Africa, Asia, Australia, Books, Europe, United States

World Reading Challenge: Books Around The Globe

I love that books can transport us; even without leaving home. In my ideal world, I’d read a different book every week of the year. Each one would be set in a different country and I’d travel the globe through world literature. Though this is a rather ambitious reading goal, I wanted to capture what this world reading challenge would look like – and give it a shot regardless!

After endless research, I created the following world reading challenge. It includes 52 titles from around the globe – along with alternatives for those books you might have already read. The selection of countries is random, though I’ve tried to balance them across continents. The book selections are related to the countries in a number of ways – are set there, have characters from there, reflect the local culture or are by notable authors from there. The books were also chosen based on their overall popularity, awards, reviews and ratings; with a good mix of classics and modern literature to boot.

Hopefully you find something here to inspire your next read, or even consider taking on the world reading challenge yourself. Why not read your way around the globe this year? 🌍

Note: If you’re short on time, here are a few of my favorites so far!
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen

World Reading Challenge

Books Set Around The World - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

1.
Afghanistan:
The Kite Runner
by Khaled Hosseini, 2003

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

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A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

 

Books Set Around The World - Shiver by Nikki Gemmell. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

2.
Antarctica:
Shiver
by Nikki Gemmell, 1997

This is the story of Fin, a young woman who gets the chance of a lifetime to go to Antarctica. Surrounded by the cruel beauty of the last great wilderness on earth, she finds herself transfixed by the power of the land. Travelling and living with a close-knit and idiosyncratic team, Fin learns the rules and taboos of community life in Antarctica, and then promptly breaks the strictest taboo of all – she falls in love. The consequences are shattering.

Please note: this is a difficult title to find for some readers, please consider the alternative title below if you have troubles!

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Pym by Mat Johnson

 

Books Set Around The World - Heartbreak Tango by Manuel Puig. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

3.
Argentina:
Heartbreak Tango
by Manuel Puig, 1969

Awash in small-town gossip, petty jealousy, and intrigues, Manuel Puig’s Heartbreak Tango is a comedic assault on the fault lines between the disappointments of the everyday world, and the impossible promises of commercials, pop songs, and movies. This melancholy and hilarious tango concerns the many women in orbit around Juan Carlos Etchepare, an impossibly beautiful Lothario wasting away ever-so-slowly from consumption, while those who loved and were spurned by him move on into workaday lives and unhappy marriages.

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How I Became A Nun by César Aira

 

Books Set In Australia - The Secret River by Kate Grenville. For more books visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. Ideas for those who like to travel, both in life and in fiction. australian books, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books around the world, books to read, books set in different countries, australia

4.
Australia:
The Secret River
by Kate Grenville, 2005

In 1806 William Thornhill, an illiterate English bargeman and a man of quick temper but deep compassion, steals a load of wood and, as a part of his lenient sentence, is deported, along with his beloved wife, Sal, to the New South Wales colony in what would become Australia. The Secret River is the tale of William and Sal’s deep love for their small, exotic corner of the new world, and William’s gradual realization that if he wants to make a home for his family, he must forcibly take the land from the people who came before him. Acclaimed around the world, The Secret River is a magnificent, transporting work of historical fiction.

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The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
Books Set In Australia

 

Books Set Around The World - Wind from the Carolinas by Robert Wilder. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

5.
Bahamas:
Wind from the Carolinas
by Robert Wilder, 1964

This sprawling, lusty novel spans nearly a century and a half, recreating a fabulous era of romance, violence and high adventure. It is the saga of the Camerons, an impetuous Tory family, who fled South after the American Revolution to rebuild their baronial plantations in the turbulent, wind-swept Bahamas.

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The Great Wide Sea by M.H. Herlong

 

Books Set Around The World - A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

6.
Bangladesh:
A Golden Age (Bangladesh 1/3)
by Tahmima Anam, 2007

Set against the backdrop of the Bangladesh War of Independence, A Golden Age is a story of passion and revolution, of hope, faith and unexpected heroism. As young widow Rehana Haque awakes one March morning, she might be forgiven for feeling happy. Today she will throw a party for her son and daughter. In the garden of the house she has built, her roses are blooming, her children are almost grown, and beyond their doorstep, the city is buzzing with excitement after recent elections. Change is in the air.

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Lajja (Shame) by Taslima Nasrin

 

 

Books Set Around The World - Gabriella, Clove and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

7.
Brazil:
Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon
by Jorge Amado, 1958

One bright spring day in 1925, Gabriela arrives from the poverty-stricken backwoods of Brazil to the lively seaside port of Ilhéus amid a flock of filthy migrant workers. Though wearing rags and covered in dirt, she attracts the attention of Nacib, a cafe owner, who is in desperate need of a new cook. So dire is his situation that he hires the disheveled girl. The savvy young woman quickly proves to be an excellent chef and—once well-scrubbed and decently dressed—an eye-catching beauty. Nacib quickly finds himself the owner of the most prosperous business in town—and the employer of its most sought-after woman.

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The Lost City of Z by David Grann

 

Books Set Around The World - The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

8.
Canada:
The Blind Assassin
by Margaret Atwood, 2000

The novel opens with these simple, resonant words: “Ten days after the war ended, my sister drove a car off the bridge.” They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister Laura’s death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura’s story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin, it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist.

