Annie travels the world in books

TalkThe Global Challenge

Join LibraryThing to post.

Annie travels the world in books

1AnnieMod
Edited: Dec 19, 2023, 2:08 pm

Way back when at the dawn of time (also known as 2009), I tried to do a "read a book from each country in the world". It went nowhere because I ended up traveling too much for work (the irony!) and then I moved to the States (without my books) which threw everything into a bit of a chaos... and I never went back to it. Time to try again.

A bit of a modification of the rules though:
1. The author needs to be considered an author from that country (nationality and/or birth). So Donna Leon does not count for Italy even if she lived there for 30 years. Diaspora authors also count.
2. The book is at least partially set in the country or is speculative fiction which is either set in a different planet/reality or uses the folklore of the country.
3. One book per author in the same country; limited to 5 authors/books per country.
4. Books count if read after 1 November 2010 (when I moved).
5. Slightly modified list of countries (the Vatican and Kosovo are in (although I may rethink that...); Palestine is in list B for now. Some shifting of these 3 is possible).
6. One book per country can be a history of the country written by a non-local author (the small ones may need it).
7. For UK: 1 book from each of the 4 members plus 1 free slot; for USA: 1 book per region. Only books finished after 2021-12-05 count for these 2.

List B, C and D are for bonus points (what kind of a challenge will that be if there are no bonus points?). For these books, in order for it to count it just needs to be set there, authors can be from anywhere but preference will be given to local ones if there are any.

Note on the map: They have South Sudan, lack Kosovo and the Vatican and have Israel and Palestine combined (Israel is going to be checked when I have 5 there) compared to my list A. All territories/dependencies get colored when their mother country is colored. I am also looking at other possible maps :)

5 books: 8 countries

I visited 8 countries of the United Nations (3.62%) out of 193.
Create your own travel map .

2AnnieMod
Edited: Jan 2, 5:47 pm

A-B
1. Afghanistan
I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan, edited and translated by Eliza Griswold (2022)
Zarifa: A Woman's Battle in a Man's World by Zarifa Ghafari and Hannah Lucinda Smith (2023)
2. Albania
3. Algeria
4. Andorra
5. Angola
6. Antigua and Barbuda

7. Argentina
1. Trafalgar by Angélica Gorodischer (2015) - SF, not set in Argentina
2. Ghosts by César Aira (2015)
3. The Ghetto Within by Santiago H. Amigorena, translated from French by Frank Wynne (2023)

8. Armenia

9. Australia
1. Kittyhawk Down by Garry Disher (2015)
2. Bad Debts by Peter Temple (2016)
3. Resurrection Bay by Emma Viskic (2018)
4. The Portrait of Molly Dean by Katherine Kovacic (2021)
5. Born Into This by Adam Thompson (2021)
10. Austria
11. Azerbaijan
12. Bahamas
13. Bahrain
14. Bangladesh
The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday by Saad Z. Hossain (2022); writes in English
15. Barbados
16. Belarus
17. Belgium
18. Belize
19. Benin
20. Bhutan
21. Bolivia
22. Bosnia and Herzegovina
22.1. My Heart by Semezdin Mehmedinović, translated from Bosnian by Celia Hawkesworth

23. Botswana

24. Brazil
1. The Words That Remain by Stênio Gardel, translated from Portuguese by Bruna Dantas Lobato

25. Brunei
26. Bulgaria
Градче на име Мендосино by Деян Енев (2015)
Софийски магьосници by Мартин Колев (2017)
Юлски разкази by Здравка Евтимова (2017)
Когато бях армейски генерал by Михаил Вешим (2018)
Софийско крими by Орлин Чочов (2020)
27. Burkina Faso
28. Burma
29. Burundi

3AnnieMod
Edited: Dec 19, 2023, 1:54 pm

C-F
30. Cambodia
31.1. A Nail the Evening Hangs On by Monica Sok (2021
31.2. In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner (2023)

31. Cameroon
31.1. The Impatient by Djaïli Amadou Amal, translated from French by Emma Ramadan (2023)

32. Canada
32.1. Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay (2020)
32.2.Watershed by Doreen Vanderstoop (2020)
32.3.A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson (2021)
32.4.It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken by Seth (2023)
32.5.Bannock Beans and Black Tea: Memories of a Prince Edward Island Childhood in the Great Depression by John Gallant (2023)

