Reading World Tour

I stumbled across Ann Morgan’s A Year of Reading the World. I like the idea of reading a book from every country, but I’m not crazy enough to do so within a year (or even a decade). Morgan’s list (found here) is a useful starting place because her blog attracted people from around the world who made suggestions and recommendations. I went through her list and picked a book from each country.

No single work can sum up an entire country, but ideally each of these books will be set in a given country and written by someone familiar with its culture. Ann Morgan wrestled with this a lot which is another reason I’m keen to use her list as a starting place—its offerings have been reasonably well-vetted.

Note: If any of these books turn out to be exceptionally rare or expensive, I may swap them out.

If you have recommendations, leave them in the comments!

  • Afghanistan
    • Atiq Rahimi: A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear; The Patience Stone
    • Khaled Hosseini: The Kite Runner; And the Mountains Echoed
  • Albania
    • Ismail Kadare: The Palace of Dreams
    • Fatos Kongoli: The Loser
  • Algeria
    • Boualem Sansal: An Unfinished Business
  • Andorra
    • Albert Salvadó: The Teacher of Cheops
  • Angola
    • Jose Eduardo Agualusa: The Book of Chameleons
  • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Jamaica Kincaid: Lucy
  • Argentina
    • Jorges Luis Borges: Ficciones
  • Armenia
    • Grigoris Balakian: Armenian Golgotha
  • Australia
    • Markus Zuzak: The Book Thief
  • Austria
    • Elias Canetti: The Torch in My Ear
  • Azerbaijan
    • Kurban Said: Ali and Nino
  • The Bahamas
    • Garth Buckner: Thine Is the Kingdom
  • Bahrain
    • Sarah A Al Sahfei: Yummah
  • Bangladesh
    • Tahmina Anam: The Good Muslim
  • Barbados
    • Karen Lord: Redemption in Indigo
  • Belarus
    • Svetlana Alexievish: Voices from Chernobyl
  • Belgium
    • Francois Emmanuel: Invitation to a Voyage
  • Belize
    • Zoila Ellis: On Heroes, Lizards and Passion
  • Benin
    • Rashidah Ismaili Abubakr: Stories We Tell Each Other
  • Bhutan
    • T. Sangay Wangchuk: Seeing with the Third Eye: Growing Up with Grandma in Rural Bhutan
  • Bolivia
    • Liliana Colanzi: Our Dead World
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Meša Selimović: Death and the Dervish
  • Botswana
    • Maisie and Travers McNeice: The Lion Children
  • Brazil
    • João Ubaldo Ribeiro: An Invincible Memory
  • Brunei
    • Eva Maria Kershaw: Dusun Folktales – A Collection of Eighty-eight Folktales in the Dusun Language of Brunei with English Translations
  • Bulgaria
    • Dimitar Dimov: Doomed Souls
  • Burkina Faso
    • Nobert Zongo: The Parachute Drop
  • Burundi
    • Marie-Therese Toyi: Weep Not, Refugee
  • Cambodia
    • U Sam Oeur: Crossing Three Wildernesses
  • Cameroon
    • Mongo Beti: Mission to Kala
  • Canada
    • Alice Munro: Runaway
  • Cape Verde
    • Germano Almeida: The Last Will & Testament of Senhar da Silva Araúho
  • Central African Republic
    • Polly Strong: African Tales: Folklore of the Central African Republic
  • Chad
    • Joseph Brahim Seid: Told by Starlight in Chad
  • Chile
    • Robert Bolano: The Savage Detectives
  • China
    • Mo Yan: Shifu, You’ll Do Anything for a Laugh
  • Colombia