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The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

 

Books Set Around The World - First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

9.
Cambodia:
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
by Loung Ung, 2000

From a childhood survivor of the Camdodian genocide under the regime of Pol Pot, this is a riveting narrative of war crimes and desperate actions, the unnerving strength of a small girl and her family, and their triumph of spirit. One of seven children of a high-ranking government official, Loung Ung lived a privileged life in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh until the age of five. Then, in April 1975, Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into the city, forcing Ung’s family to flee and, eventually, to disperse. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, her siblings were sent to labor camps, and those who survived the horrors would not be reunited until the Khmer Rouge was destroyed.

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The Rent Collector by Camron Wright

 

Books Set Around The World - Eva Luna by Isabel Allende. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

10.
Chile:
Eva Luna
by Isabel Allende, 1987

Eva Luna is the daughter of a professor’s assistant and a snake-bitten gardener—born poor, orphaned at an early age, and working as a servant. Eva is a naturally gifted and imaginative storyteller who meets people from all stations and walks of life. Though she has no wealth, she trades her stories like currency with people who are kind to her. In this novel, she shares the story of her own life and introduces readers to a diverse and eccentric cast of characters including the Lebanese émigré who befriends her and takes her in; her unfortunate godmother, whose brain is addled by rum and who believes in all the Catholic saints and a few of her own invention; a street urchin who grows into a petty criminal and, later, a leader in the guerrilla struggle; a celebrated transsexual entertainer who instructs her in the ways of the adult world; and a young refugee whose flight from postwar Europe will prove crucial to Eva’s fate.

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Ines of My Soul by Isabel Allende

 

Books Set Around The World - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

11.
China:
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
by Lisa See, 2005

In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men.

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The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

 

Books Set Around The World - One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

12.
Colombia:
One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel García Márquez, 1967

One of the 20th century’s enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world, and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize- winning career. The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendi a family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the Buendi a family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.

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The Robber of Memories: A River Journey Through Colombia by Michael Jacobs

 

Books Set Around The World - The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

13.
Congo:
The Poisonwood Bible
by Barbara Kingsolver, 1998

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it — from garden seeds to Scripture — is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

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A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman by Lisa J. Shannon

 

Books Set Around The World - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

14.
Dominican Republic:
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
by Junot Díaz, 2007

Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight, lovesick Dominican ghetto nerd. From his home in New Jersey, where he lives with his old-world mother and rebellious sister, Oscar dreams of becoming the Dominican J. R. R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the Fukœ-the curse that has haunted the Oscar’s family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still waiting for his first kiss, is just its most recent victim.

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In The Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

 

Books Set Around The World - The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

15.
Egypt:
The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho, 1988

Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

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The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George

 

Books Set Around The World - Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

16.
Ethiopia:
Cutting for Stone
by Abraham Verghese, 2009

An unforgettable journey into one man’s remarkable life, and an epic story about the power, intimacy, and curious beauty of the work of healing others set in 1960s & 1970s Ethiopia and 1980s America.

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.

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Beneath the Lions Gaze by Maaza Mengiste

 

Books Set Around The World - Maya by Jostein Gaarder. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

17.
Fiji:
Maya
by Jostein Gaarder, 1999

A chance meeting on the Fijian island of Taveuni is the trigger for a fascinating and mysterious novel that intertwines the stories of John Spooke, an English author who is grieving for his dead wife; Frank Andersen, a Norwegian evolutionary biologist estranged from his wife Vera; and an enigmatic Spanish couple, Ana and Jose, who are absorbed in their love for each other. Why does Ana bear such a close resemblance to the model for Goya’s famous Maja paintings? What is the significance of the Joker as he steps out of his pack of cards? As the action moves from Fiji to Spain, from the present to the past, unfolding further stories within the stories, the novel reveals an astonishing richness and complexity.

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Fiji by Lance Morcan

 

Books Set Around The World - Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

18.
France:
Madame Bovary
by Gustave Flaubert,1856

Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored, trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life. An ardent devourer of sentimental novels, she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance, in voracious spending and, eventually, in adultery. But even her affairs bring her disappointment, and when real life continues to fail to live up to her romantic expectations, the consequences are devastating. Flaubert’s erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857. It was deemed so lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted: ‘Madame Bovary, c’est moi.’

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All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

 

Books Set Around The World - The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

19.
Germany:
The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak, 2005

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery…

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist – books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

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Goodbye To Berlin by Christopher Isherwood

 

Books Set In Greece - Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis. For more books visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. Ideas for those who like to travel, both in life and in fiction. #books #novels #fiction #travel #greece

20.
Greece:
Zorba the Greek
by Nikos Kazantzakis, 1946

The classic novel Zorba the Greek is the story of two men, their incredible friendship, and the importance of living life to the fullest. Zorba, a Greek working man, is a larger-than-life character, energetic and unpredictable. He accompanies the unnamed narrator to Crete to work in the narrator’s lignite mine, and the pair develops a singular relationship. The two men couldn’t be further apart: The narrator is cerebral, modest, and reserved; Zorba is unfettered, spirited, and beyond the reins of civility. Over the course of their journey, he becomes the narrator’s greatest friend and inspiration and helps him to appreciate the joy of living.

