After having finished the maximum number of books I’ve ever read in one year in 2011, I am all excited to see what 2012 will bring in. So this GoodReads challenge piqued my interest and opened up a world of books for me.
These are the books I plan to read in 2012, as a part of this challenge. The hope is that they will also broaden my view on these countries and teach me a thing or two about their histories. So what if I cannot visit them, I can atleast be there in spirit! :)
1. Afghanistan:In the Sea there are Crocodiles
2. Albania:The Palace of Dreams
3. Algeria:The Lovers of Algeria
4. Argentina:Kiss of the Spider Woman
6. Bhutan:Married to Bhutan
7. Bosnia:Twice Born
9. Brazil:Gabriela Clove and Cinnamon
10. Bulgaria:The Making of June
11. Chile:Of Love and Shadows
12. China:The Good Earth
13. Colombia:Of Love and other Demons
14. Cuba:The Island of Eternal Love
15. Czech Republic:How I came to know fish
16. Egypt:Woman At Point Zero
17. England:The Tea Rose
18. Ethiopia:Sweetness in the Belly
19. France:A Very Long Engagement
20. Germany:Floating in my Mother's Palm
21. Greece:Zorba the Greek
23. India:Secret Daughter
25. Iraq:Scattered Crumbs
26. Ireland:The Picture of Dorian Grey
27. Israel:If You Awaken Love
28. Italy:The Enchanted April
29. Jamaica:The Book of Night Women
31. Jordan:The Language of Baklava
32. Kiribati:The Sex Lives of Cannibals
33. Kosovo:The Road to Kosovo
34. Lebanon:Sabra Zoo
35. Mexico:Like Water for Chocolate
36. Morocco:Let it come down
37. Norway:Sophie's World
38. Palestine:I saw Ramallah
39. Peru:Aunt Julia and the scriptwriter
40. Poland:The Girl in the Red Coat
41. Puerto Rico:The Rum Diary
42. Saudi Arabia:Princess
43. Serbia:Encyclopedia of the Dead
44. Spain:The Shadow of the wind
45. Sudan:They Poured Fire on Us from the sky
46. Sweden:Popular Music from Vittula
47. Switzerland:A Jew must die
48. Turkey:The New Life
49. Tibet:Seven Years in Tibet
50. United States of America:The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
51. Venezuela:The Sickness
52. Vietnam:The Things they carried
After having spent around 3 hours in making this list, the theme I’ve noticed in all these books is -
1. I am still as interested in reading about the Holocaust as I was before. No amount of reading about it has satiated the appetite, in fact it was whetting it! And there is a lot of interest in stories with war as a backdrop.
2. Most of these books are still love stories, but with war as a background.
3. The thought process behind selecting every book was – Will this tell me anything about this country?
4. Another important parameter I considered was – How good are the ratings for this book? And how many pages does it have ? Anything beyond 400 pages gets too big to read and will take a lot of time to finish, thus hindering the overall progress of the book. So only those long books which I absolutely want to read are included in this list.
5. Another best practice I followed is to add books from my own To-Read list into this list, that way I can get the number reduced by a fraction, atleast. As you can see, this list is currently ~260 books strong with atleast 10 new additions every week into it. Basically, the outflow from this list is not as good as the inflow… :)
6. I’ve read a lot of Indian authors so far, but I realized I haven’t read a single book by Amitav Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth and Salman Rushdie. In fact the the thought of reading a book by any of these is making me yawn. I must atleast read Seth’s Suitable Boy, may be in 2013
7. I’ve always wanted to read Borges. Marquez is a forever favourite. Murakami had to be on this list(I’ve practically been hounding FlipKart for the 1Q84 copy from the time it was released in US)
8. I’ve never realized it, but I have a great amount of interest in reading about the cultures of Middle Eastern and European countries. Must be the need to know how people survived in these stress-filled lands.
Basically, any book which talks about the country’s culture or food or political situation has caught my eye, and has made it into this list. And yet there are a zillion more books to be read. Some of them are here.
I can only say one thing now – So many books, so little time!