    • Gabriel Garciá Márquez: 100 Years of Solitude
  • Comoros
    • Mohammad Toihiri: The Kafir of Karthala
  • Congo, Democratic Republic of
    • Frederick Yamusangie: Full Circle
  • Congo, Republic of
    • Sony Lab’ou Tansi: The Antipeople
  • Costa Rica
    • Carmen Naranjo: There Never Was a Once Upon a Time
  • Côte d’Ivoire
    • Ahmadou Kourouma: Allah Is Not Obliged
  • Croatia
    • Miroslav Krleža: On the Edge of Reason
  • Cuba
    • Ena Lucia Portela: One Hundred Bottles
  • Cyprus
    • Elmos Konis: Magnette – A Cyprus Odyssey
  • Czech Republic
    • Bohumil Hrabal: Too Loud a Solitude
  • Denmark
    • Christian Jungersen: The Exception
  • Djibouti
    • Abdourahman Waberi: In the United States of Africa
  • Dominica
    • Elma Napier: Black and White Sands
  • Dominican Republic
    • Junot Diaz: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Drown
  • East Timor
    • Luis Cardoso: The Crossing
  • Ecuador
    • Jorge Icaza: Huasipungo
  • Egypt
    • Ibrahim Abdel Meguid: No One Sleeps in Alexandria
  • El Salvador
    • Horacio Castellanos Moya: Senselessness
  • Equatorial Guinea
    • Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel: By Night the Mountain Burns
  • Eritrea
    • Dawit Gebremichael Habte: Gratitude in Low Voices
  • Estonia
    • Jaan Kross: Professor Martens’ Departure
  • Ethiopia
    • Abraham Verghese: Cutting for Stone
  • Fiji
    • Tales of the Tikongs
  • Finland
    • Emmi Itäranta: Memory of Water
  • France
    • Abnousse Shalmani: Khomeini, Sade and Me
  • Gabon
    • Daniel Mengara: Mema
  • The Gambia
    • Dembo Fanta Bojang & Sukai Mbye Bojang: Folk Tales and Fables from The Gambia
  • Georgia
    • Sana Krasikov: One More Year
  • Germany
    • Herman Hesse: Siddhartha
  • Ghana
    • Ayi Kwei Armah: The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born
  • Greece
    • Margarita Karapanou: Kassandra and the Wolf
  • Grenada
    • Merle Collins: The Ladies Are Upstairs
  • Guatemala
    • Miguel Angel Asturias: The President
  • Guinea
    • Camara Laye: The Radiance of the King
  • Guinea-Bissau
    • Amilcar Cabral: Unity and Struggle
  • Guyana
    • Oonya Kempadoo: Buxton Spice
  • Haiti
    • Edwidge Danticat: The Farming of Bones
  • Honduras
    • Guillermo Yuscaran: Points of Light
  • Hungary
    • Sándor Márai: Embers
  • Iceland
    • Gyrðir Eliasson: Stone Tree
  • India
    • Vivek Shanbhag: Ghachar Ghochar
  • Indonesia
    • Pramoedya Ananta Toer: This Earth of Mankind
  • Iran
    • Fariba Hachtroudi: The Man Who Snapped His Fingers
  • Iraq
    • Hassan Blasim: The Madman of Freedom Square
  • Ireland
    • James Joyce: Ulysses…just kidding! Dubliners
  • Israel
    • Sara Shilo: The Falafel King is Dead
  • Italy
    • Elena Ferrante: My Brilliant Friend
  • Jamaica
    • Marlon James: The Book of Night Women
  • Japan
    • Haruki Murakami: 1Q84
  • Jordan
    • Abdulrahman Munif: Cities of Salt
  • Kazakhstan
    • Mukhamet Shayakhmetov: The Silent Steppe: The Memoir of a Kazakh Nomad Under Stalin
  • Kenya
    • Binyavanga Wainaina: One Day I Will Write About This Place
  • Kiribati
    • Teweiariki Teaero: Waa in Storms
  • Kuwait
    • Danderma: The Chronicles of Dathra, a Dowdy Girl from Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
    • Chingiz Aitmatov: The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years
