Reading plans

Around the world in #54321

I’ve enjoyed seeing the different interpretations of this meme found on Instagram by Lizzy Siddal from Lizzy’s Literary Life . Lizzy choose five books all read in the 2020s), Lisa @anzlitlovers went for books read in 2022 with the added requirement that they were by Australia and New Zealand authors. Sue @whispering gums decided there are too many living authors to choose from, so opted for dead authors.

I’m going for a geographic dimension for my attempt. My choices are from books I read as part of my World of Literature Challenge. It felt appropriate somehow to take this approach when I am so close to completing this project.

Here goes….

5 Books I Love 

A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (Austria): this novella about a quiet, unassuming man living a simple life, is deceptively simple.

Petals of Blood by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (Kenya): a novel it’s hard to read without feeling frustrated, exasperated and even outraged about treatment of Kenyan villagers.

Love by Hanne Ørstavik (Norway): a thought-provoking, inventive and memorable short novel about a mother and son.

After The Banquet by Yukio Mishima (Japan): my first venture into Japanese fiction. I didn’t always understand the undercurrents in this portrait of a marriage, but the atmosphere was unforgettable.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang (South Korea): Disturbing yet utterly unforgettable.

4 Auto Buy Authors 

Richard Flanagan (Australia): The Narrow Road to The Deep North is one of my favourite Booker winners. I have almost all his novels on my bookshelves.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria): after my first experience with Americanah , I’ve enjoyed going through her back catalogue. It’s been far too long since we saw anything new by her.

Elif Shafak (Turkey): Ten Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World was astonishingly inventive and atmospheric.

Urs Faes (Switzerland): For novels brimming with atmosphere, it would be hard to beat Twelve Nights. He’s written 13 other novels it seems so that should keep my satisfied.

3 Genres I Love (not many surprises here)

Literary fiction

Nineteenth Century Classics

Historical Fiction

2 Places I love to read 

In bed: especially on mornings when I don’t have to get up for anything in particular

In the garden: birdsong, the gentle rustling of leaves and a good book. Perfection.

1 Book I’m (possibly) reading next

I have one more country to “visit” to complete my tally of 50 in my World of Literature project. Israel could be the final destination viaAbout The Night by Anat Talshir which is on my #20booksofsummer22 reading list.


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

8 thoughts on “Around the world in #54321

  • Neat meme! I like Mishima’s writing, but have not read this one yet!
    The Vegetarian was very intriguing for sure

  • I could have had Richard Flanagan too. I always buy his books!

    • I was lucky enough to win about 4 of them in a giveaway organised by Kim before she left the UK

  • tracybham

    I really like this meme. And yours is very interesting, with the international approach.

    I wish I had time to do it right now, but I don’t maybe I will find time in a week or so. I would like to think about coming up with 4 Auto Buy authors.

    • The auto buy question was the hardest one of all Tracy.
      I don’t think it matters when you do this – it’s not meant to be time sensitive

  • I like your approach to this meme! I enjoyed Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun by Adichie, but haven’t read any of the other books or authors you’ve mentioned here. I’ll have to explore some of them, I think!

    • I enjoyed Half a Yellow Sun, in fact I might re-read it


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