I've mentioned before that I'm trying not to join in many challenges that require me to read a lot of books, like more than six, as I often don't do very well with them. But there are a couple of exceptions, and this is one of them. I love the idea of this challenge because reading more international literature is something that I always hope to do more of anyway. So, I'm going to join in the Orbis Terrarum Challenge again this year. It runs from March 1st to December 31st, 2009 and the goal of the challenge is essentially to read 10 books by 10 different authors, from 10 different countries.
Here are some of the countries I hope to 'visit' this year:
Japan - Not surprising considering my own Reading Japan Project. I have quite a few Japanese authors to choose from and I hope to read a few of them this year.
Portugal - I'd really like to read Blindness by José Saramago this year.
Turkey - I've been meaning to read Orhan Pamuk for the last couple of years but still haven't got around to doing so. Hopefully this will be the year.
Nigeria - I've had Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in my TBR stacks for quite some time too and I'd love to finally read it this year.
Italy - Perhaps I'm Not Scared by Niccolò Ammaniti, or something by Alessandro Baricco.
Sweden - I've only read the first book in Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander series and would like to continue on to the next one. I also have The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson that I'm looking forward to reading.
Iran - Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi is one of the graphic novels I hope to read this year.
Russia - Will this be the year that I finally read Lolita?
Ukraine - Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky is another one I've been meaning to read, pretty much since it came out, but haven't yet got around to.
Brazil - I didn't love The Alchemist but I have another book or two by Coelho around here that I should probably get around to reading.
Belgium - I'd also like to read another book by Amélie Nothomb this year. The one I have on hand is The Character of Rain.
Plus I know I also have some books that would represent India, Iceland, Norway, China, Germany and a couple others, so we'll see where my reading takes me over the next 10 months.
Throughout the year I will naturally also be reading books from Canada, the UK and the US but I'm going to try again this year to not include them in my quest for 10 different countries, instead focusing on books in translation. Unless of course it's the end of December and I just can't make up the numbers otherwise, like I had to do last year.
There are also several mini-challenges to accompany the main reading challenge. Since I love foreign films I'm going to try to complete the Orbis Terrarum Film Mini-Challenge, which asks us to watch 10 films from 10 different countries by 10 different directors. I'm not sure how successful I'll be since the only way for me to see foreign films here is to buy the DVDs (Japanese subtitles aren't much help to me!), but I do already have a fair handful so I'm going to give it a shot.
Do you have any favourite foreign films? I'd love to hear your recommendations.