As I have mentioned elsewhere, I am splitting the biggest countries in the world (Russia, China, India, Australia, Brazil, United States and Canada) up into regions; as it seems unfair to try to represent such vast and disparate countries with a single book. The questions is how to split these up in a fair way?
I split Russia up into its official 8 Federal districts, and China into its 6 Administrative regions (plus municipalities of Beijing, Hong Kong, Macau & Shanghai). In the light of this it seemed a bit unfair to only represent the US with the 4 rough regions I had allocated out the outset - especially given its diversity and its rich literary portfolio. Of course, reading a book from each of its 50 states would be a project in itself, therefore I have opted to revise my US list based on its 9 Official Census regions (+ Hawaii and Alaska given their unique nature, both culturally and geographically). I think this is a fair way to cover my trip to the US. I will also be reviewing its giant of a northern neighbour, Canada, and am considering an established 7 region model for this.
Whilst some may think I am merely prolonging my world travel (and there may be some truth there!), I am also trying to be fair in how I represent such huge areas that, whilst politically a single unit, encompass a vast array of different cultures, communities and literary traditions. That said, I would be delighted to hear your views on a) how I have delineated these countries and b) the books I have chosen to represent these regions. You will notice that my expansion of some regions mean there are some blanks for books to read - so PLEASE feel free to help me fill these in with relevant suggestions for books on these stopovers!
Thanks as always to my RTW followers!