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Today is World Book Day and I'm trying to get into the spirit of things. Of course, (1) I have a slightly different take on World Reading Day, as I like to think of it as a chance to celebrate reading from around the globe, and (2) it's not as if I have a moment to read anything today.

So, in the spirit of things I've been toting around my Good Reading Guide: World Fiction, and I even managed to read the introduction while presiding on my porcelain throne a while back. But mostly it was used as a prop at today's Barber of Seville rehearsal (and unfortunately kicked around by the Rosina).

If you have a chance, though, be sure to do a bit of reading today. And if you can and are so inclined, read something by an author from a different part of the world. If I may be so bold to make a few recommendations:

  • Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o is perhaps the most brilliant African writer (in my limited experience of African writers). His Wizard of the Crow is a brilliant parody of conditions in an African dictatorship.
  • Shusaku Endo is a perceptive and sensitive Japanese author, whose novel Silence is probably his best known work.
  • Andrey Kurkov is a Ukrainian novelist whose satires of post-Soviet Ukraine and Russia are a pleasure to read. I would begin (as I did) with Death and the Penguin.

And, of course, as you know, there are thousands of other great "world" reads. Do you have any recommendations for me?

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