If you've always wanted to travel, but it's just not in the budget, this challenge is for you. The goal of the Books: Passports to the World challenge is to read a book a week set in a different country.
There are just under 200 recognized countries in the world today, my plan is to come up with books set in 52 of those places. Why 52? There are 52 weeks in a year, so each week I'll be posting a review of a book from one of the countries.
The challenge will run from January through December 2013. Read as many or as few books from the group bookshelf. Suggest books from countries around the world. Start discussions about books you've really liked or really disliked. Engage! The group will pick one book each quarter to discuss in a Google Hangout. If you're on Goodreads, feel free to join the group. Prefer Facebook instead? By all means, join that group.
If you're looking for books to add to your list, please feel free to check out the challenge bookshelf, where I'm tracking what I'm reading, as well as alternative books for those that want to read from a particular country, but may not want to read the book I've picked. Although the challenge won't officially kick off until 2013, I wanted to go ahead and add books to the shelves so you can start figuring out what you want to read in the upcoming months.
Books have been suggested for several countries, and they're already on the shelves, but feel free to add books for the countries already listed and for any not mentioned. A complete list of countries can be found here. If you don't see a particular country on the Goodreads shelf, it's because I haven't found a book set in that country and no one has recommended one yet. If you're looking for a book from a specific country, simply click on the country name and books tagged with that name will pop up. As you add books, please make sure to tag them with the name of the country so that others can find books by country easily.
I've picked the following books so far from the list of suggestions submitted:
Afghanistan: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
China: Snow Flower and Secret Fan by Lisa See
India: Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Iran: A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri
Japan: Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
North Korea: The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
Peru: Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa
Zimbabwe: Zenzele: Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozipo Maraire
Ready to sign up for the challenge and start creating your own list? Join the Goodreads group or Facebook page. Planning to blog about the challenge and the books you read? Leave a link to your blog below so fellow readers can check out your reviews.