The World Cup of Literature

June is finally here and the World Cup of Soccer (in Europe they call it Soccer Football) starts on Thursday in Brazil. Some people say that it’s impossible to mix reading with sports. I disagree. More on that later.

First of all, there has been a lot of talk and snobbery in the social media sphere lately about YA literature and who should or should not be reading those types of books. I wrote a little bit about this subject on my other blog (yes I do have a life outside the library). You can read it here.

Secondly, my talk about the trials and tribulations of self-publishing is tomorrow evening at 7pm at the Riverbend EPL branch. Online registration is free and recommended. There are still spots available. More info here.

Thirdly, there is a great writer who exists in the world right now. His name is Shane Jones. I think he lives in Buffalo, or maybe Albany maybe? He is the author of Light Boxes, and Daniel Fights a Hurricane. You can check out his books from the EPL RIGHT NOW. His newest book is out today and it is called Crystal Eaters and it looks amazing. You can put a hold on it right now from EPL. I think Mr. Jones is one of the best young writers out there today. Check him out.

Lastly, like I said earlier, the World Cup starts this week. This is an exciting time for sports fans but it can also be an exciting time for readers as well. I’ve put a little something together I like to call the World Cup of Literature (please don’t sue). The World Cup of Soccer is a great time to learn about players from other nations so why can’t it also be a time to learn about writers from other countries? Right? Great idea, I know!

Today we will look at the first group of the tournament, Group A. Group A consists of:

Brazil, Croatia, Mexico, and Cameroon. Here are the works of literature that will be representing these countries at the World Cup of Soccer:

Brazil: Clarice Lispector, “Agua Viva

Mexico- Juan Rulfo, “Pedro Paramo

Croatia- Slavenka Drakulic, “S: A Novel About the Balkans

Cameroon- Ferdinand Oyono, “Houseboy

The first three of these books you can check out from the EPL. Juan Rulfo’s book is only in Spanish though. Sorry.

My picks for the two countries to advance to the round of 16 in the World Cup of Soccer are Brazil and Croatia. Brazil is too good and Croatia has really funny shirts. I think they will upset Mexico in the tournament. In the World Cup of Literature, however, I choose Brazil and Mexico. I am biased because I have read works by these two authors and haven’t read anything by the other two. If you think I’m making a bad decision then write to me and tell me why the other books should be given a shot. Use the comments section for good, not evil. Personally, I think Clarice Lispector is a brilliant short story writer. She will always have a place in my heart. Juan Rulfo’s short novel “Pedro Paramo” is a completely bonkers story about dead people. It is crazy good and weird and sad. Check it out.

Slavenka Drakulic’s novel S is about crimes against women during the Bosnian war. She gets points because she is the only living author in this group.

Houseboy, by Ferdinand Oyono is a critique on colonialism. Originally written in French and later translated. Oyono died in 2010.

That’s it for now. Tomorrow we will talk about Group B and also, please come to my self-publishing workshop/seminar thingie.


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