33. Cape Verde
34. Central African Republic
35. Chad
36. Chile

37. China
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (2015)
China in Ten Words by Hua Yu, translated by Allan H. Barr (2022)
Red Sorghum by Mo Yan, translated by Howard Goldblatt (2022)
Lenin's Kisses by Yan Lianke, translated by Carlos Rojas (2022)
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow by Wang Anyi, translated by Michael Berry and Susan Chan Egan (2022)

38. Colombia
The Book of Emma Reyes by Emma Reyes (2018)
Songs for the Flames: Stories by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (2021)
Difficult Light by Tomás González, translated by Andrea Rosenberg (2022)

39. Comoros
40. Congo (Brazzaville)
41. Congo (Kinshasa)
42. Costa Rica
43. Côte d'Ivoire
44. Croatia
44.1. Doppelgänger by Daša Drndić, translated from Croatian by S. D. Curtis and Celia Hawkesworth (2023)

45. Cuba
46. Cyprus
47. Czech Republic

48. Denmark
The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (2012)
The Employees: A Workplace Novel of the 22nd Century by Olga Ravn, translated by Martin Aitken (2022)
Wild Swims: Stories by Dorthe Nors, translated by Misha Hoekstra (2022)

49. Djibouti
50. Dominica

51. Dominican Republic
Made in Saturn by Rita Indiana (2020)

52. Ecuador
This World Does Not Belong to Us by Natalia García Freire, translated by Victor Meadowcroft (2022)

53. Egypt
Brooklyn Heights by Miral Al-Tahawy, translated from Arabic by Samah Selim

54. El Salvador
55. Equatorial Guinea
56. Eritrea
57. Estonia
58. Ethiopia
59. Fiji

60. Finland
The Healer by Antti Tuomainen (2013)
The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo (2016)
Dog Park by Sofi Oksanen (2021)

61. France
The Prone Gunman by Jean-Patrick Manchette (2016)
The Deep Sea Diver's Syndrome by Serge Brussolo (2016) -- Speculative fiction
Too Close to the Edge by Pascal Garnier (2016)
The Black Notebook by Patrick Modiano (2017)
Three Days and a Life by Pierre Lemaitre (2018)

4AnnieMod
Edited: Dec 19, 2023, 2:09 pm

G-K (Bold means that I got 5)
62. Gabon
63. Gambia, The
64. Georgia
65. Germany
Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl by Uwe Johnson, translated by Damion Searls (2022)
66. Ghana
67. Greece
68. Grenada
69. Guatemala
70. Guinea
71. Guinea-Bissau
72. Guyana
73. Haiti
74. Holy See (Vatican)
75. Honduras
76. Hungary

77. Iceland
The Shadow District by Arnaldur Indriðason (2018)
Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson (2021)
The Fox by Sólveig Pálsdóttir (2021)
Summer Light, and Then Comes the Night by Jón Kalman Stefánsson, translated by Philip Roughton (2022)

78. India
Small Days and Nights by Tishani Doshi (2020)
Pyre by Perumal Murugan, translated from Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan (2022)

79. Indonesia
79.1. The Book of Jakarta, edited by Maesy Ang and Teddy W. Kusuma

80. Iran
80.1. In Case of Emergency by Mahsa Mohebali, translated from Persian by Mariam Rahmani (2022)
80.2. Out of Mesopotamia by Salar Abdoh (2023)

81. Iraq
81.1. Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi (2021)

82. Ireland
Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan (2022)
Annie Dunne by Sebastian Barry (2022)

83. Israel
83.1. Martian Sands by Lavie Tidhar (2015)
83.2. And the Bride Closed the Door by Ronit Matalon, translated by Jessica Cohen (2023)
83.3. Professor Schiff's Guilt by Agur Schiff, translated from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen (2023)

84. Italy
I Will Have Vengeance by Maurizio De Giovanni (2013)
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (2015)
Numero Zero by Umberto Eco (2016)
The Hotel of the Three Roses by Augusto De Angelis (2017)
Bug by Giacomo Sartori, translated by Frederika Randall (2022)

85. Jamaica

86. Japan
The Great Passage by Shion Miura (2018)
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (2020)
Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda (2021)
Six Four by Hideo Yokoyama (2021)
The Decagon House Murders by Yukito Ayatsuji (2021)

87. Jordan
88. Kazakhstan
89. Kenya
The Perfect Nine: The Epic of Gĩkũyũ and Mũmbi by Ngugi wa Thiong'o (2021)
The House of Rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber (2022) (written in English)
90. Kiribati

91. Korea, North
A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa, translated from Japanese by Martin Brown and Risa Kobayashi (2023)

