide to the birds of East Africa
By Nicholas Drayson (Kenya)

This was a delightful and fast read. A comedy and a romance story, against the backdrop of ex-colonial Nairobi. Birds, landscape and people of Nairobi play a part. My first book for Kenya, and very entertaining.

Nov 11, 2017, 10:42am Top

Hi Ella! It's lovely to see you here! There isn't much interaction on the threads, but I love keep tracking of what I've read globally.

I'll definitely have to read A Guide to the Birds of East Africa. l've noticed all the love it's getting over on the 75.

Nov 11, 2017, 2:46pm Top

>26 streamsong: Hi Janet! I noticed that there isn't much interaction, well there is a lot of that in the 75ers group. And I like to keep track here, I've noticed that I'm not very fast, and I don't plan ahead a lot, so it will take some time for me to finish this challenge;)

Yes, it was really a fun read, and not only when you're into birds!

I've read a book for Iran Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. A graphic novel, about her childhood in Iran, during the revolution. All the changes, and the difficult times in the country. When she is a teenager her parents are so afraid for her they send her to school in Vienna, but this proves to be a difficult time for Marjane, she is very lonely on her own in a strange country.

Nov 19, 2017, 6:43pm Top

GREECE: - Leven en wandel van Zorbas de Griek by Nikos Kazantzakis

This was rather disappointing. I didn't like the misogynistic attitudes that come up again and again in the book.

I think they could be linked to the times, (early twentieth century) and the place (small village in Crete) but I don't know, it's such a dominant part. And as this was so annoying it kept me from enjoying the rest of the book.

So I hope to find something else for Greece, maybe read one of the classics, I will have to look around. Would like it to be a book by a woman.

Nov 20, 2017, 7:42pm Top

Seen the movie Loving Vincent today. To my surprise it was made by a U.K./Polish team, man and wife, but the Polish contribution is so far that I'm adding it to Poland.
Wonderful movie, the colours, the sense of the paintings coming alive.

Dec 5, 2017, 6:46am Top

I added a book for Denmark Ditte Everywoman by Martin Andersen Nexø. It was written in 1917 and is a description of a girl growing up in rural Denmark, under difficult circumstances, poverty, born out of wedlock. The writing was good, beautiful sometimes, but the story depressing (the family don't manage to improve their lot). But there's another book by him, that I might try later. Pelle Eroberer. It's supposed to be more or less autobiographical, so maybe a bit more optimism. I'm a sucker for a happy ending.

Dec 5, 2017, 2:18pm Top

I can recommend the Pelle the Conqueror movie with Max Sydow- brilliant! I read & enjoyed Ditte earlier this year. xx

Dec 5, 2017, 4:52pm Top

Hi Sally! Thanks for the recommendation, I would like to see this movie. Did you find Ditte depressing?

Jan 29, 12:25pm Top

The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirata **** (Indonesia)

Set on the island of Belintong this is a touching story about a small Islamic school. It's a school for the poor, as it's the only school that's free, but it's struggling. Only nine students have come the first day, but they need ten or they will be closed down, and the children will be sent home, and get no education at all. But luckily at the very last moment a tenth student arrives.

We then follow their lives and adventures. Interesting and sometimes funny. Their parents have sent them to school in hopes of getting out of the prison of poverty, but will they make it?

There is a lot of tin to be found, and the big mining company plays a big role on the island, but it doesn't care about the poor people or the environment. An important part in the story arrives when there is tin found under the school, and the school is threatened to be bulldozed down. Some of the children give up and drop out of school, but their teacher doesn't let it happen, she protests and finally wins the battle with the mining company, with the help of the students, a big victory.

In the last part of the book it still becomes clear that fortune is not on the side of the school, or the students, and although the book has an optimistic tone, I didn't think it was a very optimistic book. Yes education is important, but it hasn't seemed to help the students a lot.

Feb 4, 9:52am Top

Niets Liever dan Zwart by Antjie Krog, South Africa

A really interesting philosophical book. But not an easy read. Antjie Krog has played a part in the ANC during the time of Apartheid, And later in the Truth committee.

The story begins with a murder she witnessed. A gang leader is killed, she knows the perpetrators and they involve her by hiding the gun in front of her house. She feels she has to go to the police.

But after this thriller like beginning follow parts about history, and philosophy. As a whole this reads like an attempt to understand community, and how western and African world views differ.

A worth while book to read, although I felt it hard to understand sometimes.

Feb 12, 8:14pm Top

I found a blog, someone who started a similar reading around the world project. She (Kelly Dunagan) has collected a list of 2000 books, most of them still to be read.


It's a nice resource when you want to find a book for a certain country.

Feb 22, 6:34pm Top

Finished a book for Surinam, Hoe duur was de suiker by Cynthia McLeod (Surinam) ***1/2
It's an interesting historical novel, very readable, slavery, colonialism, family, love and extramarital relationships.
Written in a lively style, and giving a good view of society in Surinam in the 18th century.

Feb 22, 8:02pm Top

Near sunset we made a small walk in a bit of marshy forest near town. Cold, cold wind from the east. We saw lots of male blackbirds. Easy to spot, with their light beaks. Good to see so many of them after the disease of last year that killed a lot of them.

Mar 21, 1:57am Top

Hi Ella! Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm glad to hear my list is coming in handy! I'm looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts about the books you've chosen as you read them. :)

Apr 11, 8:52am Top

Indonesië: De tienduizend dingen by Maria Dermoût
(Translated into English as The Ten Thousand Things)

A novel based on an island in the Molucca's.

Maria Dermoût is Indonesian born, but of Dutch descent. She lived part of her life in Indonesia, or the Dutch East Indies, as it was called then. One could argue that as such she isn't a real Indonesian author, but she was fourth generation (?)

The book gives beautiful descriptions of life, nature, customs, history, beliefs in the island. It's wonderfully written, but the story involves grief and loss as well. It had an impact on me, and I loved it.

Jul 1, 7:26am Top

Adding one for Russia
De Witte Buldog by Boris Akunin

It's a light-hearted historical detective novel. A fun read, and pretty original. While at the same time giving a view of provinical Russia in the 19th century.

Group: The Global Challenge

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