Also, karlamrich: C is upstairs right now reading the first Chet Gecko book. He started it tonight. When I asked him how he likes it so far, he said, "I'm already up to chapter six, and it's getting pretty interesting." (If you'd heard his tone of voice, you would realize that the words themselves are an understatement). :D Thanks for the recommendation - I can tell he's really enjoying it! :) ETA: He's now up to chapter 10, and it's "really getting good!" Now he's telling me something about a mean third-grade gila monster, and how sometimes teenagers can behave "way over the top." I'm letting him stay up WAY past his bedtime reading. I LOVE IT! :D
Okay . . . now, less specific book stuff. Firstly, I now have an RSS feed of all my book reviews (as posted on LibraryThing). Why? Because I CAN. :D And someday, I'm sure I'll get extra geek points on some meme because I'll be able to check off the question asking if I've ever set up my own RSS feed. ;) Still, it's out there, and it would be kinda nifty if at least someone other than me was subscribed. *winkwinknudgenudgesaynomore* So, if you like reading my book reviews, and want to make sure you don't miss any of them, feel free to friend hbdreviews. If you're thinking, "but I can already read them on your journal," BWAH! I only post some of my reviews here. Admittedly, I usually post the ones that I think will be of interest, but who knows? You might be missing something fantastic! *pimppimppimp* Enough about that . . . moving on to the real reason for this post:
A couple of weeks ago, I saw that someone was doing a book reading challenge called Books Across Borders (or something similar), the idea being to read a certain number of books which pertain to places other than the places you usually read about. Both books that are set in far-away places (unless that's all you read about, in which case, I guess you'd look for books set close to home), and books which were originally written in other languages, and translated (or not, depending on your language skills) into English.
Well, I don't feel like formally doing another challenge this year, but I thought it would be kind of a cool idea to see just "where" I've done my reading. So, I put together a couple of nifty maps. The first, a map of all the countries I can remember "visiting" in novels I've read; the second, a similar map of U.S. states. (In both cases, I only counted fiction. I'm sure I could add a few places if I included non-fiction; maybe I'll do that later). I've also got lists of representative books from each place (titles are italicized if the book was written in a language other than English). Here they are:
Countries I've Visited in Books:
Algeria: "The Eight"
Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Belgian Congo): "The Poisonwood Bible"
Egypt: "The House at Luxor"
Kenya" "The Last Time They Met"
Sudan: "Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination"
Bangladesh: "White Teeth"
South Korea: "A Single Shard"
India: "The Life of Pi"
China: "The Good Earth"
Thailand: "Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason"
Australia: "Pobby and Dingan"
Central America/Caribbean ~
Guatemala: "Grave Secrets"
Haiti: "Breath, Eyes, Memory"
Jamaica: "White Teeth"
Belgium: "Lady and the Unicorn"
Denmark: "Smilla's Sense of Snow" (original language: Danish)
France: "Phantom of the Opera" (original language: French)
The Netherlands: "Girl With a Pearl Earring"
Ireland: "Red Branch"
Germany: "Stones from the River"
Hungary: "The Thirst"
Italy: "The Agony and the Ecstasy"
Scotland: "The Haunted Mountain"
Spain: "Sleeping Tiger"
Switzerland: "Heidi" (original language: German)
United Kingdom: "Pride and Prejudice"
Russia: "Master and Margarita" (original language: Russian)
Vatican City: "Angels and Demons"
Wales: "Here Be Dragons"
Israel: "The Body"
Syria: "Beloved" (by Beatrice Small)
North America ~
Canada: "The Shipping News"
Greenland: "Smilla's Sense of Snow" (original language: Danish)
United States: See map of states
Brazil: "The Hunted - A Vampire Huntress Legend"
Chile: "Daughter of Fortune" (original language: Spanish)
Colombia: "White Cargo"
Peru: "Inca Gold"
There are some weird gaps here - for example, I'm sure I've read something set in Mexico, but I couldn't remember anything. So, I'll add things as I remember - and read new ones! I've already got one on the horizon - when I finish "Phantom," I'll get to add Iran.
U.S. States I've Visited in Books:
Alabama: "To Kill a Mockingbird"
Alaska: "The Goldcamp Vampire"
Arkansas: "Grave Sight"
California: "The Bonesetter's Daughter"
Connecticut: "The Witch of Blackbird Pond"
Florida: "Before Women Had Wings"
Georgia: "Cold Sassy Tree"
Illinois: "Deep End of the Ocean"
Iowa: "Bridges of Madison County"
Kansas: "Little House on the Prairie"
Kentucky: "Icy Sparks"
Louisiana: "Cane River"
Maine: "Pet Sematary"
Massachussetts: "The Dante Club"
Michigan: "Song of Solomon"
Minnesota: "Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons"
Mississippi: "A Time to Kill"
Missouri: "Guilty Pleasures"
Montana: "The Straw Men"
New Hampshire: "Vanishing Acts"
New Jersey: "The Rule of Four"
New York: "Lake of Dead Languages"
North Carolina: "Gap Creek"
Ohio: "The Bluest Eye"
Oklahoma: "Where the Red Fern Grows"
Pennsylvania: "Plain Truth"
South Carolina: "The Secret Life of Bees"
Tennessee: "The Rosewood Casket"
Texas: "Track of the Cat"
Vermont: "The Secret History"
Virginia: "Meg and the Mystery in Williamsburg"
Washington: "Snow Falling on Cedars"
Washington, D.C.: "River, Cross My Heart"
West Virginia: "Sins of the Seventh Sister"
Wisconsin: "Cat Magic"
I enjoyed putting that list together, and I'll try and keep it updated. Maybe it will inspire me to visit some new places in my reading.