One Writer’s Journey

December 23, 2015

Reading the World: More Challenging then you might think

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:20 am
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One of the reading challenges that I decided to take up for next year is Reading the World.  I want to read reading the worldbook with a variety of viewpoints and what better way to do it then reading books from every country in the world?

Challenge #1 is deciding what constitutes “from that country.”  I started out by googling “Afghanistan books” or something equally brilliant. Low and behold, 100% of the books that came up were written about Afghanistan by western authors.  Hmm.  Seeking out books by authors from that country suddenly felt that much more important.

Next, I followed a link to a Goodreads list of Aghan-fiction.  Khaled Hosseini. I adore Khaled Hosseini.  Well, I adore his books. I don’t know him.  But he was what I needed to verify so I did another search.  Hosseini’s father was a diplomat and when he was 11 they moved to France and from there to the US.  I’ve already read his books, maybe I could find someone who lived in Afghanistan and wrote children’s books.

Another search revealed Idries Shah.  The library has three of his picture books, so I did another search.  Shah was born in India and grew up in England.  Yes, I’ve requested his books but seriously can’t I find someone in Afghanistan?

I mentioned this project to a local librarian and she is already on the search.  Still, I think I have some decisions to make.  Do expatriots count?  Did  the book have to be published in that particular country first? I begin to feel like I’ve set up a truly crazy scavenger hunt for myself!

I finally discovered that you could find authors by googling “Turkish authors” or “Afghani authors” but I want to focus on children’s books.  Genius that I am, it finally hit me.  Start with the ALA Mildred Batchelder Award.  Yep.  Books in translation.  Books not published in the US that are available in English.  I will not admit how long it took me to arrive at this thought.

–SueBE

 

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December 15, 2015

Diversity in Literature: Reading around the world

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:17 am
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The children’s publishing community is an amazing thing.  We step forward and help each other all the time.  But I learned about another astonishing community to day — the community of book lovers world wide.

Ann Morgan is a British author and editor who realized that she wasn’t too terribly impressed by what her bookshelves said about her.  You’ve heard the saying — a person’s bookshelves say a lot about them.  Morgan thought of herself as a fairly worldly person but her bookshelves told another story.  Yes, they were full but they were full of books from Britain and North America.

She admitted to herself that this was not who she wanted to be — a xenophobic reader — so she issued herself a challenge for 2012.  She would read a book from every country in the world.  I’m not sure she really had any clue what she was getting into when she started this project but as she progressed she not only found amazing books, she connected with fellow book lovers.

Check out her story in the video below.

You can find her book list here.  It includes the list of countries, the books she considered from each and a link to her comments on the book she ultimately read.

Maybe just maybe some of you would like to issue yourself a challenge for the new year?

–SueBE

 

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