Orbis Terrarum Challenge – 2009


March 1 – December 31, 2009

Bethany of B&B Ex Libris is hosting the Orbis Terrarum Challenge 2009. Here are the guidelines:

  1. Choose 10 books (for the 10 months).
  2. Each book must from a different country (defined as the country of origin of the author, or the country he/she lives in)
  3. No list is required, which means you can change your mind at any time. As long as there are 10 from 10 different countries, written by 10 different authors: Anything goes

Bethany is also including mini-challenges as part of the overall challenge (these are optional). I am considering doing the Short Story mini challenge over the summer.

I will be making my list as I go for this challenge, but have listed some possibilities below:

  1. The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, by C.M. Mayo (COMPLETED May 1, 2009; rated 3.5/5; read my review) – MEXICO
  2. Christine Falls, by Benjamin Black (COMPLETED May 6, 2009; rated 4.5/5; read my review) – IRELAND
  3. Midnight’s Children, by Salman Rushdie (COMPLETED May 30, 2009; rated 3/5; read my review) – INDIA
  4. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, by Kate Summerscale (COMPLETED June 7, 2009; rated 4.5/5; read my review) – ENGLAND
  5. The Elegance of a Hedgehog, by Muriel Barberry (COMPLETED July 18, 2009; rated 4.5/5; read my review) – FRANCE
  6. Finding Nouf, by Zoe Ferraris (COMPLETED July 24, 2009; rated 4/5; read my review) – SAUDI ARABIA
  7. A Disobedient Girl, by Ru Freeman (COMPLETED September 28, 2009; rated 5/5; read my review) – SRI LANKA
  8. A Bend in the River, by V.S. Naipaul – (COMPLETED October 3, 2009; rated 1/5; read my review) – TRINIDAD
  9. Someone Knows My Name, by Lawrence Hill (COMPLETED August 12, 2009; rated 4.5/5; read my review) – CANADA
  10. The Passport, by Herta Muller (COMPLETED November 24, 2009; rated 5/5; read my review) – GERMANY
  11. Kristin Lavransdatter, by Sigrid Undset (COMPLETED December 20, 2009; rated 4.5/5; read my review of The Wreath, The Wife, and The Cross) – NORWAY
  12. Persepolis AND Persepolis 2, by Marjane Satrapi (COMPLETED December 28, 2009; rated 4/5 and 4.5/5; read my review of Persepolis, and Persepolis 2) – IRAN

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  1. So glad you’ll be joining us! I can’t wait to get started on my books for this year. I need to think of where I’d like to travel 🙂


  2. I’ve been going back on forth on whether to join this one, but your post convinced me!

    • Hannah on March 2, 2009 at 08:49

    I recently saw your post about reading Irène Némirovsky’s Suite Française. I wanted to pass along some information on an exciting exhibition about Némirovsky’s life, work, and legacy at the Museum of Jewish Heritage —A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York City. Woman of Letters: Irène Némirovsky and Suite Française, which will run through August 2009, includes powerful rare artifacts —including the valise in which the original manuscript for Suite Française was found, as well as many personal papers and family photos. The majority of these documents and artifacts have never been outside of France. For fans of her work, this exhibition is an opportunity to really “get to know” Irene. And for those who can’t visit, there is a special website devoted to her story http://www.mjhnyc.org/irene.

    The Museum has hosted several public programs over the course of the exhibition’s run that have put Némirovsky’s work and life into historical and literary context. Join us this Wednesday, March 4 for Novelists and 9/11, a public program inspired by Irène Némirovsky and her accounts of the occupation of France. The program will explore what happens when serious fiction incorporates the newsworthy and traumatic events of the day. We will hear from authors Claire Messud, Deborah Eisenberg, and Siri Hustvedt. Call 646.437.4202 for reservations.

    Book clubs and groups are invited to the Museum for tours and discussions in the exhibition’s adjacent Salon (by appointment). It is the Museum’s hope that the exhibit will engage visitors and promote dialogue about this extraordinary writer and the complex time in which she lived and died. To book a group tour, please contact Chris Lopez at 646.437.4304 or clopez@mjhnyc.org.

    Please visit our website at http://www.mjhnyc.org for up-to-date information about upcoming public programs or to join our e-bulletin list.

    Thanks for sharing this info with your readers. If you need any more, please do not hesitate to contact me at hfurst@mjhnyc.org

    • Wendy on March 2, 2009 at 15:51

    Thanks for hosting, Bethany!

    YAY, S. Krishna!!!!

    Hannah: Thank you for the link to this interesting site…I was so fascinated by Nemirovsky’s personal story when I read Suite Francaise.

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