What Book Shall We Read from Turkey?

We’re happy to say that we received 7 suggestions from book club members this month 2 of which were randomly chosen to be included in the final list we’ll be voting on this month. Special thanks to all those who provided suggestions!

But before we get to the vote, let’s talk about Turkish food. I always love exploring a city through its cuisine & was thrilled to find a couple of enticing cookbooks this month one of which inspired me so much that I’ve already made some of its recipes.

“Take your pick of lively Turkish breakfasts; linger over delectable little plates of meze; try your hand at making breads and kebabs sold from the city's food carts, and master the art of making sweets such as baklava, helva and, of course, the unctuous Turkish delight.” The included meze is what really made me drool & the recipes I made were the Bulgurlu Köfte (a delicious veg version of a köfte—or ball—seasoned with spring onions & herbs) as well as Acılı Ezme (a spicy condiment flavored with pomegranate molasses & sumac) mopped up with toasted bread.

If you’re looking to explore Istanbul through its food, I highly recommend this cookbook!

THE VOTING

You can vote from now until Tues., Jan. 22 11PM ET. (That's NYC time. See this converted to your local time below.)

Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com

To participate:

1. Review the books.

2. Then, click here to vote.

We'll publish the anonymous results afterwards so you can get the book in advance.

February's Country

Next month’s country offers a variety of fairy-tale landscapes according to ListAKA.* One of its most famous is the town which is named "cotton castle" in the native language. With its mineral-rich thermal waters flowing down white travertine terraces (i.e., terraces of carbonate minerals) such as the one pictured here, it’s no wonder people view it as a magical place.

The country also boasts one of the largest & oldest covered markets in the world with 61 covered streets & over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 & 400,000 visitors daily. There, you can also dine on a feast including the famous kebabs this country is known for made from an exotic fusion of Central Asian, Caucasian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, & Balkan cuisines.

And remember the story of Odysseus & the Trojan Horse? It’s this country that houses the ruins of this immortal city.

So Which Country are We Adventuring to Next?

The modern site of Troy which is Turkey!

While exploring possible suggestions for Turkey, I found the anthology included here which won’t work for the book club, but may appeal to you as a personal read as it did me. (Despite its ugly cover, it does have a number of rave reviews.) The book details the stories from 32 women from 7 different nations who have established lives in Turkey for work, love, or adventure over the past 40 years. “Poignant, humorous, and transcendent, these narrative essays take readers to weddings and workplaces, down cobbled Byzantine streets, into boisterous bazaars along the Silk Road, and deep into the feminine stronghold of steamy Ottoman bathhouses. The outcome is a stunning collection of voices from women suspended between two homes as they redefine their identities and reshape their worldviews.” This book is now on hold waiting for me at my library.

HAVE ANY BOOK CLUB SUGGESTIONS?

Just let us know your Turkish suggestions by Tues., Jan. 15 11PM ET. (That's NYC time. See this converted to your local time below.)

Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com

We'll use 2 suggestions from book club members, 2 suggestions from Mia (the book club co-founder) & 2 of my suggestions to compile a list of 6 books on which book club members will provide their thoughts. The book judged as best from the list will then be read.

Please note - We're specific in our books, they must: 

  • Largely occur in the location specified unless the world described is an alternate reality

  • Be written by an author born there who has spent a good portion of their life there

  • Exist in paperback & ebook available on both Amazon & Kindle at least in the US & hopefully elsewhere

* (2016) Top 10 Things Turkey is Famous for. ListAKA. Retrieved from https://listaka.com/top-10-things-turkey-is-famous-for.

TBR Roulette

TBR roulette is a fun game designed to help people choose a book to read next from their "to be read" (aka TBR) list.

Using your TBR list, random chance, & the help of your fellow readers on social media, you’ll be sure to find a great book to read next…maybe one you might not have picked up for a while!

Step A: Determine the First Roulette number

  • Determine what you’ll be using for your TBR list (e.g., your bookcase, a Goodreads list, the books available from your library right now, etc.).

  • Count how many sections there are in that TBR list (e.g., how many shelves in your bookcase, pages on your Goodreads list, etc.).

  • Begin playing roulette by asking someone to choose among that number.

For example: I want to include library ebooks immediately available. I have 5 pages of items on my library wish list on Overdrive, but when I filter it for the books available now, it’s knocked down to 2 pages. So the number I need to be chosen is either 1 or 2.

STep B: Determine the second Roulette Number

Next, figure out how many books are included in the chosen section & ask someone to choose a number which represents one of those books.

For example: When I look at page 1 on that Overdrive list, it has 24 items on it so now I need someone to choose a number between 1 & 24.

Step C: share the book

That final number represents the book you should read next!

