I’ve been thinking about the #ReadTheWorld challenge for a while, and it would fit nicely with my 2018 goal of reading more international authors. The only thing that’s been holding me back is that in order to complete it, I’d need to buy a LOT of new books….well…
…I’ve basically fallen off the wagon anyway so WHO CARES?!
If you’re not familiar with the #ReadTheWorld challenge, it’s pretty much what it says on the tin – reading a book to represent every country of the world. I first came across it via Ann Morgan, who successfully completed the challenge in a year (what?!). I’ll be making heavy use of Ann’s lists for recommendations, so if you’re interested in her story and the books that she read, head over to her blog.
Unlike Ann, I am definitely not going to attempt it in a year (I might be a TBR rebel but that would mean pretty much ignoring it completely!), I’ll work on it at my own pace and will also be ticking off ones I’ve already read.
As I’ve been making more of an effort to track my reading and set goals, I’ve really noticed the overrepresentation of white authors from the UK and the US. Even though I’ve been making progress on reading authors of colour, the vast majority have been American; which, while expanding my understanding of race and racism, is still really narrow and is doing nothing to broaden my understanding of the wider world. At a time when my country is busy trying to isolate itself via the shambles that is Brexit, far right parties are making gains across Europe, and Donald Trump is still going on about his bloody wall, this is DEFINITELY the time to be looking outwards and championing voices from around the world. Bring it!
I’ll be starting with the 197 independent countries (as recognised by the UN) and if that goes well, I’ll add on additional territories if I can find books to represent them.
I’ll be going for authors who consider themselves to belong to that country, with the back-up plan being any author who was born there. I realise there’s more to identity than where a person is physically born, so I wanted to take identity into account as much as possible – e.g. Isabel Allende was technically born in Peru, but considers herself to be Chilean-American as she is of Chilean heritage, spent many years living in Chile, but also gained American citizenship in 1993.
Track My Progress
Here’s how the map is looking to date:
Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com
(Note to anyone taking on this challenge – start with the massive countries if you don’t already have them, it’s a great morale boost!)
To follow the updated map and see which books I’ve been choosing, head over to The List.