Monthly Archives: July 2007

SOUTH AMERICA – Reading The World

 

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South America
Countries read are in bold blue

Potential books to be read are listed below each country. Books read are in red. An asterisk (*) indicates books I own but have not read yet.

1. Argentina (Buenos Aires)

  • A Secret for Julia, by Patricia Sagastizabal

2. Bolivia (Sucre)

  • The Fat Man From La Paz: Contemporary Fiction from Bolivia, by Rosario Santos

3. Brazil (Brasilia)

  • The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo (finished 15 June 2007; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • The War of the End of the World, by Mario Vargas Llosa

4. Chile (Santiago)

  • Memoirs, by Pablo Neruda
  • The House of Spirits, by Isabel Allende

5. Colombia (Bogota)

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez*

6. Ecuador (Quito)

  • The Amnesia Clinic, by James Scudamore
  • Huasipungo (aka: The Villagers), by Jorge Icaza

7. Guyana (Georgetown)

  • Buxton Spice by Oonya Kempadoo

8. Paraguay (Asuncion)

  • At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig, by John Gimlette

9. Peru (Lima)

  • Conversation in the Cathedral, by Mario Vargas Llosa*
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder (finished 23 December 2007; rated 3/5; read my review)

10. Suriname (Paramaribo)

  • Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice, by Mark Plotkin

11. Uruguay (Montevideo)

  • Let the Wind Speak, by Juan Carlos Onetti

12. Venezuela (Caracas)

  • The Lady, The Chef, and The Courtesan, by Marisol

NORTH AMERICA – Reading The World

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North America

Countries read are in bold blue

Potential books to be read are listed below each country. Books read are in red. An asterisk (*) indicates books I own but have not read yet.

1. Antigua and Barbuda (St. Johns)

  • Annie John, by Jamaica Kincaid

2. Bahamas (Nassau)

3. Barbados (Bridgetown)

  • In The Castle of My Skin, by George Lamming

4. Belize (Belmopan)

5. Canada (Ottawa)

  • Fall on Your Knees, by Ann-Marie MacDonald (Finished 26 April 2007; set in Cape Breton Island; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood (finished 13 May 2007; rated 4.5/5; set in Toronto; read my review)
  • The Outlander, by Gil Adamson (finished 27 December 2007; rated 5/5; set in Western Canada; read my review)
  • The Tenderness of Wolves, by Stef Penney (finished 5 April 2008; rated 5/5; set in Ontario Canada; read my review)
  • Galore, by Michael Crummey (finished 30 April 2011; rated 5/5; set in Newfoundland; read my review)
  • The Way the Crow Flies, by Ann-Marie MacDonald*
  • The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, by Wayne Johnston (set in Newfoundland)
  • Mercy Among the Children, by David Adams Richards (set in New Brunswick)

6. Costa Rica (San Jose)

7. Cuba (Havana)

  • Dreaming in Cuba, by Christina Garcia

8. Dominica (Roseau)

  • The Orchid House, by Phyllis Shad Allfrey

9. Dominican Republic (Santo Domingo)

  • Feast of the Goat, by Mario Vargas Llosa*
  • In The Time of the Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez (finished 23 October 2012; rated 3/5; read my review)

10. El Salvador (San Salvador)

11. Grenada (St. George’s)

  • Under the Silk Cotton Tree, by Jean Buffong

12. Guatemala (Guatemala City)

13. Haiti (Port-au-Prince)

  • The Dew Breaker, by Edwidge Danticat
  • Krik?Krak! by Edwidge Danticat

14. Honduras (Tegucigaipa)

  • The Soccer War, by Ryszard Kapuscinski

15. Jamaica (Kingston)

  • Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys

16. Mexico (Mexico City)

  • The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, by C.M. Mayo (finished 01 May 2009; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  • Mexico, by James Michener*
  • Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo, by Hayden Herrera
  • Consider This, Senora, by Harriet Doerr

17. Nicaragua (Managua)

  • The Jaguar Smile, by Salman Rushdie
  • The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War, by Gioconda Belli

18. Panama (Panama City)

19. Saint Kitts and Nevis (Basseterre)

20. Saint Lucia (Castries)

21. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (Kingstown)

22. Trinidad and Tobago (Port-of-Spain)

  • Chutney Power, by Willi Chen
  • The Lonely Londoners, by Sam Selvon

23. United States (Washington D.C.)

  • The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck (finished 18 January 2007; rated 5/5; set in California; read my review)
  • To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (finished 21 March 2007; rated 5/5; set in Alabama; read my review)
  • Travels With Charley in Search of America, by John Steinbeck (finished 29 March 2007; rated 5/5; set in 1960s America; read my review)
  • Summer Crossing, by Truman Capote (finished 21 July 2007; rated 4.5/5; set in New York City; read my review)

 

 

 

AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA – Reading The World

 

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Australia – Oceania
(click on map to enlarge)

Countries read are in bold blue

Potential books to be read are listed below each country. Books read are in red. An asterisk (*) indicates books I own but have not read yet.

