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Archive for the ‘Reading Challenges 2010’ Category

I’m making my way back to book blogging by linking to my review of Empires of the Indus on the Lonely Planet website. Do read!

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And the second of my two reading challenges for 2010! I loved this one for its gorgeous representative picture as much as for the idea. This is from Dreadlock Girl and is called the Orbis Terrarum Reading Challenge. The point is to take eight months to read eight books from anywhere in the world other than your own country. I have to say, much of what I’ve ever learned of the ways in which people in different parts of the world live and think  (and lived and thunk) came from reading fiction, so this is, in my opinion, a fine idea. It isn’t necessary to put up a definite list, but I have some ideas already (not in the order I’ll read them).
1.  Europe — Germany — The Magic Mountain — Thomas Mann
2.  Africa — Egypt —  something by Naguib Mahfouz
3.  South America — Argentina — Fictions — Jorge Luis Borges
4.  Asia — China — Monkey — Wu Cheng En
5.  Asia — Japan — The Tale of Genji — Murasaki Shikibu
6.  Another one from Latin America — maybe Roberto Bolano
7.  Australia — True History of the Kelly Gang — Peter Carey
8.  And I want one from the Caribbean or from the Pacific Islands. Might be difficult to manage, but let’s see what I come up with.

Also, my personal bonus reading for the sake of understanding the world will be The Adventures of Amir Hamza, in translation by Musharraf Ali Farooqi. From my neighbourhood in the Indian Subcontinent, yes, but I’m throwing it in, nonetheless–I can never read enough about the subcontinent and it will provide contrast and something to keep coming “home” to. It’s a fat, fat book, so I don’t anticipate finishing it all at one go, but promise to have it done by the end of November when the challenge ends.

I’ll keep track of reading for this challenge here, in a list below to be updated as I finish books, and will tag relevant posts as “Orbis Terrarum 2010” (see tag cloud on the right). Amir Hamza might get more than one post to himself. I can’t see myself shutting up about him with just a thousand words or so of blogging.

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I’m guilty of having far too many unread books in my cupboard (and far too long a mental “to be read” list) and have been hunting around for suitable reading challenges to sign up for to motivate me to finish up some of them. Melissa of the Betty and Boo Chronicles started a memoir-reading challenge back in December, and that seems like a great idea–especially considering the little pile of memoirs/autobiographies/travelogues I have sitting in my cupboard, the ones I look at out of the corner of my eye every few days, before I grab a detective novel instead. Melissa suggests reading four memoirs this year, but I’m determined to make things harder for myself, so, um, let’s make it a minimum of 12 memoirs in 2010, shall we?

This is my signing-up post; I’ll also use it to keep track of my progress. Posts on books read for this challenge will be tagged “Memorable Memoir 2010” (see the tag cloud on the right) and will be listed here.

1. Istanbul: Memories and the City — Orhan Pamuk

2. Renoir, My Father — Jean Renoir

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