world literature

Travel the World Readathon day 7 update

blog globe small 1I hardly ever join readathons but one hosted by Lost in Books, Savy  Working Girl and Momssmallvictories caught my eye because it’s focused on reading books from outside your own country which is one of my current projects. Travel the World through Books also has coincided with my holiday when I knew I would have more time to read than usual.

Today is end of the first of this two week challenge and I’ve done well so far in terms of the range of countries covered. I’ve ‘visited’ China in the late nineteenth/ early twentieth centuries through Pearl S Buck’s Pulitzer prize winning novel The Good Earth and contemporary Eire with Niall Williams’ Booker longlisted title History of the Rain. By coincidence both of these books have a rural setting though Buck’s protagonist is significantly more successful at farming than than the family in Williams’ novel.

To finish up this short readathon I’m going to finish Nagasaki by the French author Erik Fraye which is a curious book based on a real life incident in Japan where a meteorologist discovers a woman has stowed away I. His apartment for almost a year without his knowledge. And I’m hoping to make some progress with The Infatuations by the Spanish author Javiar Marais. I’ve read about 70 pages so far and am not enamoured with it so far because of the verbose prose. His sentences are very long and contain so many clauses and sub clauses that by the time I’ve reached the full stop I’ve forgotten the beginning. I hope it picks up soon.

Find out more about the readathon at


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

13 thoughts on “Travel the World Readathon day 7 update

  • So excited you joined us! It’s nice to meet you! The Good Earth is one of those books that I cannot believe I haven’t read yet. Since Travel the World in Books is also a challenge, I am hoping to get it read for it sometime within the year.

    • Hi Heather. I wasn’t sure at first whether this was going to be a mystery story but he has made it much more about the characters of the apartment owner and his unwanted tenant.

  • Well love to say he does gather pace but I always view Marias a bit like the slow cooking movement it’s all about making most of the taste and time in his case words and unwinding a story slowly

  • momssmallvictories

    So glad you’ve joined us for the readathon and that it coincided with your holiday. I have been doing more blogging than reading but did get through 80 pages of Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand thus far. Several people have recommended The Good Earth to me this week so I really need to read it, i didn’t know it was the first in a trilogy. Nagasaki sounds good too. Hope you enjoy the next week.

    I read Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and even in translation, the writing was gorgeous and mesmerizing. I need to read the other two books in the series.

    • I enjoyed the Zafon book too and bought the follow up but have yet to read it

  • readerbuzz

    Nagasaki sounds very interesting.

  • I’ve been meaning to try Marais but now several people are saying they weren’t that keen, so I’m not as eager as I was.

    • I would say the jury is out for me right. Ow. I’m hoping I just get into his way of writing a little more

  • I hate to tell you but I had exactly the same problem with Marais. I think you either love his style or really can’t get on with it. Unfortunately, I fell very firmly into the latter camp.

    • I can see he is an acquired taste. I’m not ready to give up on him but if I do finish this I can’t see me reading anything further by him.


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