Sunday Salon: Discovering the World of Literature

sundaysalonThis week I made a start on one of my goals for 2013 — to read more literature from around the world parts of the world, using a self-imposed challenge called Lines of Connection to give me a framework. I’ve sent the past few days trying to identify which authors I’ll read for each of the countries on the list.

I sent out an appeal early in the week  to other bloggers, connections on GoodReads and LibraryThing as well as former university tutors, to help me identify which author/book to select to represent England (see the original appeal here). The response has been wonderful with some widely different suggestions – I’ll make a decision by the end of this week which to choose.

Here are the suggestions received so far:

Zadie Smith
Peter Ackroyd
R F Delderfield
Jerome K Jerome
Anthony Trollope
John Galsworthy
Anthony Powell
Iris Murdoch (The Sea, The Sea) recommended by my creative writing tutor
Margaret Foster
Bernard Cornwell
Laurie Lee
Colin Dexter (the Inspector Morse series)
Agatha Christie
P G Wodehouse
Melvyn Burgess
Susan Hill
Bernard Cornwell

Of these I’ll probably go for either Iris Murdoch, Zadie Smith or Peter Ackroyd (the last two write about London which has close links with the Prime Meridian so has a particular resonance with the theme of the challenge)

For other countries, so far I’ve narrowed down my choices for the Congo where I plan to read Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou and for Colombia where it will be a choice between The Armies by Evello Rosero and Delirium by Laura Restrepo.  Some countries will be more difficult to than others because of lack of availability of novels in English including Sao Tome and Principe where apparently the only novel in English is one that was translated as a social enterprise for a blog site called A Year of Reading the World but isn’t actually published.

And in other news……

Just finished reading the first novel of the year  – Dissolution by C J Sansom – what a delightful book to kick off a new year. The review is posted here. 

Also listened to my first audio book – The Girl who Fell from the Sky by Simon Mawer. I haven’t written the review yet but it wasn’t great. Not bad, but just not that good either.








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

4 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Discovering the World of Literature

  • January 6, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    What about Ackroyd’s ‘English Music’, a wonderful hymn to England?

    • January 7, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Two other bloggers recommended this so I have ordered it already…….

  • January 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    As you can tell from my comment on your post, my experience with Tale of 2 Cities has not been great. I’ve tried reading it and listening to it, I’ve tried a group read but to no avail. Oh well, there are plenty other books to enjoy instead. Hope you get further with it than I did and then maybe you can tell me what is so special about it.

  • January 6, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Glad your first book was such a delight. Maybe I should have started off there instead of trying to tackle A Tale of Two Cities. Sorry about the audiobook disappointment. As for your challenge, wow! I try to read some international books, but mostly in the mystery/crime genres. I’ve wandered outside those delineations a few times, but not with much success…


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