92. Korea, South
92.1. The Good Son by Jeong You Jeong (2019)
92.2. The Old Woman with the Knife by Gu Byeong-mo, translated from Korean by Chi-Young Kim
92.3 Greek Lessons by Kang Han, translated from Korean by Deborah Smith and Emily Yae Won (2023)
92.4 Welcome to the Hyunam-dong Bookshop by Hwang Bo-reum, translated from Korean by Shanna Tan (2023)

93. Kosovo
94. Kuwait
95. Kyrgyzstan

5AnnieMod
Edited: Dec 19, 2023, 1:36 pm

L-N
96. Laos
97. Latvia

98. Lebanon
The Disoriented by Amin Maalouf (2020)
Voices of the Lost by Hoda Barakat, translated from Arabic by Marilyn Booth (2022)

99. Lesotho
100. Liberia
101. Libya
102. Liechtenstein
103. Lithuania
104. Luxembourg
105. Macedonia
106. Madagascar
107. Malawi
108. Malaysia
109. Maldives
110. Mali
111. Malta
112. Marshall Islands
113. Mauritania

114. Mauritius
Kaya Days by Carl de Souza (2021)
Silent Winds, Dry Seas by Vinod Busjeet (2021)

115. Mexico
116. Micronesia
117. Moldova
118. Monaco
119. Mongolia
120. Montenegro
121. Morocco
122. Mozambique
123. Namibia
124. Nauru
125. Nepal
126. Netherlands

127. New Zealand
The Imaginary Lives of James Pōneke by Tina Makereti

128. Nicaragua
129. Niger

130. Nigeria
130.1. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (2020)

131. Norway
131.1. The Drowned Boy by Karin Fossum (2016)
131.2. Paradise Rot by Jenny Hval (2019)
131.3 Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson, translated by Anne Born (2022)
131.4 Professor Andersen's Night by Dag Solstad, translated from Norwegian by Agnes Scott Langeland

6AnnieMod
Edited: Dec 19, 2023, 1:51 pm

O-S
132. Oman
Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi, translated by Marilyn Booth (2021)
A History of Modern Oman by Jeremy Jones and Nicholas Ridout (2022)
133. Pakistan
134. Palau
135. Panama
136. Papua New Guinea
137. Paraguay
138. Peru
139. Philippines
140. Poland
The Pianist: The Extraordinary True Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939-1945 by Władysław Szpilman (2017)
141. Portugal
142. Qatar
143. Romania
144. Russia
First Love by Ivan Turgenev (2014)
Азазель (The Winter Queen) by Борис Акунин/Boris Akunin (2020)
145. Rwanda
The Barefoot Woman by Scholastique Mukasonga (2020)
146. Saint Kitts and Nevis
147. Saint Lucia
148. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
149. Samoa
150. San Marino
151. Sao Tome and Principe
152. Saudi Arabia

153. Senegal
Brotherhood by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, translated from French by Alexia Trigo (2022)

154. Serbia
154.1. Ангелът на атентата (original title: Anđeo atentata) by Svetislav Basara, translated by Рада Шарланджиева
154.2 Belgrade Noir, edited by Milorad Ivanović

155. Seychelles
156. Sierra Leone
157. Singapore
158. Slovakia
159. Slovenia
160. Solomon Islands
161. Somalia

162. South Africa
Black Diamond by Zakes Mda (2015)
Weeping Waters by Karin Brynard (2018)
*When the Lion Feeds by Wilbur Smith (2021

163. Spain
The Anatomy of a Moment: Thirty-Five Minutes in History and Imagination by Javier Cercas (2011)
The Family of Pascual Duarte by Camilo José Cela (2014)
The Good Suicides by Antonio Hill (2014)
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (2016)
Monteverde: Memoirs of an Interstellar Linguist by Lola Robles (2019) --Speculative fiction not set in Spain

164. Sri Lanka
165. Sudan
166. Suriname
167. Swaziland

168. Sweden
Until Thy Wrath Be Past by Åsa Larsson (2011)
Hostage by Kristina Ohlsson (2016)
Roseanna by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (2017)

169. Switzerland
169.1 The Basel Killings by Hansjörg Schneider, translated from German by Mike Mitchell
169.2 Thumbprint by Friedrich Glauser, translated from German by Mike Mitchell