  • Laos
    • Outhine Bounyavong: Mother’s Beloved
  • Latvia
    • Sandra Kalniete: With Dance Shoes in Siberian Snows
  • Lebanon
    • Iman Humaydan: Wild Mulberries
  • Lesotho
    • K. Limakatso Kendall: Basali! Stories by and about Women in Lesotho
  • Liberia
    • Helene Cooper: The House at Sugar Beach
  • Libya
    • Hisham Matar: Anatomy of a Disappearance
  • Liechtenstein
    • Heinrich Harrer: Seven Years in Tibet
  • Lithuania
    • Antanas Škėma: White Shroud
  • Luxembourg
    • Robi Gottlieb-Cahen: Minute Stories
  • Macedonia
    • Goce Smilevski: Conversation with Spinoza
  • Madagascar
    • Naivo: Beyond the Rice Fields
  • Malawi
    • Samson Kambalu: The Jive Talker
  • Malaysia
    • Shih-Li Kow: Ripples and Other Stories
  • Maldives
    • Abdullah Sadiq: Dhon Hiyala and Ali Fulhu
  • Mali
    • Amadou Hampâté Bâ: The Strange Destiny of Wangrin
  • Malta
    • Immanuel Mifsud: Happy Weekend
  • Marshall Islands
    • Ed Daniel Kelin: Marshall Islands Legends and Stories
  • Mauritania
    • Mohamed Bouya Bamba: Angels of Mauritania and the Curse of the Language
  • Mauritius
    • Barlen Pyamootoo: Benares
  • Mexico
    • Octavio Paz: The Labyrinth of Solitude
  • Micronesia, Federated States of
    • Luelen Bernart: The Book of Luelen
  • Moldova
    • Ion Drutse: The Story of an Ant
  • Monaco
    • Richard and Danae Projetti: Grace Kelly: Princesse du Cinema
  • Mongolia
    • Galsan Tschinag: The Blue Sky
  • Montenegro
    • Xenia Popovich: A Lullaby for No Man’s Wolf
  • Morocco
    • Mohammed Berrada: The Game of Forgetting
  • Mozambique
    • Mia Couto: The Sleepwalking Land
  • Myanmar
    • Nu Nu Yi Inwa: Smile as They Bow
  • Namibia
    • Joseph Diescho: Troubled Waters
  • Nauru
    • Ben Bam Solomon, et al.: Stories from Nauru
  • Nepal
    • Samrat Upadhyay: Buddha’s Orphans
  • Netherlands
    • Harry Mulisch: The Discovery of Heaven
  • New Zealand
    • Eleanor Catton: The Luminaries
  • Nicaragua
    • Gioconda Belli: Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand
  • Niger
    • Nouhou Malio: The Epic of Askia Mohammed
  • Nigeria
    • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Americanah; Half of a Yellow Sun
    • Chinua Achebe: Things Fall Apart
  • North Korea
    • Ri In Mo: My Life and Faith
  • Norway
    • Karl Ove Knausgaard: My Struggle
  • Oman
    • Khadija bint Alawi Al-Dhahab: My Grandmother’s Stories
  • Pakistan
    • Daniyal Mueenuddin: In Other Rooms, Other Wonders
  • Palau
    • Susan Kloulechad: Spirits’ Tides
  • Palestine
    • Ibtisam Barakat: Tasting the Sky – A Palestinian Childhood
  • Panama
    • Juan David Morgan: The Golden Horse
  • Papua New Guinea
    • Bernard Narokobi: Two Seasons
  • Paraguay
    • Augusto Roa Bastos: I, the Supreme
  • Peru
    • Mario Vargas Llosa: Death in the Andes
  • Philippines
    • Bino A. Realuyo
  • Poland
    • Olga Tokarczuk: House of Day, House of Night
  • Portugal
    • José Saramago: The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis
  • Qatar
    • Abdul Aziz Al Mahmoud: The Corsair
  • Romania
    • Herta Müller: The Passport
  • Russia
    • Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita
  • Rwanda
    • Philip Gourevitch: We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with our Families
