Which book should we read in December?

Many of you were excited to see that we choose India as our country to read in December. We are excited too!

We were also pleased to receive 6 book suggestions from you noting books which piqued your interest or ones you've loved. Because of the large number of suggestions sent in, we randomly selected which 2 to include in the final list of 6. (See the screencast with audio which shows the automated selection here.) Thanks to all who suggested books, & special thanks to Ester Elbert & Jo Jackson whose suggestions were included in the final list of books! Note: Another book suggestion from Julie Jacobs is in the final line up as well because it topped my long list of India books & is now 1 of my 2 book suggestions included. 

This month, you'll be choosing from the following genres: history, satirical fiction, literature, biography, autobiography & a fantasy myth/legend novel which also happens to be an LGBTQIA selection. This latter point becomes even more amazing when you realize that Indian law makes being gay punishable by up to 10 years in prison. 

You can vote until Mon., Nov. 20 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.

Book Giveaway!

Recently, I attended Random House's Off the Page, an all-day bookish event with their best authors.

Why should you care?

Well, I stood in a VERY LONG line to get this book signed by NY Times bestselling author, Kelly Corrigan just for you! Named by HuffPost as the poet laureate of the ordinary,” Kelly has written a new book titled, Tell Me More that is a "deeply personal, unfailingly honest, & often hilarious examination of the essential phrases that turn the wheel of life." 

Yep, we're thrilled to announce that A World Adventure by Book is doing a giveaway! 

The only thing you need to do to win is let us know you're interested in this very special book. Unlike Goodreads & other bookish sites which ask you to sign up for a newsletter or follow a page in order to enter the giveaway, we want you to have this fantastic book before its official launch in January just because we like you. 

Rules:
Comment on the post announcing this giveaway in our Facebook book club by Nov. 19 11:59PM ET & you'll be entered into the drawing. A random winner will then be chosen. And yes, anyone can enter the giveaway. We'll send the book to you no matter where you live in the world because after all, we're A World Adventure by Book & believe in reading books from other countries!

December's Country

Ranging from desert to alpine tundra to humid tropical regions, December's country has a motley landscape. This country is also rich in heritage & known as one of the oldest civilizations to exist. Often thought to be one of the most culturally varied in the world, this country reveals the diversity of its people in the amazing flavors of its food from sweet to savory. And it's the 4th most popular country from which book club members originate!

Have you guessed yet which country we're visiting next? If not, just a few more hints. Like baseball/football in the US & soccer in the UK, cricket is this country's second religion while its dance forms are a spiritual art & its festivals are so vibrant they're world renowned.

Which Country are We Reading Next?

A land of mystical dreams—India! I chose this country for December based upon my recent foray into cooking a variety of Indian & Indian-fusion dishes. (I've always adored Indian food, but never made it from scratch until recently. If you're curious about cooking with Indian spices, I've included two of my favorite cookbooks which make Indian flavors accessible with deliciously easy recipes.)

HAVE ANY BOOK SUGGESTIONS?

We'd love to hear suggestions from you! Just let us know by Wed., Nov. 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 moderator) & 2 of my suggestions to compile a list of 6 books on which book club members will vote. The most popular book from the list will then be read.

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

  • Largely occur in the country specified unless the world described is an alternate universe
     
  • 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

November's Croatian Book

Thanks to all who voted! Each vote really counts as it was the votes cast on the last day of voting which pushed the chosen book over the top.

But before we get to the results, here are our favorite comments from members about the selection of Croatian books:

  • Love this. I bought two of them.
  • This is a wonderful selection! It was difficult for me to pick the ranks!
  • Thanks for the work in putting this list together.  :)
  • Love the variety.
  • Nice mix of choices.

So Which Book Will We Be Reading in November?

Officially, we'll begin reading the book below on Nov. 1st so you have time to get it in advance. You'll have till the end of November to finish the book before we begin the discussion.

"Dada’s life is at a standstill in Zagreb—she’s sleeping with a married man, working a dead-end job, and even the parties have started to feel exhausting. So when her sister calls her back home to help with their aging mother, she doesn’t hesitate to leave the city behind. But she arrives to find her mother hoarding pills, her sister chain-smoking, her long-dead father’s shoes still lined up on the steps, and the cowboy posters of her younger brother Daniel (who threw himself under a train four years ago) still on the walls.