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Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
Books Set In Greece

 

Books Set In Iceland - Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. For more books visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. Ideas for those who like to travel, both in life and in fiction. #books #novels #fiction #iceland #travel

21.
Iceland:
Burial Rites
by Hannah Kent, 2013

A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829. Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

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Independent People by Halldór Laxness
Books Set In Iceland

 

Books Set In India - A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. For more books visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. Ideas for those who like to travel, both in life and in fiction. #books #novels #bookworm #booklover #fiction #travel

22.
India:
A Suitable Boy
By Vikram Seth, 1993

Vikram Seth’s novel is, at its core, a love story: Lata and her mother, Mrs. Rupa Mehra, are both trying to find — through love or through exacting maternal appraisal — a suitable boy for Lata to marry. Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves.

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The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Books Set In India

 

 

Books Set Around The World - This Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

23.
Indonesia:
This Earth of Mankind (Tetralogi Buru 1/4)
by Pramoedya Ananta Toer, 1975

Minke is a young Javanese student of great intelligence and ambition. Living equally among the colonists and colonized of 19th-century Java, he battles against the confines of colonial strictures. It is his love for Annelies that enables him to find the strength to embrace his world.

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The Rainbow Troops by Andrea Hirata

 

 

Books Set Around The World - Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

24.
Iran:
Rooftops of Tehran
by Mahbod Seraji, 2009

In this poignant, eye-opening and emotionally vivid novel, Mahbod Seraji lays bare the beauty and brutality of the centuries-old Persian culture, while reaffirming the human experiences we all share.

In a middle-class neighborhood of Iran’s sprawling capital city, 17-year-old Pasha Shahed spends the summer of 1973 on his rooftop with his best friend Ahmed, joking around one minute and asking burning questions about life the next. He also hides a secret love for his beautiful neighbor Zari, who has been betrothed since birth to another man. But the bliss of Pasha and Zari’s stolen time together is shattered when Pasha unwittingly acts as a beacon for the Shah’s secret police. The violent consequences awaken him to the reality of living under a powerful despot, and lead Zari to make a shocking choice…

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Reading Lolita In Tehran by Azar Nafisi

 

Books Set Around The World - The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

25.
Iraq:
The Yellow Birds
by Kevin Powers, 2012

With profound emotional insight, especially into the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home, The Yellow Birds is a groundbreaking novel about the costs of war that is destined to become a classic.

“The war tried to kill us in the spring,” begins this breathtaking account of friendship and loss. In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. In the endless days that follow, the two young soldiers do everything to protect each other from the forces that press in on every side: the insurgents, physical fatigue, and the mental stress that comes from constant danger.

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Sand Queen by Helen Benedict

 

Books Set Around The World - The Wonder by Emma Donoghue. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

26.
Ireland:
The Wonder
by Emma Donoghue, 2016

In the latest masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale’s Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.

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The Good People by Hannah Kent
Books Set In Ireland

 

Books Set In Italy - The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. italian books, books about italy, italy inspiration, italy travel, novels set in italy, italian novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books around the world, books to read, books set in different countries, italy

27.
Italy:
The Name of the Rose
by Umberto Eco, 1980

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon – all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”

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Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Books Set In Italy

 

Books Set Around The World - The Book of Night Women by Marlon James. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

28.
Jamaica:
The Book of Night Women
by Marlon James, 2009

The Book of Night Women is a sweeping, startling novel, a true tour de force of both voice and storytelling. It is the story of Lilith, born into slavery on a Jamaican sugar plantation at the end of the eighteenth century. Even at her birth, the slave women around her recognize a dark power that they and she will come to both revere and fear.

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Small Island by Andrea Levy

 

Books Set In Japan - The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. For more books visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. Ideas for those who like to travel, both in life and in fiction. #books #novels #bookworm #booklover #fiction #travel #japan

29.
Japan:
The Wind Up Bird Chronicle
By Haruki Murakami, 1995

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

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Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
Books Set In Japan

 

 

Books Set Around The World - Out of Africa by Karen Blixen. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

30.
Kenya:
Out of Africa
by Karen Blixen, 1937

Out of Africa is Isak Dinesen’s (Karen Blixen’s) memoir of her years in Africa, from 1914 to 1931, on a four-thousand-acre coffee plantation in the hills near Nairobi. She had come to Kenya from Denmark with her husband, and when they separated she stayed on to manage the farm by herself, visited frequently by her lover, the big-game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton, for whom she would make up stories “like Scheherazade.” In Africa, “I learned how to tell tales,” she recalled many years later. “The natives have an ear still. I told stories constantly to them, all kinds.” Her account of her African adventures, written after she had lost her beloved farm and returned to Denmark, is that of a master storyteller, a woman whom John Updike called “one of the most picturesque and flamboyant literary personalities of the century.”

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A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

 

Books Set In Mexico - Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. For more books visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. Ideas for those who like to travel, both in life and in fiction. mexican books, reading list, books around the world, books to read, books set in different countries, mexico

31.
Mexico:
Like Water for Chocolate
by Laura Esquivel, 1989

A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. In desperation, Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her, so that Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.

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Under The Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
Books Set In Mexico

 

Books Set Around The World - The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca by Tahir Shah. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

32.
Morocco:
The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca
by Tahir Shah, 2006

Inspired by the Moroccan vacations of his childhood, Tahir Shah dreamed of making a home in that astonishing country. At age thirty-six he got his chance. Investing what money he and his wife, Rachana, had, Tahir packed up his growing family and bought Dar Khalifa, a crumbling ruin of a mansion by the sea in Casablanca that once belonged to the city’s caliph, or spiritual leader.

