Welcome to our World Party Reading Challenge

 

UPDATE: The World Party Reading Challenge is now over – but we made some great discoveries – you can read the related posts at the following links…

Afghanistan
Turkey
Greece
Iran
England
Ireland
Jamaica
Pakistan
Russia
Spain
Thailand

It’s an exciting day here at Packabook as we kick off our World Party Reading Challenge – a challenge which has been gifted to us from the owner of the Fizzy Thoughts Blog after she decided she was not cut out for such a long term project.

Thanks Softdrink and a big welcome to Fizzy Thoughts followers who have come to visit us at Packabook and see what we are all about.

While it would be impossible for me to imitate Softdrink’s delightful and unique reviewing style, I am sure we can tap into some of the enthusiasm she was able to generate with her 12-month challenge to celebrate a country each month by reading a book which is set there.

The challenge is about getting a real sense of place, of delving into a country’s history and culture through fiction and fabulous characters.Blue Girl Reading

And we need your help.

This is how it will work.

Each month I will write a post on a particular country with a selection of novels for you to consider reading. I will choose one of those novels and discuss it in greater detail, including some fascinating facts related to the story that I dig up from the internet or possibly my own travels.
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You can then choose one of the novels from the list or tell us about something else you have read set in that country. You’ll be able to post comments, and links to your own blog where you discuss the book (or books!)

To make the most of the challenge I’d encourage you to follow Packabook on Facebook and Twitter as much of the discussion will move over there, so that regular blog readers who do not want to be part of the challenge are not inundated with our compelling insights and stimulating comments…(are they listening….are they tempted yet?).

And that’s it. By the end of the month we are going to have a fantastic resource to look back on, and will no doubt feel as if we have traveled to the country itself!

While the challenge will officially begin in the first week of October, I’m giving you a few days head start.

We are going to kick-off with a country at the beginning of the alphabet and head to Afghanistan.

I will be focusing on Andrea Busfield’s Born Under a Million Shadows. Feel free to join me with that one, or read something else.

Here’s a great list of books set in Afghanistan to give you some ideas, and if you haven’t yet read Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns, I can’t recommend them enough.

So are you ready?

Here’s your checklist.
1) Let us know in the comments below that you are taking part, and feel free to post a link to a blog post of your own where you discuss it.
2) Like us on Facebook
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Choose a book set in Afghanistan
5) Start reading
6) And if you are a blogger and fancy putting a button on your blog. Here’s the code..

<div align="center"><a href="http://packabook.com/blog/432/welcome-to-our-world-party-reading-challenge/" title="World Party Reading Challenge" target="_blank"><img src="http://packabook.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/worldpartybutton-e1294045620352.jpg" alt="World Party Reading Challenge" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

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Suzi

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Comments

  1. Martha G

    Very late in signing up, but I just heard about the challenge. I have some catching up to do.

    [Reply]

    packabook Reply:

    Welcome Martha. Don’t worry – we are happy to take your comments and reviews any time. The idea is to build up lots of views for books on each country which will be there for evermore. So feel free to just jump in with this month’s challenge – Iran – or start at the beginning, whichever works for you.

    [Reply]

  2. Charlotte

    I’m a little late joining in officially, but I have been reading The Bookseller of Kabul, I’ve heard good things about it. This challenge seems like a great way to expand your reading horizons. Looking forward to it!

    [Reply]

    packabook Reply:

    Hi Charlotte. Welcome aboard. I really enjoyed ‘Bookseller of Kabul’. It’s interesting though, many years later, there is quite a lot of controversy about it. http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/news/2010/08/100802_bookseller_nh_sl.shtml
    Despite this, I think it makes a hugely valuable contribution to literature related to Afghanistan. I look forward to hearing your thoughts…
    Suzi

    [Reply]

  3. Crystal

    So on it! Doing it with a bit of EthnoLit’s own style though. Reading books BY authors of the country-of-the-month’s heritage.
    Bam.
    Started off with Atiq Rahimi’s Earth and Ashes.

    [Reply]

    Crystal Reply:

    Oh right. Also, here’s a link to the shout out to the Challenge on my site: http://ethnolite.wordpress.com/2010/10/02/world-party-reading-challenge/

    [Reply]

    packabook Reply:

    I have never been one to go for short books – always think I am getting better value with a big one, but your review convinces me to give ‘Earth and Ashes’ a try. I don’t know enough about Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation.

    [Reply]

    Crystal Reply:

    Thanks! It took me a while to cave and buy this one off the shelf (always feel like it’s not enough bang for the buck when it’s small), but I’m glad I did. Besides, references in the novella sent me directly to the Shahnameh by Ferdowsi, which certainly satisfies the meatier book cravings. Thanks again! Looking forward to the challenge!

  4. Kristen

    Joining a tad late but looking forward to it!

    [Reply]

    packabook Reply:

    Oh – it’s never too late. Great to have you on board Kristen. Any thoughts on what book you are going to read?

    Suzi

    [Reply]

  5. Suzanne

    I’m re-joining the party! Thanks for reviving it.
    I think I will join you in reading Born Under a Million Shadows — it looks fascinating.

    [Reply]

    packabook Reply:

    Excellent choice! Welcome Suzanne…
    Suzi

    [Reply]

  6. beastmomma

    Here is a link to my challenge post: http://beastmomma.squarespace.com/from-shelf-to-hand/2010/3/16/world-party-reading-challenge.html

    I will update the reading list as I make selections.

    [Reply]

  7. beastmomma

    I am so excited for the return of World Party! I need to find my original post and update. Thanks for binging the challenge back to life and I will post again with my updated link.

    [Reply]

    packabook Reply:

    Thanks beastmomma – looking forward to your post. And having you as part of the challenge!
    Suzi

    [Reply]

  8. Erin

    This is wonderful! I’m so excited! My question: what about nonfiction? I’m thinking mostly of memoirs, about living in, traveling through, or growing up in a certain country. Do those count? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    packabook Reply:

    Oh yes – I think we can sneak some of that in. I love a good memoir – it’s almost like a proper story!
    Suzi

    [Reply]

    Erin Reply:

    I’m in! I’m starting off with A Thousand Splendid Suns for October. I haven’t gotten around to posting about the challenge, but I hope to get to it this week or next.

    I’m excited…I think this challenge will be a lot of fun and get me to read more broadly than I might otherwise! Thanks for hosting it!

    [Reply]

  9. Kari

    I’m so glad you’re taking over this challenge! I tried to participate the first time around, but I only ended up reading one book (though it was always in the back of my head to work on it)! These countries look a little easier to find books about, also. Looking forward to it!

    [Reply]

    packabook Reply:

    Definitely hope we are going to be able to help you to find books. The problem will be trying to choose just one of them – there’s so many great ones out there. Welcome Kari…

    Suzi

    [Reply]

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