I had to read eight books, from eight different countries, for the Orbis Terrarum Challenge. A relatively easy challenge since I read a fair amount of international literature. I like to fit a challenge into and around my reading. One might argue that that’s not a challenge then. Except selecting a book from my stack to read for a particular challenge can be quite tricky and difficult :). And therein lies the “challenge”.
I read the following books for the challenge:
- The Time of the Doves by Merce Rodoreda (Spain)
- House of Day, House of Night by Olga Tokarczuk (Poland)
- The Wild Geese by Ogai Mori (Japan)
- Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (UK)
- Collected Stories by Patricia Grace (New Zealand)
- The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano (Italy)
- The Dwarf by Per Lagerkvist (Sweden)
- Counselor Ayres’ Memorial by Machado de Assis (Brazil)
I enjoyed most of the books. I’m particularly pleased to have discovered the works of Rodoreda, Tokarczuk, Mantel and Grace. I think the idea behind this challenge is to encourage readers to get to know other cultures and their literature. I’ve had books by Patricia Grace on my shelves for a long time and had not felt compelled to read them. One of the best reading treats this year has been getting to know Maori culture through the short stories of Patricia Grace. Likewise, The Times of the Doves has me hooked on finding and reading more Catalan literature. Thus reading begets more reading. And what more can a reader ask for?