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message 1: by Bookworm with Kids (last edited Jan 03, 2018 03:37PM) (new)

Bookworm with Kids Hi, I have chosen the Orient Express as my Geographical Challenge for this year. I will read I book from each of the countries that the Orient Express passed through. Because there have been many changes of route for the Orient Express, I have chosen 1890 as the route which passed through;
France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungry, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.
I will also read Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie - I feel that is very necessary!
I look forward to hearing everyone else's challenges.


message 2: by Maria Hill (new)

Maria Hill AKA MH Books (mariahilldublin) | 601 comments Bookworm with Kids wrote: "Hi, I have chosen the Orient Express as my Geographical Challenge for this year. I will read I book from each of the countries that the Orient Express passed through. Because there have been many c..."

Now that is a glamorous challenge!


Bookworm with Kids It sounds glamorous but I have just realised that I know very little about Czechoslovakian or Hungarian literature! It will make choosing books rather interesting!


message 4: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments I see our charge is :-choose a specific number of books to read across your country
I love the idea of a theme that crosses countries.
I came up with some ideas. The one I may go with is Latin American countries I have visited (10). I could go with Nobel Prize winners (there are 6), or general literary figures. Or a mixture of fiction, non-fiction (travel, history etc.), and poetry. Aim for 6 books.
Two other ideas for themes I had are Marco Polo's journeys -
https://www.livescience.com/27513-mar...
The Holy Land, Armenia, Persia, Afghanistan, the Pamir Mountains (http://www.thesilkroadchina.com/attra...), Mongolia (Gobi Desert), Beijing China

Another theme could be Women explorers/travelers
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...

I'll probably go with Latin America. The ideas are open to anyone who likes them.


message 5: by Maria Hill (new)

Maria Hill AKA MH Books (mariahilldublin) | 601 comments I am being a sad nerd about this one. :)

I decided that I wanted to read a proportional representation of Irish authors from all of the 32 Counties for the challenge. However as there is 1.2 million folk living in Dublin and only 32 thousand in say Leitrim that would mean reading 21 Dublin books for every 1 book in a smaller population county such as Leitrim. In total 105 books (yes I did the math of reading 1 book for every 61,000 people - Ex Scientist, current Accountant - what can I say - I have a spreadsheet :) ).


However, the maximum number of books I can read in a year is 24. So proportionally this means.

2 from Connaught: Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo and Galway.

9 from Leinster (of which 4-5 should be Dublin if we are being fair): Carlow, Dublin, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow

5 from Munster (there should be 2 from Cork to be fair): Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford

8 from Ulster (and again Antrim demands 2 to be fair). Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Donegal, Down, Fermanagh, Derry/Londonderry, Monaghan and Tyrone.

Then maybe in future years I can fill in the gaps and read books by authors from the entire Island of Ireland.

So very, very sad.


message 6: by Ali (new)

Ali (ali909) | 88 comments Bookworm with Kids wrote: "Hi, I have chosen the Orient Express as my Geographical Challenge for this year. I will read I book from each of the countries that the Orient Express passed through. Because there have been many c..."

I really like this idea!
though i am thinking, should a "Czechoslovakian" literature be represented as exactly that, i.e. when it was Czechoslovakia as one country, hence, books written prior to 1993? or should it be modern Czech Republic and Slovakia?...

I was thinking to get a list of 10 random countries and read one writer from each country.

Or picking a region, like Africa or Middle East or Asia and read 10 books from that region.


message 7: by Phil (new)

Phil geographical one is very intriguing though I generally read a variety of countries as it is. an idea inspired by the orient express would be the countries that the Danube flows through - Germany, Austria,Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia,Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine though 4 or 5 of them I have previously read books from (German authors have become a popular one for me in the last 3 years) but apart from Germany, it had been one only from those


message 8: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Maria wrote: "I am being a sad nerd about this one. :)

I decided that I wanted to read a proportional representation of Irish authors from all of the 32 Counties for the challenge. However as there is 1.2 milli..."


Would that mean you'd only read these books for the entire year? Even though I am not mathematical inclined, I can get nerdy with numbers so I understand your analytical approach.


message 9: by Jack (new)

Jack O'Rourke (jack_orourke) | 7 comments I'd like to join the Orient Express challenge, and have ordered Orient Express via the Bookmobile for our rural area in northern California. For now, to begin filling in my Express stations, I can kick things off by reporting on a Czech book I have just finished reading.

