EMBARK ON AN AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BOOKS JOURNEY
In 2018, I have decided to embark on my own “Around the World in 80 Books” journey. Read my full reasons for doing so here. In brief, I’ve carefully selected eighty countries across the continents and chosen one translated work from each which, to a greater or lesser extent, encapsulates life and the people there. This year will only be the beginning of the journey, and my goal is to read a minimum of 30 novels from non-US/UK based authors. I’ll be starting close to home with some Mediterranean classics.
READ MORE AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERATURE
Another major gap in my reading I have been trying to rectify is my African-American reads. For some bizarre reason, I had mistakenly assumed I was better read in African-American literature. But it was only when I came across a Goodreads list of essential black literature when I realised how little I had read of the 50 or so books listed and began to seek out more of the featured titles. My highlight thus far is definitely The Autobiography of Malcolm X, which I found to be fascinating, frightening, insightful, and inspiring. The man, for better or worse, was a true revolutionary, and even on the page he has the power to draw you in and make you see things his way.
At the moment, I’m finishing off Alice Walker’s brilliant epistolary novel The Color Purple (never seen the film so it’s all new to me), and hope to follow it up with Toni Morrison’s Beloved, which has been sitting on my bookshelves unread for the past two years! Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin and Richard Wright seem like the next logical choices.
READ/LISTEN TO MORE NONFICTION
While Audible has gained increased popularity over the past few years, I must admit I find it impossible to enjoy listening to fiction audiobooks on the go (unless they happen to be novels I’ve already read in book form and am pretty familiar with). With fiction, I am interested in the prose as much as the plot, and really like to savour great writing on the page.
However I found my Audible account has really come to my aid with nonfiction. I was never a big nonfiction reader. That was until last year when I tried out a few author-read nonfiction audiobooks as an alternative to podcasts, and absolutely loved the experience. Some of my highlights include Sara Pascoe’s Animal: An Autobiography of a Female Body, Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test, and Reni Eddo-Lodge’s sensational polemic Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race. Bolstered by the increase in quantity and the high enjoyability factor of my 2017 nonfiction reading, this year I will attempt to pick up more such titles. Currently listening to the eye-opening The Good Immigrant essay collection on Audible, and have Patrick Kingsley’s The New Odyssey: The Story of Europe’s Refugee Crisis in paperback lined up.
Have you set any reading goals for 2018?
Let us know in the comments section below.