Saturday, December 3, 2011

Announcing...the 2012 Mediterranean Reading Challenge!

This year's Eastern European Reading Challenge hasn't yet ended, but it's time to think of next year's reading challenge.  I chose to go with the Mediterranean region because not only is it topical, it's also an area where translated works are flourishing.  And it's supposed to be healthier too!

The 2012 Mediterranean Reading Challenge!

So, start planning what level you'd like to try for if you decide to enter.  The last two years of reading challenges had over 70 people from more than 20 countries participating. 

2012 Mediterranean Reading Challenge Map

 The following countries are included: Algeria, Albania, Tunisia, Spain, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Bosnia, Croatia, Yugoslavia, Monaco, Slovenia, Crete, Cyprus, and Malta.

Need ideas to start?  You can explore at Archipelago Books (, Peirene Press ( or Open Letter ( to find translated fiction and poetry, as they are the preeminent publishers of translated works.


To enter, leave a comment on this post with your name and home country and reading goal.  Another post will be created for you to leave links to your reviews or to post titles you may want to share.  To keep things relevant, I'll add occasional news topic posts to the blog that deal with this region and may be of interest to participants.  You'll soon find a tab on the home page that will control information for the Mediterranean challenge details.  If I'm really ambitious, I may throw in a recipe or two.

Additionally, the Eastern European Reading Challenge is going to continue...there's been enough interest to keep that in play for the next year.  You'll find a new post that allows you to enter if you haven't already.
According to the World Atlas site, the Mediterranean "is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia, and in the south by Africa. This 969,100 sq. mile body of water is approximately 2,300 miles in length, and has a maximum depth of 16,896 ft. Major subdivisions include the Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, Balearic Sea, Tyrrhenian Sea, Ionian Sea and Ligurian Sea."

For purposes of Spain, the Catalonian region is included. Extra points if you can find works from the islands of Cyprus, Sardinia, Malta, or Sicily!

Some ideas:

A Mind at Peace                                                                   Death in Spring
by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar                                                      by Mercè Rodoreda
translated from the Turkish by Erdag Göknar                          (

Open Letter Books

White Masks
by Elias Khoury
translated from the Arabic by Maia Tabet                                    

grab a button for your

Please join this year's challenge and see if we can discover new regions and cultures, while helping support the efforts of small presses and translators to make global literature accessible to all.
Sign up now and share your finds!


  1. I would like to participate in this challenge, my first.
    My name is Cal and I currently live in Chile (not from here originally). My goal will be 6, but I hope that I can make it to 9, depending on availability of books.

  2. I'd love to participate. I'm in Canada and will aim for 6 books (or more). Thank you.

    Sandra at Fresh Ink Books

  3. I'd like to think I can read 9.

  4. I guess I read White Masks a month or two too soon! (Blog post.)

  5. I will definitely be joining you for this one! I hope to make it to Explorer level, but I'll start out as a Tourist.

  6. I'm up for this challenge and hope to read nine books. Happy New Year from Scotland.

  7. I had a couple of questions. Do the books have to be by these authors or can we have books set in these countries but written by authors of different nationalities? Also are cross-overs allowed?

  8. Neer,
    No, you can choose any books that are either set in the region (or about it), or by authors from the region. A book could only count once, either on this Challenge or the Eastern European one, not both....but I'm sure no one would mind!

  9. Am I missing the sign-up linky? Here's my blog post: