About 365 Bookworm

Oriental ExpressHello, fellow readers and travelers. I’ve had this idea for some time now: Starting at University of Idaho, where I noticed that my lit classes seemed to be rehashing a lot of books by old dead English-speaking white guys.

Now, I don’t have anything against ODESWGs, as long as they’re interesting. (Like Gerald Durrell.)


  • But really, Hamlet three times? I’m a mental vegetarian, thanks.
  • The Sound and The Fury twice? (Once was too much.)
  • Oedipus Rex again? I wanted to poke my *own* eyes out.
  • Our Town? I’d rather be in Chinatown.
  • There had to be more WORLD literature out there, and I was determined to find it.

OrientalExpress2Year Four

Please join me on my 365-day venture Around the World By Armchair as I attempt to read one book from every country on earth before the end of 2013. Er…2014. Well, perhaps 2015… Nope, o.k., 2016? Everybody has a 5-year project.

Looks like this is mine. And, if I incorporate the suggestion of a Native American friend and include the 566 federally recognized tribal nations inside the U.S. – and they are sovereign countries – well, I might get finished by the time I turn 90!

That’s ok – like C.P. Cavafy famously said, it’s the journey.

Where2The photos of the Oriental Express appear here because that’s one of my regrets in life: I had the opportunity to come home from Japan via that famous train, but I chickened out at the thought of crossing the Russian Steppes alone. It’s not the journeys you take…it’s the ones you don’t.

I am storing the books I’ve read in the 1980s version of an old steamer trunk: the kind you might have taken on the Oriental Express in an Agatha Christie mystery.

At project’s end, I plan to donate the books to a local charity for teens. For those who may feel “stuck” in Spokane…the world is your oyster when you read. George RR Martin said that. It’s on a bookmark. “The world is a book, and those who don’t read are stuck in one page.” Or something. Maybe he said, “Those who read live many lives, and those who don’t read are stuck with just one.”

TrunkSo Bon Voyage, mes amis!

On my blog you’ll also find:

  • my healing mandalas and other artwork
  • along with gluten-free pages for those of you forced, like me, to take a journey of a different (and sadly permanent) nature.

The Journey

“As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery…

…keep Ithaka always in your mind.
arriving there is what you are destined for.
but do not hurry the journey at all.
better if it lasts for years…”

Ithaka, by Greek poet C.P. Cavafy




6 thoughts on “About 365 Bookworm

  1. Hi Holly, I recommend The Stones Cry Out by Hikaru Okuizumi, although I suspect you might already have several from Japan you’d like to share.

  2. This is a brilliant project! I’m a Lit student in the UK who has the same disillusionment with dead white guys. I’m spending my final year only studying Caribbean, African, Asian and Arabic texts. Please check out my blog (www.booksfeatpolitcs.wordpress.com)

    Would you be interested in guest posting on my blog by any chance?

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