Sunday, April 29, 2012

Possessed by Shadows (global reading challenge #14)

The next book in the reading challenge brought me to the mountains, and into the East: "Possessed by Shadows" is a novel that starts in the USA, and leads to Czechoslovakia, in the time when the borders between the West and East were still closed. It's writtn by Donigan Merritt, who currently lives in Buenos Aires, and has lived in cities around the world. Here's the author website. And to throw in one more counry:  i arrived at the novel through Rose Hunter, Mexico. This really is a world book in many ways.

A line from the description: "The book confronts us with the ultimate philosophical challenge: since we must die, how do we choose to live."

It's a book in 2 layers - the main story is about philosophy professor Tom Valen, who writes about the time he spent climbing with his wife, Molly, as she fought cancer. Interweaved in their story is the story of Molly's friend, who fled from Czechoslovakia, the country Tom and Molly visit to climb, in the time before the Velvet Revolution in late 1989. It's a time that seems far away now, but of course, it threw a painful shadow on many life stories. It was especially interesting to read the book as I have been to both Prague and Bratislava myself in the last years - after the borders opened.

Global + European Reading Challenge
In the read this year, i am taking part in a global and in an european reading challenge. the idea: to read books from each continent of the world / several countries of europe. so far i've been to:
- book 13: A Walk in the Woods (USA/America)
- book 12: Deep Country (UK/Europe)
- detour: World Book Day - books, reviews, links
- book 11: Stone Age Venus (Germany/Europe)
- book 10: Journal of  a Solitude (USA/America)
- book 9: Mexican Lives (Mexico/America)
- detour: the world in 7 books
- book 8: Tagore (India/Asia)
- book 7: Zarzura (Egypt/Africa)
- book 6: Jericho (Israel/Middle East)
- book 5: Ledra Street (Cyprus/Europe)
- book 4: Disappearance. A Map (Alaska/America)
- book 3: Paris was Ours (France/Europe)
- book 2: Anar (Middle East)
- book 1: The Tigers's Wife (former Yugoslavia/Europe)
- more books: virtual bookshelf
- about: the Global Reading Challenge

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