Why are we reading,
if not in hope of beauty laid bare,
life heightened and its deepest mystery probed?
~ Annie Dillard

A Year of Reading Around the World

Ann Morgan’s memoir (The World Between Two Covers) tells the story of her year of global reading.  After noting that her bookshelves held only authors from Britain and North America, the British author and blogger decided to broaden her scope. In 2012, the year of London’s Olympics, she gave herself the challenge of reading a book in English from every country in the world (196).  In a highly engaging manner, her book and TED talk relate her experiences trying to identify books in English from these varied parts of the world and the impact of immersing herself in the content, form, and voices of these stories.  Readers of her blog responded to inquiries about what she should read with lists, detective work, and packages mailed full of books.

Ann Morgan’s TED talk

A Year of Reading the World: The List

Writing Exercise

How have you been reading around the world? Do you read in more than one language? How does reading in translation or in a non-fluent second language affect your engagement with the story? Have you any favourite books written in countries beyond your own, written in languages beyond your own?

In university I loved reading Tolstoy and Dostoevsky in translation. I was awe-struck when later a Russian literature teacher led my student group on a walking tour in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) — showing us the very sites where Raskolnikov meandered during his anguish in Crime and Punishment.  The joys of reading prepared me to be emotionally moved by the city, while walking the city streets of the book enabled me to appreciate the narrative all the more.  How about you?

Aging Research at McMaster

With this unselfie shadow photo,

I bid you adieu