170. Syria

7AnnieMod
Edited: Dec 19, 2023, 1:47 pm

T-Z
171. Tajikistan
172. Tanzania
By the Sea by Abdulrazak Gurnah
173. Thailand
174. Timor-Leste (East Timor)
175. Togo
176. Tonga
177. Trinidad and Tobago
178. Tunisia
The Italian by Shukri Mabkhout, translated by Miled Faiza and Karen McNeil

179. Turkey
179.1. Manam by Rima Elkouri, translated from French by Howard Scott and Phyllis Aronoff (2023)
179.2. Cold Nights of Childhoodby Tezer Özlü, translated from Turkish by Maureen Freely (2023)

180. Turkmenistan
181. Tuvalu
182. Uganda
183. Ukraine
184. United Arab Emirates
185. United Kingdom
185.1 England
185.2 Scotland
185.3 Wales
The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros, translated from Welsh by Manon Steffan Ros (2022)
185.4 Northern Ireland
185.5 Free Spot
186. United States
186.1 Northeast
186.2 Southwest
186.3 West
186.4 Southeast
186.5 Midwest
187. Uruguay
188. Uzbekistan
189. Vanuatu
190. Venezuela
191. Vietnam
192. Yemen
193. Zambia
194. Zimbabwe
Sibanda and the Black Sparrowhawk by C. M. Elliot (2019)

8AnnieMod
Edited: Dec 5, 2021, 4:40 pm

List B - Dependencies, territories and so on (main list)
1. American Samoa
2. Anguilla
3. Aruba
4. Bermuda
5. British Virgin Islands
6. Cayman Islands
7. Channel Islands
8. Falkland Islands
9. Faroe Islands
Island by Siri Ranva Hjelm Jacobsen (2021)
10. French Polynesia
11. Gibraltar
12. Greenland
13. Guadeloupe
14. Guam
15. Guinee Conakry
16. Martinique
17. Montserrat
18. Netherlands Antilles
19. New Caledonia
20. Niue
21. Norfolk Island
22. Northern Mariana Islands
23. Palestinian Authority
Minor Detail by Adania Shibli
24. Pitcairn Islands
25. Puerto Rico
26. Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
27. Reunion
28. Taiwan
The Sniper by Kuo-Li Chang
29. Turks and Caicos Islands
30. Virgin Islands (US)
31. Western Sahara

9AnnieMod
Dec 5, 2021, 3:01 pm

List C - Other Dependencies and Areas of Special Sovereignty
1. Antarctica
2. Ashmore and Cartier Islands
3. Baker Island
4. Bouvet Island
5. British Indian Ocean Territory (Chagos Archipelago)
6. Christmas Island
7. Clipperton Island
8. Cocos (Keeling) Islands
9. Cook Islands
10. Coral Sea Islands
11. Guernsey
12. Heard Island and McDonald Islands
13. Hong Kong
14. Howland Island
15. Isle of Man
16. Jan Mayen
17. Jarvis Island
18. Jersey
19. Johnston Atoll
20. Kingman Reef
21. Macau
22. Mayotte
23. Midway Islands
24. Navassa Island
25. Palmyra Atoll
26. Paracel Islands
27. Saint Barthelemy
28. Saint Helena
29. Saint Martin
30. Saint Pierre and Miquelon
31. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
32. Spratly Islands
33. Svalbard
34. Tokelau
35. Wake Island
36. Wallis and Futuna

10AnnieMod
Edited: Dec 5, 2021, 7:22 pm

List D - the countries that are no more

Sumer
Akkadia
Ancient Egypt
Persia
The Old Macedonia
Byzantium
Roman Empire
The Ottoman Empire
Czechoslovakia (1918–1939;1945–1992)
Innocence; or, Murder on Steep Street by Heda Margolius Kovály (2016)
Yugoslavia (1918–1941;1945–1992)
USSR (1922 to 1991)
East Germany (GDR) (1949–1990)
West Germany (FRG) (1949–1990)
Biafra (May 1967 to January 1970)
There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra by Chinua Achebe (2016)
(more to be added)

11AnnieMod
Dec 5, 2021, 3:02 pm

Special countries placeholder

12AnnieMod
Dec 5, 2021, 7:32 pm

Unless I unearth another one from somewhere (which won't be a surprise), that's where I am starting:
3 countries which I had not updated (Bulgaria, USA and UK) - I have 5 of each easily; I am considering splitting them into smaller parts though...
4 countries done, all from the main list: Australia, France, Japan, Spain - no surprises.
Total: 61 books added to the list, 56 in the main list.

