Around the World in 8 Months: Orbis Terrarum Reading Challenge

The Orbis Terrarum 2010 Challenge is here, and I am thrilled. It’s challenge that has led me to some wonderful books and really widened the scope of what I read.

Eight books from eight countries in eight months – you’ll find the detailed brief here.

I’m planning a European tour with nine stops – one book each from eight countries, and then eight books from a single country.

I’m listing more books than I’ll find time to read, because I like to be able to choose what suits my mood, and I reserve the right to skitter about a bit, but my route may look something like this:

Over the sea to Ireland first, to visit either Frank Delaney (Ireland) or Niall Williams (Only Say The Word).

Then north to Iceland and Last Rituals by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Of course I shall visit Scandinavia:

First Norway and Victoria by Knut Hamsun.

Then Sweden. Lots of possibilities in crime fiction and I also have a historical novel calling – The Magic Goblet by Emilie Flyarde-Carlen

And Denmark maybe – “The Visit of the Royal Physician” by Per Olov Enquist is another intriguing historical novel.

Tatyana Tolstoya calls me to Russia.

I’m looking forward to Hungary, and The Rebels by Sàndor Márai.

The Netherlands offers two interesting crime writers – Saskia Noort and Esther Verhoof

Austria‘s the next stop – something by Stefan Zweig. I read, and loved, Chess last year, and this year I really want to read The Post Office Girl.

Italy presents two very different alternatives – A Woman by Sibilla Aleramo, or a graphic novel – Poem Strip by Dino Buzzati.

I’ve seen mixed reports, but I do want to read The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, from Spain.

And in Portugal I hope to visit José Saramago (Blindness).

That makes twelve stops, which is more than enough for me to choose from. And of course I hope to make new discoveries a long the way.

And so to my eight book country – France. I read five French novels in translation for another challenge last year and many, many others are calling me.

I read a modern take on the Lais of Marie de France last year, and now I should love to read a more traditional translation.

The 17th and 17th centuries offer up The Princesse de Clèves by Madame de Lafayette and Manon Lescaut by Abbé Prévost.

So many possibilities from the 18th century. The Child by Jules Vallès. I already have One Thousand and One Ghosts by Alaxandre Dumas lined up for The Classics Circuit, and then I plan to move on to The Count of Monte Christo. And, of course, there’s Emile Zola. I have a little volume of short stories – For a Night of Love – and then I want to start on his novels.

And I have some historical mysteries lined up. The Châletet Apprentice by Jean-Francois Parot and The Eiffel Tower Mystery by Claude Izner both start series, and I fully expect to be tracking down sequels before too long. And a forthcoming book intrigues me – The Baker Street Phantom by Fabrice Bourland sees Lady Conan- Doyle approaching a detective agency …

And I have a couple of interesting contemporary novels on hand – Just Like Tomorrow by Faïza Guène and School’s Out by Christophe Duffose.

That’s what I have to hand – though I’m sure I’ve forgotten something, and there are so many other possibilities out there too.

Isn’t it wonderful how far a book can take you?!

12 responses

    • I’ll still be spending some reading time in Cornwall, but there are too many great books out there to not wander further afield once in a while.

  1. So glad to have you joining in on the Orbis Challenge!! Let me know if you have questions, comments or suggestions.

    I can’t wait to get this thing started 🙂 I guess I should be a good example though and wait until the starting date! ha!

    • Thank you for hosting this again. I’m reading a French book now, but I have more than enough others lined up.

    • Wonderful indeed. I’ve signed up for too many challenges, but this one has to be a priority. and my theory is that it’s better to aim high and risk failure – just as long as I read some great books along the way!

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