“Books are the carriers of civilization…They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print.” Barbara W. Tuchman
I’m a reader and I’m a traveler. I’ve visited 25 countries so far, and countless more in the books I read. I think reading has the ability to transport you to a place, a culture, a mindset, and a time unlike anything else. Sometimes, I’ve gained more insight about a place because of what I’ve read not on what I saw when I was there. And sometimes, I’ve visited a place after reading about it, and my heart is so full for those people. Could you not read Patrick McCormick’s Never Fall Down about the Khmer Rouge and not weep when visiting the Killing Fields in Cambodia? Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country brought Australia alive to me. I learned so much about things I had never even heard about. All because of words on a page.
And it’s because of this love for traveling and understanding that I’ve decided to do my second ever Around the World in 80 Books reading challenge. I first did this challenge in 2013, and I was blown away. I read about countries that I never would have ever thought of visiting. Some of my top books for that year were set in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.
This year, I’ll be spending the majority of my year in Southeast Asia, so I’ll try and note where in the world I’ve read each book as well. Check out the pages “About This Challenge” and “The Booklist” and “Reading Map” to track along with the challenge. Are you ready for an adventure?
Follow along the journey at http://joyfilledwanderbooks.tumblr.com/