Friday, December 12, 2008

Orbis Terrarum Challenge wrap-up

I didn't end up reading nearly as much international literature as I would've liked this year. The goal of this challenge was to read 9 different books, written by 9 different authors, from 9 different countries. When I made up my original list of possibilities (of which I only read 3!), my idea was not to include any English-speaking countries. So considering that criteria, I read the following since the challenge began in April, representing 5 countries:
Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami (Japan)
The Scortas' Sun -Laurent Gaudé (France)
The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur - Daoud Hari (with Dennis Michael Burke & Megan M. McKenna) (Sudan)
Perfume - Patrick Süskind (Germany)
The Book of Proper Names - Amélie Nothomb (Belgium)

Kafka on the Shore is probably my overall favourite but they were all worth reading. The Translator especially was eye-opening and educational.

Although it wasn't my original intention, I suppose I could count some other books that I read this year to make up the numbers, such as:
The Tenderness of Wolves - Stef Penney (Scotland)
How to Be a Canadian - Will Ferguson & Ian Ferguson (Canada)
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë (England)
Matrimony - Joshua Henkin (USA)
among the many other American, and British authors that I read this year, but I still kind of feel like it's cheating. There is always next year though, and I plan to try again for Orbis Terrarum 2. Thanks for hosting Bethany!


  1. I'm the same way when it comes to counting international fiction - I really try to go for translations. Unfortunately I didn't read as many as I would have liked but there's always next year :)

    Can't wait to see your list of reading possibilities for the next round!

  2. Congratulations on finishing the challenge! I was like you and wanted to try and read books from non-english speaking countries. I did read a few but not as many as I would have liked. This will be my challenge within a challenge for the next OT challenge I think!

  3. I would be interested to see how many books I read in the run of the year that would fit your criteria. It probably wouldn't be a lot... I will have to keep it in the back of my mind for next year!

  4. Iliana - The second Orbis Terrarum challenge doesn't begin until April I think it is, but I just posted a list of possibilities for the Lost in Translation challenge. Are you joining that one? :P

    Karen - Thanks. Seems we all ended up not reading as much as we would've liked. Better luck next year! :)

    Kailana - I'm going to have to consciously try to read more translated fiction next year. If only there weren't so many English books to tempt me!


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