13labfs39
Dec 5, 2021, 7:49 pm

Interesting lists, Annie. How did you find the countries for your B, C, and D lists? I look forward to seeing how you end up doing Bulgaria, the US, and UK. I have separated out Scotland and Wales within UK, and done nothing with US, but I could see doing regions (Northeast, South, Southwest, Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Midwest, Alaska, Hawaii, maybe?). That could be interesting.

14AnnieMod
Dec 5, 2021, 9:17 pm

>13 labfs39: Well - I cheated this time around - I had them from 2009 (https://www.librarything.com/topic/72124). That's why I have the Vatican in there - I decided not to renumber again. :)

List B and C started as one list back in 2009 (from the US Department of State site: https://www.state.gov/dependencies-and-areas-of-special-sovereignty/ ) but there were extra possible checks/marks on the world66 maps we were using back then for visualization - so I pulled them in their own list. The remaining ones went into List C (and I need to recheck List C because 12 years are a long time...). As combining them will require me to split them anyway into two posts, I figured I may as well keep it that way.

List D is "Hey, I have a book from this country that does not exist anymore - let me add it". That list will grow as I go through books - the ones now listed are the ones I have books on shelves I can see.

I am still considering options for the 3 special cases:
Bulgaria is on the special list because it is home - it is too small to split otherwise :) I may go for years there and not for geography (or I can do the 9 (or 28 now) regions or who knows). Might decide to just add 5 and be done for now and reconsider later...

USA - the 9 Census Bureau divisions or the 8 Bureau of Economic Analysis regions; starting with books I read now (so no back-filling since 2010 or that will be done and dusted in no time) :)

UK:
Scotland
Northern Ireland
Wales
England: possibly splitting into its 9 regions thus becoming at least a bit of a challenge...

15labfs39
Dec 5, 2021, 9:41 pm

Or one from each US state?

Having lived in the Pacific Northwest, I think of it as being too unique to clump with California or more. Same with Alaska and Hawaii, both have very unique cultures. I'll look forward to the books you place in each of your categories.

16AnnieMod
Dec 5, 2021, 10:01 pm

>15 labfs39: Yeah - that crossed my mind - that's 51 books (50 states + DC) which is comparable with 5 per region. If I go for the regions I will be marking the state and trying not to repeat anyway so I may as well go for states directly and stop working around it. :)

That's kinda why I am still thinking what I want to do with these. I will need to decide for UK probably tomorrow because I am finishing a book that will go there but the next in the stack is a US one so...

And technically speaking, that is valid for some other countries as well (Australia for example). I am seriously eyeing a few more countries for a possible split at some point but for now I will let them stay as they are...

17labfs39
Dec 6, 2021, 12:43 pm

Canada is another one that would be interesting to do by province. Nova Scotia is so different from Quebec from British Columbia.

The possibilities are endless!

18AnnieMod
Dec 6, 2021, 12:57 pm

>17 labfs39: True... but ask any local from any country and they will tell you the same applies there (I am thinking of splitting a country the size of Ohio or Tennessee and I know for a fact that there is enough linguistic and local variety for it actually to be doable and useful; can it be done if one reads only in translation from that language is probably a different conversation - that's where our limitation will come from I think. Which is why the splits will be doable if one reads the language or if the language is big enough to have a lot of translations out of it...). Which is why I am careful NOT to fall in that rabbit hole... yet.

Talking about Canada, I realized last night that I had forgotten all about it while I was looking at my "read" catalog - I am pretty sure I already have 5 of it as well. So back to that later today, together with setting up the special languages section.

19Jackie_K
Dec 6, 2021, 3:37 pm

Welcome to the group - I'm so pleased to see more people finding this challenge! :)

20AnnieMod
Edited: Dec 7, 2021, 6:23 pm

And final setup:
- Bulgaria is all done with 5 (sorry, not sure if any of them is translated:(); Canada got 3 (I am sure I have more but who knows where they are hiding)
- USA and UK stay with 5 each but with special rules (1 per region in USA, 1 per member in UK plus one free); only books read after I set the thread.
- Visual aids aka maps added in the first message.

>19 Jackie_K: Thanks! :)

And now back to finishing a book.

21AnnieMod
Oct 31, 2022, 3:01 pm

I really need to remember to update this thread :)

2 more countries completed since last year (China and Italy), bringing the total to 7. Plus a lot of updates in other countries. I need to check USA and see if I cannot complete it under my rules as well...

