Reading The World

In the last year, I have become interested in reading world literature. I was surprised the other day when I sat down and reviewed my 2007 reads and found I’d read many books either set in other countries, or authored by foreign writers.

Several lit-bloggers have proposed world literature challenges: Reading Across Borders, Around the World in 80 Books, and Book Around the World. One of my favorite blogs is Around the World in 100 Books – a blog devoted to reading world literature.

So, I have decided to set up my own plan to read around the world. I’m not setting a deadline. I’m not formally joining any of the challenges (except for Reading Across Borders which is an ongoing challenge I’m doing).

There is some disagreement among scholars how many countries actually exist. The numbers range from 189 to 194. I have decided to use the list compiled by and found here. My goal is to read at least one book for each country listed. The book(s) I choose will either be in translation from that country, primarily set in that country or written by an author from that country. I want to get a sense of each country from the books I read.

I plan to gather my ideas about books from several sources, including (but not limited to) the following:

1. Michelle’s blog at 3m3a and her list of potential books from around the world
2. Bonnie’s blog at Book Around The World
3. The wonderful blog Around The World in 100 Books
4. Books in Translation Yahoo group
5. The magazine World Literature Today

So Far This is What My World Literature Map looks like:
create your own visited countries map or vertaling Duits NederlandsIf you would like to customize a map like this for YOUR world reading, you may do so by visiting this site.

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    • Anonymous on July 26, 2007 at 22:32

    This is a great goal! For a while, this has been a lifetime goal of mine, one in which I am slowly chipping away at.
    Where did you get the map from?

    • Anonymous on July 27, 2007 at 00:07

    I think this may be a lifetime goal! Thanks for asking about where I got the map – I meant to put a link to the site and forgot! It is there now if you want to check it out 🙂

    • Anonymous on July 27, 2007 at 13:17

    This is really neat, Wendy. I like the liberal interpretation of “reading around the world” and the map is a wonderful visual. Although I too really like reading globally, I’m not sure I’m up to the project you’ve set for yourself! I will live vicariously through your triumphs… 🙂

    • Anonymous on July 27, 2007 at 18:08

    I just read through your “regional” posts and realized that if I really wanted to organize myself to read around the world, I could pretty much copy & paste each of those into my own blog! *laughs* Aw, what the heck, I’ll just let you do the reading for both of us…

    • Anonymous on July 27, 2007 at 22:53

    Laura, You can live vicariously through my reading, or you can copy and paste my posts 🙂 or you can join me on this ridiculous venture!

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