With its lush grounds, cool, secluded courtyards, and relaxed pace, life at Dar Khalifa seems sure to fulfill Tahir’s fantasy–until he discovers that in many ways he is farther from home than he imagined. For in Morocco an empty house is thought to attract jinns, invisible spirits unique to the Islamic world. The ardent belief in their presence greatly hampers sleep and renovation plans, but that is just the beginning. From elaborate exorcism rituals involving sacrificial goats to dealing with gangster neighbors intent on stealing their property, the Shahs must cope with a new culture and all that comes with it.

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The Spider’s House by Paul Bowles
Books Set In Morocco

 

Books Set Around The World - The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

33.
Myanmar (Burma):
The Glass Palace
by Amitav Ghosh, 2000

Set in Burma during the British invasion of 1885, this masterly novel by Amitav Ghosh tells the story of Rajkumar, a poor boy lifted on the tides of political and social chaos, who goes on to create an empire in the Burmese teak forest. When soldiers force the royal family out of the Glass Palace and into exile, Rajkumar befriends Dolly, a young woman in the court of the Burmese Queen, whose love will shape his life. He cannot forget her, and years later, as a rich man, he goes in search of her. The struggles that have made Burma, India, and Malaya the places they are today are illuminated in this wonderful novel by the writer Chitra Divakaruni calls “a master storyteller.”

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The Piano Tuner by Daniel Mason

 

Books Set Around The World - Palpasa Cafe by Narayan Wagle. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

34.
Nepal:
Palpasa Cafe
by Narayan Wagle, 2005

Opening on the nameless character referred only as ‘I’ is an artist and is on the verge of earning prominence with his undaunted skills in art. Few causal yet co-incidental meetings with Palpasa develops into strong feelings between the two. No, this isn’t a romantic novel for the emotion is dealt with on a more platonic level here.

The story progresses ahead with unexpected twists and turns, and series of co-incidences. Though the scenes appear simple, they bear many marvel points that touch. The book has its share of message and visions for a youthful living along with the suffering we had to go through in the hands of the Maoist and the then government.

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Sold by Patricia McCormick

 

Books Set In Amsterdam - The Dinner by Herman Koch. For more books visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. Ideas for those who like to travel, both in life and in fiction. #books #novels #bookworm #booklover #fiction #travel #amsterdam

35.
The Netherlands:
The Dinner
By Herman Koch, 2009

It’s a summer’s evening in Amsterdam, and two couples meet at a fashionable restaurant for dinner. Between mouthfuls of food and over the polite scrapings of cutlery, the conversation remains a gentle hum of polite discourse – the banality of work, the triviality of the holidays. But behind the empty words, terrible things need to be said, and with every forced smile and every new course, the knives are being sharpened.

Each couple has a fifteen-year-old son. The two boys are united by their accountability for a single horrific act; an act that has triggered a police investigation and shattered the comfortable, insulated worlds of their families. As the dinner reaches its culinary climax, the conversation finally touches on their children. As civility and friendship disintegrate, each couple show just how far they are prepared to go to protect those they love.

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The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Books Set In Amsterdam

 

Books Set Around The World - The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

36.
New Zealand:
The Luminaries
by Eleanor Catton, 2013

It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky. Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner.

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The Bone People by Keri Hulme

 

Books Set In Nigeria - Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy 1/3) by Chinua Achebe. For more books visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. Ideas for those who like to travel, both in life and in fiction. Books Set In Africa. Nigerian Books. #books #nigeria #travel

37.
Nigeria:
Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy 1/3)
by Chinua Achebe, 1958

Things Fall Apart tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society.

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Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Books Set In Nigeria

 

 

Books Set Around The World - The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

38.
Oman:
The Turtle of Oman
by Naomi Shihab Nye, 2014

Aref Al-Amri does not want to leave Oman. He does not want to leave his elementary school, his friends, or his beloved grandfather, Siddi. He does not want to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents will go to graduate school. His mother is desperate for him to pack his suitcase—but he refuses. Finally, she calls Siddi for help. But rather than pack, Aref and Siddi go on a series of adventures. They visit the camp of a thousand stars deep in the desert, they sleep on Siddi’s roof, they fish in the Gulf of Oman and dream about going to India, they travel to the nature reserve to watch the sea turtles. At each stop, Siddi finds a small stone that he later slips into Aref’s suitcase—mementos of home.

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Earth Weeps, Saturn Laughs by Abdulaziz Al Farsi

 

Books Set Around The World - I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

39.
Pakistan:
I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
by Malala Yousafzai, 2012

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.

Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

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In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin

 

Books Set Around The World - Death in the Andes by Mario Vargas Llosa. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

40.
Peru:
Death in the Andes
by Mario Vargas Llosa, 1993

In an isolated community in the Peruvian Andes, a series of mysterious disappearances has occurred. Army corporal Lituma and his deputy Tomás believe the Shining Path guerrillas are responsible, but the townspeople have their own ideas about the forces that claimed the bodies of the missing men. This riveting novel is filled with unforgettable characters, among them disenfranchised Indians, eccentric local folk, and a couple performing strange cannibalistic sacrifices. As the investigation progresses, Tomás entertains Lituma with the surreal tale of a precarious love affair.

