Reading Resolutions: Read Around the World


February 8th is Chinese New Year, so we’re looking to the rest of the world for this week’s inspiration. One of our reading resolutions for 2016 is to read more books in translation, but we’d have to read full-time to catch up with Ann Morgan! An avid reader and blogger, Ann set herself a serious challenge back in 2012. Inspired by the London Olympics, she vowed to read one book from each of the sovereign states recognised by the UN- 196 in total. Her readers selected Kurdistan to represent “the rest”, from a longlist which included the Antarctic and Native America. Ann may have struggled to find books to read without input from followers worldwide. The Society of Authors believe that translations make up just 3% of books published in the UK each year. A book has to make a considerable impact in its home country before English-language publishers will begin the lengthy process of translation- and it takes real skill to retain the subtlety and style of the original. You can find out more about working as a translator here and here.

How do you read 197 books in one year? Ann vowed to read 150 pages per day, mostly during her commute to work, and averaged out at 4 books per week. We envy her commitment!

We’ve checked the list against our catalogue for books available for you to borrow now. One trip to the Book Zone could take you as far as Canada, Colombia or Pakistan!


Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns BOOK ZONE 823.92 HOS


Markus Zusak, The Book Thief NORFOLK HOUSE 823.92 ZUS


The Book Thief, set in Nazi Germany, is written by Australian Markus Zusak, who has a German mother and an Austrian father.  


Alice Munro, The View From Castle Rock BOOK ZONE 823.92 MUN

Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient BOOK ZONE/NORFOLK HOUSE 823.91 OND

Carol Shields, The Stone Diaries BOOK ZONE 823.91 SHI


Isabel Allende, City of the Beasts BOOK ZONE 823.91 ALL


Wu Ch’Eng-En, Monkey (Journey to the West) QUICK READS 823.91 WU

Xiaolu Guo, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers BOOK ZONE 823.91 GUO


Journey to the West has been retold on screen, on stage and in video games


Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude BOOK ZONE 863.64


Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea BOOK ZONE 823.91 RHY


Gunter Grass, The Tin Drum BOOK ZONE 833.91 GRA

Herman Hesse, Narziss and Goldmund BOOK ZONE 833.91 HES

Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings NORFOLK HOUSE 193 BEN


Rohinton Mistry, Family Matters BOOK ZONE 823.91 MIS

Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy BOOKZONE 823.91 SET


James Joyce, Ulysses BOOK ZONE 823.91 JOY

Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture BOOK ZONE/NORFOLK HOUSE 823.92 BAR

Flann O’Brien, At Swim-Two-Birds BOOK ZONE 823.91 OBR


James Joyce’s lyrical novels bring tourists from around the world to Dublin, Ireland.


David Grossman, Lion’s Honey: the Myth of Samson BOOK ZONE 823.91 GRO


Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore BOOK ZONE 823.91 MUR

Yukio Mishima, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea BOOK ZONE 823.91 MIS


From Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore

New Zealand

Lloyd Jones, Mr Pip BOOK ZONE 823.91 JON

Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries NORFOLK HOUSE 823.92 CAT


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun BOOK ZONE 823.91 ADI

Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart NORFOLK HOUSE 823.91 ACH


Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist NORFOLK HOUSE 823.92 HAM


Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina BOOK ZONE 891.733 TOL



Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Shadow of the Wind BOOK ZONE 823.91 RUI

Miguel de Cervantes, The Adventures of Don Quixote BOOK ZONE 863.3 CER


John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In BOOK ZONE 823.91 AJV


Let the Right One In was adapted for the screen in Swedish before it was remade in English for an American audience

Trinidad and Tobago

VS Naipal, A House for Mr Biswas BOOK ZONE 823.91 NAI

Monique Roffey, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle BOOK ZONE 823.92 ROF


Deborah Levy, Swimming Home BOOK ZONE 823.92 LEV

JK Rowling, Harry Potter series BOOK ZONE 823.91 ROW

Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse NORFOLK HOUSE 823.91 WOO

Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day BOOK ZONE 823.91 ISH


Barbara Kingsolver, The Lacuna BOOK ZONE/NORFOLK HOUSE 823.91 KIN

Neil Gaiman, Sandman: Endless Nights QUICK READS (GRAPHIC NOVELS) 822.33 GAI

Cormac McCarthy, The Road BOOK ZONE 823.91 MCC

Amy Tan, The Bonesetter’s Daughter BOOK ZONE 813.54 TAN

Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49 BOOK ZONE 823.91 PYN


Ann shares photographs of bookshops from around the world on Instagram and uses Facebook to host her Book of the Month club. You can watch her 12-minute TED Talk over on YouTube. Can you think of any books from your home country that have been translated into English? Share your recommendations over on our Facebook page– is the translation as good as the original?

Keep reading Between the Lines for updates on our Reading Resolutions and hints to help you complete your Reading Ahead diary. Don’t forget that you have until June to complete the Reading Ahead Challenge, where you could win an all-expenses trip for two to London!


Vaate, E Occupy hotspots accessed at on 08/02/2016

Garbato, K 2012-08-11 – The Book Thief – 0005 accessed at on 08/02/2016

Wang, A MONKEY JOURNEY TO THE WEST accessed at on 08/02/2016

SteHLiverpool James Joyce Statue, Dublin accessed at on 08/02/2016

solarisgirl Happy Valentine’s Day ! accessed at on 08/02/2016

daBinsi My cat Louie reads Tolstoy! accessed at on 08/02/2016

McDiarmid, A The Cameo accessed at on 08/02/2016


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