The theme for this week’s weekly geeks is one I couldn’t pass up as it’s all about reading globally which is something I do try to do with my reading. Plus, it’ll give me a chance to include a chart and we all know how I love those 🙂
On to the questions
Do you deliberately read globally, and if so, do you track your reading in this area?
I have finished 53 books so far this year set in 18 different countries (plus one set in multiple countries). As you can see I still read most of my books set in England and America but it was only a couple of years ago that I would have done all my reading in those places.
I’ll be adding another country to the table in a day or so when I finish my current book which is set in Italy.
Have you joined any reading challenges which encourage reading from around the world? If so, what are they?
I am participating in the 2010 Global Reading Challenge and am aiming for the expert level which requires me to read 2 books set in different countries of Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America plus 2 books set in Antarctica. My additional personal challenge is that all the books I’m going to count have to be by new-to-me authors and my personal preference is for crime fiction. So far I’ve read 8 books and am in the middle of my 9th (A Death in Tuscany by Michele Guittari)
- Africa – A Carrion Death by Michael Stanley (Botswana)
- Antarctica – Black Ice by Matt Dickinson and In Cold Pursuit by Sarah Andrews
- Asia – The Prophet Murders by Mehmet Murat Somer (Turkey)
- Australasia – Bold Blood by Lindy Kelly (New Zealand) and The Curse of the Golden Yo-Yo by Robin Bowles (Australia)
- Europe – The Rule Book by Rob Kitchin (Ireland)
- North America – Borderline by Nevada Barr (Texas, USA)
- South America – nothing yet so recommendations welcome
I also recently started the 2010 Scandinavian Reading Challenge which requires me to read 6 books set in the countries that make up Scandinavia (which according to Wikipedia are Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden).
So far I’ve only read one book for this challenge but it was a beauty: Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indriðason which I rated 5 out of 5.
Do you visit bloggers who blog outside of your country? If so, what have you learned from reading their blogs? Consider sharing a couple of links to book bloggers who motivate you to read around the world.
Yes, although it wouldn’t be hard as I’ve only got a couple of other Australian blogs in my Google Reader, the vast majority of blogs I visit are by bloggers outside my country. However I’ll highlight a couple of great blogs from people who, unlike me, can read and blog in multiple languages:
Where do your reading around the globe book suggestions come from? Magazines? Web sites which feature books in translation? Publishers? Other bloggers? If you have a particularly great site for recommendations, give us a link!
These days most of my recommendations come from my fellow crime fiction fans at the Crime and Mystery Room in Friend Feed, many of whom also like to read and discuss books set all over the place. A special mention must go to Maxine who blogs at Petrona whose reading recommendations I have come to view as my personal reading guide.
Taking a quick trawl through my Google Reader account here are some other great sites for finding crime and mystery fiction from around the world
- Aust Crime Fiction (news and reviews of all kinds of crime fiction but the emphasis is on Australian writers)
- Big Beat from the Badsville (all things Scottish crime fiction related are to be found here)
- Crime Beat (news, reviews and author interviews about South African crime fiction)
- Crime Watch (reviews and news about all crime fiction but with an emphasis on New Zealand writers and settings)
- Detectives Beyond Borders (mostly about crime fiction outside the US)
- Euro Crime (reviews of books set in the UK and Continental Europe)
- Scandinavian Crime Fiction (yep…all about Scandinavian Crime Fiction)
Do you read books in translation as part of your global reading experiences? Share some of your favorite books in translation.
Yes. So far this year I’ve read 6 books in translation. Interestingly they have provided my equal highest rating and my lowest rating!
- Dead at Daybreak by Deon Meyer (from Afrikaans)
- Hypothermia by Arnaldur Indriðason (from Icelandic)
- The Black Path by Asa Larsson (from Swedish)
- The Exception by Christian Jungersen (from Danish)
- The Last Pope by Luis Miguel Rocha (from Portugese)
- The Prophet Murders by Mehmet Murat Somer (from Turkish)
Is there a particular country, or countries, which you would like to learn more about? Why?
Not really. I love learning about all kinds of places. Once upon a time I did it for real with travel to all parts of the world while now I use my armchair a little more (‘cos backpacking is just not the same fun at 40 that it was at 20).