Death in the Andes is both a fascinating detective novel and an insightful political allegory. Mario Vargas Llosa offers a panoramic view of Peruvian society, from the recent social upheaval to the cultural influences in its past.

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Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa

 

Books Set Around The World - When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

41.
The Philippines:
When the Elephants Dance
by Tess Uriza Holthe, 2002

In the waning days of World War II, as the Japanese and U.S. forces battle to possess the Philippine Islands, the Karangalan family hides with their neighbors in a cramped cellar, where they glean hope from the family stories and folktales they tell each other. These stories of love, survival, and family blend the supernatural with the rich, little known history of the Philippines, the centuries of Spanish colonization, the power of the Catholic church, and the colorful worlds of the Spanish, Mestizo, and Filipino cultures.

As the villagers tell their stories in the darkened cellar below, Holthe masterfully weaves in the stories of three brave Filipinos–a teenage brother and sister and a guerilla fighter–as they become caught in the battle against the vicious Japanese forces above ground.

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Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco

 

Books Set Around The World - War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

42.
Russia:
War and Peace
by Leo Tolstoy, 1868

War and Peace broadly focuses on Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both men.

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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 

Books Set Around The World - Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

43.
Saudi Arabia:
Girls of Riyadh
by Rajaa Alsanea, 2005

When Rajaa Alsanea boldly chose to open up the hidden world of Saudi women—their private lives and their conflicts with the traditions of their culture—she caused a sensation across the Arab world.

Now in English, Alsanea’s tale of the personal struggles of four young upper-class women offers Westerners an unprecedented glimpse into a society often veiled from view. Living in restrictive Riyadh but traveling all over the globe, these modern Saudi women literally and figuratively shed traditional garb as they search for love, fulfillment, and their place somewhere in between Western society and their Islamic home.

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The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen

 

Books Set In South Africa - Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. south african books, books about south africa, south africa inspiration, south africa travel, novels set in south africa, south african novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books around the world, books to read, books set in different countries, south africa

44.
South Africa:
Disgrace
by J.M. Coetzee, 1999

Set in post-apartheid South Africa, J. M. Coetzee’s searing novel tells the story of David Lurie, a twice divorced, 52-year-old professor of communications and Romantic Poetry at Cape Technical University. Lurie believes he has created a comfortable, if somewhat passionless, life for himself. He lives within his financial and emotional means. Though his position at the university has been reduced, he teaches his classes dutifully; and while age has diminished his attractiveness, weekly visits to a prostitute satisfy his sexual needs. He considers himself happy. But when Lurie seduces one of his students, he sets in motion a chain of events that will shatter his complacency and leave him utterly disgraced.

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July’s People by Nadine Gordimer
Books Set In South Africa

 

Books Set Around The World - Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

45.
South Korea:
Please Look After Mom
by Kyung-Sook Shin, 2008

An international sensation and a bestseller that has sold over 1.5 million copies in the author’s native Korea, Please Look After Mom is a stunning, deeply moving story of a family’s search for their missing mother – and their discovery of the desires, heartaches and secrets they never realized she harbored within. You will never think of your mother the same way after you read this book.

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Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

 

Books Set Around The World - The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

46.
Spain:
The Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, 2001

The international literary sensation, about a boy’s quest through the secrets and shadows of postwar Barcelona for a mysterious author whose book has proved as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget.

Barcelona, 1945 – just after the war, a great world city lies in shadow, nursing its wounds, and a boy named Daniel awakes on his eleventh birthday to find that he can no longer remember his mother’s face. To console his only child, Daniel’s widowed father, an antiquarian book dealer, initiates him into the secret of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a library tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again.

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For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

 

Books Set Around The World - A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

47.
Sweden:
A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman, 2012

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

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Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell

 

Books Set Around The World - The Bridge Over the River Kwai by Pierre Boulle. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

48.
Thailand:
The Bridge Over the River Kwai
by Pierre Boulle,1952

1942: Boldly advancing through Asia, the Japanese need a train route from Burma going north. In a prison camp, British POWs are forced into labor. The bridge they build will become a symbol of service and survival to one prisoner, Colonel Nicholson, a proud perfectionist. Pitted against the warden, Colonel Saito, Nicholson will nevertheless, out of a distorted sense of duty, aid his enemy. While on the outside, as the Allies race to destroy the bridge, Nicholson must decide which will be the first casualty: his patriotism or his pride.

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The Beach by Alex Garland

 

Books Set Around The World - Snow by Orhan Pamuk. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

49.
Turkey:
Snow
by Orhan Pamuk, 2002

Following years of lonely political exile in Western Europe, Ka, a middle-aged poet, returns to Istanbul to attend his mother’s funeral. Only partly recognizing this place of his cultured, middle-class youth, he is even more disoriented by news of strange events in the wider country: a wave of suicides among girls forbidden to wear their head scarves at school. An apparent thaw of his writer’s curiosity–a frozen sea these many years–leads him to Kars, a far-off town near the Russian border and the epicenter of the suicides.

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My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

 

Books Set Around The World - White Teeth by Zadie Smith. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

50.
United Kingdom:
White Teeth
by Zadie Smith, 1999

On New Year’s morning, 1975, Archie Jones sits in his car on a London road and waits for the exhaust fumes to fill his Cavalier Musketeer station wagon. Archie—working-class, ordinary, a failed marriage under his belt—is calling it quits, the deciding factor being the flip of a 20-pence coin. When the owner of a nearby halal butcher shop (annoyed that Archie’s car is blocking his delivery area) comes out and bangs on the window, he gives Archie another chance at life and sets in motion this richly imagined, uproariously funny novel.

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Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

 

Books Set Around The World - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

51.
United States of America:
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee, 1960

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

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I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
America Reading Challenge: Books Set In Each State

 

Books Set Around The World - The Quiet American by Graham Greene. For more books that inspire travel visit www.taleway.com to find books set around the world. world books, books around the world, travel inspiration, world travel, novels set around the world, world novels, books and travel, travel reads, reading list, books to read, books set in different countries, world reading challenge

52.
Vietnam:
The Quiet American
by Graham Greene, 1955

“I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused,” Graham Greene’s narrator Fowler remarks of Alden Pyle, the eponymous Quiet American of what is perhaps the most controversial novel of his career. Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission to Saigon, where the French Army struggles against the Vietminh guerrillas. As young Pyle’s well-intentioned policies blunder into bloodshed, Fowler, a seasoned and cynical British reporter, finds it impossible to stand safely aside as an observer.

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Catfish and Mandala by Andrew X. Pham

What do you think of this world reading challenge?

How many of these titles have you read? Are you going to try the world reading challenge? Have a great book recommendation I’ve missed? I’d love to hear more about your tips for books set around the world in the comments below!

 

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70 Comments

  • Reply Lena Cho January 12, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    You forgot Ukraine.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 17, 2018 at 5:58 pm

      Hi Lena, thanks for your comment! I could only include 52 countries, so I missed quite a few! Maybe I’ll do another 52 next year (and include Ukraine for sure) 🙂

  • Reply Ashley January 12, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Can this be emailed to me so that I can print it? I’d love to check them off as I read them!

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 17, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      Hi Ashley! Sure thing! I’m working on a printable version, so I’ll let you know as soon as it’s finished!

      • Reply Kira January 17, 2018 at 6:35 pm

        Will the printable version be posted on this site? I would love to share with my book club.

        • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 18, 2018 at 12:47 am

          Hi Kira! It sure will, I’d love for you to share it too! I’ll let you know when it’s up 🙂

  • Reply Bev Baird January 14, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Especially in a world where there is so much racism and intolerance, we need to be celebrating those very differences. What a great challenge. I wbe adding this to my own challenges. Thanks!

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 17, 2018 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks so much for commenting Bev, I couldn’t agree more! Wishing you all the best with your challenge too!

  • Reply Naj January 15, 2018 at 11:48 am

    This is really some impressive books! To be honest, I’ve read some of them but am adding the rest of my new year’s reading challenges. One remark though, I would’ve loved to see a book by an Egyptian writer like Nawal Saadawi or many others would be representative of Egypt rather than having The Alchemist as the one that would take you to that land.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 17, 2018 at 6:10 pm

      Thanks so much Naj! And especially for your thoughts and suggestions on Egypt too. It’s a fair point indeed, I find it so hard to distill the many choices down into a single selection! I’ve taken note and added Woman at Point Zero to my to-read list. Good luck with your reading challenge too, I hope it’s going well!

  • Reply Milica Jankovic January 16, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    You should try The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andrić. I saw that there isn’t any book from Serbia. I think you would like it because it depicts a certain time in history that is very important to Serbian people.
    There are many more books from Serbia that are very good.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 17, 2018 at 6:17 pm

      Hi Milica, thanks so much for your comment! I love getting book recommendations, I’ve added The Bridge on the Drina to my to-read list. I could only include 52 countries in this list, but I think I might set a goal for another 52 countries (including Serbia) next year!

  • Reply Sim @ Flipping Through the Pages January 17, 2018 at 8:52 am

    Hi Ash. I am so glad that I stumbled across your blog today when I was browsing Pinterest 🙂 I love reading and travelling and Reading the World is one of my goals too. I am sure I would get so many lovely recommendations from you 🙂 You are doing a great job and your blog is lovely. Keep doing the lovely work 🙂

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 17, 2018 at 6:23 pm

      Hi Sim, thanks so much for visiting and for your kind comments too! I checked out your blog and am most impressed by all the reading challenges you’re participating in this year. It is truly incredible, wishing you loads of luck for a great year of reading! 😀

  • Reply Erin January 17, 2018 at 11:35 pm

    Thanks so much for this list! I’d love to hear when you get the printable up! Would it be okay if I printed a few out to leave on the circulation desk at the library where I work? I think our patrons would love it!

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 18, 2018 at 12:58 am

      Hi Erin, thanks for your lovely message! I’ll keep you posted about the printable for sure. And of course, please feel free to share it at the library, I’d love for more people to be reading their way through this list! 😀

  • Reply Sarah January 18, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Amos Oz writes beautifully about Israel

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 18, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks for the tip Sarah, I haven’t read his work before!

