Reading All Around the World

Posted December 31, 2016 by Lory in challenges / 22 Comments

I just heard of this project from Jean of Howling Frog Books, and it’s something I’d really like to work on: reading books from or about as many different countries of the world as possible.

I’m going to take it pretty casually, and not make huge lists or attempt to reach a certain number by a certain time. The goal is to get up to a minimum of 50 countries, so I’ll see if and when I get there! I will try to keep track of my progress in some way – a map would be fun, as Jean suggests. Here are ten books that are already on my Mount TBR list, and will do nicely to start me off:

  • Before the Feast by Sasa Stanisic (Germany)
  • Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan (China)
  • A Different King of Daughter by Maria Toorpakai (Pakistan)
  • Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett (Australia)
  • One Half from the East by Nadia Habibi (Afghanistan)
  • Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih (Sudan)
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (Spain)
  • The Gilded Chalet by Padraig Rooney (Switzerland)
  • The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson (Egypt)
  • Sophie Someone by Hayley Long (Belgium)

I’ll be back tomorrow with more reading plans for the New Year, but I’d love to know especially if you’ll be joining in with this project, or have any other round-the-world recommendations for me.



22 responses to “Reading All Around the World

  1. Well, apart from Mount TBR I promised myself I wouldn’t take on any other challenges, but it was a vague goal to read ‘more’ books from around the world than just the cosy English-language transatlantic two or three. So while I may not formally take this on (50 titles may require more than one year to achieve) I’ll certainly enter into the spirit of the thing!

    • Great, Chris! As Jean mentions below, it’s not a year-long challenge, so any timeline will work. I was impressed how many books I could fill in just from my Mount TBR list, in case you have any on there that would count.

  2. Perfecto! Thanks for joining, Lory!! I think we’re going to have fun.

    Come on by and take a look, Chris, there is no timeline! It’s not a year-long challenge, but a long-term project. 🙂

    • Oh , boy, I tempted by this challenge! The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series is set in Botswana and they are all fun, quick reads. I’m sure I’ll think of more…

  3. Reading ’round the world does sound like fun. I’ve seen similar blog posts, some that talk about 80 books from 80 different countries. I’d probably never make that count, but I like the idea of expanding my reading horizons and trying some of these books written in and about other countries. The books on your list look interesting; hope you blog about the best ones. 🙂 Good luck!

    • I just came across that one too. It’s quite an amazing list! I think I’m going to take it one book at a time, though, gradually adding more countries as I go along, and I will definitely look forward to sharing my favorites.

      • Thanks to this post, Lory, I went to the site and I am joining in. I really need something that will gently challenge me to read more contemporary books from/about other countries so this sounds perfect!

  4. This ties in well with a course I’m developing on global children’s lit (PB to YA). I don’t have time to join the challenge, but I’ll check in periodically to look for reading suggestions.
    BTW, if you’re looking for a great book from India, Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy is wonderful (but also LONG).

  5. Oh, I wish I saw this one sooner! I signed up for so many other challenges. I’ll have to think on joining this one though it sounds AMAZING. And its right up my alley with reading more diverse books.

    At the very least, I’ll be watching to get tons of recs. Good luck, have fun!

    • Maybe you can find some books on your other challenge lists that would count? There’s no end date for this project, so you could make a start at least. Hope to see some of your diverse reads too!

  6. If I wasn’t having so much fun reading books from my own country, this is probably the type of challenge I would want to do. For now, I’ll have a good time reading about the books and countries you choose, and start building up a list for myself!

    • Reading books from one’s own country is also worthwhile. There are parts of the USA that are like a foreign country to me.

  7. Awesome! I have to check these books and maybe add them to my own TBR 😀 Don Quijote is a challenge I’m not ready for yet. My mother tongue is Spanish and I find it difficult to understand! I can’t wait to read your thoughts on it.

    • I read an abridged version in high school, but I want to tackle it again (in full this time). I’ve been advised that some judicious skipping can be helpful!

  8. You should really try out Tatiana De Rosnay’s “Sarah’s Key” ( if you haven’t already). It’s set in France, and is about the Occupation.
    I’m doing momssmallvictories’ Travel the World in Books Challenge this year.

    • Thank you for the recommendation! Good luck with your challenge – I shall have a look for some more round the world inspiration.