I'm trying very hard to make a dint on my stupendous Mount TBR this year. Once a month or so, to keep me motivated, I thought I'd join in the current trend of A-Zing.
However A-Zing my TBR pile is simply way too easy.
So I will nominate a theme for each list. This month, it's DIVERSITY.
We're talking books in translation, books set in other countries and books featuring non-Western cultures.
Little cheats are allowed (the letter can be represented by the title or the author, although I will aim to mostly use the book titles) but the book HAS to be on my current TBR pile. If I can remember, I will also share the story of how this book came to be on my #MountTBR.
Without any further ado, my TBR A-Z of Diversity is:
An Artist in the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro
I've been an Ishiguro fan ever since I saw the 1993 movie The Remains of the Day.
I've been slowly reading & adding his backlist to my library.
Benang by Kim Scott
My very first week in the bookshop, we had a visit from an author & publicist.
The author was Kim Scott and to my immense (future self) shame, I didn't know who he was or what he had written.
In my defence, I had spent the previous 20 years focused on children's literature in my professional life & personally tended to gravitate towards classic novels written by dead white men.
However I've been wanting to rectify this glaring social faux pas ever since.
When Fremantle Press published this gorgeous hardcover edition of Benang a couple of years ago, I knew I had to have it.
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo
Loved the title, the Amy Tan tag and the chance to add to my Women's Prize (Orange Prize) backlist.
The Discreet Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa
A sale book that caught my eye with its Nobel Prize tag on the cover.
The End of Loneliness by Benedict Wells
Got nothing on this one.
I have no idea how it ended up on my #MountTBR
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
I found a secondhand copy of this book in a Blackheath community market garage sale.
It was autumn and the cover jumped out at me.
It was autumn and the cover jumped out at me.
The General in His Labyrinth by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
A fictionalised account of Simon Bolivar's final days that caught my eye after reading The Invention of Nature in 2016. Alexander von Humboldt met Bolivar during his travels in South America. They both also had a Cuban connection which caught my eye at the time.
Hiroshima by John Hersey
I've been planning (in my mind) a trip to Japan for a very long time.
With the trip finally on my near horizon, I will hopefully find time to read this classic.
Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk
A number of years ago I decided I wanted to read more of the Nobel Prize winners. I also had a brief visit to Istanbul in 1991 and am curious to know more about its history. This book ticks both boxes.
The Jew's Beech by Annette Von Droste-Hulshoff
A Goodreads recommendation from Thomas that is still waiting patiently to be read.
The Key by Junichiro Tanizaki
Another one of those books that I have no memory of how it ended up in my house.
Little Jewel by Patrick Modiano
Purchased after Modiano won the Nobel Prize a few years ago.
The Moor's Account by Laila Lalami
Recommended by a colleague who made it sound too intriguing to pass by.
Loved the cover too.
Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin
Ha Jin attended last year's Sydney Writers Festival. I didn't get to see any of his talks, but his books sounded appealing.
Origins by Amin Maalouf
I discovered Maalouf about 20 yrs ago during an exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW where his books were on sale in the gift room. I came home with Samakand and Leo Africanus. When I spotted he had also written a memoir many years later, I snapped it up.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Asian literature has always fascinated me. Not even a bad cover was going to keep me away from this one.
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
Acquired for a trip to Vietnam after I had seen the movie, but then I found a book of short stories actually written by a Vietnamese author that came on holidays with me instead.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
A fairly new addition to my TBR. After reading Exit West last year, I decided I wanted to read more works by Hamid.
Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich
Another Nobel Prize choice that coincides with my fascination in all things Russian.
Twain and Stanley Enter Paradise by Oscar Hijuelos
A customer who knew of my Cuba trip, recommended I should read this book. I can only assume that Stanley and/or Twain visit Cuba in the story at some point.
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
Another Nobel Prize book.
Views of Nature by Alexander Von Humboldt
Acquired after reading the Humboldt memoir mentioned above (letter G).
A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
After reading 1Q84, I've been gradually stocking up on my Murakami backlist. I believe this is one of the weirder books.
The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
A Chinese classic that I really will read one day.
Frog by Mo Yan
Yet another Nobel Prize winner.
The Zigzag Way by Anita Desai
During my Indian lit phase in the late 90's I read quite a few Desai books (mother and daughter). The Zigzag Way was one of the few I didn't get to at the time (probably cause it wasn't actually written until 2004!)
Now I want to stop everything that I'm doing and binge read for a week!
Of course, that won't actually happen, so which one book from the list of 26 should I prioritise to the top of Mount TBR?