  • Reply JWil January 20, 2018 at 2:01 am

    Thanks for compiling this! So many wonderful books – The Glass Palace, The Shadow of the Wind, A Suitable Boy. Other ideas:
    What about another Vikram Seth – An Equal Music?
    Egypt: Palace Walk, Naguib Mahfouz
    Iraq: The Corpse Washer, Sinan Antoon
    Indonesia alt if you’ve already read Pram: Beauty is a Wound, Eka Kurniawan

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 20, 2018 at 8:47 am

      Hi Juliana, thanks so much for your wonderful suggestions! Each of them sound incredible and are now high on my to-read list. I absolutely love A Suitable Boy too, it’s one of my all time favorites!

  • Reply rekw January 21, 2018 at 11:58 am

    For your next list: The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill (on life in Laos after the Communist takeover)

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 22, 2018 at 2:44 pm

      Thank you so much for the recommendation!

  • Reply Karlie January 22, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Some great ones from my travels:
    Nicaragua: – The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey by Salman Rushdie
    The Country Under My Skin by Gioconda Belli
    Israel: Israel, My Beloved by Kay Arthur
    South Africa: Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog

  • Reply Karlie January 22, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Also another great one for Iraq would be “Thura’s Diary: My Life in Wartme Iraq” by Thura Al-Windawi

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 23, 2018 at 11:50 am

      Hi Karlie, thanks for all the great reading tips! I’m jealous of all your wonderful travels! The Jaguar Smile sounds like it’s just my kind of book. 🙂

  • Reply Renata January 22, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Great list! A tip: for those who have already read “Gabriela clove and cinnamon“, they should replace it with another Brazilian author, like Graciliano Ramos. One of his most famous work is “Barren Lives”, available here http://amzn.to/2E04IHC

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 23, 2018 at 11:59 am

      Thanks so much for your advice Renata! Barren Lives sounds intriguing, I love family stories like this.

  • Reply DW January 23, 2018 at 12:33 am

    Lovely off to post to fb!:)

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      Thank you for sharing DW!

  • Reply Ju on the hill January 27, 2018 at 1:19 am

    Hello! I loved this challenge! Just a observation: Paulo Coelho is Brazilian, and it keeps an Egyptian author out of the challenge…

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 28, 2018 at 12:01 pm

      Hi Ju, thanks so much for your comment! I know ‘The Alchemist‘ is a contentious choice; but the book selections are related to the countries in a number of ways! Some are set there, have characters from there, reflect the local culture or are by notable authors from there. Another reader Naj suggested the work of Nawal El Saadawi above, so ‘Woman at Point Zero’ is certainly on my to-read list too!

  • Reply Jennifer January 27, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    It’s a shame your printable download does not work.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 28, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Jennifer, sorry you’re having trouble with the download! Once you’ve signed up with your email, you should get login details that allow you to download it. I’ll send you an email with the details too!

  • Reply Cristina January 29, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Nice list Ashleigh!
    I will start looking for some of your recommendations, although I happily discovered I had already read some of them (and love them all).

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 29, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      Thanks Cristina! I hope you find some new reads to add to that list of books you love!

  • Reply Saudi January 29, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    I have subscribed to you blog but for some reason I still am not able to print out the downloadable list.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 29, 2018 at 5:29 pm

      Hi Saudi, thanks for your comment and for subscribing too – I’m sorry you’re having trouble with the download! I’ve sent you an email with the details 🙂

  • Reply Eva January 29, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    I’ve also subscribed but am unable to download the World Reading Challenge.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 29, 2018 at 8:43 pm

      Hi Eva! I see you’re subscribed and should have received an email with a link to the download. Have emailed you a follow up just in case! 🙂

  • Reply Amanda January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Hello! I loved your challenge and the book list!
    But the book of Paulo Coelho (Egypt) it’s a brazilian book.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 30, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      Hi Amanda, glad you enjoyed the list and thanks for your comment! I’m aware that Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian author; but the book selections are related to the countries in a number of ways! Some are set there, have characters from there, reflect the local culture or are by notable authors from there. ‘The Alchemist’ was chosen as part of it takes place by the pyramids in Egypt. Other readers have suggested the works of Egyptian authors Nawal Saadawi and Naguib Mahfouz as alternatives 🙂

  • Reply Kim January 30, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    I LOVE this list! I’m currently doing the Rory Gilmore reading challenge and will hop on this one when I’m finished! There are about 7 overlapping and one I’ve already read! Excited to get to all of them!

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away January 30, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      So happy to hear Kim! You won’t believe it, but I was actually watching Gilmore Girls when I read your comment! I’ve always thought about trying that challenge too, I had no idea there were so many that overlap. Wishing you the best of luck with your challenges! 🙂

  • Reply Lynette January 31, 2018 at 2:34 am

    I’ve read about a dozen of these, and appreciate your choices. I’m a little late to the party, so I need to get started, especially if I want to read the alternates, too!

    Please get started on your challenge for next year! I’d appreciate Czech Republic, Ecuador, Lithuania, and Nicaragua!

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away February 4, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      Hi Lynette, thanks for commenting and good luck with your reading this year! I’ve already started planning next years challenge too – thanks so much for your country suggestions, I’ll be keeping them in mind for sure. 🙂

  • Reply friday finds - One Brass Fox February 2, 2018 at 5:01 am

    […] this world reading challenging with a downloadable lists of books from around the […]

  • Reply Cherie February 2, 2018 at 7:17 am

    Outlander for Scotland.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away February 4, 2018 at 10:24 pm

      Hi Cherie, thanks for the suggestion! I’ve just put together a post on Books Set In Scotland that you might like. It includes Outlander of course!