1. Australia (Canberra)

  • The Paperbark Shoe by Goldie Goldblum (finished 09 May 2011; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • The True History of the Kelly Gang, by Peter Carey*
  • The Idea of Perfection, by Kate Grenville*
  • The Secret River, by Kate Grenville (finished 13 October 2008; rated 5/5; read my review)

2. Fiji (Suva)

3. Kiribati (Bairiki)

4. Marshall Islands (Majuro)

5. Micronesia (Palikir)

6. Nauru (no official capital)

7. New Zealand (Wellington)

  • The Bone People, by Keri Hulme (finished 12 July 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • The Colour, by Rose Tremain (finished 25 August 2008; rated 5/5; read my review)

8. Palau (Koror)

9. Papua New Guinea (Port Moresby)

  • The White Mary, by Kira Salak (finished 16 July 2008; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Throwim Way Leg, by Tim Flannery

10. Samoa (Apia)

  • Where We Once Belonged, by Sia Figiel

11. Solomon Islands (Honiara)

12. Tonga (Nuku’alofa)

13. Tuvalu (Funafuti)

  • The Happy Isles of Oceania, by Paul Theroux

14. Vanuatu (Port-Vila)

ASIA – Reading The World

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Asia

Countries read are in bold blue

Potential books to be read are listed below each country. Books read are in red. An asterisk (*) indicates books I own but have not read yet.

1. Afghanistan (Kabul)

  • A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini (finished 8 December 2007; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (finished 13 June 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • Earth and Ashes, Atiq Rahimi (finished 18 August 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear, by Atiq Rahimi (finished 14 January 2011; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

2. Azerbaijan (Baku)

  • Ali and Nino, by Kurban Said

3. Bahrain (Manama)

4. Bangladesh (Dhaka)

5. Bhutan (Thimphu)

6. Brunei (Bander Seri Begawan)

7. Burma/Myanmar (Yangon)

  • The Lizard Cage, by Karen Connelly (finished 12 May 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Everything is Broken, by Emma Larkin (finished 04 June 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Bamboo People, by
  • The Glass Palace, by Amitav Ghosh

8. Cambodia (Phnom Penh)

  • Highways To A War, by Christopher J. Koch
  • First They Killed My Father, by Loung Ung

9. China (Beijin)

  • Balzac and The Little Chinese Seamstress, by Dai Sijie (finished 8 January 2007; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  • Peony in Love, by Lisa See (finished 18 June 2007; rated 3.75/5; read my review)
  • The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck (finished 28 November 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • Wild Swans, by Jung Chang
  • Oracle Bones, by Peter Hessler

10. Cyprus (Nicosia)

  • Small Wars, by Sadie Jones (finished 6 February 2011, rated 4.5/5; read my review)

11. East Timor (Dili)

12. India (New Delhi)

  • The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai (finished 16 March 2007; rated 4.25/5; read my review)
  • The Space Between Us, by Thrity Umrigar (finished 21 April 2007; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  • The God of Small Things, by Arundhai Roy (finished 29 September 2007; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, by Kiran Desai (finished 21 December 2007; rated 3/5; read my review)
  • The White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga (finished 03 January 2009; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts*

13. Indonesia (Jakarta)

  • The Paradise Guest House by Ellen Sussman – set in Bali (finished 5 April 2013, rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • This Earth of Mankind, by Pramoedya Ananta Toer

14. Iran (Tehran)

  • Laughing Without An Accent, by Firoozeh Dumas (finished 17 May 2008; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood, by Marjane Satrapi (finished 27 December 2009; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return, by Marjane Satrapi (finished 28 December 2009; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi*
  • My Father’s Notebook, by Kader Abdolah
  • Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora, by Persis M. Karim
  • The Blood of Flowers, by Anita Amirrezvani

15. Iraq (Baghdad)

  • A Thousand Veils, by D.J. Murphy (finished 13 June 2009; rated 3.5/5; read my review)

16. Israel (Jerusalem)

  • Wherever You Go, by Joan Leegant (finished 21 January 2011; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • A Woman in Jerusalem, by A.B. Yehoshua*

17. Japan (Tokyo)

  • The Great Fire, by Shirley Hazzard (finished 8 August 2007; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Hiroshima in the Morning, by Rahna Reiko Rizzuto (finished 05 October 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Picking Bones From Ash, by Marie Mutsuki Mockett (finished 18 March 2011; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Schoolgirl, by Osamu Dazai (finished 31 October 2011; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden*
  • Shipwrecks, by Akira Yoshimura

