The challenge for April is a gentle one, but one that readers in the English-speaking world could use a little more often. Your mission this month, should you decide to accept it, is to read a book - fiction or memoir - that was written in a language other than English. If you can read it in the original, great! But in that case, you probably don't need this challenge... Or you could do what I am doing with my shaky Italian, reading the original and its translation side by side. (I'm working on Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose, in case you're interested. I had it, and had read it, in English, so my first purchase on my last trip to Italy was a hard copy in Italian.) Of course, what most of us will do out of necessity, is read our book in English translation.
You will respect the spirit of this challenge even more if you choose a book that takes you deep into another culture.
There are so many possibilities here, I barely know where to start. There are the riches of the vibrant French-Canadian culture, with authors such as Gabrielle Roy and Yves Thériault. You could choose the recent Nobel prize winner Patrick Modiano, who despite the name, is French. You could look at some of the very popular books that have been coming out of Scandinavia in recent years, like the ones by Stieg Larsson or Jonas Jonasson. Dip into Russian authors, or Japanese, or Egyptian, or Rwandan, or Colombian. This challenge is as wide as the world, so have fun.
I already have a couple of reviews up from the past that meet this challenge:
Old Land, New Tales – short stories originally written in Chinese
Please feel free to share this challenge!
And if you just discovered this reading challenge, there is nothing at all stopping you from working through at your own pace.