2018 Book Challenge: 1 book for each country

Updated: 09 October 2018

Everyone makes a list of resolutions for the New Year and for the most part, I’m no different. However, usually January 1st just marks another arbitrary date at which I’m going to get to the things on the running list I haven’t accomplished the year before.

Last year, in 2017, I wanted to read more books than I had in 2016. I succeeded, but there wasn’t really any rhyme or reason to my selection of books so I didn’t get as many read as I could have. This year, I was inspired by Adventurous Kate’s blog piece to pick a theme to help me select books more easily. I decided I’m going to take a new spin on an oldie but goodie theme I’ve used occasionally when picking out books over the past 15 years or so while traveling:

books by a local author or about the country/state I’m traveling to.

This year, I’m going to find a book by a local author about every country I’m traveling to. They can be non-fictions, fictions, historical fictions, memoirs, whatever genre fits the theme criteria – I’m willing to try them all, even Sci-Fi if it fits. Kate’s goal is for respectable 12 books, one a month, and I considered giving myself a numerical goal as well, but for me it’s not just about reading X number of books. I really want to add that extra layer of cultural education to my life. Any time I’ve done the simpler version it in the past, I have been immensely happy so I suspect this will yield similar results. I mean, I am an anthropologist so what do you expect?

Based on my current travel calendar, I’ll be averaging well over one book a month. I’m going to continue reading for professional development as well so I’ll have quite the task ahead of me but I’m excited.

Other than the sheer number of books I’ll be reading, there is another major criteria which may handicap my reading challenge – language. I speak English natively, and my level of Spanish is well enough to read things written in the 20th & 21st century. That means  I can understand about 75% reading in Portuguese, 65% in Italian, 50% in French and .05% in Finnish, because I’m awesome! I expect to have to search pretty hard for some countries to find a book printed in English that also meets the local author and based in the location.

I’ll be updating my Reading page as I select a book(s) for each country – feel free to make suggestions if you have any! As an added resolution, I’m going to commit to writing a post about my thoughts on the book in relation to my travel experience in each related country.

Here’s the travel list as of this posting (04 January 2018):

Confirmed – Switzerland, Germany, Portugal, Austria, France, The Netherlands, Turkey, China, Finland, and Chilé.

Hopefuls – Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Cuba, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Czech Republic, England, Mexico, and Guatemala.

Updated lists (09 October 2018):

Traveled to – Switzerland, Germany, Portugal, Austria, France, The Netherlands, Turkey, China, Finland, Chilé, Brazil, Norway, Papua New Guinea.

Confirmed – Argentina.

Still hopefuls – Italy.

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