Here's the challenge: commit to reading 50 books and watching 50 movies in the next year! (Find out more...)
So where are you going this year?
What good are books, if not to help us escape?
One theme I'm proposing for fiftyfiftyme is "PASSPORT", where we (or hey, just me) read books from or about various areas of the world. Armchair travel to the fullest. And with this theme the possibilities are literally endless; fiction, nonfiction, foreign authors, or just any book set abroad in some exotic foreign location.
(Reminder: a Theme can be part of your reading; it doesn't have to dictate all 50+ of your books)
Here's a peek at my growing personal list for this theme... (prepare yourself, there are a lot of books on here that I should have already read by now):
Power of One (S. Africa)
Interpreter of Maladies (India)
In the Time of the Butterflies (Dominican Republic)
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (memoir, Sierra Leone)
Old Man and the Sea (Cuba)
The Joke (Czech Republic)
Searching for Hassan (Iran)
The Birth of Venus (Italy)
Killing Pablo (nonfiction, Colombia)
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (China)
Maus I (Poland)
The Sea (Ireland)
Now, that's just my list, and all of those are obviously (as per our FAQs!) unread.
Not sure where to start? Well, here is a list of me-approved international literature (meaning I've read them, endorse them, and would hand my beloved copy to you if only the internets were not keeping us apart, dear friend!)
Milan Kundera -- anything he writes!!! (Czech Republic) <-- he is my "desert island book" author btw
Memoirs of a Geisha (Japan)
The House of the Spirits (Chile)
The Penelopiad (Greece)
Last Song of Dusk (India)
Iran Awakening (memoir, Iran)
Sky of Red Poppies (disclaimer: related to author -- but it's genuinely fantastic; Iran)
What is the What (pan-Africa, Sudan)
City of Thieves (Russia)
The Archivist's Story (Russia)
Those are just off the top of my head, and granted, but for me most of them were relatively swift reads.
If you really want to step it up (or just get ideas), check out this Around the World in 80 Books challenge on goodreads. Um, yeah. And you thought 50 books was bad ;)
If you need some inspiration and book lists, this is a great website I stumbled upon: Books Around the World, where readers compile book suggestions from around the world:
Or you could pick up a more literal travel memoir (is it time you read Eat, Pray, Love?) If you're in Southern California, pay your respects to Traveler's Bookcase and see what you find!
(note: a post on Passport/Films will be forthcoming!)