Sunday, November 25, 2012

2013 7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 Books Reading Challenge

January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013

The idea of this reading challenge is to explore the world by books from different continents and countries, and by visiting various world lists while planning the reads, to encounter the one or other unknown angle and fact about our world.

This challenge was inspired by a global reading challenge in 2012, and the side effect it had: looking at books from a different, geographical angle. And: mapping our world in continents and books, which turned into the most popular blog post in my book blog so far, and lead to this surprise realization: "If you wanted to read around the world in 7 books, you actually would have to go and look for 4 books from Asia and 1 book from Africa - and then for 2 anthologies that cover the rest of the world in their pages." (here's the whole post: The World in 7 Books, or: mapping our world by continents. )

The idea for 2013 is to continue with the global reading and exploring from 7 new, interesting angles, including some trends of our modern civilization. Why 7? To keep it simple and playful, and leave space for extra reads that might be inspired by the lists. Also, with 7 continents, and the world population reaching 7 billions, the 7 seems to be the best number for this kind of challenge.

7 Angles and Books to explore the world

The challenge: to select and read seven books, each belonging to one of the following categories:
- the 7 countries with the most population

- the 7 highest countries in the world

- the 7 oldest countries of the world

- one of the 7 megacities of the world

- the 7 countries with the most immigrants

- the 7 richest (or poorest) countries

- the 7 most rainy (or dry) countries

Below are some more details to the country categories, with links to country lists.

Challenge Guidelines:

  • This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2013 – Dec 31, 2013.
  • Books can be any format (novel, non-fiction, poetry or story collection, anthology, as well as any physical format: print, ebook, audio)
  • You are welcome to count these books towards any other challenges as well
  • The sorting of the 7 lists is just a suggestion. 
  • When picking a country, the idea is to also pick an author from that country. If that turns out to be difficult, try to find an expat author who lived in the country for a while.
  • In the next weeks, I will add some additional resources: links to book and author lists at Goodreads and Wikipedia, etc. 
  • I also plan to put together an info / introduction blog post to each of the 7 lists, and also update it with the books read during the challenge, and suggested reads and links etc..

Resources, lists, links:
Here are the 7 country categories, with links to the global lists, and with the top 7 countries listed already. For each category, pick a country from the top 7 list, and then pick a book from that country. As reference, i mostly linked to the wiki-lists, as those often offer additional search options.

1) The starting point:
A book from one of the 7 countries with the most population

2) From most populated to the mountains:
A book from one of the 7 highest countries in the world

3) From high to old:
A book from one of the 7 oldest countries of the world

  • It's an own challenge to create a definite ranking of the oldest countries of the world, which makes this question interesting in its own way. Some references:About/Geography and here: Wiki-answers.
  • Some of the oldest countries: Japan, China, San Marino, Egypt
4) From old to new:
A book from one of the megacities of the world
5) From megacity to migration:
A book from one of the 7 countries with the most immigrants

6) From people to money:
A book from one of the 7 richest - or poorest - countries 

  • Link: List of countries by gross domestic product
  • Rank 1-7: Luxembourg, Qatar, Macau, Norway, Singapore, Brunei, Hong Kong
  • Rank 173-180: Congo, Liberia, Eritrea, Burundi, Niger, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone

7) From society to environment:
A book from one of the 7 most rainy or dry countries 

  • Link: Precipitation by country
  • The rainy top 7: Guinea, Solomon Islands, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Burma, Malaysia, Guyana
  • The dry top 7: Peru, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Erimates, Kuwait, Syria, Djibouti

This reading challenge is hosted by Life as a Journey. For more information and to sign-up, please see this post.