THE FESTIVAL OF INSIGNIFICANCE, By Milan Kundera

No doubt, some of you will have read "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," by Kundera, or may have seen the movie. I liked both. Kundera was born a Czech, and that novel and all his early novels were in Czech. "…Being" won a good deal of critical acclaim here when it was first published in English. Kundera is now living in France and writing in French.
I just finished reading his most recent novel, "The Festival of Insignificance," a rather slim novel just over 100 pages. It is structured around the social lives and party-going camaraderie of a small group of Frenchmen living in Paris. Some of their exploits and conversations are witty and thought provoking, but such a slim volume doesn’t allow for much in-depth character development. A few situations may stay with the reader.
(A spoiler, here, perhaps, but I think not significantly so) Alain’s mother, Madeline, did not want his birth. Instead of taking their usual precautions, the husband forcibly completed their intercourse without a condom, and Madeline became pregnant. She is so repulsed and angry that she attempts suicide, causing the death of a would-be rescuer. She goes ahead with the birth, but leaves Paris for America by herself immediately afterward. This of course has a lasting effect on Alain as he pries the facts from his father later—and from his mother in a bit of magic realism, as she rides behind him on his motorcycle. It’s poignantly revisited in several places in the novel.
Another thought-provoking setup is in some imagined conferences of Stalin with his cabinet members. The sheer wackiness of the setup captures the reader. How much is based on fact is beyond this reader, but apparently Stalin loved to pitch absurdities to his cabinet and kept them in session for countless hours just because he could. In one marathon session he purposely kept one of his ministers, a man named Kalinin who had a bad prostrate condition, from going to relieve himself in the men’s room until he wet his pants. As a consolation prize to his minister, Stalin decrees the famous city of Königsberg, birthplace of the great philosopher Immanuel Kant, shall be renamed Kaliningrad. I always wondered about that name! Also, Stalin’s recital to his captive audience of Kant’s most important idea is awesome:

“Kant’s most important idea, comrades, is ‘the thing in itself'—in German, 'das Ding an sich.’ Kant thought that behind our representations there is something objective, a ‘Ding,’ that we cannot know but that is real nonetheless. But that idea is wrong. There is nothing real behind our representations, no ‘thing in itself,’ no 'Ding an sich.' ”

Well, I always wondered what made the man tick, a man who is generally held responsible for about 25 million deaths of his countrymen during his dictatorship. His take on Kant is perhaps useful to ponder.
"...Festival" was an amusing, and sometimes thoughtful novel, and of course flawlessly written by this major writer.


message 10: by Maria Hill (new)

Maria Hill AKA MH Books (mariahilldublin) | 601 comments Barbara wrote: "Maria wrote: "I am being a sad nerd about this one. :)

I decided that I wanted to read a proportional representation of Irish authors from all of the 32 Counties for the challenge. However as ther..."


I will only be reading about 24 Irish Author books for the year but may read the full 105 over the next 4/5 years and thus read at least one book for every county in Ireland (way more for Dublin, Belfast [Antrim and Down] and Cork). I will be including Children's literature and YA - which may help with the numbers. I will also count any GRI quarterly reads that fit into the challenge too.

As well as this challenge I have also started to reread Stephen King from the start with another group - this will takes us 4/5 years too.

I will try to read most of the monthly reads with GRI.

Then I want to read at least some books off my huge TBR shelves and books friends have recommended etc.

I have read about 80 books this year - so I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew for 2018 - which is going to be an especially busy work year!


message 11: by Maria Hill (new)

Maria Hill AKA MH Books (mariahilldublin) | 601 comments Hi all I posted my challenge as a separate post so I could fill it in as I went through the year and to keep me honest :). I hope that Bookworm doesn't mind.


message 12: by Colleen (new)

Colleen | 1205 comments I want to do an Irish Challenge but I think I might need a little help point me in the right direction . Any suggestions ? I was wondering if
it's ok to count novels we read during the year if it applies to the challenge ?


message 13: by Maria Hill (new)

Maria Hill AKA MH Books (mariahilldublin) | 601 comments Colleen wrote: "I want to do an Irish Challenge but I think I might need a little help point me in the right direction . Any suggestions ? I was wondering if
it's ok to count novels we read during the year if it a..."


