The South West reading passport is back and I’m exited! The challenge is to pick a shiny reading passport and then read and review books from all continents on the Earth (plus one extra for good measure, leaving you with six reads). For a manic reader and reviewer like myself, this is a gift straight from the gods and I joyfully marched to Plymouth Central Library to pick my choices.
First of all, don’t forget that most of the literature kept in Plymouth Library is either written by European novelists or set in Europe or both. That makes Europe a doddle to finish but there are several other continents you need to cover! To help with this issue, you can pick up specially made reading lists for each continent, which features lists of books and authors that could interest you. This made finding novels a world easier for me, though I also enjoyed the game of hide and seek that began to arise. Seeking out that one book that has a Russian-sounding author name or perhaps even just a book with an exotic cover became amazingly rewarding and sooner than you might expect I was already loaded down with a series of books.
North America: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
Set in Wisconsin, America, Edgar is a mute and a dog breeder who lives with his parents. When his uncle shows up, tragedy strikes the family and Edgar has to leave the home and live in the wilderness. Will he ever return home? Well, I have a feeling he does but this novel really appealed to me on the basis of the main character. A mute dog breeder? And the dog breed is “unique”? I need to get me some of that!
Asia: The Jewel Of Medina by Sherry Jones
I had to force myself not to get a book from China or Japan as the whole point of this reading challenge is to find books that you wouldn’t normally read. I chose this novel as the subject matter sounds absolutely fascinating: the wife of the prophet Mohammed. With so many reviews on the cover stating that she is an amazing female protagonist set in a time where there are usually so few, I decided to take on this novel despite my non-existence of knowledge regarding Islam. I hope that doesn’t affect my reading.
South America: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
South America turned out to be the hardest country to find, so I suppose to an extent I chose this book purely on the fact that I found it. That said, I did find the back cover to be deeply interesting and I think I may have a comedy on my hands, where a hostage situation actually turns out to be for the benefit of those involved and something of a paradise is formed.
Australasia: Diamond Dove by Adrian Hyland
The book I have the most reservations about, I picked up this novel the moment I recognised that it involved Aborigine culture. My heart sank a little though when I saw “based on Maori culture” written on the back and I’m concerned this may be something similar to a film that is “inspired by a true story”. That said, this story of a crime that involves the Maori people may turn out to be very interesting and I will have to give it the benefit of the doubt for now.
Europe: The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by G.W. Dahlquist
I got this book out purely based on its amazing title, which has to be up there amongst the worst reasons to pick a book. With a grand ball, assassins and a shadowy underground culture that a young woman finds herself entangled by, I’m hoping for amazing things from this book as my Europe read!
So those are my South West Reading Passport reads! Time to get started!