Around The World Reading Challenge 2014

Around The World is the reading challenge created by Shannon over at Giraffe Days where you challenge yourself to read books set all around the world. There are four levels of Participations for this challenge and they are as follows:

Happy Camper 2014

Level 1: The Happy Camper

– The Happy Camper likes to keep things simple and enjoys exploring her/his own backyard
– Read a minimum of 2 books over the course of the year
– Books can be set in your own neighbourhood, your home country or somewhere else entirely
– No re-reads
– Any genre is okay (including non-fiction) BUT books MUST be set in a specific country or region with a noticeable attention to the location or environment; some genre books won’t be much use for this challenge

Wayfarer 2014

Level 2: The Wayfarer

– The Wayfarer doesn’t like to plan; he/she likes to journey as the need takes them, deciding where to go on a whim or inspiration or simply how they’re feeling
– Read a minimum of 4 books over the course of the year
– Books can be set in any country, but they must all be different countries
– You do not need to decide on your choice of books ahead of time. You can select books as you go
– No re-reads
– Any genre is okay (including non-fiction) BUT books MUST be set in a specific country or region with a noticeable attention to the location or environment; some genre books won’t be much use for this challenge

Casual Tourist 2014

Level 3: The Casual Tourist

– The Casual Tourist likes to plan ahead but isn’t too ambitious. They’ve saved up their money and plan carefully, and intend to really explore the places they visit
– Read a minimum of 6 books over the course of the year
– Books can be set in any country but you should aim to read 1 title from each of the following areas: South America, Africa, Asia, Europe
– You can list your title selections in your challenge intro post but last-minute changes are allowed
– No re-reads
– Any genre is okay (including non-fiction) BUT books MUST be set in a specific country or region with a noticeable attention to the location or environment; some genre books won’t be much use for this challenge

Seasoned Traveller 2014

Level 4: The Seasoned Traveller

– The Seasoned Traveller doesn’t do anything by half-measures: they go the whole hog and the more obscure the better!
– Read 12 books over the course of the year, each set in a DIFFERENT country
– Books selected should include ones set in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia+New Zealand, North America and South America. The Middle East is a bonus
– You do not need to plan ahead but it might help you keep on track
– No re-reads
– Any genre is okay (including non-fiction) BUT books MUST be set in a specific country or region with a noticeable attention to the location or environment; some genre books won’t be much use for this challenge

 

I really love the sound of this challenge as it just screams diversity and change. Just about every book in this challenge is bound to push you outside your comfort zone and introduce you to not only new authors and books, but also entirely different cultures! What’s more, this challenge is the perfect thing for me right now, as I desperately want to go back overseas and explore the world again. After my two and half months in Europe last year, I well and truly have the travel bug and what better way to pacify it for now by reading books from all over the world!

Given the fact that I know I’ve already signed up for two other challenges, I don’t want to put a lot of pressure on myself with this challenge, at least not this year anyway. So keeping that in mind, I’ve signed up for this challenge  as a Wayfarer.

 

Wayfarer-2014-300x132

Level 2: The Wayfarer

– The Wayfarer doesn’t like to plan; he/she likes to journey as the need takes them, deciding where to go on a whim or inspiration or simply how they’re feeling
– Read a minimum of 4 books over the course of the year
– Books can be set in any country, but they must all be different countries
– You do not need to decide on your choice of books ahead of time. You can select books as you go
– No re-reads
– Any genre is okay (including non-fiction) BUT books MUST be set in a specific country or region with a noticeable attention to the location or environment; some genre books won’t be much use for this challenge.

While I may not be required to say what I plan to read, or even have that organised, I do have a couple of books in mind for this challenge.

IRELAND:

Have you ever wondered what happens in Ireland?

When Australian, Kate Barrow, meets a handsome Irishman in a Dublin bar, she has no idea that he is about to turn her world upside-down and inside-out.

In Ireland to take on a position on a thoroughbred stud, Kate is shocked when her manager-in-co reveals himself to be the same man she’d met in Dublin.

Jack is drawn to Kate. The problem is, she won’t have him. But Jack has always loved a challenge and the intriguing woman from Oz is one he cannot resist.

Harbouring the sting of another man’s betrayal, Kate is certain she wants nothing to do with love and nothing to do with Jack O’Reilly. But when naked torsos, Mother Nature and dysfunctional umbrellas start plotting against her resolve, she realizes the charms of an Irishman are going to be hard to resist.

RUSSIA

A captivating tale of struggle, loyalty and love, inspired by a true story From St Petersburg, 1913, to Estonia, 1919, and beyond, THE RUSSIAN TAPESTRY spans wars, revolution and friendships that will grow as strong as the turmoil around them.

Marie Kulbas, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is excited about her new life in the vibrant city of St Petersburg. But as World War I escalates she must farewell those dearest to her when her brother and her fianc leave for the German Front.

Colonel Alexei Serov comes from a long line of professional soldiers. Leading his men is his birthright and his duty; his allegiance to Russia surpasses everything, including his obligations to his wife and family. His role is clear, until he meets Marie and suddenly emotions rise in him that he has never felt before.

As their world starts to crumble, Marie and Alexei discover a love that they will cling to in their search for a path to safety.

 

GERMANY:

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.

So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time

PRAGUE/CZECH REPUBLIC:

Featuring essays by Paulina Poriskova, Myla Goldberg, Helen Epstein, Jan Morris, and Francine Prose, Travelers’ Tales Prague and the Czech Republic collects over 30 stories from the country that inspired compositions from Mozart and novels from Kafka. With a sizable expat population, remarkable architecture unspoiled by war or natural disaster, and a lively night life, the Czech Republic’s capital city boasts a population of 1.1 million and is a virtual must for travelers to Eastern and Central Europe. The pieces in this book are both a charming enticement for prospective travelers and a welcome companion for those already there. Landmarks like the Charles Bridge and Hradcany Castle provide a dramatic backdrop to stories that range from educational to enlightening to laugh-out-loud funny. The anecdotes featured here include a Kafkaesque visit to the castle, reminiscences of a supermodel native daughter’s exile and return, musings on southern Bohemia’s fairy-tale appearance, and a fast-paced joust with the local police. Travelers’ Tales Prague shines a bright light on a stirring place.

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