by C.T. D’Alessandro

Have I mentioned that I’ve read a lot of books?  Too many to count!  And the fact is, I want to read more!  I have a letter to write to each of them, all half-started (well, the salutation, anyway), all ready to be sent.

I am taking on a reading challenge for the second half of this year because 2016 has not been the year of pre-planning for me.  I will definitely start anew next year with a proper challenge of my own.  I have slated one book per month because I am taking a writing course and I really do want to be a writer and to be a writer, one must also find the time to write.  Tricky business, this writing is!

I selected the books featured on the Around the World in 80 Books Challenge, hosted on Bookriot to help get the ball rolling. Of course, I’ve gone and read so many of the books on the list already so I had to cull my selections from those offered. I also sought to balance male and female writers on this because, being female myself and attempting to write a blog on diversity, that would tend to be the result.

I will post my letters to these books on the last day of each month.  The first one will post on May 31, 2016.

Drum roll please! The books I’ve committed to read are:


Title: A Golden Age
Author: Tahmima Anam
A young widow struggles to keep her children safe during the Bangladesh War of Independence.


Title:  Empress Orchid 
Author: Anchee Min
A young concubine seizes the throne to become China’s last empress.


Title: One Hundred Years of Solitude
Author: Gabriel García Márquez
The multi-generational story of the Buendía family that founded the fictional town of Macondo.


Title: Cumanda
Author: Juan León Mera
– The son of a missionary whose family was butchered by natives falls in love with a beautiful young indigenous woman.


Title: Claire of the Sea Light
Author: Edwidge Danticat
– A young girl disappears after her father makes the painful decision to send her away for a chance at a better life.


Title: The Palace of Illusions
Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
– In this reimagining of a classic Sanskrit epic, Draupadī aids her five husbands as they try to reclaim their stolen birthright.


Title: Reading Lolita in Tehran 
Author: Azar Nafisi
– A memoir about a secret Western literature class the author taught in her home.


Title: The River and the Source
Author: Margaret A. Ogola
– An epic novel spanning the lives of three generations of women.


Title:  Like Water for Chocolate
Author: Laura Esquivel
– A young woman longs to marry her lover, but family tradition forbids it, so she cooks to express her feelings.


Title: The Shadow of the Wind
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
– The son of an antiquarian book dealer finds a mysterious volume by a man named Julián Carax and soon discovers that all remaining copies of the book are being systematically destroyed.

Wish me luck! Feel free to follow along or comment either in my comment box or by email.  And yes, I’m just figuring out this blogging platform. I think I’ll get it to eventually do what I want.