Friday, January 18, 2013

Challenges and Wish Books for 2013

Source
70 Books Reading Challenge*
In 2012, I participated in several challenges and succeeded in completing them all. In fact, they were the reason I read the largest haul of books since I started blogging in 2009 and I began tracking my reading habits and statistics. It is therefore amazing that I have not as yet stated, at least not openly, challenges I'm participating in, in 2013. Whilst I'm yet to create my own challenges - at least apart from the one I'm 'covertly' participating in - I've also not joined any external challenge, yet.

The only challenge I have in mind, and which I've been working towards, is to sustain my reading intensity by challenging myself to 70 books, just like I did in 2012. This would mean that I embark on heavy book purchases this year as I'm gradually running-out of unread books. 

Minor Challengers, subject to book availability
Non-Fiction: There are however books I would love to read this year. To bridge the gap between reading for fun and recreation and reading to gain knowledge in specific areas of life, I would, the availability of books permitting, be reading relatively more non-fiction (anything greater than 11 - the number read in 2012). Key wish themes/subjects/areas I would want to gain more knowledge on are:
  1. Development, Culture and the Human Mind;
  2. Thought and Language;
  3. Philosophical, Political and Economic writings about nation states and humanity;
The following titles were offered by friends on facebook and twitter after I made the request for books that fit the above themes. Note they are not exhaustive and further additions (and supplies) will be welcome:
  1. Thought and Language - Levy Vygotsky
  2. The Myth we Live by - Mary Midgley
  3. How to Travel with a Salmon and Other Essays - Umberto Eco
  4. Tradition, Culture and Development in Africa - Historical Lessons for Modern Development and Planning - Ambe J. Njoh
  5. Poor Numbers: How we are Misled by African Development Statistics and what to do about it - Cornell Studies in Political Economy - Morten Jerven
Fiction (Russo-lit): The fact that Russian authors have dominated the literary world, with the fine writings, before is an indisputable fact. In one breath one can name Nabokov, Dostoevsky, Bulgakov, Pushkin, Chekhov, Solzhenitsyn, Gogol and others. It is therefore a literary crime to not have read a Russian. Again, I look up to reading, but not limited to, these writers:
  1. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  2. Brothers of Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
  3. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
  4. Notes from the Undergound - Fyodor Dostoevsky
  5. The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov
  6. The Dreamlife of Sukhanov - Olga Grushin
  7. Other Russian writers I will get.
Fiction (African): Funny enough, on the continent of Africa, the most difficult books to get are African-authored books. Ever since, Heinemann ended their African Writers Series book circulation amongst African countries have declined (my observations, might not be the fact). This is so even in the face of the sudden increase in publishing houses. For instance, it is easier to get a Toni Morrison in Ghana than to get a South African writer. Actually, apart from Gordimer, South African writers are hard to come by. It is even difficult to lay one's hand on books published by publishers in next door Nigeria. However, if I get them, I look forward to reading:
  1. Broken Glass  - Alain Mabanckou
  2. African Psycho - Alain Mabanckou
Fiction (Other Writers): There are other writers I still would love to read including some Nobel Laureates. The following are books that make the remaining wishlist:
  1. The Wooden Tongue - Bogdan Tiganov
  2. Romanians: Contradictions and Realities - Bogdan Tiganov
  3. Prague Cemetery - Umberto Eco
  4. The Name of Rose - Umberto Eco
  5. Focault's Pendulum - Umberto Eco
  6. Love in the time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  7. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  8. In Praise of Stepmother - Mario Vargas
  9. Face of Another - Kobe Abe
  10. Women in the Dunes - Kobe Abe
  11. The Summer my Father Died - Yudit Kiss
Conclusion
Knowing the difficulty to get books, I will definitely settle with the major challenge and work towards the minor challenges as and when I get the books. At least, it is good enough to wish.
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* For practical reasons such as the sizes of books I have picked up to read this year, I have revised this figure to 60 books. (February, 2013)

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations on reading 70 books in 2012. That's a lot of books, and many of them were heavy. Your list of 2013 look heavy as well. I'm sure you'll be able to reach your goal. Have you ever thought about buying a Kindle? It makes getting access to books so much easier.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks NP.No, I've not thought about using a Kindle. I just don't know why I'm not so much keen on that. Perhaps with time I'll warm myself to it.

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