Jolabokaflod

Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

Languages

Please visit our Book Bulletin 2019 crowdfunding project at CrowdPatch to buy recommendations for our Winter 2019 catalogue and to volunteer your skills, experience and contacts. All funds raised will support not-for-profit Jolabokaflod CIC’s forthcoming programme of events.

Babel: Around the World in Twenty Languages
Gaston Dorren
(UK: Profile Books, @ProfileBooks, 2018; USA: Atlantic Monthly Press, @groveatlantic, 2018)

English is the world language, except that most of the world doesn’t speak it – only one in five people does. The author calculates that to speak fluently with half of the world’s 7.4 billion people in their mother tongues, you would need to know no fewer than twenty languages. He sets out to explore these top twenty world languages, which range from the familiar (French, Spanish) to the surprising (Malay, Javanese, Bengali).

Babel whisks the reader on a delightful journey to every continent of the world, tracing how these world languages rose to greatness while others fell away and showing how speakers today handle the foibles of their mother tongues. Whether showcasing tongue-tying phonetics or elegant but complicated writing scripts, and mind-bending quirks of grammar, Babel vividly illustrates that mother tongues are like nations: each has its own customs and beliefs that seem as self-evident to those born into it as they are surprising to the outside world.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles | Hive | Waterstones | WHSmith
USA: NewPages (independents) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Hummingbird (ebooks and audiobooks)
CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon (ebook) | GoodreadsSapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Dubray | Eason | Kennys
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | QBD Books
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book DepositoryWordery

Recommended by:
Christopher Norris, Director, Jolabokaflod CIC

Christopher launched his campaign to promote the Icelandic Jólabókaflóðið tradition in November 2015. This initiative took form as Jolabokaflod CIC, a not-for-profit showcase for book recommendations wrapped in Icelandic literary culture, and Jolabokaflod Book Campaign Ltd, a yet to launch commercial arm. Keep up to date with news and developments by signing up to the monthly Jolabokaflod newsletter and/or the Jolabokaflod platforms at Facebook and Twitter.

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