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.