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
    • Bertram Roach: Only God Can Make a Tree
  • Saint Lucia
    • McDonald Dixon: Season of Mist
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
    • Cecil Browne: The Moon Is Following Me
  • Samoa
    • Sia Figiel: The Girl in the Moon Circle
  • San Marino
    • Giuseppe Rossi: The Republic of San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
    • Olinda Beja: The Shepard’s House
  • Saudi Arabia
    • Raja Alem: My Thousand and One Nights: A Novel of Mecca
  • Senegal
    • Mariama Bâ: So Long a Letter
  • Serbia
    • Milorad Pavic: Dictionary of the Khazars
  • Seychelles
    • William Travis: Beyond the Reefs
  • Sierra Leone
    • Aminatta Forna: The Memory of Love
  • Singapore
    • Su-Chen Christine Lim: Fistful of Colours
  • Slovakia
    • Peter Pišt’anek: Rivers of Babylon
  • Slovenia
    • Nataša Kramberger: Heaven in a Blackberry Bush
  • Solomon Islands
    • John Saunana: The Alternative
  • Somalia
    • Nuruddin Farah: Secrets
  • South Africa
    • Nelson Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom
  • South Korea
    • Han Kang: The Vegetarian
  • South Sudan
    • Julia Duany:” To Forgive Is Divine Not Human”
  • Spain
    • Carlos Ruiz Zafón: The Shadow of the Wind
  • Sri Lanka
    • Carl Muller: The Jam Fruit Tree
  • Sudan
    • Tarek Eltayeb: The Palm House
  • Suriname
    • Cynthia Mcleod: The Cost of Sugar
  • Swaziland
    • Sarah Mkhonsa: Weeding the Flowerbeds
  • Sweden
    • John Ajvide Lindqvist: Let the Right One In
    • Jonas Jonasson: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
  • Switzerland
    • Aglala Veteranyi: Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta
  • Syria
    • Rafik Schami: Damascus Nights
  • Taiwan
    • Pai Hsien-yung: Crystal Boys
  • Tajikistan
    • Andrei Volos: Hurramabad
  • Tanzania
    • Abdulrazak Gurnah: Desertion
  • Thailand
    • Kampoon Boontawee: A Child of the Northeast
  • Togo
    • Tété-Michel Kpomassie: An African in Greenland
  • Tonga
    • Joshua Taumoefolau: A Providence of War
  • Trinidad and Tobago
    • V.S. Naipaul: A House for Mr. Biswas
  • Tunisia
    • Abdelwahab Meddeb: Talismano
  • Turkey
    • Orhan Pamuk: My Name Is Red, Snow
  • Turkmenistan
    • John Kropf: Unknown Sands
  • Tuvalu
    • Various: Tuvalu – A history
  • Uganda
    • Moses Isegawa: Abyssinian Chronicles
  • Ukraine
    • Nikolai Gogol: Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka
  • United Arab Emirates
    • Qais Sedki: Gold Ring
  • United Kingdom
    • Kazuo Ishiguro: The Remains of the Day
  • United States of America
    • Cormac McCarthy: All the Pretty Horses
  • Uruguay
    • Felisberto Hernández: Lands of Memory
  • Uzbekistan
    • Hamid Ismailov: The Railway
  • Vanuatu
    • Sethy Regenvau: Laef Blong Mi: From Village to Nation
  • Vatican City
    • The Millenari: Shroud of Secrecy – The Story of Corruption within the Vatican
  • Venezuela
    • Alberto Barrera Tyszka: The Sickness
  • Vietnam
    • Nguyen Ngoc Thuan: Open the Window, Eyes Closed
  • Yemen
    • Wajdi al-Ahdal: A Land without Jasmine
  • Zambia
    • Gaile Parkin: Baking Cakes in Kigali
  • Zimbabwe
    • Christopher Mlalazi: They Are Coming

 

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