Around the World in 80 Books: Italy

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Welcome to the next installment in my Around the World in 80 Books Challenge!  It’s exactly what it sounds like: I’m trying to read 80 books from 80 different countries/cultures around the world, and to add a frugal spin, I’m trying to do it all for under $20.

Here’s my running tally so far:
$0- Library books: RussiaNorwaySwedenMexicoSierra Leone, Spain
$0- Free eBooks: ScotlandEngland
$0- Gift: Turkey, Pakistan
$0- Won in a Giveaway: Jerusalem
$1.99- eBook: Basque Country
$0- Paid, and interesting, review: Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Grand Total: $1.99

And today’s book was another library read, so we’re still sitting at that $1.99 mark with 14 down and 66 to go! Writing those numbers feels intimidating, but I think it’s good for me to practice goals that take a long time to accomplish.

I picked up this book from an Italian author in order to participate in the Travel the World in Books Readathon. I was super proud of myself because I finished it in time, but I was so busy reading (and writing) that I didn’t do much in the way of participating. Oops!

This is a book about reading. Calvino takes you along a journey as the Reader keeps picking up books that are unfinished, searching along the way for even just one singular ending. There’s intrigue. Romance. Secret global organizations.

Frankly, it sounds more exciting when I write about it than when I was actually reading. Because while it had all of those things, it also had rambling sentences. It had stories that I actually wanted to read, cut off at the height of suspense. It had a confusing plot that was never 100% resolved. All of these things were included for style. While I appreciate what Calvino was trying to do, I think Zafon did it better. Or, heck, even Gaarder.

I understand that this title feels different than his other novels, though, of which I have read none. I’m not opposed to picking another one up and giving Calvino another shot.

Not 100% sure what’s next. I’m going to have to drop by my library and see what’s in stock. From what I understand November is nonfiction month, though, so I may have to keep that in mind.

If you want to make a recommendation, fiction or non, please leave it in the comments below!  Here’s what I’ve already got in my queue:

Canada: The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be by Farley Mowat recommeded by Messy Money
Afghanistan: The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg recommended by Savvy Working Gal
Nigeria: I Do Not Come to You by Chance by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani recommended by Guiltless Reader
Philippines: May Day Eve and Other Stories by Nick Joaquin recommended by Guiltless Reader
Iceland: Scarcity in Excess by Arna Mathiesen & Thomas Forget
Sudan: The Wedding of Zein by Tayeb Salih recommended by Kate Wilson
Kenya: Out of Africa by Karen Blixen recommended by Christine from The Wallet Diet
China:  Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China by Leslie T. Chang
JapanTotto-Chan: The Little Girl at the Window by Tetsuko Kuroyanagi recommended by Suburban Finance
EthiopiaThe God Who Begat a Jakal by Nega Mezlekia recommended by Based On a True Story
French AntillesVictoire: My Mother’s Mother by Maryse Conde recommended by Based on A True Story
SurinameThe Free Negress Elisabeth by Cynthia McLeod recommended by Based On A True Story
Costa Rica: The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica
France: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr recommended by Our Next Life
Germany: In the Garden of Beasts or Devil in the White City by Erik Larson recommended by Emi from AIP Around the World
Haiti: All Souls Rising by Madison Smartt Bell recommended by Tre from House of Tre
Jamaica: A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James recommended by Jana of Jana Says

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15 thoughts on “Around the World in 80 Books: Italy

  1. Emily @ JohnJaneDoe

    South Africa: Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. One of the most evocative opening passages I’ve ever read.
    There is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass-covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.
    The grass is rich and matted, you cannot see the soil. It holds the rain and the mist, and they seep into the ground, feeding the streams in every kloof. It is well-tended, and not too many cattle feed upon it; not too many fires burn it, laying bare the soil. Stand unshod upon it, for the ground is holy, being even as it came from the Creator. Keep it, guard it, care for it, for it keeps men, guards men, cares for men. Destroy it and man is destroyed.

  2. Jana @ Jana Says

    If you need a book for Australia, check out Stolen by Lucy Christopher or any books by Liane Moriarty. I think I Am the Messenger takes place in Australia, too. I’m sure I can come up with books from more countries if you want them.

    I hate when I’m looking forward to a book and then it’s terrible.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      I do have one for Australia, but it hasn’t been released yet. My list is getting long enough that I don’t think that’s a problem, anymore, though. Also, the book I read for Jerusalem, “Hope Street, Jerusalem,” was actually written by an Australian reporter. Which felt like massive cheating. Haha. I’m going to add these to my personal queue to hit up after I finish the challenge, though. Thank you!!

      And yeah. It is disappointing. I wanted to set it down, honestly, but I can count on one hand the times I’ve actually done that in my life.

    1. femmefrugality Post author

      I’ll have to add that one to my after-the-challenge list, too! England was the first one I hit, with a King Arthur story. I figured I should go beyond the Sword and the Stone cartoon. :p Thanks for the rec! It looks like something I’ll really enjoy!

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