18. Jordan (Amman)

  • A Beggar at Damascus Gate, by Yasmine Zahran
  • Pillars of Salt, by Fadia Faqir

19. Kazakstan (Astana)

20. Korea, North (Pyongyang)

  • The Guest, by Hwang Sok-Yong

21. Korea, South (Seoul)

22. Kuwait (Kuwait City)

23. Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek)

24. Laos (Vientiane)

  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, by Anne Fadiman

25. Lebanon (Beirut)

  • Gate of the Sun, by Elias Khoury*

26. Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)

  • The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (finished 31 March 2012; rated 4.5/5; read my review)

27. Maldivs (Male)

28. Mongolia (Ulan Bator)

29. Nepal (Kathmandu)

30. Oman (Muscat)

31. Pakistan (Islamabad)

  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist, by Mohsin Hamid (finished 11 January 2008; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • When the Rainbow Goddess Wept, by Cecilia Manquerra Brainard
  • Maps For Lost Lovers, by Nadeem Aslam32. Philippines (Manila)

33. Quatar (Doha)

34. Saudi Arabia (Riyadh)

  • Finding Nouf, by Zoe Ferraris (finished 24 July 2009; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • City of Veils, by Zoe Ferraris (finished 24 August 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)

35. Singapore (Singapore City)

36. Sri Lanka (Colombo)

  • A Disobedient Girl, by Ru Freeman (finished 28 September 2009; rated 5/5; read my review)

37. Syria (Damascus)

  • A Lake Beyond the Wind, by Yahya Yakhlif

38. Tajikistan (Dushanbe)

39. Tibet (Lhasa)

  • The Snow Leopard, by Peter Matthiesson

40. Thailand (Bangkok)

41. Turkey (Ankara)

  • The Flea Palace, by Elif Shafak (finished 15 June 2007; rated 2.5/5; read my review)
  • Birds Without Wings, by Louis De Bernieres (finished 28 July 2007; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Bliss, by O.Z. Livaeli*

42. Turkmenistan (Ashgabat)

43. United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi)

44. Uzbekistan (Tashkent)

45. Vietnam (Hanoi)

  • The Lotus Eaters, by Tatjana Soli (finished 19 March 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • The Sorrow of War, by Bao Ninh

46. Yeman (Sana)

EUROPE – Reading The World

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Europe
(click on map to enlarge)

Countries read are in bold blue

Potential books to be read are listed below each country. Books read are in red. An asterisk (*) indicates books I own but have not read yet.

1. Albania (Tirane)

  • Broken April, by Ismail Kadare

2. Andorra (Andorra la Vella)

3. Armenia (Yerevan)

4. Austria (Vienna)

  • Maybe This Time by Alois Hotschnig (finished 13 September 2011; unrated; read my review)
  • The Fig Eater, by Jody Shield*
  • The Terror of Ice and Darkness, by Christoph Ransmayr
  • The Marriage Artist. by Andrew Winer (finished 22 October 2011; rated 5/5; read my review)

5. Belarus (Minsk)

6. Belgium (Brussels)

  • Summer in Termuren, by Louis Paul Boon

7. Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo)

  • The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway (finished 10 April 2008; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks (finished 4 July 2008; rated 5/5; read my review)

8. Bulgaria (Sofia)

9. Cape Verde (Praia)

10. Croatia (Zagreb)

  • Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, by Rebecca West
  • Cafe Europa, by Slavenka Drakulic

11. Czech Republic (Prague)

  • The Glass Room, by Simon Mawer (finished 06 April 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Giraffe, by J.M. Ledgard
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera

12. Denmark (Copenhagen)

  • Music and Silence, by Rose Tremain (finished 09 October 2008; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Leeway Cottage, by Beth Gutcheon*
  • The Royal Physician’s Visit, by Per Olov Enquist

13. Estonia (Tallinn)

  • The Czar’s Madman, by Jaan Kross

14. Finland (Helsinki)

  • Let The Northern Lights Erase Your Name, by Vendela Vida (Lapland) (finished 30 September 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • The Brothers, by Asko Sahlberg (finished 19 February 2012; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Mr. Darwin’s Gardener by Kristina Carlson (finished 29 June 2013; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Seven Brothers, by Aleksis Kivi

15. France (Paris)

  • Suite Francaise, by Irene Nemirovsky (finished 17 February 2007; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana De Rosnay (finished 02 September 2008; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  • Chocolat, by Joanne Harris (finished 26 February 2009; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery (finished 18 July 2009; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • Therese Raquin, by Emile Zola (finished 18 April 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Beside the Sea, by Veronique Olmi (finished 14 June 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • All Our Worldly Goods by Irene Nemirovsky (finished 12 January 2013; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Fire in the Blood by Irene Nemirovsky (finished 29 December 2009; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert

