More Tales From Home; Why I have Decided to #ReadBritish2014

A week or so ago I mentioned that I had been honoured to be asked to be the Inaugural Guest Editor for Fiction Uncovered’s website for a month. As I mentioned then, and have been mentioning for quite some time, I am a big fan of the initiative which every year highlights eight British authors that we really should be reading or should have read yet for various reasons (coverage, missing out on long lists, pure bad luck/chance, etc) we haven’t done.

Since then I have been thinking about it more and more, partly because I was writing my first post which you can see here (which looks at what might lead to some amazing authors going under the radar) and so was looking at it in different ways, without being too pessimistic I hope.

Having given it all this extra thought I decided that rather than just have a month of ‘The Best of British’ or ‘Being British’ which I was planning, and sounded unintentionally xenophobic, I think my aim for the forthcoming year is just to make sure I am reading more of the books about my home country from my fellow country folk. In short I am going to #ReadBritish2014.

This doesn’t mean that I am only going to be reading British authors, as that isn’t me at all I love books from all over the world – I am planning on joining in with Kim of Reading Matters wonderful ANZ month in May for a start. Nor does it mean that I will only be reading the well-known British authors, though I won’t ‘not’ read them to make a point either, but it would be marvellous to find some lesser known gems, all in the spirit of Fiction Uncovered.

Who else fancies reading some more fiction from home, wherever in the world you are? Or are you already a clever clogs and make sure you do this already? Do you think it is important to support local authors as you would a local indie store? Which British authors should I make sure I try and encounter over the next year? Oh and do go over and see my piece for Fiction Uncovered if you have a spare moment, it would be lovely to have you pop by and even comment if you fancied it, hint, hint!






Filed under Book Thoughts, Fiction Uncovered

6 responses to “More Tales From Home; Why I have Decided to #ReadBritish2014

  1. Funny, I just put up a post today where I linked to a Guardian interview from a few years back with the possibly under-appreciated Adam Thorpe, who’s as British as they get (to my American eye). I heartily recommend his first novel “Ulverton.”

  2. I have been doing this almost without thinking this past year. Being from Australia, we had so many great books published in 2013 from authors like Hannah Kent, Richard Flannagan, Christos Tsiolkas, Fiona McFarlane, Carrie Tiffany…oh and so many more from before that like Markus Zusak, Melina Marchetta, etc etc! I can’t remember if we always had such great Australian writers absolutely filling our shelves here or if it is a recent phenomenon, but I like your idea of supporting writers from your home. It also helps you learn about your home, the people within it, your history and yourself. Im looking forward to seeing how you go.

  3. I tend to do this as well; read Canadian, I mean. I think it’s interesting to see what your neighbours are writing — and of course, as a librarian, I think it’s also important to know what’s happening in the local writing scene. Of course, in Canada, that can also mean a lot of regional reading/writing as we are just so spread out!

    But like you say, that doesn’t stop us from reading from elsewhere as well — I love British writing, and am looking forward to ANZ month too!

  4. Annabel (gaskella)

    Generally I manage around 55% UK authors with US making up about 30% and others 15%. Looking forward to the Fiction uncovered shortlist as always. I’m made some great discoveries in previous years from it.

  5. As a Canadian I’ve always read a lot of CanLit. And now that I live in the UK i am realizing that I have not actually read that much recent British Literature! So while my CanLit consumption has gone down, I’m now making a concerted effort to read at least one British author a month. Let’s see how I do by the end of the year!

  6. I have started reading a lot more Asian/South Asian/Indian fiction as well. There’s been a real surge in book publishing lately that there’s enough variety to pick and choose.

    Strange, even a couple of years back, most of my reading was Euro or American-centric.

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