Around the World in 80 Books


It’s taken me ages to get my lazy bum into gear but I’m finally beginning to think about my reading plans for 2016. Isn’t February the best time for making plans? I don’t usually plan ahead at all but this year I have two quite distinct aims:

1). Tackle some of the unread books on my shelves and

2). Be more diverse in my choice of reading material.

With this in mind I signed up for the Around the World in 80 Books Challenge, organised by the lovely ladies at Hard Book Habit. The idea is to read eighty books from far off lands (either via setting or author). The only rule is that there should be at least one book from each continent, one set at sea and another on the theme of travelling.

I’m a slow reader so I’m not going to read eighty books anytime soon, especially if I’m also hoping to tackle some of those languishing on my shelves, but it’ll be nice to mix it up a little and to expand my horizons at the same time. I was sneaky and tagged War and Peace as my first read for the challenge even though I’d already started reading before the Challenge was announced. Now that I’ve had a bit more time to think about it properly I’ve made a list of some of the other books I’d like to tackle:

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie [India]

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe [Nigeria]

The Plague by Albert Camus [Algeria]

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini [Afghanistan]

Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey [Australia]

Perfume by Patrick Suskind [France]

Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas [Wales]

On Tangled Paths by Theodore Fontane [Germany]

The Fall of the Stone City by Ismail Kadare [Albania]

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid [Pakistan]

If I read all these books this year I’ll be delighted. Plus, as an added bonus, some are conveniently on my unread shelf already so I will be killing two birds with one stone. Sweet.

Any book recommendations would be greatly received, particularly any for South America. I’ve read two Gabriel Garcia Marquez books (the obvious two) but not much else so this part of the world is almost new territory to me. I did briefly wonder whether I should have another shot at Moby Dick to satisfy the set-at-sea part of the challenge but before I could stop it some irate part of my brain screamed, “Oh Christ, no. Anything but that.” I’ll have to give it some more thought.

Isn’t it odd that in my first attempt to bring more diversity into my reading I’ve made a list populated entirely by male authors?!


7 thoughts on “Around the World in 80 Books

  1. It’s not South America, but I wonder if you might fancy adding Chimamanda Ngozi Adicihie to your lists – everything she writes is really fantastic and always very readable – and she is a woman! I think you might enjoy her writing. Someone I am ashamed not to have read yet but who is Chilean and female, is Isabel Allende… determined to read her very soon this end… good luck with your worthy challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you’re joining in the armchair travels! I’ve got quite a few of those novels on my #AW80Books list too, so it’ll be nice to compare notes. I’m also trying to rustle up books from South America and I’ll definitely be choosing an Isabel Allende novel. I read a great Argentinian novel a few years back called ‘The Tango Singer’ by Tomas Eloy Martinez and was considering reading it again but by chance I found another book by him in a charity shop yesterday – ‘Santa Evita’, so I’m going with that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I’m ridiculously excited about this challenge! I’ll look up Tomas Eloy Martinez, sounds perfect. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read the blurb of an Isabel Allende book and mentally added it to my TBR list. I should have read one by now!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: #AW80Books February Round Up | Hard Book Habit

  4. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBRs | the blue bore

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