  • Reply Jaclyn McGuire February 6, 2018 at 4:16 am

    Seriously, love this idea. Some of the books are not easy to find to buy/borrow, but I’m doing this challenge with a friend and we are loving this. There’s a few we’ve read but some books deserve a repeat.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away February 8, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Jaclyn, thanks for the lovely comment! I’m also discovering that though most of the books are well known, some are still a little tricky to borrow! I’m considering it all a part of the challenge 🙂

  • Reply Noel Shamleffer February 14, 2018 at 6:22 pm

    Thank you so much for a wonderful blog. I stumbled across your account on Instagram and it has become my favorite bookish account. Thanks also for adding printable versions. I’ve read a few, but am thrilled with all of the new titles I’ve come across. Happy reading and travelling!

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away February 15, 2018 at 6:39 pm

      Hi Noel, thanks so much for visiting and for such a lovely comment! I’d love to hear in future if you have any recommendations I should add too, I’m always looking for new reads from around the globe. Wishing you happy reading and travels too!

  • Reply EA March 18, 2018 at 9:43 am

    The Alchemist is from Brazil.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away March 19, 2018 at 6:31 pm

      Thanks for your comment EA! While the author Paulo Coelho is certainly Brazilian, The Alchemist isn’t set there. The story begins in Andalusia and Tarifa in Spain. From there, the main character Santiago travels to Tangier in Morocco and then through the Sahara Desert towards the Egyptian pyramids. 🙂

  • Reply Mary J Lingberg March 19, 2018 at 1:54 am

    Thank you for the online list. I would love to run the list off, but am having trouble.
    I am a recently retired teacher and love having this book direction to “take me places”.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away March 19, 2018 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Mary, I’m so glad to hear it! I’m sorry you’re having trouble with the download, I’ve sent you an email with the details to access the printable list. 🙂

  • Reply Amy Kidd March 25, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Thank you so much for this challenge; I look forward to participating. I’ve signed up to receive the newsletter, but I cannot access/download the list.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away March 29, 2018 at 8:36 am

      Hi Amy, thanks for your comment – I’m sorry you’re having trouble with the download! You should have received an email with the login details when you signed up. Just in case you didn’t, I’ve also sent you a follow up email with the details too. 🙂

  • Reply Marianne April 5, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Hi,
    I’m Marianne from Germany, new follower. I’m working on a World Book List myself and think yours is just fantastic. I tried to download the printable version but all I get is a message to sign up to the site (which I already did). Is there something I’m doing wrong?
    Thanks.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away April 10, 2018 at 6:46 am

      Hi Marianne, welcome! I’m sorry you’re having trouble downloading the printable World Reading Challenge list. After you signed up, the welcome email should have included your login details for the resource library – which is home to all the printable lists! I’ve sent you a follow up email with the login details too. Wishing you all the best with your world reading challenge too! 🙂

  • Reply Paula April 6, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Hi! I’m having trouble downloading the list. I got the email to confirm my subscription and I did and then nothing happened. I would really love to have the list so I can keep track of the books I’ve read. Btw I love all the challenges and can’t wait to read your recommendations!!

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away April 10, 2018 at 6:52 am

      Hi Paula, thanks so much for your kind words, it really is my pleasure to share! My apologies, it seems the sign-up emails might not be working as they should right now. Just in case you didn’t receive a welcome email with your login details, I’ve sent you an email with the details too! Please keep us posted on your reading progress 🙂

  • Reply SueAn April 17, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    I am having the same problem as Paula. I can’t figure out how to download the list. I would appreciate help with this.

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away April 19, 2018 at 6:44 am

      Hi SueAn! I see you’re subscribed and should have received an email with a link to the download. I’ve sent you a follow up email just in case! 🙂

  • Reply Christine April 23, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Consider Haiti too. Restavec is an option.
    Thanks!

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away April 23, 2018 at 7:11 pm

      Hi Christine, thanks so much for the suggestion and tip! I hadn’t heard of Restavec before, it sounds like an interesting read indeed.

  • Reply “Read Harder” this Summer – Let's get Lit! April 29, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    […] when I challenge my own students at the end of the year. I also want to begin the incredible “World Reading Challenge” found on the Tale Away blog. (Seriously- if you love traveling and reading as much as I do, […]

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away May 3, 2018 at 10:30 am

      Hi Bailey, thanks so much for sharing Tale Away! Wishing you all the best with War and Peace this summer 🙂

  • Reply Julia April 30, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I cannot see any book from Poland.
    If you want, I can recommend some, of classical polish lectures:
    – “The Witcher” The Saga by Andrzej Sapkowski
    – “The Doll” by Bolesław Prus
    – “Ferdydurke” by Gombrowicz
    – “The Stranger” by Kuncewiczowa
    – “Tango” by Sławomir Mrożek
    – “This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen” by Borowski
    – “A World Apart” by Grudziński

    And maybe these ones:
    – “The Butcher of Trees” Andrzej Pilipiuk
    – “Great North Ocean” by Katarzyna Szelenbaum

    • Reply Ash at Tale Away May 3, 2018 at 5:23 am

      Hi Julia, wow! Thank you so much for sharing this amazing list, I really appreciate it! You’ve introduced me to many new authors and works, I’ve added some to my to-read list already. I would love to compile a reading list for books set in Poland some time! 🙂

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