On Completing the Orbis Terrarum Reading Challenge

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:

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?



  1. I’ve stopped actually joining challenges but the Orbis Terrarum is one that I intend to follow unofficially. I need to read more world literature, read outside of my comfort zone. In fact, Orbis Terrarum is the reason I started an African literature project! So much fun.


  2. A great challenge indeed. I am organising a reading challenge that is not necessarily fitted into 2011 but could go beyond. My reading of African Literary works revolves around 6 countries (Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Lesotho and currently Zimbabwe (still reading)). I want you to help me with books from other countries.

    Currently I have Tsitsi Dangrembga’s (Nervous Conditions and the Book of Not). I want book titles and authors from the remaining countries.


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