I’m very excited to share with you all a readathon I am co-hosting next month. As some of you may be aware, I’m attempting to read a book from every country in the world by the time I’m 30 and I’m not doing too badly. At 4 months shy of my 27th birthday I have read books from 48 different countries and have about 150 to go (the exact number of countries in the world can be debated) but to give me an extra push this summer there is the Around the World Readathon which is taking place for the whole of July.
This readathon was the brainchild of A Novel Haul and I’m very happy to be co-hosting with her and NinjaBookBox. Make sure you check out their blogs and follow them on Twitter (@anovelhaul and @ninjabookbox) and Instagram (@anovelhaulreads and @ninjabookbox).
To make this readathon interesting we have a bingo card. The basic idea is to get a bingo by reading a book per square that fits each theme. As this readathon is all about travelling, once you pick a starting square, you can “travel” in which ever direction you like across the board – you can move horizontal, vertical, diagonal and a mixture of all three. As long as you start on a square on one side on the board and finish on the other side, it doesn’t matter how you get there.
- Books you read for this readathon should be by people from a different country to your own, not just set in a different country to your own
- Exceptions apply to the Staycation square (see below) and also to the Diaspora, Celebrate WOC and Indigenous squares. Feel free to read a book by someone in the same country as you for those if they otherwise fit the theme of those squares.
- Most importantly: be courteous when discussing books from other countries. Remember that writers of colour do not exist to educate and the phrase ‘this book didn’t teach me enough about the culture’ is often used to invalidate their work. Think about the story rather than just using the book as a learning experience.
What the Squares Mean
Geographical squares: (Asia, Polynesia, Europe, Australasia, Caribbean, Middle East, Americas, Africa) Read a book by someone from a country in that area.
Staycation: Read a book by someone from your own country, whether that’s the country you’re living in or if the author has the same nationality as you.
Short Stories: Read a short story collection from another country. They don’t all have to be from the same country or same author in the collection.
Globetrotter: Read a book that was written/is set the furthest away from where you are now.
Historical: This could be non-fiction or the historical fiction genre, you choose!
Genre: Pick up some genre fiction! Fancy some Scandinavian crime? Nigerian sci-fi? Indian romance?
Non-fic: Find out something new about a country! Memoirs, travel diary, biography – anything you like!
Firsts: This is one you can interpret however you like. The authors first novel published? Their first translated novel? A book from the first country you visited? First time you’ve heard of an author?
Childhood Vacation: A book from a country you visited, or learnt about, as a child.
Political Controversy: A book by an author that has been controversial in their country. The Hamid Ismailov’s and Aung San Suu Kyi’s of the book world.
Small Population: A square for those smaller countries that might be overlooked. You define what ‘small’ is, but think Malta, Montenegro, Monaco. Here’s a list of the 25 least populated countries in the world if you need a little help.
Dream Visit: A book from a country you’d love to visit.
Short Hop: A book from a next door country, one that’s not far away from your own.
Traditional Style: Magical realism, spoken word, haikus… anything traditional!
In Translation: I think this one is self-explanatory.
Indigenous, Celebrate WOC and Diaspora: These squares were added because indigenous writers and WOC are grossly undervalued in publishing and diaspora perspectives are also often ignored. There is nothing to stop you choosing writers of colour, indigenous writers or diaspora writers for every square, A Novel Haul just felt they needed proper representation on the board!
I will be sharing some recommendations for the various categories soon, as will my fellow co-hosts, and I’m putting together my TBR at the minute once that’s finalised I’ll be sharing that too. Do let us know if you’re thinking about joining in the Around the World readathon by either commenting below or using the hashtag #readtheworldathon on social media. Would be great to have as many people as possible reading internationally in July!