And the award goes to…

Not that it needs it, but I’ve decided to pass on a Liebster Award to A year of reading the world. 73 bloggers have liked the What I’m doing page so it is not short of followers. But I am quite taken with the task Ann has given herself (do clink the above link to find out more) and also the lively, entertaining and direct style in which she writes her accounts of the books she has read. They do not confine themselves to the books but throw light on how, where and when she read them. I thought her solution to the problem of reading such a large and difficult novel as Ulysses to be both simple and elegant. Check it out here.

And now my questions for Ann.

1) Do you feel you are beginning to see national styles emerging from the books you are reading?

2) In what ways could ebooks make your search easier?

3) Are there any languages in which you could read without an English translation?

4) What is the value to you of the project you are doing?

5) What comes next after you have read all 196 books?

6) Which book would you take to the country of its birth and why?

I look forward to reading her answers.

Ann can then ask her questions of the blog she chooses to pass on the Liebster award.

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  1. Many thanks for this. Just the spur I need as I prepare to write the 15th to last post!

    I’m afraid my crazy posting schedule means I can’t do extra posts for passing on awards, but I will certainly answer your questions. Here goes nothing:

    1) Do you feel you are beginning to see national styles emerging from the books you are reading?

    Tricky to answer that one. As I’m only reading one book from each country, I’m wary of making generalisations – I wouldn’t like it if someone claimed to be able to speak for all of British literature on the strength of only reading Great Expectations! That said, there are some regional trends I’ve noticed. There’s a strong tradition of trying to confuse the reader in North African fiction, for example.

    2) In what ways could ebooks make your search easier?

    They already have. About a quarter of the books I’ve read have been ebooks (see the Kindle with the numbered star in the top left of the shelf). In fact several of the books are only available on ebook. The low overheads of publishing to ebook means that many authors around the world are taking advantage of the chance to get their work into English and to new audiences they would never otherwise reach – my Lithuanian book was one of these.

    3) Are there any languages in which you could read without an English translation?

    Yes, I can read French and German (very slowly and with a big dictionary). However, I’m only reading in English for this as it’s about seeing whether it’s possible for one person in the UK to access all of world literature and most of us here only read English. That said, my French and German have come in handy for contacting people to find books.

    4) What is the value to you of the project you are doing?

    That’s probably for other people to decide. Different people see different things in it, I guess.

    5) What comes next after you have read all 196 books?

    A big rest (finding, reading and blogging about 4 books a week for a year is pretty tiring). Then I have to finish my book about the adventure for publisher Harvill Secker (part of Random House). It’s called ‘Reading the World: postcards from my bookshelf’ and comes out in 2014.

    6) Which book would you take to the country of its birth and why?

    Um… my Chinese book, Banished! by Han Dong. This is no comment on the book (although it is a really great book), I’d just really like to visit China…

    Hope that all makes sense. Congrats on your award and best of luck with the blog!

    Reply

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