16. Georgia (Tbilisi)

  • Ali and Nino, by Kurban Said

17. Germany (Berlin)

  • The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak (finished 28 January 2007; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman by Friedrich Christian Delius (finished 29 November 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • The Reader, by Bernhard Sclink (finished 16 August 2008; rated 1.5/5; read my review)
  • Next World Novella, by Matthias Politycki (finished 15 March 2011; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  • The Mussel Feast, by Birgit Vanderbeke (finished 23 February 2013; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • Stones From The River, by Ursula Hegi*
  • Paper Kisses: A True Love Story, by Reinhard Kaiser

18. Greece (Athens)

  • Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, by Louis De Bernieres

19. Hungary (Budapest)

  • Embers, by Sandor Marai (finished 30 March 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (finished 16 December 2012; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Fatelessness, by Kmre Kertesz

20. Iceland (Reykjavik)

  • Independent People, by Halldor Laxness (finished 05 May 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • The Fish Can Sing, by Halldor Laxness

21. Ireland (Dublin)

  • The Blackwater Lightship, by ColmToibin (finished 9 November 2007; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • The Gathering, by Anne Enright (finished 9 March 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • Silver Wedding, by Maeve Binchy*
  • The Law of Dreams, by Peter Behrens

22. Italy (Rome)

  • The Book of Unholy Mischief, by Elle Newmark (finished 18 August 2009; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Sacred Hearts, by Sarah Dunant (finished 21 January 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman by Friedrich Christian Delius (finished 29 November 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Solitaria by Genni Gunn (finished 22 October 2011; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  • A Thousand Days in Tuscany, by Marlena De Blasi*
  • The Almond Picker, by Simonetta Agnello Hornby
  • The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
  • The Leopard, by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

23. Latvia (Riga)

24. Liechtenstein (Vaduz)

25. Lithuania (Vilnius)

26. Luxembourg (Luxembourg)

27. Macedonia (Skopje)

  • Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, by Rebecca West

28. Malta (Valletta)

29. Moldova (Chisinau)

30. Monaco (Monaco)

  • Anything Considered, by Peter Mayle

31. Montenegro (Podgorica)

32. Netherlands (Amsterdam, The Hague)

  • Tomorrow Pamplona, by Jan Van Mersbergen (finished 07 June 2011; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • The Dinner by Herman Koch (finished 21 June 2013; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • The Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank

33. Norway (Oslo)

  • Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson (finished 6 January 2009; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • I Curse the River of Time, by Per Petterson (finished 26 July 2010; rated 3/5; read my review)
  • Giants in the Earth, by O.E. Rolvaag*
  • Sophie’s World, by Jostein Gaarder*
  • In the Wake, by Per Peterson
  • Kristin Lavransdatter, by Sigrid Undset (finished 20 December 2009; rated 4.5/5; read my review of The Wreath, The Wife, and The Cross)

34. Poland (Warsaw)

  • The Zookeeper’s Wife, by Diane Ackerman (finished 12 May 2008; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Bread Givers, by Anzia Yeziersk (finished 30 January 2011; rated 3/5; read my review)
  • Anything by the author Ryszard Kapuscinski
  • Nine, by Andrezej Stasiuk

35. Portugal (Lisbon)

  • Alentejo Blue, by Monica Ali (finished 22 February 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)

36. Romania (Bucharest)

  • Land of Green Plums, by Herta Muller
  • The Hooligan’s Return, by Norman Manea
  • The Passport, by Herta Muller (finished 24 November 2009; rated 5/5; read my review)

37. Russia (Moscow)

  • The Madonnas of Leningrad, by Debra Dean (finished 7 May 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak (finished 24 November 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • The True Memoirs of Little K, by Adrienne Sharp (finished 02 October 2011; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • The Brothers Karmazov, by Fyodor Doestoevsky*
  • A Russian Journal, by John Steinbeck*
  • War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy*

38. San Marino (San Marino)

39. Serbia (Belgrade)

  • Bridge on the Drina, by Ivo Andric

40. Slovakia (Bratislava)

  • Zoli, by Colum McCann

41. Slovenia (Ljublijana)

  • Veronika Decides To Die, by Paulo Coelho (finished 2 November 2007; rated 3.5/5; read my review)

42. Spain (Madrid)

  • The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (finished 7 July 2007; rated 4.75/5; read my review)
  • For Whom The Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway (finished 7 April 2007; rated 2.5/5; read my review)
  • Guernia, by Dave Boling (finished 14 September 2008; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Stone in a Landslide, by Maria Barbal (finished 29 December 2010; rated 4.5/5; read my review)

