Past Reading Challenges: Kirsty

Reading the World: 2017

1. We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen (Danish) – review
2. A Hundred and One Days: A Baghdad Journal by Asne Seierstad (Norwegian) – review
3. The Garden by Magnus Florin (Swedish) – review
4. The Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera (French) – review
5. The Passion According to GH by Clarice Lispector (Portuguese) – review
6. The Ice Lands by Steinar Bragi (Icelandic) – review
7. Between Dog and Wolf by Sasha Sokolov (Russian) – review
8. Maybe This Time by Alois Hotschnig (Austrian German) – review
9. Tomorrow Pamplona by Jan Van Mersbergen (Dutch) – review
10. The World According to Anna by Jostein Gaarder (Norwegian) – review
11. The Leech by Cora Sandel (Norwegian) – review
12. Gilgi, One of Us by Irmgard Keun (German) – review
13. The Vegetarian by Han Kang (Korean) – review
14. The Mind’s Eye by Hakan Nesser (Swedish) – review
15. A Woman’s Story by Annie Ernaux (French) – review
16. Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin (Argentinian) – review
17. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (Japanese) – review
18. Fire in the Blood by Irene Nemirovsky (French) – review
19. The Life of Rebecca Jones by Angharad Price (Welsh) – review
20. The Accusation by Bandi (Korean) – review
21. The Longest Night by Otto de Kat (Dutch) – review
22. For a Flower Album by Colette (French) – review
23. The Empress and the Cake by Linda Stift (German) – review
24. Manderley Forever: A Biography of Daphne du Maurier by Tatiana de Rosnay (French) – review
25. South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami (Japanese) – review
26. Ghachar, Ghochar by Vivek Shanhbag (Kannada) – review
27. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende (Spanish) – review
28. Les Enfants Terribles by Jean Cocteau (French) – review
29. Lavinia by George Sand (French) – review
30. With Their Backs to the World: Portraits of Serbia by Asne Seierstad (Norwegian) – review
31. One From the Archive: Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquival (Spanish) and The Door by Magda Szabo (Hungarian) – review
32. Strait is the Gate by Andre Gide (French) – review
33. The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Boll (German) – review
34. One From the Archive: Reader for Hire by Raymond Jean (French) – review
35. The Suitcase by Sergei Dovlatov (Russian) – review
36. Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa (Japanese) – review
37. The Stranger by Albert Camus (French) – review
38. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim (Korean) – review
39. The Immoralist by Andre Gide (French) – review
40. One From the Archive: Human Acts by Han Kang (Korean) – review
41. The Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve (French) – review
42. Feather by Cao Wenxhuan (China) – review
43. The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy, edited by Johanna Sinisalo (Finnish) – review
44. One From the Archive: The Brothers by Akso Sahlberg (Finnish) – review
45. But You Did Not Come Back by Marceline Loridan-Ivens (French) – review
46. Therese by Francois Mauriac (French) – review
47. One From the Archive: The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov (Russian) – review
48. Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal (French) – review
49. Madonna in a Fur Coat by Sabahattin Ali (Turkish) – review
50. Poor Folk by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Russian) – review
51. Art in Nature and Other Stories by Tove Jansson (Finnish) – review
52. Yearly Wrap-Up here

2017 Reading Goals:

Olivia Laing
(The Lonely City review); Amelie Nothomb; Lydia Millet; Rebecca West (The Harsh Voice – review); George Sand (Lavinia review); Annie Ernaux (A Woman’s Story review); Joan Didion; Leena Krohn; P.D. James (The Lighthouse); Agatha Christie (Murder at the Vicarage; The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories; The Thirteen Problems); Haruki Murakami (South of the Border, West of the Sun); Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two, Deathless); Eimear McBride (A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing); John Wyndham (The Midwich Cuckoos, The Chrysalids); Ira Levin (Rosemary’s Baby); Dorothy L. Sayers (Whose Body?); Anita Desai (The Artist of Disappearance); Isabel Allende (Eva Luna – review); Gunter Grass.

This is Not Your City by Caitlin Horrocks; Corrag by Susan Fletcher; Dusty Answer by Rosamond Lehmann; Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers; The Wives by Alexandra Popoff; The Life of Rebecca Jones by Angharad Pricereview; Geek Love by Katherine Dunn; The Shining by Stephen King; Harbour by John Ajvide Lindqvist; The Helios Disaster by Linda Bostrom Knausgard; The Midas Touch by Margaret Kennedy; This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell; The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey; The Conquered by Naomi Mitchison; The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits; The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding; Skating to Antarctica by Jenny Diski; The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanigahara; Fell by Jenn Ashworth; The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan; Olivia: A Novel by Dorothy Strachey; Odes by Sharon Olds; Pepita by Vita Sackville-West; The Bronte Myth by Lucasta Miller; Heroines by Kate Zambreno; What the Light Hides by Mette Jakobsen; Flaneuse by Lauren Elkin; Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson; Euphoria by Lily King; The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss; The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg; The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells by Virginia Macgregor; You Are My Heart and Other Stories by Jay Neugeboren; A Summer of Drowning by John Burnside; The Dumb House by John Burnside.