Hoping to free her family from the grip of the past, Dada vows to unravel the mystery of Daniel’s final days. This debut by a poet from Croatia’s 'lost generation' explores a beautiful Mediterranean town’s darkest alleys: the bars where secrets can be bought, the rooms where bodies can be sold, the streets and houses where blood is shed. By the end of the long summer, the lies, lust, feuds, and frustration will come to a violent and hallucinatory head."

Note: This book may be listed under the title Adios, Cowboy or Farewell, Cowboy.

View on Amazon (US) | (UK) | (Canada)

Which Croatian Book Should We Read in November?

Though a small country, Croatia has quite a tumultuous history which continues into today. In order to comprehend the mindset of modern Croat authors, it's important to understand 6 key historical facts. As the BBC notes:*

  • The lands that comprise Croatia were a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until WWI's end.
     
  • In the early 1900s, the Croats, Serbs & Slovenes formed Yugoslavia.
     
  • Then, the Nazis invaded & a Greater Croatia was formed including most of Bosnia & western Serbia. The regime killed hundreds of thousands of Serbs & Jews trying to create a Catholic, all-Croat republic.
     
  • After a bitter resistance campaign by Communist partisans soon after WWII, Croatia became 1 of the 6 republics of the Yugoslav socialist federation.
     
  • In the 1970s, protesters unsuccessfully tried to assert Croat autonomy.
     
  • In 1991, Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia. However, it took 4 years of bitter, fighting in the Balkans before Serb armies were mostly cleared from Croatian lands, along with a majority of Croatia's ethnic Serb population. Under UN supervision, the last Serb-held enclave was returned to Croatia in 1998.
Break-up of Yugoslavia. Croatia shown in light red with the capital of Zagreb marked on the map. Original by Hoshie; derivative by DIREKTOR, Breakup of Yugoslavia-TRY2, CC BY-SA 3.0

Break-up of Yugoslavia. Croatia shown in light red with the capital of Zagreb marked on the map.
Original by Hoshie; derivative by DIREKTORBreakup of Yugoslavia-TRY2CC BY-SA 3.0

More recently, as detailed by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia,** the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague began trying over 160 people for mass atrocities, genocide & crimes against humanity which took place in Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina committed during the 1990s war in the Balkans. While the most significant number of cases have dealt with crimes committed by Serbs & Bosnian Serbs, the Tribunal has investigated & brought charges against a variety of people including some Croats. As the last major trial is set deliver a verdict next month, these war crimes are still at the forefront of Croat minds.
 

Now, Onto the Voting

This month, you'll choose among works of history, noir crime fiction, war, literature, essays & a new genre for our book club, psychological horror. Special thanks to Neha Mehta for her suggestion of essays included in this list!

Since this post was delayed due to a family emergency & then technical difficulties, voting will be extended until Sun., Oct. 22 11PM ET in order to provide book club members the full 5 days for voting. (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.


* (2017 March 17) Croatia Profile - Timeline. BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-17217954.
** United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Retrieved from http://www.icty.org.

Have a Book Suggestion for November's Country?

November's book comes from a country known in its native language as "Hrvatska." Since most of you don't speak Hrvatski, I assume this likely gives nothing away so a few more hints.

This country gave us the necktie & the Dalmatian breed of dog. It's also known for stunning lakes & waterfalls, soaring mountains & over 1000 islands off its sun-drenched coast.

Looking at the photo included above you may well agree with Alfred Hitchcock who was quoted as saying that this country's seaside town of Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world. This country's olive oil has even won awards beating out Italian, Greek, Spanish & Portuguese varieties!

So what country are we adventuring to?

Croatia - A country that's become more well known because of its stunning scenery shown in Game of Thrones. The Croatian city of Dubronik, whose city walls & forts became King’s Landing in the HBO tv series was titled "the pearl of the Adriatic" by Lord Byron, the English poet. Perched above the brilliant blue waters of the Adriatic, it's clear why this gorgeous medieval & beautifully-restored city retains this title even today.