Note: We urge you to read the book chosen by roulette cause after all, that’s the fun of it! But if for some reason the choice doesn’t work well (e.g., you’ve already read the book, it’s not available, etc.), just skip it & ask someone to choose another number.

Happy reading!

January's Germany Read

The Residenz in Munich is the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach monarchs of Bavaria

I’m happy to say that most members seemed to love the new methodology we’re using to determine which book to read. We also had some suggestions on how we could further improve the method & we’re taking these under serious consideration.

The winning book this month just edged out the 2nd book as you’ll see below. All the books looked great, but I’m excited about the winner for a few reasons. This book happens to be one of Ivor’s first suggestions (good choice, Ivor!), the book club hasn’t read something similar, & the author’s background is very interesting.

Not only has the author’s books been translated into more than 35 languages, but they’ve sold millions of copies worldwide making the author "an internationally celebrated star of German literature" according to Focus Magazine. The author also has a very unique perspective as:

  • The child of a businessman

  • The grandchild of the head of the Hitler Youth who was also the wartime governor of Vienna & a war criminal sentenced to 20 years for crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg war trials

  • The great-grandchild of Hitler’s official photographer

  • A descendant of a signatory of the American Declaration of Independence

  • An attorney (the author is actually one of Germany’s most prominent criminal defense lawyers)

Note: The author does not sympathize with the Nazis. I’m sure you’re curious, but I’d urge you not to read any articles about this book or this author in advance because there are TONS of spoilers out there. However, I did find a short essay by the author about the Nazi grandfather which contains no spoilers & gives some perspective.

So which book are we reading next?

“The internationally bestselling courtroom drama centering on a young German lawyer and a case involving World War II.

A bestseller in Germany since its 2011 release—with rights sold in seventeen countries—The Collini Case combines the classic courtroom procedural with modern European history in a legal thriller worthy of John Grisham and Scott Turow.

Fabrizio Collini is recently retired. He’s a quiet, unassuming man with no indications that he’s capable of hurting anyone. And yet he brutally murders a prominent industrialist in one of Berlin’s most exclusive hotels.

Collini ends up in the charge of Caspar Leinen, a rookie defense lawyer eager to launch his career with a not-guilty verdict. Complications soon arise when Collini admits to the murder but refuses to give his motive, much less speak to anyone. As Leinen searches for clues he discovers a personal connection to the victim and unearths a terrible truth at the heart of Germany’s legal system that stretches back to World War II. But how much is he willing to sacrifice to expose the truth?”

View on Amazon (US) | (UK)

Happy reading!

Time to Vote...& Use Something New

If you’ve been keeping up with book club news, you’ll know Ivor joined us as a moderator & that he gets to include 2 suggestions during the months he picks the country. Since he chose Germany, you’ll be seeing 2 book suggestions from him this month. Usually, you’d also see 1 suggestion from me, 1 from Mia, & 2 from book club members. However, Mia decided to offer up a special holiday present & is gifting her only suggestion to book club members this month! Since 3 qualified suggestions were sent from members, that means all 3 are now included in the final list. But these aren’t the only changes this month.

SO WHat Else is New?

Last month, we announced that we were going to test out a new method for choosing the monthly book. This method called a Likert Scale allows for individual degrees of opinion for each book which is very different from our previous ranking method. We thought it could produce an even better result while also helping us capture whether someone has already read a book, & whether they recommend it or not after reading.

[The Likert Scale] made me think more. It wasn’t any harder to understand or rate than the older method. I think this new method is better because it made me really look at the book’s description.

Testing went well.

We asked the people who had voted on the Jamaica books to vote again using the new Likert Scale methodology. This allowed us to compare the results using real data from the same people about the same books. We also asked that they provide comments about the new survey.

We’re thrilled to say that the testing clearly showed that the Likert Scale was a better method to use. Book club members also agreed with an astounding 83% of comments supporting the use of the LIkert Scale instead of the old method!

So this month, we’re officially launching this new methodology & we hope you like it as much as the testers (& we) do.

THE VOTING

You can vote from now until Sun., Dec. 23 11PM ET. (That's NYC time. See this converted to your local time below.)

Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com

To participate:

1. Review the books.

2. Then, click here to vote.

We'll publish the anonymous results afterwards so you can get the book in advance.

Time to Send Us Book Suggestions

Ivor chose this month’s country, & Mia & I both think it’s a great one for the club to read. (If you have no idea why Ivor is the one choosing the country, click here.)

It’s a well known country from a literature standpoint & one which we think a number of members will have read books from so we’re excited to see all of your suggestions. We also have one very prominent book club member who’s been with the book club for a while who lives in this country!

Rather than give you hints of well known things about this country to have you guess which land we’re adventuring to next, here are some unique facts* that may or may not strike a bell:

If you ask someone the time from this country & are told “half three”, the time is in fact half past two (i.e., 2:30). They count the minutes to the next hour rather than after.

