I've set myself a number of challenges this year, and it has really shown me that as far as reading is concerned, I am a contrary beast. I've smashed my Goodreads goal of 150 books, and only a few of those have been for the other challenges.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is part of my Reading Around the World challenge. I picked this one up thanks to the Book Riot team – as an Aussie who doesn't really watch TV, I have no idea who he is in the US. Here in Australia, we have a significant number of (white) South African immigrants, who, for the most part, left the country around the time that Apartheid was overturned.
Noah's book is a fascinating look at what black and coloured people who lived under the regime had to deal with, as well as the changes that happened when Apartheid was overturned. Born a Crime is a series of stories of Noah's childhood and youth, growing up in South Africa. The title of the book is due to Noah's parentage – as the child of a white father and a black mother, his existence was illegal. This also meant that he couldn't be seen with either of his parents in public or they would go to jail.
I really enjoyed Born a Crime. Noah's stories reflect the grinding poverty, the stupidity of racism, and the difficulties he and his family encountered (including the terrible abuse by his stepfather) in a way that is absolutely relatable. I learned so much about South Africa and the many cultures therein. Plus the stories are, for the most part, incredibly funny.
I listened to this one on audio – it's read by the author, and is great in that format.
5 out of 5 hilarious poo stories.
I found this article during my googling and I know there are a bunch of you who will like it:
So while I’m talking about fabulous things on Litsy, this Challenge has been floating around. There are a number of takes on it but I’ve gone A to Z by title only. I’m also pretty jazzed as this is an entirely diverse list.
- An Ishmael of Syria – Asaad Alomohammad
- Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms – Dr Anita Heiss
- The Cypress Tree – Kamin Mohammadi
- Dust – Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
- Every Secret Thing – Marie Munkara
- Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence – Doris Pilkington
- The Girl with 7 Names – Hyeonseo Lee
- Honor – Elif Shafak
- The Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri
- Jinangga – Monty Walgar
- The Kadaitcha Sung – Sam Watson
- Left to Tell – Immaculee Ilibagiza
- The Museum of Abandoned Secrets – Oksana Zabuzhko
- Not Quite Men, No Longer Boys – K.C. Laughton
- Oreo – Fran Ross
- The People of Forever Are Not Afraid – Shani Boianju
- Quiet Violence of Dreams – K Sello Duiker
- Rainy Season – Nnanaziri Ihejirika
- The Spider King’s Daughter – Chibundu Onuzo
- Twisted – Jessica Zafra
- Under the Udala Trees – Chinelo Okparanta
- The Vegetarian – Han Kang
- We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo
- Xala – Ousmane Sembene
- You Can’t Touch My Hair – Phoebe Robinson
- Zubaida’s Window – Iqbal Al-Qazwini
Join me with an A to Z list of your own! Let me know what you think you’ll include!!
I’m getting pretty excited about my Reading Around the World journey.
I’m still doing a bunch of research to find authors to read from every country – you can see how I’m going on the dedicated page.
I’ve made a few decisions about how I’m going to accumulate the books. Normally I listen to audiobooks, or read on my kindle. I’ve decided though that I want actual copies of the books I’m using for this project. This may not always be possible, but that is what I will try for in the first instance. I think I may also need to change my mission statement to be “at least one” book from every country in the world, because I’m discovering so many amazing authors!!
I’ve started the long (and expensive!) process of ordering the books in so I have somewhere to start in January.
I’m getting sucked in by a lot of these covers – isn’t the cover for Honour beautiful?
I’m looking forward to reading Anita Heiss’s book – Heiss is an Indigenous Aussie author and this is a pretty new release. Even better, she is doing a book talk at my favourite Indie book store, Avid Reader, in February. Awesome!!
As always, please feel free to leave me any recommendations for awesome reads (available in English 🙏🏼) from your part of the world in the comments.
While researching my Reading Around the World project I’ve come across this great article which I thought I would share with you, my like-minded diverse reading friends.
Going away for the weekend has thrown out my blogging schedule (like I had one of those anyway!) But I did want to give you a quick update on my prep for my Reading Around the World Challenge.
It’s a bit of slow going to be honest. You can check out my progress on this page here which is where I’m making a living list of the books I have planned for each country. One of the biggest challenges I’m facing is picking just one. So I may not and may read multiple books for some countries where I can’t make a decision. I also have an ever evolving list on Goodreads (you can find me here )which I have more flexibility to update. I think I have books for about 20 countries now (just 176 more to go).
Which is where you come in, dear reader! I would love to know what books or authors you would recommend from your part of the world (must have been translated into English please!)
Who and what do you think I should be reading for my Around the World Challenge?
I’m thrilled with the response to my Diversity Challenge – thank you everyone for being so encouraging! It’s also great to hear that reading widely is something people are trying to do more of.
I’ve set up a new page which you can access from the menu on the left where I will keep tabs on my research and progress.
I also wanted to share with you this wonderful website that I found today – Words Without Borders. This website has book reviews of foreign language books translated into English, short pieces of fiction and looks like a great resource for those who are looking to expand their reading horizons but are unsure where to start. I hope you will check it out!