Around The World in 26 Books!

Earlier this week, while talking to Tristen over at musingsfromablogabroad, I came to the realisation that the list of countries that I have read books from is shockingly short. I have read a lot of European, American, and Australian literature and, well, not that much else. It’s terrible, I know! Anyway, I’ve decided to remedy this by setting myself a challenge: I am going to try to read one book from a different country for each letter of the alphabet (i.e. A for Argentina, B for Belarus, etc).

As you can probably imagine, it gets a little tricky with letters like Q, Y and X, which is why I need your help. I thought I would post my very tentative reading list and if you have any recommendations, please let me know. I am finding it especially difficult to find Qatari, Omani and Yemeni literature that has been translated into English. Anyway, here it is!

A – Argentina, Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges

B – Belarus, Chernobyl Power by Svetlana Alexievich

C – Cuba, Before Night Falls by Reinaldo Arenas

D – Denmark, Out Of Africa by Karen Blixen

E – Egypt, Arabian Days and Nights by Naguib Mahfouz

F – Finland, Under the North Star by Väinö Linna

GGreece, Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis

H – Hungary, Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb

I – Iran, The Blind Owl by Sadegh Hedayat

J – Jordan, Snow in Amman: An Anthology of Short Stories from Jordan by Ibtihal Mahmood

K – Korea (South), The Vegetarian by Han Kang

L – Libya, The Return by Hisham Matar

M – Moldova, The Good Life Elsewhere by Vladimir Lorchenkov

N – Nigeria, We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

O – Oman, Earth Weeps, Saturn Laughs by Abdulaziz al-Farsi

P – Philippines, Noli Me Tangere by José Rizal

Q – Qatar, The Holy Sail by Abdulaziz al-Mahmoud or The Girl Who Fell to Earth by Sophia al-Maria (not sure if this one counts because she grew up in the US, Qatar and Egypt)

R – Romania, any book by Herta Müller

S – Singapore, Ministry of Moral Panic by Amanda Lee Koe

T – Thailand, Sightseeing by Rattawut Sapcharoeasop

U – Uruguay, The Ship of Fools by Cristina Peri Rossi

V – Vietnam, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

W – Wales, Gillian Clarke: Collected Poems by Gillian Clarke

X – Mexico, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Y – Yemen, A Land Without Jasmine by Wajdi al-Ahdal

Z – Zimbabwe, We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

Have you read any of these books? Do you have any recommendations? I would greatly appreciate your help and if any of you want to join this reading challenge, please let me know. 🙂 

~Anna

EDIT: I forgot to mention that Tristen and I will be attempting this challenge together. Well, I didn’t exactly forget – I’m just technologically challenged and couldn’t figure out how to add the link to her blog. Anyway, I figured out how to do it and you can find her blog here. I strongly recommend checking it out as her reviews are very good and she has read pretty much every book on the planet. Oh, and she is much better at posting regularly than I am.

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Anna

Anna. Melbourne. Bookseller. Student. Serial tsundokist.

4 thoughts on “Around The World in 26 Books!”

  1. The other day I was watching this TED Talk, and it reminded me of this challenge! The talk is by Ann Morgan, and she challenged herself to read a book from every country in the world. So you might find it interesting. 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, Nirmala! I’m really amazed that she managed to find a book from every single country – it’s so hard to find books from some countries that have been translated into English. I’m feeling very inspired now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very cool challenge! I read the Adichie essay a couple of months ago and it’s very good. Have you read anything else by her? She’s amazing. Nigerian fiction seems to be exploding the past few years. I’ve read The Vegetarian – it’s wild. Unlike anything else I’ve ever read. And I read The House on Mango Street in high school and enjoyed it very much. Everything else I’ve read by Cisneros has been good. Looking forward to your reviews!

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    1. Adichie is amazing! I picked ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ because it is quite short and I wanted to read some non-fiction as well as fiction for this challenge. I desperately need to read Americanah though. Am definitely looking forward to ‘The Vegetarian’ as well – I’ve heard that it is a pretty unique reading experience. So many good books to read! Thanks for your comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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