22Willoyd
Edited: Nov 2, 2022, 6:08 pm

>14 AnnieMod:
Your recent post led me to exploring your thread - very interesting! A couple of random (and trivial!) thoughts/reactions.

England: possibly splitting into its 9 regions thus becoming at least a bit of a challenge...
Never thought of that. I did an English Counties 'most famous book' challenge a few years ago, which provided some excellent variety, but that's a good halfway house when reading so many other countries etc too. Has potential for a really classy list. Because I'm doing the global challenge to spread my reading beyond my comfort zone, I'll stick to just one English book (not previously read!) - but the other three countries have thrown up some very different reading to my norm.

6. One book per country can be a history of the country written by a non-local author (the small ones may need it).
No 'may' about it! I've already had to turn to one for San Marino (although the author was local)

Maigret's Rival by Georges Simenon(2016)
Given your rule #1, just to note that Simenon was Belgian, not French.

23AnnieMod
Edited: Nov 2, 2022, 6:25 pm

>22 Willoyd: Oops on Simenon. I thought I checked all of the ones I was adding to the main countries of the languages that go abroad often and apparently overlooked the most obvious one. He had been ejected and Serge Brussolo took his place now (read the same year anyway). Thanks for spotting it :)

England and USA are generally the least of my problems so I am kinda thinking on them - even though I did make a decision or 3, they are at the bottom of my list of worries (so was Bulgaria being Bulgarian and being able to read in the language and all that). I have half a mind marking them as done and listing the first 5 from my list of Read books that make sense and be done.

Plus we have the Global II group as well which is specifically set for "known English-speaking" world so I may be setting something there instead (and I have the 50 states challenge which I need to update anyway).

On the other hand, going for smaller parts even in a known country always unearths something unexpected. And I tend to gravitate towards less known than the best known ones.

I also need to go up the thread and update translators and possibly original titles... This whole thread is still somewhat work in progress :)

24AnnieMod
Edited: Jan 4, 2023, 4:49 pm

From the last two months of 2022, one more entry:
The 3rd for Norway: Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson, translated by Anne Born (2022)

I just finished my second book for Afghanistan: Zarifa: A Woman's Battle in a Man's World by Zarifa Ghafari and Hannah Lucinda Smith. Review in the work page.

25AnnieMod
Jan 13, 2023, 6:11 pm

Second book for Israel: And the Bride Closed the Door by Ronit Matalon, translated by Jessica Cohen

And first for North Korea: A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa, translated from Japanese by Martin Brown and Risa Kobayashi

Reviews in the work pages.

26AnnieMod
Jan 17, 2023, 5:57 pm

It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken by Seth becomes the 4th for Canada (graphic novel, review is in the work).

I really need to pay more attention to my US, UK and Canadian reading so I can get these finished here - I am sure I had read enough books from all of them already...

27AnnieMod
Edited: Dec 19, 2023, 5:00 pm

And (almost) end of year update:

Serbia 1: Ангелът на атентата (original title: Anđeo atentata) by Svetislav Basara, translated by Рада Шарланджиева (read in Bulgarian)

Canada 5: Bannock Beans and Black Tea: Memories of a Prince Edward Island Childhood in the Great Depression by John Gallant - and this gets Canada completed.

Turkey 1: Manam by Rima Elkouri, translated from French by Howard Scott and Phyllis Aronoff - I was not sure if I want to include this one but diaspora authors probably should count so... I am adding it (for now)

Switzerland 2: Thumbprint by Friedrich Glauser, translated from German by Mike Mitchell

Cameroon 1: The Impatient by Djaïli Amadou Amal, translated from French by Emma Ramadan (2023)

South Korea 2: The Old Woman with the Knife by Gu Byeong-mo, translated from Korean by Chi-Young Kim

Bosnia and Herzegovina 1: My Heart by Semezdin Mehmedinović, translated from Bosnian by Celia Hawkesworth

Norway 4: Professor Andersen's Night by Dag Solstad, translated from Norwegian by Agnes Scott Langeland

Croatia 1: Doppelgänger by Daša Drndić, translated from Croatian by S. D. Curtis and Celia Hawkesworth

Indonesia 1: The Book of Jakarta, edited by Maesy Ang and Teddy W. Kusuma

South Korea 3: Greek Lessons by Kang Han, translated from Korean by Deborah Smith and Emily Yae Won

Turkey 2: Cold Nights of Childhoodby Tezer Özlü, translated from Turkish by Maureen Freely

Israel 3: Professor Schiff's Guilt by Agur Schiff, translated from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen

Serbia 2: Belgrade Noir, edited by Milorad Ivanović

Cambodia 2: In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner

And retrospectively: Cambodia 1: A Nail the Evening Hangs On by Monica Sok (2021) (diaspora writer)

South Korea 4: Welcome to the Hyunam-dong Bookshop by Hwang Bo-reum, translated from Korean by Shanna Tan

Iran 2: Out of Mesopotamia by Salar Abdoh

I've also decided to allow diaspora writers (at least going forward).