A famously mad king of theirs became a recluse atop a castle in part because he started losing his teeth in his twenties.

The world’s narrowest street is in this country. It’s only 1 foot (31 cm) wide at its narrowest point!

Mark Twain, not known for being a fan of the language, declared: “I never knew before what eternity was made for. It is to give some of us a chance to learn [this language].” (My mom who speaks 10 different languages agrees this one’s hard, but says she loves it because of its difficulty & adores many of its uniquely descriptive words.)

The term “ecology” was first coined by a biologist from this country in 1866.

So what country are we reading next?

It’s Germany!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention German food especially because here in NYC I’m seeing so many delicious German baked goods for Christmas right now! So it inspired me to find some great German cookbooks to try out this month. A German foodie friend now living in the US recommended these three:

  • The 1st contains the most popular recipes gleaned from every corner of the country celebrating the food & the tradition of Germany.

  • The 2nd emphasizes the lighter side of German cooking from a German native who’s fused the cuisine with lots of fresh American produce.

  • The 3rd contains the very best recipes for Germany’s cookies, cakes, tortes, & breads, passed down through the generations. Perfect for the holidays. Yum!

HAVE ANY BOOK SUGGESTIONS for January?

Just let us know your German fiction & non-fiction suggestions by Fri., Dec. 14 11PM ET. (That’s NYC time! See it converted to your time below.)

Time converter at worldtimebuddy.com

We'll use 2 suggestions from book club members, 2 suggestions from Ivor, 1 suggestion from Mia (the book club co-admin), & 1 of my suggestions to compile a list of 6 books on which book club members will provide their thoughts. The book judged as best from the list will then be read.

Please note - We're specific in our books, they must: 

  • Largely occur in the location specified unless the world described is an alternate reality

  • Be written by an author born there who has spent a good portion of their life there

  • Exist in paperback & ebook available on both Amazon & Kindle at least in the US & hopefully elsewhere

* Bridge, Adrian. (2015 October 2) Twenty things you didn't know about Germany. The Telegraph. Retrieved from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/lists/Twenty-things-you-didnt-know-about-Germany.

Someone New will Help Us Run the Book Club

A World Adventure by Book just had its second year anniversary since we first created it in November 2016! Since that time, I (Beth) have been functioning as the admin of this web site & the admin of the online book club while Mia acted as the moderator for the book club.

With your help, we’ve adventured by book to 9.34% of the world, grown our global reading list to almost 200 books, & gained over 500 members!

But there was someone who found us in our very first month when we were still a tiny club which only had 7 members.

Someone who…

  • Stayed with the club as we went through significant changes to figure out what worked best.

  • Continued to be actively involved in the club throughout these two years creating new posts on a regular basis, voting every month on which book we should read, & regularly interacting with other club members on their posts & comments.

  • We think is perfect to help us run the online book club.

  • Has a name & profile picture we think you’ll all recognize.

Who is that someone?

It’s Ivor Watkins & we’re thrilled to announce that he will now be helping us run the online book club!

This is Ivor’s current Facebook profile image.

Ivor will begin functioning as a moderator in our Facebook group while Mia will now become a co-admin. I’ll continue in my role as admin of this web site & primary admin for the group.

Since Ivor is based in Scotland, he will also provide coverage in the book club for a different time zone & will also lend even more of an international flavor to the club. Check out Ivor’s mini bio on our About Us page to read more about him!

So What will Ivor be doing in the book club specifically?

Functionally, Ivor will be doing many of the things in the online book club you see Mia & I doing such as creating new posts & commenting on members’ posts.

He will also help us with some of the things that happen behind the scenes. For example: Adding new members, getting rid of spam, answering club member questions, making sure we stay on top of the changes Facebook makes to groups, etc.).

In addition, while Mia & I will continue to lead the monthly book discussions, Ivor will become a more active participant. He’ll also be in the rotation with Mia & I to choose which country the club will read. (Every month, we choose the country & then the book club compiles a list of 6 possible books for the club to read. Members vote on that list & the winning book is what we officially read & discuss as a group.)

When it’s Ivor’s turn to choose the country:

  • Ivor will include 2 book suggestions.

  • Mia & I will each include a single suggestion.

  • We’ll use 2 suggestions from book club members.

When it’s Mia’s or my turn to choose a country, it’ll work as it always has:

  • Mia & I will each include 2 suggestions.

  • We’ll use 2 suggestions from book club members.

We believe the addition of Ivor to the team will help us keep the book club running smoothly as we continue to grow. It’s a lot of work & none of us are paid to do it so we couldn’t be happier that he is willing to help.

Please join us in congratulating Ivor on his new role in the book club!