Around the World in 12 Books Challenge Wrap-up

With less than two weeks to spare, I have completed the Around the World in 12 Books Challenge at Giraffe Days!

2013 around the world in 12 books

The goal was to read a book for each of the 12 selected countries, one per month, and here’s what I read:

  1. January (France) — Anna Gavalda, Hunting and Gathering
  2. February (Sudan) — Tayeb Salih, The Wedding of Zein
  3. March (Wales) — Peter Ho Davies, The Welsh Girl
  4. April (South Pacific Islands) — Jill Shalvis, The Trouble with Paradise
  5. May (Belgium) — Dorothy Dunnett, Niccolò Rising
  6. June (South Korea) — Samuel Park, This Burns My Heart
  7. July (Israel) — Etgar Keret, Suddenly, a Knock on the Door
  8. August (Palestine) — Matt Beynon Rees, The Collaborator of Bethlehem
  9. September (Brazil) — Luis Fernando Verissimo, The Club of Angels
  10. October (China) — Dai Sijie, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
  11. November (Egypt) — Mary Doria Russell, Dreamers of the Day
  12. December (Argentina) — Adolfo Bioy Casares, Asleep in the Sun

This was a really interesting challenge for me, since I normally stick to British and American authors. I enjoyed reading outside my geographical comfort zone and will make an effort to read more globally in the future.

My favorite books from the challenge were Hunting and Gathering, a charming love story with depth; The Wedding of Zein, which seemed both specific to Sudan and yet also universal; and The Club of Angels, which was bizarre and sinister and philosophical — but funny! On the other hand, I didn’t particularly enjoy The Welsh Girl, and I HATED Niccolò Rising!

Anyway, I won’t be participating in this challenge next year — I think I’ve already overcommitted myself! — but if you’re interested in broadening your literary horizons, the sign-up post for 2014 is here (and there are some format changes, so take note!).

2 thoughts on “Around the World in 12 Books Challenge Wrap-up

  1. Shannon (Giraffe Days) says:

    Whoo-hoo!!! Congratulations Christina, that’s such an awesome achievement! I didn’t even manage to complete the challenge this year, pooey on me! Must be a great feeling to complete a challenge like this one (seriously, I hope you give yourself lots of credit because it was a TOUGH challenge this year!)

    • Christina says:

      Thank you! 🙂 I really enjoyed tracking down appropriate books to read for each month. And even though I won’t be participating in 2014, I’ll still be lurking around the challenge posts to see what others are reading!

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