And I really need to update here a lot more often :)

28labfs39
Dec 19, 2023, 4:26 pm

A nice variety of countries, Annie. I am counting some diaspora writers too. People move so much these days that it's hard to decide who counts for which country. For me it comes down to where they were born, where educated, where living currently, age in which they left native country, language they write in, and where the book is set. Quite an algorithm.

29AnnieMod
Dec 19, 2023, 4:59 pm

>28 labfs39: For me, it comes down to "does this feel like an author who is connected to the country" now. Take Manam - the author is born and raised in Canada, she is French speaking (and writing), but the novel is somewhat based on her grandmother's experience in Turkey (and the Armenian genocide). And with the novel mostly set in Turkey - I decided to count it there. Which does not mean that I won't decide to put a star on it and get 5 others in IF I manage to read 5 different authors from the country but it kinda made sense. Same with the Cambodian poetry collection (both Cambodian books really).

At the end it is all about seeing/reading more of/about the different countries so I still won't count a novel that just happens to be set somewhere or Donna Leon for Italy but otherwise, I think I will be a bit less strict than when I started... :)

30kjuliff
Dec 30, 2023, 12:45 am

>29 AnnieMod: >28 labfs39: it’s difficult, especially with Canadian and Australian writers who tend to write about countries other than there own, or no country in particular.

For example, where would you place Stasiland about GDR by Australian writer Anne Funder?

And Study for Obedience which is written by a Canadian where the setting is unstated?

31AnnieMod
Jan 2, 5:50 pm

>30 kjuliff: Nowhere? :) I list only books that make sense for the challenge as defined in my first post - so neither of these will make it on my thread here. Now - if the last was from a small country author, I'd had counted it for them most likely. But Canada does not lack authors so... :)

And just to wrap up 2023:
Brasil 1: The Words That Remain by Stênio Gardel, translated from Portuguese by Bruna Dantas Lobato
Argentina 3: The Ghetto Within by Santiago H. Amigorena, translated from French by Frank Wynne

I still plan on writing a word or 3 for these 2... Amigorena writes in French and lives there now but he is Argentinian by birth and the book is mostly set in Argentina so it counts for me.

32kjuliff
Jan 2, 6:21 pm

>31 AnnieMod: ok. Good to know. Thanks

33Jackie_K
Jan 3, 5:15 am

>30 kjuliff: I think we all make up our rules so that the challenge works for us. Personally I will prioritise authors from a country for that country, but if a foreigner writes about that country and I don't have 5 titles for that country then I'd include that foreign-written book (so I would happily include Stasiland in my Germany list). But then if I subsequently read books by local authors from that country, then I'd bump the foreign-written book off the list.

34kjuliff
Jan 3, 12:39 pm

>33 Jackie_K: interesting approach - the bumping bit, that is.

35AnnieMod
Jan 3, 12:58 pm

>33 Jackie_K: Yep, I occasionally add a provisional book in some countries which kinda qualifies but something is off that can get kicked out later. I tend to put * in the list for these - so I know to look closer even once it crosses after 5.

Such as Wilbur Smith above for South Africa. The book qualifies beautifully but he is a bit iffy for South Africa (he lived and died there at the end and is considered British-South African so it kinda works and I do not have that many in there but...). That problem shows up a lot in the old colonial world if you go for non-modern novels. So I play it by the ear.

36kjuliff
Edited: Jan 3, 1:05 pm

>35 AnnieMod: what about Coetzee who has written many books based in South Africa, but he moved to Australia and has since. written books set in Europe. Would he be “kicked out” of both Europe and South Africa?

37AnnieMod
Jan 3, 1:16 pm

>36 kjuliff: If I read one of his books set in South Africa before I reach 5 there, that book will make the list. If I had already reached 5 or it is not set in South Africa, it won't.

You are trying to find a formula that works for every single book - and it is really down to every reader to decide how to deal with the challenge. Authors who move and have careers in two different countries are... complicated. So I mostly ignore them for this challenge.

