Reading Around the World

Join me as I travel the world from my living room!

The Goal: To read one book set in each country in the entire world.

If you’re thinking of reading along, leave a comment and let me know! Feel free to link to your own website/blog if you’re tracking your reading progress as well.

(NOTE: I’m in need of suggestions! I can’t find any books for some countries, and I’m open to alternative choices.)

AFRICA

Central

East

  • Ethiopia: Ye’imba debdabbéwoch (Tearful Letters) by Birhanu Zerihun
  • Kenya: The Mzungu Boy by Meja Mwangi
  • Mozambique: Terra Sonâmbula by Mia Couto
  • Rwanda: Murambi, le livre des ossements by Boubacar Boris Diop
  • Somalia: From a Crooked Rib by Nuruddin Farah
  • Tanzania: Speak Swahili, Dammit! by James Penhaligon
  • Uganda: Abyssinian Chronicles by Moses Isegawa

North

  • Algeria: Les Enfants du Nouveau Monde (Children of the New World) by Assia Dib
  • Egypt: Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz
  • Morocco: The Sand Child by Tahar Ben Jelloun
  • Sudan: Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

South

  • Botswana: When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head
  • Lesotho: Chaka by Thomas Mofolo
  • South Africa: Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
  • Zimbabwe: Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

West

  • Ghana: The Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah
  • Guinea: The Radiance of the King by Camara Laye
  • Mali: Le Devoir de Violence (Bound to Violence) by Yambo Ouologuem
  • Nigeria: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Amos Tutuola
  • Senegal: Une si longue lettre (So Long a Letter) by Mariama Bâ

NORTH AMERICA

SOUTH AMERICA

  • Argentina: Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig
  • Bolivia: The Black Castle by Adela Zamudio
  • Brazil: Family for Sale by Socorro Acioli
  • Chile: By Night in Chile by Roberto Bolaño
  • Colombia: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
  • Ecuador: Queen of Water by Laura Resau & Maria Virginia Farinango
  • Guyana: The Palace of the Peacock by Sir Theodore Wilson Harris
  • Peru: Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • Uruguay: Voices of Time by Eduardo H. Galeano
  • Venezuela: The Sickness by Alberto Tyszka

Caribbean

  • Aruba: Aurora by Henry Habibe
  • Barbados: Fire in the Canes by Glenville Lovell
  • Cuba: The Lost Steps by Alejo Carpentier
  • Dominica: Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  • Dominican Republic: Let It Rain Coffee by Angie Cruz
  • Grenada: Crystal Rain by Tobias S. Buckell
  • Haiti: Amour, colère et folie (Love, Anger, Madness) by Marie Chauvet
  • Jamaica: The Last Warner Woman by Kei Miller
  • Puerto Rico: Sirena Selena by Mayra Santos Febres
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis: The Atlantic Sound by Caryl Phillips
  • Saint Lucia: Omeros by Derek Walcott
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo

Central

  • Costa Rica: Assault on Paradise by Tatiana Lobo
  • El Salvador: Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya
  • Guatemala: The Men of the Corn by Miguel Ángel Asturias
  • Nicaragua: The Country Under My Skin by Gioconda Belli

ASIA

Arabian Peninsula

  • Saudi Arabia: Fatma by Raja Alem
  • Yemen: I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali

Central

  • Kazakhstan: The Book of Words by Abay Qunanbayuli
  • Mongolia: The Blue Sky by Galsan Tschinag

East

Middle East

  • Abkhazia: The Last of the Departed by Bagrat Shinkuba
  • Armenia: Peace to Everybody by Hovhannes Shiraz
  • Georgia: Shocked Tatyana by Lasha Bugadze
  • Iran: God’s Shadow: Prison poems by Reza Baraheni
  • Iraq: Thura’s Diary by Thura al-Windawi
  • Israel: Dolly City by Orly Castel-Bloom
  • Lebanon: Women of Sand and Myrrh by Hanan Al-Shaykh
  • Palestine: Palestinian Walks by Raja Shehadeh
  • Syria: Éloge de la haine (In Praise of Hatred) by Khaled Khalifa
  • Turkey: A Mind at Peace by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar

South

Southeast

  • Cambodia: First They Killed My Father by Loung Ung
  • Malaysia: And the Rain My Drink by Suyin Han
  • Singapore: If We Dream Too Long by Goh Poh Seng
  • Thailand: Shadow Country by Pira Sudham

EUROPE

Central

  • Austria: The Guiltless by Hermann Broch
  • Croatia: The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andrić
  • Czech: Republic Of Kids & Parents by Emil Hakl
  • Germany: The Tin Drum by Günter Grass
  • Hungary: The Book of Hrabal by Péter Esterházy
  • Poland: House of Day, House of Night by Olga Tokarczuk
  • Slovenia: Guarding Hanna by Miha Mazzini

East

North

  • Denmark: The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen
  • Finland: Under the North Star by Väinö Linna
  • Iceland: Black Skies by Arnaldur Indriðason
  • Lithuania: Daughter-in-Law by Žemaitė
  • Norway: 172 hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
  • Sweden: Shadows by Kaein Alvtegen

South

Southeast

  • Albania: The Ghost Rider by Ismail Kadare
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo Blues by Semezdin Mehmedinović
  • Bulgaria: The Tongue Set Free by Elias Canetti
  • Greece: Deadline in Athens by Petros Markaris
  • Macedonia: The Great Water by Zivko Cingo
  • Montenegro: L’homme qui mangeait la mort (The Man Who Ate Death) by Borislav Pekić
  • Romania: The Passport by Herta Müller
  • Serbia: Hourglass by Danilo Kiš

Southwest

  • Basque: Obabakoak by Bernardo Atxaga
  • Portugal: Small Memories by José Saramago
  • Spain: El pintor de batallas (The Painter of Battles) by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

West

OCEANIA

  • Australia: The Broken Shore by Peter Temple
  • Fiji: The Wounded Sea by Satendra Nandan
  • New Zealand: The Bone People by Keri Hulme
  • Niue: The Shark That Ate the Sun by John Pule
  • Papua New Guinea: Kiki: Ten Thousand Years in a Lifetime by Albert Maori Kiki
  • Samoa: Where We Once Belonged by Sia Figiel

Selections are made based on the following factors: a) recommendations, b) what my local library carries, and c) what I was able to find from the country, in that order.

EDIT: I’m not alone! Check out the Global Readers page for a list of people doing this (or a modified version of this) challenge!

This challenge was inspired by the Have Books Will Travel blog.

    3 thoughts on “Reading Around the World

      • Not quite *all* countries. There’s a few that don’t seem to have a lot of literary output (at least not that I can find!). Oh well, still looking.

        Anyways, thank you very much! We’ll see how it goes :)

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