Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Migrant Bookclub

While Prof. Grady makes delicious dinner, I'm lazily browsing through my archives and realizing that my most favorite entries and discussions here are about the books I've read or wanted to read.

+

I am currently reading Aleksandar Hemon's The Lazarus Project (for some reason, it's taking me forever to get through it but a good book is worth the effort so I don't mind).

+

I am preparing my notes on Cyndi Phoel's magnificent debut Cold Snap (set in mid-90s Bulgaria!!!)

+

I've been missing you guys

=

How about we start an international book club?!



We would call it The Migrant Bookclub. We would put together a list of books to read (I'd say, make sure those books have something to do with a) immigration, b) expatriation, c) negotiating multiple identities and/or d)Bulgaria), and agree to read a book a month together. There are so many amazing books that fall under one of these four criteria that I definitely don't think you need to be an expat/immigrant yourself to enjoy this (American Mom and Dr. J, I'm looking at you). At the end of each month, we would have a discussion about the book: whoever has a blog, would blog about it. Whoever twitters, would twitter about it. Hell, maybe we could do a live twitter chat with the author?

Let me know what you think: yes or no (YES, of course); how to go about it; which books to read. I can't wait to hear what you think!

***
Photo by Remy Saglier

19 comments:

  1. This is a great idea!!! I love it and I'll post some book titles after work :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent! I was hoping you'd do it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like a great idea.

    Right now I'm plowing through "Under the Yoke," which frankly I can't see you not having in the lineup. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm reading this too, which is very weird. And in fact I'm reading it for a book club.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's such a great idea! I would love it if we read and discuss Rana Dasgupta's "Solo"! And I'll think about other titles also.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My recommendation is most definitely Sana Krasikov's One More Year. It's a collection of short stories about women who emigrated to the US from the former Soviet Union. I have one story left and it is already among my favorite books of this year.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Chet: You are reading The Lazarus Project?! Are you serious?!

    @Ani: Super!!! This is great!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Aleksandra NinovaMay 28, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Ok, Petya and all, I am new in this blog here, but I am a Bulgarian, in a relationship with an American with a Bajan (Barbadian) descent, so yeah...

    I think it's a great idea, and here is my list of books I think are appropriate:
    1. Chocolat - Joanne Harris
    2. Coastliners - Joanne Harris
    3. The Lollipop Shoes/The Girl With No Shadow - Joanne Harris
    4. Black Box - Amos Oz
    5. My Michael - Amos Oz

    This is what I have for now. The first and third regard a woman, a traveler, an immigrant to many places in a way, and the last two regard immigration, international and interracial relationships... Hope you enjoy all or some of them, I sure did...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Count me in! I recently read "Street Without a Name"by Kapka Kassabova and was completely captivated.

    ReplyDelete
  10. this is such a cool idea - i love it!! i am totally going to have to get some kind of e-reader for when i'm in korea, because otherwise, if i have to order books to keep up, by the time i get them, you'll have moved on :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. @Myrthe & @Alex: Thank you so much for your great ideas. I think that I am going to put together a little poll and after all of the ideas are in, we'll vote and pick the top twelve books. I will also make sure that the complete list is up so that people can get ideas that way too! Sooooo Exciting!

    ReplyDelete
  12. In America, by Susan Sontag

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful idea! My suggestion for the day is Jose Eduardo Agualusa's "The Book of Chameleons". Agualusa is white Portuguese speaking Angolan, whose fabulous, modernist novel is exactly about identity, past and how it influences your future. The story is narrated by a gecko... it's a great read!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Absolutely love the idea! I have been interested in the subject only as of recently so I don't have any suggestions at this time but I hope that with time I will be able to contribute with a relevant title myself. Can't wait :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Little Bee by Chris Cleave- although this is more about refugees than immigrants

    ReplyDelete
  16. loving the idea!!waiting for the book for this month!!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Petya, what a great idea. Can't tell you how happy I am to find out about your blog and book club just before the reading begins. I too am a mixed-breed Bulgarian living not too far from you in Nashville, TN. Have been collecting most of the books in your list with the intent to read them one day...soon...Glad that now I have a motivation. One of my favorites in the genre is Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth. Another favorite, though slighly outside of the immediate and recent migrant experience is Elif Shafak's The Bastard of Istanbul.

    ReplyDelete

SPREAD THE WORD