Some of you may have been following my quest to read a book from every country in the world before I turn 30. Well, yesterday I turned 27 and decided I needed to pick up the pace! I’ve been toying with the idea of hosting an actual readathon for a while and summer seemed like the ideal time! My co-hosts are Ninja Book Box and Elena Square Eyes so give them a follow on Instagram (@ninjabookbox and @elenasquareeyes) or Twitter (@ninjabookbox and @elenam52).
(Scroll down for an explanation of the squares and an image description)
The basic idea is similar to a lot of readathons- pick a line and read a book per square that fits each theme. As this is also a sort of ‘ode to travelling’ via reading there’s also the option to pick a starting square and ‘travel’ across the board any which way you like!
Look out for rec lists (I’m currently compiling a collection that I’ll share ASAP!). Ninja Book Box will be sharing independent recommendations on their blog!
-Books read should be by people from a different country to your own. Just being set somewhere else isn’t really in the spirit of the challenge.
-Exceptions apply to the Staycation square (see below) and also to the Diaspora, Celebrate WOC and Indigenous squares. Feel free to read a book by someone in the same country as you for those if they otherwise fit the theme of the square!
-Most importantly: be courteous when discussing books from other countries! In particular, remember that writers of colour do not exist to educate and the phrase ‘this book didn’t teach me enough about the culture’ is often used to invalidate their work.
Geographical squares: (Asia, Polynesia, Europe, Australasia, Middle East, Americas, Africa Caribbean) Read a book by someone from a country in that location.
Staycation: read a book by someone local to you.
Short Stories: Read a short story collection from another country. They don’t all have to be from the same country in the collection! You could choose, for example, to read a collection of Japanese short stories or a collection of Asian SFF if you wanted!
Globetrotter: Read a book that was written/is set the furthest away from where you are now.
Historical: This could be non-fiction or the historical fiction genre, you choose!
Genre: Pick up some genre-fic! Fancy some Japanese horror? Nigerian sci-fi? Swedish crime?
Non-fic: Find out something new about a country! Memoirs, travel diary, biography- anything you like!
Firsts: First novel published? First country you visited? First language you learnt at school? First time you’ve heard of an author? Interpret this one however you like!
Childhood Vacation: Abook from a country you visited as a child, or you learnt about as a child.
Political Controversy: A book by an author that has been controversial in their country. The Aleksandr Solzhenitsyns and Ngugi Wa Thiong’os of the book world.
Small Population: A square for those smaller countries that might be overlooked. You define what ‘small’ is, but think Malta, Montenegro, Monaco. Here’s a list of the 25 least populated countries in the world if you need some inspiration!
Dream Visit: A book from a country you’d love to visit.
Short Hop: A book from a next door country.
Traditional Style: Magical realism, spoken word, haikus… anything traditional!
In Translation: Pretty self explanatory
Indigenous, Celebrate WOC and Diaspora: I’ve added these squares because indigenous writers and WOC are grossly undervalued in publishing and diaspora perspectives are also often ignored. There is nothing to stop you choosing writers of colour, indigenous writers or diaspora writers for every square, I just felt they needed proper representation on the board!
If you’d like to join in comment below!
[image description: a green and blue grid on a green background. A cartoon drawing of the earth on the right hand side. Graphic says- Around the World Readathon. #readtheworldathon July 1st-31st. Hosted by @anovelhaul, @ninjabookbox & @elenam52. Rules- *pick your starting square and travel around the board through any adjacent squares: horizontal, vertical, diagonal or a mixture! *books read should be by writers from a different country to your own** exceptions apply for certain squares- see full rules! Grid text: Asia, genre, staycation, short stories, Polynesia, globetrotter, Europe, historical, Australasia, firsts, Celebrate WOC, AU, diaspora, childhood vacation, political controversy, small population, Middle East, non-fic, Americas, dream visit, indigenous, short hop, traditional style, in translation, africa]