Kate’s challenge and other bookish topics

My new posting schedule may turn out to look suspiciously like my old one …

I got some more books as Christmas gifts today. A friend of mine sends me books most years for Christmas and my birthday, and often they are late, which she apologizes for, but I like getting late presents. Why not spread out the fun a little bit? She sent me Marie Howe’s book of poems What the Living Do, which looks good, and it will do perfectly for when I’ve finished the Jane Kenyon collection I’m working on now. She also sent me Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust, which I’ve heard lots of good things about from bloggers but have never gotten a copy of. It promises to be a lot of fun.

But what I really wanted to post about was Kate’s Reading Across Borders Challenge, which I’d like to do, in some form or fashion. Out of the 56 books I read last year, 45 of them were written by authors born in America, Britain, or Canada. Of the 11 remaining, 3 of them were by people from other countries who write in English, so that leaves 8 books I read in translation, including 5 books translated from French, 1 from Japanese, 1 from Portuguese, and 1 from Turkish.

My reading goal for 2007 was to read more books in translation than I did last year, so that would be at least 9. I’ve listed 13 classics I’d like to read this year and some of them are translations, either 4 or 7 depending on whether I count the 4 volumes of Proust as 1 book or 4. But what I’m really interested in doing for Kate’s challenge is to read books from outside Europe — my classics in translation are all European, including Proust, Mann, Balzac, and Cervantes. So let’s say for Kate’s challenge, in addition to the European books in translation, I’ll read 5 translated books from countries outside Europe.  That will get me up to my goal, no matter how I count Proust.

Which ones will I choose for my 5? I have no idea. I don’t want to specify and lose the chance to choose something spontaneously, so you will have to wait and see.


Filed under Books, Lists, Reading

8 responses to “Kate’s challenge and other bookish topics

  1. I’m sorry to say that I personally won’t be disappointed if you end up posting most days! 🙂 I like the idea of this, too. I might have to join in as well–as long as it can be done over the reading year! I am finding I am not too good at reading a certain number of books within a month or two time span. Of course it is fun thinking about it. Looking forward to seeing which books you choose!


  2. Or maybe I should say I am not sorry to say…but you get the idea.


  3. Thank you Danielle — I know what you mean! Do join the challenge — I like them when they are very flexible.


  4. I want to do Kate’s challenge too but have to think about which books, at least some of them, that I want to read. Your not saying which ones you plan on reading is agony you know for people like me who love book and reading lists! 🙂


  5. In the interest of easing Stefanie’s agony, and just in case you’re looking for recommendations, may I recommend Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa,if you haven’t already read it? I’ve been thinking of re-reading it after nearly twenty years, and (now selfishly focusing on my own interests) I’ve been trying to decide whether or not I should. If you read it, I may get a better idea. (Maybe we should read it for our book discussion group and then take a field trip to Peru ;-)!) I remember it as being very, very funny.


  6. I love getting late gifts as well, especially for my birthday. It just spreads the celebration out longer and allows me time to oooh and aahhh over everything.


  7. Sorry Stefanie! 🙂 I’m just feeling like I shouldn’t name any more names because I have enough planned out as it is. But I will fill you in as soon as I can!

    Emily — thanks for the recommendation; I haven’t read Vargas Llosa and I really should — that would be perfect.

    I agree completely Carl!


  8. LK

    Who can argue with late gifts? 🙂


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