I am going to count novels we read as part of GRI if they happen to fit in. I think it's okay as it's a personal challenge? Plus it's the only way I can fit in 24 this year.

How many books are you planning to read? Is there a part of Ireland you are particularly interested in?


message 14: by Maria Hill (last edited Jan 02, 2018 10:48AM) (new)

Maria Hill AKA MH Books (mariahilldublin) | 601 comments Also for anyone interested in Ireland for the Geographical challenge I came across this map.

https://www.theliterarygiftcompany.co...

lit map


message 15: by Colleen (new)

Colleen | 1205 comments Well I could possibly read 16 . I went to count this quarterly read but I don't want to do only NI books . I don't know how to spread it out . I was wondering the book should take place in that location and not that the author lives there too . I think I'm overthinking lol.


message 16: by Maria Hill (new)

Maria Hill AKA MH Books (mariahilldublin) | 601 comments Colleen wrote: "Well I could possibly read 16 . I went to count this quarterly read but I don't want to do only NI books . I don't know how to spread it out . I was wondering the book should take place in that loc..."

Why don't you do the West Coast of Ireland along the Atlantic way? And select books that are set there - regardless of where the author comes from - it's very scenic so the locations of the books could possibly be more important?. Devlin's book is set just off the east coast of Northern Ireland - so you could start there and travel west along the coast then south as far as Cork in your book journey?

https://www.wildatlanticway.com/explo...


message 17: by Maria Hill (new)

Maria Hill AKA MH Books (mariahilldublin) | 601 comments Declan wrote: "I'm trying to think of a possible theme to incorporate the midlands, but I'm struggling. I'm a little ashamed of this, with my grandmother's family hailing from Laois/Offaly. ."

Train journeys? Or Irelands pilgrim paths ? http://www.pilgrimpath.ie/irelands-pi...


message 18: by Maria Hill (new)

Maria Hill AKA MH Books (mariahilldublin) | 601 comments I like the castle one. I wonder why most of them are on the east coast - probably something to do with the Normans I guess.


message 19: by Cathleen (new)

Cathleen | 2409 comments Maria wrote: "Also for anyone interested in Ireland for the Geographical challenge I came across this map.

https://www.theliterarygiftcompany.co...

"

What a beautiful map. Thanks for posting that, Maria :).


message 20: by Colleen (new)

Colleen | 1205 comments Thank you Maria and Declan for your help . I was thinking of starting in NI .My youngest daughter and I took a bus from Belfast to Dublin a couple of summers ago so I thought I would start there and continue on and do the right side of Ireland and maybe do the left side next year but then I realized I couldn't count The House Where it Happened and I want to lol so maybe I'll start there and up and then down ? I suppose if I am modeling this after a bus ride I will have to read them in some order but I think it will be fun.


message 21: by Maria Hill (new)

Maria Hill AKA MH Books (mariahilldublin) | 601 comments Colleen wrote: "Thank you Maria and Declan for your help . I was thinking of starting in NI .My youngest daughter and I took a bus from Belfast to Dublin a couple of summers ago so I thought I would start there an..."

The house where it happened "happens" off the Antrim Coast (the author's from Tyronne) - so it's on the right-hand side of Ireland and just North of Belfast. So excellent start for your Bus journey.

Also, I just checked my copy of the book which has a map at the front and realised Martina Devlin signed my copy back in 2014. It's been sitting unread for that long!


message 22: by Kara (new)

Kara | 106 comments I'm really excited about this years challenge. although I'm having a tough time deciding to do either Ireland or Italy seeing how I'm half and half. I got to get a map of Italy and their counties and see how easy it would for me to get these books.

Best of luck to anyone participating in this years challenge!


message 23: by Colleen (new)

Colleen | 1205 comments Maria wrote: "Colleen wrote: "Thank you Maria and Declan for your help . I was thinking of starting in NI .My youngest daughter and I took a bus from Belfast to Dublin a couple of summers ago so I thought I woul..."

Thank you Maria , I guess that settles my challenge . 16 book bus tour of the east coast of Ireland.
I looked at my copy and it has a map too .That's awesome that she signed and now finally you're reading it .I hope we like it :)


message 24: by Colleen (new)

Colleen | 1205 comments Kara wrote: "I'm really excited about this years challenge. although I'm having a tough time deciding to do either Ireland or Italy seeing how I'm half and half. I got to get a map of Italy and their counties a..."