Have Any Book Suggestions?

We'd love to hear suggestions from you! Just let us know by Sat., Oct. 14 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 moderator) & 2 of my suggestions to compile a list of 6 books on which book club members will vote. The most popular book from the list will then be read.

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

  • Largely occur in the country specified unless the world described is an alternate universe
  • 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

Engrossing Reads & Cold/Flu-Busting Drinks

Desperate for some relief from a nasty bug last winter, I crafted the perfect hot toddy to cure my ills & found some engrossing reads to distract me.  So when a fellow booklover named Taylor Lee was sick, I had this info at the ready.  You may want to keep this handy too with cold & flu season almost upon us.

Cold/Flu-Busting Hot Toddy

  • 1 oz ginger liqueur
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 slice of lemon
  • 6 oz hot water
  • 1 TBSP raw honey

Mix the liqueur, lemon juice & hot water together. Then, mix in the honey & top with the 1/2 slice of lemon. (The initial ingredients will help cool down the toddy which preserves the honey's effectiveness.)

Makes 1 serving

The heat, ginger & small amount of alcohol warms you. The steam & spice helps clear your sinuses. The raw honey has antibacterial properties & works as a natural cough suppressant while also soothing your scratchy throat.

Note: Only raw honey has these benefits so buy some raw, real honey that's preferably local to you & not the golden syrup version sold in most stores as that is heated, processed & can even contain corn syrup. (Yuck!)

I usually make a couple of servings of the recipe & keep it warm in a thermos. If I'm having trouble sleeping, I'll sometimes add in a splash of dark rum to a nighttime mug of the hot toddy.

Other Soothing Drinks

It's really important to keep hydrated when you're sick so I also quaff these other soothing drinks as well throughout the day.

  • Ginger tea & ginger ale both made with real ginger to soothe an upset stomach.
  • Chamomile tea to help you sleep.
  • Licorice root tea which is useful to treat throat irritations, upper respiratory tract infections, digestive complaints & coughs. 
  • A cup of hot vegetable broth to boost your immune system. (I like to make my own in a crock pot, but if I'm too ill, I'll buy Imagine Vegetable Broth which won a gold award for its superior taste.)

Note: I am not a doctor. If you're pregnant or suffer from serious problems like kidney disease or high blood pressure, you should first speak to your doctor before ingesting any of the above.

Engrossing Reads

When I'm sick, I need to be swept up into the story immediately & these 3 books do just that from beginning to end. 

"A mindbending, relentlessly surprising thriller.

'Are you happy with your life?' Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”  
 
In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible.

Dark Matter is a brilliantly plotted tale that is at once sweeping and intimate, mind-bendingly strange and profoundly human—a relentlessly surprising sci-fi thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of."

View on Amazon (US) | (UK) | (Canada)

 

"Battle Royale, a high-octane thriller about senseless youth violence, is one of Japan's best-selling - and most controversial - novels. As part of a ruthless program by the totalitarian government, ninth-grade students are taken to a small isolated island with a map, food, and various weapons. Forced to wear special collars that explode when they break a rule, they must fight each other for three days until only one "winner" remains. The elimination contest becomes the ultimate in must-see reality television. A Japanese pulp classic available in English for the first time, Battle Royale is a potent allegory of what it means to be young and survive in today's dog-eat-dog world. The first novel by small-town journalist Koushun Takami, it went on to become an even more notorious film by 70-year-old gangster director Kinji Fukusaku."

View on Amazon (US) | (UK) | (Canada)

 

"An extraordinary new thriller of the future from #1 New York Times–bestselling and Pulitzer Prize–winning author John Sandford.
 
The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate. Spaceships do. Whatever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out.
 
The race is on, and an remarkable adventure begins—an epic tale of courage, treachery, resourcefulness, secrets, surprises, and astonishing human and technological discovery, as the members of a hastily thrown-together crew find their strength and wits tested against adversaries both of this earth and beyond. What happens is nothing like you expect—and everything you could want from one of the world’s greatest masters of suspense."

View on Amazon (US) | (UK) | (Canada)

If you're already suffering from a cold or flu, I hope you get well soon!