Travel the World in Books Challenge and Readathon

Since I’m joining the Travel the World in Books Challenge at the time of its first Readathon, this post will serve to outline my goals for both events. My thanks to Mom’s Small Victories, I’m Lost in Books, and Savvy Working Gal for hosting this challenge and readathon.

Travel-the-World-in-Books-Reading-Challenge 300x300I am planning my Challenge reading goals to intersect with much of the reading list that is taking shape for the Northern Lights Reading Project as a whole–literature, history, biography, travel, and food writing, which relates to Iceland, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. These are places I would love to visit in person, but for now, I will travel via reading and appreciating some of their major landmarks in fiction and nonfiction. Books by authors from these countries have a high priority on my reading list, but other fiction and nonfiction books that take these countries as their subject are included.

I’m planning to read 40 books in 5 years, or 8 books a year, for this challenge. I may be able to finish more, but with work and other reading/reviewing commitments, this seems like a good place to start. I will keep track of my Travel the World in Books progress with a Goodreads bookshelf (although I must say I love the method suggested by Tanya of Mom’s Small Victories–charting her reading on a personalized Google map). But Goodreads is the way to go for me, because I can post brief reviews of qualifying books. Longer book reviews will appear here on Northern Lights or over at my other blog, The Fictional 100.


For my September 2014 Readathon goals, I plan to read some portions of the following books:

Illustration by Kay Nielsen for the story, "East of the Sun and West of the Moon"

Illustration by Kay Nielsen for the story, “East of the Sun and West of the Moon”

  • The Laughing Policeman (a Martin Beck Police Mystery) by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (trans. by Allan Blair) [Sweden]
  • Daughter of Fire by Katharine Scherman [Iceland]
  • The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography by Hans Christian Andersen [Denmark]
  • Kalevala (trans. by Francis Magoun) [Finland]
  • East of the Sun and West of the Moon: Old Tales from the North, collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen & Jørgen Moe, illustrated by Kay Nielsen [Norway, Denmark]

About Lucy Pollard-Gott

Author of The Fictional 100.
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19 Responses to Travel the World in Books Challenge and Readathon

  1. joyweesemoll says:

    This sounds like an excellent reading project! I love the variety in the books you selected for the readathon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. JaneGS says:

    I love the idea of this readathon–focused but still broad enough to appeal widely. I’ll be particularly interested in the Anderson bio. I love books like that 🙂 Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. momssmallvictories says:

    These are great, I haven’t read any books in the countries you selected. I want to read the autobiography of Hans Christian Andersen. I think i have either his or the Grimm fairy tales on my Classics Club list. It would be very interesting to see what his real life was like. So glad you are joining us for the challenge and the Readathon! Great to meet you Lucy and hope you enjoy your journey through the Northern Lights countries.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So glad you are participating! Huzzah! Your selections all look good, too! This is going to be so much fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Travel the World in Books Readathon Day 1, September 2014 - Mom's Small VictoriesMom's Small Victories

  6. Kate says:

    Looks like you have a great selection of books picked out! I hear the Hans Christian Anderson Autobiography is fantastic. I may have to add that to my list too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Savvy says:

    So excited you are joining us. My travel the world in books challenge focuses on nonfiction books. I would ultimately like to come up with a master recommendation list of nonfiction books by country. I’m adding The Fairy Tale of My Life: An Autobiography by Hans Christian Andersen to my reading list. Can’t wait to see what else you read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great idea–I look forward to your master recommendation list! I’m working on master reading lists by category for this blog too, but the Readathon will push me to get started on the reading itself, beginning with the Andersen biography. Thanks so much for visiting!


  8. I’m pretty slim on my reading in this part of the world. I think it’s a great way to really focus one’s reading. Thanks for coming by my blog and I hope that you get your book maps going (two is pretty ambitious ;)) Happy reading!


    • I doubt I’ll get to both maps, but I’m planning to start on the 100 fictional characters that I’ve been working with for a long time, and embed that map on a page at The Fictional 100. Then I’ll be ready to make a Northern Lights map to track future progress here. Thanks again!


  9. xn3art says:

    What a wonderful way to travel the world and go back through time, Lucy! I look forward to reading your words and reviews here on Northern Lights, a new place for my mind to board some great ships of thought. And Kay Nielsen who has passed into history, I will surely be visiting the beautiful work of this Danish artist here. He created some of the most magical countries in which to travel.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. readerbuzz says:

    I’m very intrigued with the autobiography of Hans Christian Andersen.

    Good luck with the readathon and the challenge!


    • Thanks, Deb! I’ve started the Andersen book, and he really does write about his early life with the tone of a fairy tale. Some later biographers have been critical of this, but in a way it makes transparent the kind of sifting and filtering that is true of any memoir or autobiography.


  11. Over from the blog hop! Can’t wait to hear how these are! Very interested in this region! We should totally follow each other on Good Reads:


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