43. Sweden (Stockholm)

  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson (finished 16 April 2010; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  • Three Seconds, by Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom (finished 19 December 2010; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  • The Stockholm Octavo by Karen Englemann (finished 31 December 2012; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • Hanna’s Daughters, by Marianne Fredriksson*
  • April Witch, by Majqull Axelsson
  • Doctor Glas, by Hjalmar Soderberg
  • The Princess of Burundi, by Kjell Eriksson*

44. Switzerland (Bern)

  • Hotel Du Lac, by Anita Brookner (finished 22 July 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)

45. Ukraine (Kiev)

  • Everything is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer

46. United Kingdom (London)

  • Black Swan Green, by David Mitchell (finished 26 March 2007; rated 5/5; set in England; read my review)
  • Arthur and George, by Julian Barnes (finished 30 April 2007; rated 4/5; set in England; read my review)
  • Old Filth, by Jane Gardam (finished 29 May 2007; rated 3.75/5; set in London and Wales; read my review)
  • How Green Was My Valley, by Richard Llewelln (finished 15 August 2007; rated 5/5; set in South Wales; read my review)
  • Resistance, by Owen Sheers (finished 6 March 2008; rated 4.5/5; set in Wales; read my review)
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (finished 31 July 2008; rated 5/5; set on Guernsey in the Channel Islands; read my review)

47. Vatican City (na)

 

AFRICA – Reading the World

africa_map.gif

Africa
(click on map to enlarge)

Countries read are in bold blue

Potential books to be read are listed below each country. Books read are in red. An asterisk (*) indicates books I own but have not read yet.

1. Algeria (Algers)

  • Children of the New World: A Novel of the Algerian War, by Assia Djebar
  • Between Sea and Sahara: An Algerian Journal, by Eugene Fromentin

2. Angola (Luanda)

  • Angola Beloved, by T. Ernest Wilson

3. Benin (Port-Novo)

  • The Viceroy of Ouidah, by Bruce Chatwin

4. Botswana (Gaborone)

  • White Dog Fell From the Sky by Eleanor Morse (finished 30 January 2013; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, by Alexander McCall Smith

5. Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou)

6. Burundi (Bujumbura)

  • This Voice in My Heart: A Genocide Survivor’s Story of Escape, Faith and Forgiveness, by Gilbert Tuhabonye and Gary Brozek

7. Cameroon (Yaounde)

8. Central African Republic (Bangui)

9. Chad (N’Djamena)

  • The Translator: A Tribesman’s Memoir of Darfur, by Daoud Hari (finished 15 February 2008; rated 5/5; read my review)

10. Comoros (Moroni)

11. Congo (Brazzaville)

  • The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver (finished 12, July 2008; rated 5/5; read my review)

12. Congo, Democratic Republic of (Kinshasa)

  • A Bend in the River, by V. S. Naipaul (finished 3 October 2009; rated 1/5; read my review)
  • The Catastrophist, by Ronan Bennett
  • Facing the Congo: A Modern-Day Journey Into the Heart of Darkness, by Jeffrey Tayler

13. Cote d’Ivoire/Ivory Coast (Yamoussoukro)

  • As The Crow Flies, by Veronique Tadjo
  • Whiteman, by Tony D’Souza
  • The Suns of Independence, by Ahmadou Kourouma

14. Djibouti (Djibouti)

15. Egypt (Cairo)

  • Nefertiti, by Michelle Moran (finished 30 November 2008; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • The Heretic Queen, by Michelle Moran (finished 05 December 2008; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • The Cairo Trilogy, by Naguib Mahfouz*
  • Three Novels of Ancient Egypt, by Naguib Mahfouz*
  • The Yacoubian Building, by Alaa Al Aswany

16. Equatorial Guinea (Malabo)

  • Travels in West Africa, by Mary Kingsley

17. Eritrea (Asmara)

18. Ethiopia (Addis Ababa)

  • There is No Me Without You, by Melissa Fay Greene (finished 09 June 2010; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (finished 07 August 2010; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, by Dinaw Megestu
  • Sweetness in the Belly, by Camilla Gibb

19. Gabon (Liberville)

  • African Silences, by Peter Matthiessen

20. Gambia (Banjul)

21. Ghana (Accra)

  • The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born, by Ayi Kwei Armah
  • All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes by Maya Angelou

22. Guinea (Conakry)

  • L’Enfant Noir (aka: The Dark Child: The Autobiography of an African Boy), by Camara Laye

