Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Book Review: The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe by Ann Morgan/Non-Fiction/Published in 2015

Hello dear Readers,

Below, my book review of The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe by Ann Morgan. 

Title: The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe 
Genre: Non-Fiction
Author: Ann Morgan 
Publisher: Liveright, Feb 5th 2015
Language: English
Hardcover: 336 pages

Book Description

A beguiling exploration of the joys of reading across boundaries, inspired by the author's year-long journey through a book from every country.Following an impulse to read more internationally, journalist Ann Morgan undertook first to define "the world" and then to find a story from each of 196 nations. Tireless in her quest and assisted by generous, far-flung strangers, Morgan discovered not only a treasury of world literature but also the keys to unlock it. Whether considering the difficulties faced by writers in developing nations, movingly illustrated by Burundian Marie-Thérese Toyi's Weep Not, Refugee; tracing the use of local myths in the fantastically successful Samoan YA series Telesa; delving into questions of censorship and propaganda while sourcing a title from North Korea; or simply getting hold of The Corsair, the first Qatari novel to be translated into English, Morgan illuminates with wit, warmth, and insight how stories are written the world over and how place-geographical, historical, virtual-shapes the books we read and write.

My thoughts
*I gave 4/5 stars on Goodreads

When I first read the description of this book, after a friend of mine recommended it, it seemed to be a very interesting read and a unique book. A person who decides to read one book from every country in the world, to me that is to take the reading experience to a whole new level. Unusual maybe, but very exciting. I was very intrigued by this undertaking.

In 2012 Ann Morgan, a freelance writer, editor and blogger decides she wants to read one book from every country in the world. She ends up with a list of 196 countries. She shares reviews of these books and her thoughts on her blog. 

I thought this book was going to be about each book she reads and nothing else, but I was very surprised that more than a list with all the books, descriptions and her thoughts, the book is about how she chooses the books she wants to read, the challenges of world  literature. She talks about translation (books translated to the English from another languages), censorship, how the internet influences reading. Something interesting is one of the things she had to figure out in order to choose which countries to include on her list was what is it that define a country. There are some parts she talks about her bookshelves, libraries and bookstores. And what hooked me up with the story from the beginning was the opening line, which I am including down below as my favorite quote. She calls herself a literary xenophobe I wanted to know why.

Something else I like about this book is you can see all the effort the author put on doing her research and putting all the information together. There were times the pace was slow but overall, I really enjoyed reading it. I totally recommend it.

My Favorite Quote

"I glanced up at my bookshelves, the proud record of more than twenty years of reading, and found a host of English and North American greats starting down at me…I had barely touched a work by a foreign language author in years…The awful truth dawned. I was a literary xenophobe".


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