French Reading Project:
Foreign Parts by Janice Galloway; A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle; A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway; The Fall by Albert Camus; Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre-Ambroise Choderlos de Laclos; Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac; Tartuffe by Moliere; Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik; Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac; Almost French by Sarah Turnbull; The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy; The Matchmaker of Perigord by Julia Stuart; Camille by Alexandre Dumas; Misanthrope by Moliere; Nicholas by Pere Goscinny; Nadja by Andre Breton; Antigone by Jean Anouilh; A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse; The Wall and Other Stories by Jean-Paul Sartre; Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong by Jean-Benoit Nodeau; The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (reread); Fire in the Blood by Irene Nemirovsky (reread – review); Seven Ages of Paris by Alistair Horne; Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (reread); Strait is the Gate by Andre Gide; Paris Under Water by Jeffrey Jackson; Paris Was Ours, edited by Penelope Rowlands; At Home in France by Ann Barry; An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken (reread); Hallucinating Foucault by Patricia Duncker.

Scottish Reading Project:
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley; The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith; Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson; Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh; The Crow Road by Iain Banks; How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Arthur Herman; Buddha Da by Anne Donovan; The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell (reread); The Complaints by Ian Rankin; The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson; Under the Skin by Michel Faber; The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks; The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey; Hame by Annalena McAfee; Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson (reread); Everything You Need by A.L. Kennedy; Closed Doors by Lisa O’Donnell; The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan; The Glister by John Burnside; The Devil’s Footprints by John Burnside; A Kettle of Fish by Ali Bacon; Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith (reread); The Five Red Herrings by Dorothy L. Sayers; The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh; A Disaffection by James Kelman; My Shit Life So Far by Frankie Boyle; Poor Things by Alasdair Gray; Stone Garden by Alan Spence; Trumpet by Jackie Kay.


Around the World in 80 Books


For 2018, rather than select my own challenges, I thought I would do something a little different.  I have been a member of the Around the World in 80 Books group on Goodreads for years, with both my original and second accounts on the website.  Oddly, I have never joined in with the challenges on there before.  Whilst I’ll probably still be a silent member of the group, I want to take part in their original 80 Books challenge.  The rules are as follows:

1. The object of this challenge is to read books that take place in 80 different countries of the world, of your choosing, starting with your home country. During your journey you would have to visit countries within the following 8 regions: North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania/Australia. You are welcome to visit Antarctica during your travels, but this is not required since there are few books from here.
2. Books must actually take place within the country.
3. Some books contain more than one location. It is not required that the entire book take place exclusively in that one country. However, a significant portion of the book must be set in the country to get credit. Also, in the case where a book takes place in more than one location, the reader may only take credit for one country.
4. There are close to 200 recognized countries in the world. However, for the sake of the challenge, you will not be held to using only independent nations. It is perfectly acceptable to using territories, constituent countries, islands, and independent states (not US states).
5. Re-reads are perfectly acceptable, as are audio books. Books may be in any language.

There are two different ‘modes’ of travel for the reader within this challenge.  The first is the ‘Trekker’, where one has to use transport and routes available to Jules Verne; the second is the Frequent Flier, in which you are allowed to travel around the world via any routes you like.  Whilst the Trekker sounds like a fascinating way of going about it, I’m after a bit of an easier challenge, so I have plumped for the second.  It will allow me to sneak books into my challenge as I come across them.

I am going to try and read as widely as is possible whilst taking on this challenge, and will plump for non-fiction and fiction works, as well as books in translation as often as I can.  I am thinking of extending my ‘Reading the World’ posts of this year, but not focusing solely upon translated literature; rather, I will focus upon those books which I am reading, set in different countries and territories.  I will also be selecting books set within countries which I am travelling to during 2018 as much as is possible.