23. Guinea-Bissau (Bissau)

24. Kenya (Nairobi)

  • Wanderers: Stories, by Edward Belfar (finished 19 January 2013; rated 3.5/5; read my review)
  • The Camel Bookmobile, by Masha Hamilton
  • Out of Africa and Shadows on Grass, by Isak Dinesen

25. Lesotho (Maseru)

  • Singing Away Hunger: The Autobiography of an African Woman, by Mpho Matsepo Nthunya
  • Stories By and About Women in Lesotho, by K. Limakatso Kendall

26. Liberia (Monrovia)

27. Libya (Tripoli)

  • In The Country of Men, by Hisham Matar

28. Madagascar (Antananarivo)

29. Malawi (Lilongwe)

30. Mali (Bamako)

  • Men of Salt: Crossing the Sahara on the Caravan of White Gold, by Michael Benanav

31. Mauritania (Nouakchott)

32. Mauritius (Port Louis)

  • The Last Brother, by Nathacha Appanah (finished 21 February 2011; rated 5/5; read my review)

33. Morocco (Rabat)

  • Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail, by Malika Oufkir adn Michele Fitoussi (finished 16 May 2007; rated 4/5; read my review)

34. Mozambique (Maputo)

  • Dumba-Nengue, by Lina Magaia

35. Namibia (Windhoek)

  • Born of the Sun, by Joseph Diescho

36. Niger (Niamey)

37. Nigeria (Abuja)

  • Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (finished 7 January 2007; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (finished 24 January 2007; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, by Lola Shoneyin (finished 20 July 2011; rated 4/5; read my review)

38. Rwanda (Kigali)

  • Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron (finished 3 February 2012; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali, by Gil Courtemanche*

39. Sao Tome and Principe (Sao Tome)

40. Senegal (Dakar)

  • So Long A Letter, by Mariama Ba
  • Scarlet Song, by Mariama Ba
  • The Ambiguous Adventure, by Cheikh Hamidou Kane

41. Seychelles (Victoria)

42. Sierra Leone (Freetown)

  • Someone Knows My Name, by Lawrence Hill (finished 12 August 2009; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (finished 17 June 2012; rated 5/5; read my review)
  • A Long Way Gone, by Ishmael Beah

43. Somalia (Mogadishu)

  • Knots, by Nuruddin Farah

44. South Africa (Pretoria, Cape Town, Bleoemfontein)

  • Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee (finished 14 December 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • Life and Times of Michael K, by J.M. Coetzee (finished 17 February 2008; rated 4/5; read my review)
  • The Scent of Oranges, by Joan Zawatzky (finished 30 May 2009; rated 3/5; read my review)
  • Playing in the Light, by Zoe Wicomb
  • Cry The Beloved Country, by Alan Paton

45. Sudan (Kartoum)

  • The Translator, by Leila Aboulela (finished 23 March 2007; rated 4.5/5; read my review)
  • Acts of Faith, by Phillip Caputo*

46. Swaziland (Mbabane)

47. Tanzania (Dodoma)

  • Baby Khaki’s Wings, by Anar Ali
  • Desertion, by Abdulrazak

48. Togo (Lome)

49. Tunisia (Tunis)

  • Lion Mountain, by Mustapha Tlili
  • Pillar of Salt, by Albert Memmi

50. Uganda (Kampala)

  • Tropical Fish: Tales From Entebbe, by Doreen Baingana

51. Zambia (Lusaka)

52. Zimbabwe (Harare)

  • The Grass is Singing, by Doris Lessing*
  • Don’t Lets Go the Dogs Tonight, by Alexandra Fuller
  • Nervous Conditions, by Tsitsi Dangarembga
  • Rainbow’s End, by Lauren St. John

 

Reading The World

In the last year, I have become interested in reading world literature. I was surprised the other day when I sat down and reviewed my 2007 reads and found I’d read many books either set in other countries, or authored by foreign writers.

Several lit-bloggers have proposed world literature challenges: Reading Across Borders, Around the World in 80 Books, and Book Around the World. One of my favorite blogs is Around the World in 100 Books – a blog devoted to reading world literature.

So, I have decided to set up my own plan to read around the world. I’m not setting a deadline. I’m not formally joining any of the challenges (except for Reading Across Borders which is an ongoing challenge I’m doing).

There is some disagreement among scholars how many countries actually exist. The numbers range from 189 to 194. I have decided to use the list compiled by WorldAtlas.com and found here. My goal is to read at least one book for each country listed. The book(s) I choose will either be in translation from that country, primarily set in that country or written by an author from that country. I want to get a sense of each country from the books I read.