Kara there are a lot of books that have been translated into English from Italian . My Brilliant Friend is one I can think of but it might be fun .What direction do you want to go in ? Would you be including Sicily?


message 25: by Maria Hill (new)

Maria Hill AKA MH Books (mariahilldublin) | 601 comments Kara wrote: "I'm really excited about this years challenge. although I'm having a tough time deciding to do either Ireland or Italy seeing how I'm half and half. I got to get a map of Italy and their counties a..."

My favourite Italian book last year was Ties - I am not sure where in Italy it was set though?


message 26: by Colleen (new)

Colleen | 1205 comments Maria that looks good !


message 27: by Kara (new)

Kara | 106 comments thank you mom and Maria!

yes I am planning on including apart of Sicily to it as well.


message 28: by Andy (last edited Jan 04, 2018 07:41AM) (new)

Andy (_btp) | 311 comments Thinking of Irish Meridian Challenge
taking in all countries that lie on the lines of longitude that pass through Ireland
from 10th West through to 7th West - 16 countries

might expand to do Great Circles around the world
from 170th East to 173rd East - just 4 more countries as it's mostly Pacific Ocean

opening a thread to track here
If anyone has any suggestions for some of the more challenging countries they would be greatly appreciated


message 29: by Susan (new)

Susan | 4707 comments You people are all so wonderful and creative. I was just going to read Irish county books but you have shamed me. I am thinking of combining two interests of mine- Ireland and the Vikings. Maybe I could read books involving the Vikings in different counties of Ireland. I don't know. I'll have to mull this over.


message 30: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Maria wrote: "Also for anyone interested in Ireland for the Geographical challenge I came across this map.

https://www.theliterarygiftcompany.co...

"

I love it!!


message 31: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (bdegar) | 4626 comments Susan wrote: "You people are all so wonderful and creative. I was just going to read Irish county books but you have shamed me. I am thinking of combining two interests of mine- Ireland and the Vikings. Maybe I ..."

Ooo ooo! What I'd do is Vikings in Ireland AND Scotland. It is so interesting to note their heavy influence in places like Shetland, Orkney and the Hebrides:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scandin...
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/20/tr...


message 32: by Susan (new)

Susan | 4707 comments What an interesting article, Barbara. I loved the Orkney/Shetland connection. Thank you.


message 33: by Peter (new)

Peter (peterdonnelly) | 35 comments As a geographical challenge with 7 waypoints, I can't help thinking that with 7 continents I should challenge myself to read 3 books per continent - 21 books in the year. Maybe set a few rules such as:
No countries twice (except Antartica).
The stories must be based in those countries to gain an insight into other places. Author affiliation to the place not required.
Achieve a specific continent goal for each waypoint.

If someone thinks this is worth a separate discussion thread let me know otherwise I'll just keep comments in the general discussion. I'm also very new to Goodreads so not sure if this has been done before.


message 34: by Elanna (new)

Elanna | 31 comments If I am still in time to start, I have some books about Artic and Antartic exploration that wait on my shelf...


Bookworm with Kids Elanna, you can join the challenge anytime! We would love to hear about your books!


message 36: by Elanna (new)

Elanna | 31 comments I have
The Explorer's Eye: First-Hand Accounts of Adventure and Exploration that contains stories of the Poles
and
Shackleton's Boat: The Story of the James Caird that narrates the incredible story of the final, gruelling challenge the Shackleton expedition had to face after a winter stuck in the frozen sea and a inhuman drifting odyssey by boat.

Then I am looking for a good book on the infamous disaster expedition of the Erebus and the Terror. I took an interest to it while reading Solomon Gursky Was Here, that contains the most hilarious parody of the British Victorian explorer's cliché I have ever read. This expedition was the exact opposite of Shackleton's failed one to Antartica. While Shackleton brought home each and every man of the crew against all odds, Franklin and his men managed to make all the wrong decisions, arriving to resort to cannibalism rather than ask for the Inuits' help. The ships have only been found recently, after more than a century and a half.

I also would like to read something on the "rational" approach that made the Norwegians so successful when compared to the "sentimental" british explorers, as this interesting article argues.

So, this sounds very roughly like a plan...


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