ASIA – Reading The World



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)

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    • Anonymous on August 9, 2007 at 14:22

    So I just quickly browsed through this list. About a year ago my then 12yo brother in law stayed with hubby and I for a week or two and we put up maps of the US and world as we were “teaching” him. Anyway, I was reading a lot of world literature then and really wanted to put pins into the cities where I was “visiting.” I never did, but this challenge makes me think of that. It would be great to keep track, but I’m not sure if I would call mine a challenge (maybe just an endeavor).
    Anyway, great book for India is “Midnight’s Children” by Salman Rushdie.
    Good luck!

    • Anonymous on August 9, 2007 at 16:29

    Whether you want to call it an endeavor or a challenge, it is definitely fun to do, Trish! Thanks for the recommendation on an Indian read 🙂

    • Anonymous on August 11, 2007 at 01:27

    Terrific challenge, Wendy. Many of those titles sound
    so intriguing. I look forward to reading your thoughts about the ones you choose to read.

    • Anonymous on August 12, 2007 at 10:44

    Thanks for stopping by! I’m excited to read from this list 🙂

    • Anonymous on October 13, 2007 at 00:10

    I can suggest one for the Philippines:
    Tess Uriza Holthe, _When the Elephants Dance_ (Penguin 2003)
    Oh, and Sri Lanka:
    Karen Roberts, _The Flower Boy_ (Random House 2000).
    I read the Holthe and liked it very much. The Roberts is on my TBR shelf–it’s pretty though!

    • Anonymous on October 13, 2007 at 09:00

    Penny, Thank you for your wonderful suggestions! I will add them to the list of possibles 🙂

    • Mome Rath on January 7, 2010 at 23:53

    Awesome Asia list! I can highly, highly recommend Toer’s This Earth of Mankind. I just finished it, and am ready to hunt down Child of All Nations. Since you’ve read Midnight’s Children, I guess you can add Rushdie to India. Thoughts for other books would be Colin Cotterill’s The Coroner’s Lunch, an odd but fun mystery set in 1970’s Laos; Orhan Pamuk’s Snow or My Name is Red for Turkey; and Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore for Japan. Your list has given me ideas for other books I need to be getting to this year!

    • Wendy on January 27, 2010 at 11:10

    Mome Rath: You have some interesting recommendations – thank you so much!

  1. Nice… oh btw. I need to correct you. it’s Brunei not brune =^_^=

    • Wendy on May 16, 2011 at 06:37

    Thanks for catching my typo, Lisa! All fixed now 🙂

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