I plan to gather my ideas about books from several sources, including (but not limited to) the following:

1. Michelle’s blog at 3m3a and her list of potential books from around the world
2. Bonnie’s blog at Book Around The World
3. The wonderful blog Around The World in 100 Books
4. Books in Translation Yahoo group
5. The magazine World Literature Today

So Far This is What My World Literature Map looks like:
create your own visited countries map or vertaling Duits NederlandsIf you would like to customize a map like this for YOUR world reading, you may do so by visiting this site.

Blogging Tips Meme

Bonnie over at Bonnie’s Books has tagged me for this meme…and it looks like fun so here goes:

-Start Copy-

It’s very simple. When this is passed on to you, copy the whole thing, skim the list and put a * star beside those that you like. (Check out especially the * starred ones.)

Add the next number (1. 2. 3. 4. 5., etc.) and write your own blogging tip for other bloggers. Try to make your tip general.

After that, tag 10 other people. Link love some friends!

Just think – if 10 people start this and the 10 people pass it on to another 10 people, you have 100 links already!

1. Look, read, and learn. *** http://www.neonscent.com/

2. Be EXCELLENT to each other. ** http://www.bushmackel.com/

3. Don’t let money change ya! * http://www.therandomforest.info/

4. Always reply to your comments. ***** http://chattiekat.com/

5. Link liberally — it keeps you and your friends afloat in the Sea of Technorati. * http://chipsquips.com/

6. Don’t give up – persistence is fertile. * http://www.velcro-city.co.uk/

7. Give link credit where credit is due. *** http://www.sfsignal.com/

8. Pictures say a thousand words and can usually add to any post. ** http://scifichick.com/

9. Visit all the bloggers that leave comments for you – it’s nice to know who is reading! * http://stephaniesbooks.blogspot.com/

10. Thrown in something humorous occasionally, to keep things fun. http://bonniesbooks.blogspot.com/

11. Make it easy for your readers – use tags and labels and keep it simple! http://www.caribousmom.com

-End Copy-

Time to pass it on, so here are my 10 links …

HeidiJane at Adventures in Bookland
CoversGirl at Between The Covers

Birds Without Wings – Book Review

“Man is a bird without wings,” Iskander told them, “and a bird is a man without sorrows.” -From Birds Without Wings, page 44-

“Well, the mystery is a shallow one, and not very difficult to fathom, Polyxeni Hanim. I clip their wings because most people don’t want to buy a bird that might escape so that they have to sprout their own feathers in a flash and take off in hot pursuit. Most people couldn’t be bothered, you see. People make odd birds; they don’t fly much.” -From Birds Without Wings, page 50-

For birds with wings nothing changes; they fly where they will and they know nothing about borders and their quarrels are very small. But we are always confined to earth, no matter how much we climb to the high places and flap our arms. Because we cannot fly, we are condemned to do things that do not agree with us. Because we have no wings we are pushed into struggles and abominations that we did not seek, and then, after all that, the years go by, the mountains are levelled, the valleys rise, the rivers are blocked by sand and the cliffs fall into the sea. -From Birds Without Wings, page 550-551-

This is not a novel which can be read quickly. It must be read slowly and contemplatively to fully enjoy its message. There were several times I almost stopped reading – but, because this was a challenge read, I kept plugging along. And I am glad I did. Louis De Bernieres’ thoughtful novel – Birds Without Wings – is one that deserves to be read and considered in light of the history it is based on.

In the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, a small village in southwestern Anatolia is home to a fascinating cast of characters: Philothei, a beautiful Christian girl in love with Ibrahim – a Muslim; Drosoula, Philothei’s homely best friend; Karatavak and Mehmetcik who play their bird whistles and pretend to fly; Rustem Bey and his beautiful mistress Leyla Hanim; The Dog – who lives among the dead and flashes his ghastly smile; Iskander the Potter; Velad the Fat; Ali the Snowbringer; and a real person from Turkish history, Mustafa Kemal, who is known for his famous statement: “I am not ordering you to attack, I am ordering you to die. By the time that we are dead, other units and other commanders will arrive to take our place.” -From Birds Without Wings, page 314-

Told in alternating points of view over a span of more than twenty years, the novel is a series of glimpses into village life, the horrors of trench warfare, and the political and historical events which define the story. De Bernieres gives the reader insight into the villagers, using humor to soften the sometimes brutal reality. When war comes to Turkey, no one in the village is not spared the consequences.

I was most touched by the boyhood friendship between Karatavak (the blackbird) and Mehmetcik (the robin). One Muslim, the other Christian, they maintain their friendship despite being separated by war and geography. Karatavak’s recollections of the battles in Gallipoli are shocking, brutal and filled with sorrow – and yet, he also shows the survival of humanity amid the tragedy.

The novel also explores the conflicts between Muslims and Christians, Turks and Greeks and Armenians, the working classes and those with education and money. De Bernieres seems to be making a statement about the pointless and arbitrary nature of war and conflict between countries and races.