If you look up at the intro of my thread above, my two requirements are:
- The author needs to be considered an author from that country (nationality and/or birth). So Donna Leon does not count for Italy even if she lived there for 30 years. Diaspora authors also count.
- The book is at least partially set in the country or is speculative fiction which is either set in a different planet/reality or uses the folklore of the country.

I am a bit flexible with books set in unnamed countries when the author is local enough and from a country which does not have too many available books in English (or one of my other languages). If it feels like it belongs, I count it, if it does not - I don't. I'll probably put a start if I do count it - just to remind myself that a slot there can be re-opened eventually. :)

But that's me. Everyone makes their own rules which work for them here. If you want to, you can only take into consideration the author's country. Or the book setting. Or you can just ask for either/or. Or anything else you want to make your rules to be. That's the whole point - your challenge, your rules. :)

38kjuliff
Jan 3, 1:26 pm

>37 AnnieMod: I do understand that there can be no formula. But you mention somewhere “5 books” in the one country - can’t find the post. And then when you wrote about “kicking out” I took it that you are the final arbiter. That being the case, I am trying to find how you make the judgements.

In this day of mass immigration it’s going to be very hard to categorize a single country for a book.

Take for example Boochani a Kurdish-Iranian writer and author who spent six years in detention on Manus Island (Papua New Guinea after trying to get to Australia by boat, and has now been settled in Australia for about 3 years.

39AnnieMod
Jan 3, 1:38 pm

>38 kjuliff: Well, this is my thread in the group where I track my own reading for the challenge so yes, I am the final arbiter on what I do count in my own thread. :)

I cannot make it more clear than I had so far or at the top of the thread - local author, either locally set book or speculative fiction that is out of this world (literally) or is based on folklore and if a book does not fit these rules, I do not list it here. So throwing random books at me will very often end up in "nowhere" as an answer... And I disagree a bit on most books being hard to place - maybe your reading pattern is like that and in this case my rules won't work for your kind of reading. Which is fine. :)

The 5 books per country comes from the group description: https://www.librarything.com/ngroups/9032/The-Global-Challenge : "try to complete the original challenge of reading five books from every country". This is what this group is all about. Of course, if you take it up, you can chose a different number of books or a different list of countries (I added some) or whatever you want to do in your own challenge.

40kjuliff
Jan 3, 2:53 pm

>39 AnnieMod: I do understand that it’s your thread, of course. I’m just trying to get a feel for how you categorize. Personally I find it very difficult with a number of books I’ve read since the Iraq war, with people moving around so much, and the number of books written about the immigration and refugee experience.

I was wanting to use your challenge to increase my reading of Australia literature, but have since realised this is going to be very difficult,. In the 1960s and 70s many Australians left Australia due to the cultural narrowness of the country. So such people - Germaine Greer for example - wrote most of her books from England, and the subjects usually revolved around feminism.

Peter Carey, one of the best-known Australian authors has lived in NYC for over two decades. So even though he has written books set in Australia I’m not sure how to classify him.

I think what I will do is put a question mark after the book title when the country category is up to interpretation.

41kjuliff
Edited: Jan 3, 3:05 pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

42AnnieMod
Jan 3, 3:04 pm

>40 kjuliff: As I said - I just don’t include these here. If it does not feel like a book from that country, it just does not get added to my list.

>41 kjuliff: I hope you do not plan on keeping your list in my thread :)

43kjuliff
Jan 3, 3:13 pm

I’m unclear - where should we keep the titles. I thought we were meant to keep a log here. I deleted my post that added Stasiland. It’s about the GDR by an Australian writer who lives much of her time in Germany Stasiland won the BBC Four Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2004.

44AnnieMod
Jan 3, 3:22 pm

>43 kjuliff: Here in the group - yes. But the idea is to start your own topic in the group, organize it any way you want and list and track your books there and not use someone else's diary - think of that like the personal threads we do in Club Read for example. :) Or if you rather not do that (for now or ever), you can use the shared https://www.librarything.com/topic/350671 (called "Where in the World are You Reading Now? pt 2") I guess. :)

This thread is called "Annie travels the world in books" because it is my diary for the challenge - I started it, decided on my own organization and I post what I read in it. :) Now - if you really really want to post here, sure, why not - you are welcome to visit and post as much as you want. :)

PS: I have Stasiland somewhere in the house - I just do not plan to use it for this challenge as it does not fit with how I classify books. :)

45kjuliff
Jan 3, 3:27 pm

>44 AnnieMod: Understood. Thanks.