1. England: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry *** (review)
2. Scotland: The Weatherhouse by Nan Shepherd ** (review)
3. Wales: Dew on the Grass by Eiluned Lewis **** (review)
4. Ireland: The Lost Land by Eavan Boland ****
5. France: Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart *****
6. Spain: The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart by Mathias Malzieu ** (review)
7. Portugal: 35 Sonnets by Fernando Pessoa ***
8. Belgium: Resistance by Anita Shreve ***
9. Netherlands: Why the Dutch are Different by Ben Coates **
10. Italy: Blameless (extract) by Claudio Magris ****
11. Switzerland: While She Sleeps by Ethel Lina White ****
12. Austria: Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart ****
13. Czech Republic: The Last Bell by Johannes Urzidil ****
14. Germany: Berlin 1936: Sixteen Days in August by Oliver Hilmes **** (review)
15. Denmark: My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time by Liz Jensen **
16. Poland: Youth in Flames by Aliza Vitris-Shomron (unfinished)
17. Slovakia: The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak **
18. Hungary: Kaddish for an Unborn Child by Imre Kertesz ****
19. Slovenia: Death of a Prima Donna by Brina Svit **** (review)
20. Croatia: The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna ****
21. Bosnia-Herzegovina: The Bridge Over the Drina by Ivo Andric **** (review)
22. Serbia: The Delivery Room by Sylvia Brownrigg ***
23. Albania: Broken April by Ismail Kadare ****
24. Greece: The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart ***
25. Bulgaria: Solo by Rana Dasgupta *** (review)
26. Romania: Train to Trieste by Domnica Radulescu (review)
27. Russia: Bride of Ice: New and Selected Poems by Marina Tsvetaeva ****
28. Lithuania: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys *** (reread)
29. Latvia: Coup de Grace by Marguerite Yourcenar ***
30. Estonia: Everything is Wonderful: Memories of Life on a Collective Farm by Sigrid Rausing *** (review)
31. Finland: Norma by Sofi Oksanen (unfinished)
32. Sweden: Guiltless by Viveca Sten ****
33. Norway: The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas ***** (review)
34. Iceland: Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson (unfinished)
35. USA: Sam and Ilsa’s Last Hurrah by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan **
36. Canada: This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki ****
37. Mexico: The Night Buffalo by Guillermo Arriaga **
38. Guatemala: Lies by Enrique de Heriz (unfinished)
39. Cuba: Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood **** (review)
40. Grenada: Sugar Money by Jane Harris (unfinished)
41. Venezuela: The Hacienda by Lisa St Aubin de Teran *** (review)
42. Ecuador: The Explorer by Katherine Rundell (unfinished)
43. Colombia: The Informers by Juan Gabriel Vasquez **
44. Chile: Ways of Going Home by Alejandro Zambra **** (review)
45. Brazil: Blood-Drenched Beard by Daniel Galera ***
46. Argentina: Kamchatka by Marcelo Figueras **** (review)
47. Madeira: Touch Not the Cat by Mary Stewart (unfinished)
48. South Africa: Johannesburg by Fiona Melrose (unfinished)
49. Zimbabwe: Rotten Row by Petina Gappah (unfinished)
50. Nigeria: Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzu (unfinished)
51. Morocco: In Morocco by Edith Wharton ***
52. Algeria: The Plague by Albert Camus **** (review)
53. Egypt: Oleander, Jacaranda by Penelope Lively **** (review)
54. Saudi Arabia: Eight Months on Ghazzah Street by Hilary Mantel **** (review)
55. Israel: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant **
56. Lebanon: The Gabriel Hounds by Mary Stewart ****
57. Syria: The Silence and the Roar by Nihad Sirees *** (review)
58. Cyprus: Bitter Lemons of Cyprus by Lawrence Durrell *** (review)
59. Turkey: Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak (unfinished)
60. Georgia: A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov **** (review)
61. Armenia: The Spice Box Letters by Eve Makis (unfinished)
62. Azerbaijan: Ali and Nino by Kurban Said **
63. Iraq: Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi (unfinished)
64. Iran: Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi **** (review)
65. Afghanistan: Afghanistan and the Anglo-Russian Dispute by Theophilus F. Rodenbough (unfinished)
66. Pakistan: Ours Are the Streets by Sunjeev Sahota ****
67. India: Two Under the Indian Sun by Jon and Rumer Godden **** (review)
68. Sri Lanka: Mosquito by Roma Tearne (unfinished)
69. Myanmar: Burmese Days by George Orwell (unfinished)
70. Thailand: Peek! by Minfong Ho ***
71. Vietnam: The Quiet American by Graham Greene ***
72. Cambodia: First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung **** (review)
73. Malaysia: The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng (unfinished) (review)
74. China: A Tree Grows in Daicheng by Lu Nei (unfinished)
75. Singapore: The Bondmaid by Catherine Lim (unfinished) (review)
76. South Korea: Please Look After Mother by Kyung-Sook Shin ***** (review)
77. Japan: Inheritance from Mother by Minae Mizumura (unfinished)
78. Australia: The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough (unfinished) (review)