The Greek Prime Minister, Eleftherios Venizelos, submits a memorandum in which Greece lays claim to Thrace and to western Anatolia. he proposes a voluntary exchange of Turkish and Greek populations. The idea seems terribly sensible, as if it is a perfectly acceptable idea that the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent individuals should be arbitrarily disrupted in the interests of nation-building. -From Birds Without Wings, page 401-


De Bernieres brings a strong sense of place to his novel – from the idyllic setting of the village of Eskibahce…

The town itself rose up to the left-hand side, occupying a concave hillside that was like a vast amphitheatre. In it our ancestors could have built the biggest theatre in the world, had the idea occurred to them, because down at the bottom was the meydan, which might have been a natural stage. In the meydan, and I swear this is not some mischievous traveller’s tale, there was actually a family living with an asthmatic donkey in the hollowed trunk of an enormous tree. More than anything else this illustrates how quickly civilised standards tailed away the further you got from Smyrna. This was the kind of place wehre you might find beehives actually inside people’s houses, and people making cattle food in their kitchens, consisting of cakes made of apricot and walnut leaves. -From Birds Without Wings, page 236-237-

…to the impoverished streets of Galata…

Emaciated dogs squabbled with naked infants and pigs over heaps of rubbish, offal and excrement. Prostitutes, filthy, flaunting and inebriated, howled and catcalled from the doorways and balconies. Tattered chickens with bleeding rumps scratched in the gutters. A dead cat lay swelling on the cobbles, circled by crows. Rats preened their whiskers in the cornerways. Shutters and doors sagged from their rotting frames on broken hinges, roofs patched with packing case and cardboard caved gently in up on their beams, and dead-eyed drunks swerved along the straitened alleyways or slept stupefied in the gutters, their mouths working soundlessly, their chins flecked with spittle. “At least,” thought Rustem Bey, “there is no one here who will endure the pains and troubles of growing old,” but it was so grim that he found himself thinking that there was nothing to do with such a place, except burn it to the ground and start again. He gave thanks to God that it had not been his destiny to live in such a hell of desperation, filth  and iniquity, but it did not yet strike him as paradoxical that he had come here in order to seek his happiness. -From Birds Without Wings, page 160-161-


This is not a novel which was easy to read – although I enjoyed the occasional humor and insights. At over 550 pages in length with very small print, it took me more than a week to get through. In the end, I was left with a good sense of the history of Turkey in the last days of the Ottoman Empire. I’m glad I took the time to read this fascinating novel.

Recommended.

Summer Crossing – Book Review

There’s nothing to change the spirit like a summer crossing. -From Summer Crossing, page 18-

In late 2004, Sotheby’s in New York contacted Alan Schwartz who is a trustee of The Truman Capote Literary Trust. A manuscript had been delivered to Sotheby’s for auction which appeared to be an early, unpublished novel by Truman Capote. The manuscript turned out to be Capote’s first novel (really a novella) drafted when he was only nineteen years old. Schwartz’ decision to publish this early work in 2005 has given readers the opportunity to enjoy a novel whose style and insight probably led to Capote’s penning of Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Summer Crossing is a slim novel with surprising depth. Grady McNeil, a New York socialite, is spending a summer alone in the city. On the cusp of her eighteenth birthday, she is ripe for independence. Her budding relationship with a Jewish war veteran leads her down a path where the future is far from clear.

It was as if the world where they joined were a ship, one becalmed between two islands that were themselves: with any effort he could see the shore of her, but his was lost in the unlifting mist. -From Summer Crossing, page 40-

As a summer heat wave descends on New York City, the novel also heats up – leaving Grady with the consequences of her decisions.

Toward midafternoon, as the heat closed in like a hand over a murder victim’s mouth, the cit thrashed and twisted but, with its outcry muffled, its hurry hampered, its ambitions hindered, it was like a dry fountain, some useless monument, and so sank into a coma. -From Summer Crossing, page 96-

Capote’s deft literary style explores such themes as sexuality in the mid 1940s,  as well as cultural, socioeconomic, class and religious issues during that time period.  Filled with stunning insights into a young girl’s emotional development, the novel is a compelling read.  Capote uses symbolism artfully.

Somehow the leopard does not suffer; nor the panther: their swagger makes distinct claims upon the pulse, for not even the indignities of confinement can belittle the danger of their Asian eyes, those gold and ginger flowers blooming with a bristling courage in the dusk of captivity. -From Summer Crossing, page 44-

I breezed through this novel in less than a day, carried away by Capote’s fine sense of place, as well as his deep understanding of the characters. A fastidiously written first novel, Summer Crossing is well worth the read.

Highly recommended.