My Favorite Books Around The World
I find it hard to keep track of everything I read; so this is a list of just some of my all-time favorite books around the world.
This entire website is dedicated to books around the world, but these are my top choices. There are many kinds of stories here (especially those exploring themes of love, family, migration and travel) and they have all left an impression on me in some way. I love that novels can transport us; even without leaving home – and these books have taken me all over the globe. Do you know in which country each one takes place? 🤫
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Books Around the World: Africa
- Half of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Out of Africa by Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen)
- We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
- What Is The What by Dave Eggers
- In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar
- She Would Be King by Wayétu Moore
- Sleepwalking Land by Mia Couto
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Books Around the World: Asia
- Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
- A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- Good Chinese Wife by Susan Blumberg-Kason
- Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
- The Dancing Girl of Izu by Yasunari Kawabata
- The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
- Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin
- The Disobedient Wife by Annika Milisic-Stanley
- Jamilia by Chingiz Aitmatov
- The Gate by Natsume Sōseki
- Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata
- The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng
- Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Books Around the World: North America
- Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen
- The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- The World in Half by Cristina Henriquez
- Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario
- The Book of Night Women by Marlon James
Books Around the World: South America
- The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and María Virginia Farinango
Note: I have read titles from all over South America, but am still yet to find my absolute favorites. I’m working on reading more titles from this incredible part of the world.
Books Around the World: Europe
- Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
- The Two Faces of January by Patricia Highsmith
- Perfume by Patrick Suskind
- Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
- Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
- The Hired Man by Aminatta Forna
- People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Books Around the World: Oceania
- The Strays by Emily Bitto
- Tracks by Robyn Davidson
- The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
- The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara
Looking for more ideas?
This is obviously a very condensed list with only my very favorite reads! If you’re looking for more books around the world, check out some of these popular posts:
- World Reading Challenge: Books Around The Globe
- Books Set In Morocco: Moroccan Novels
- Books Set In India: Indian Novels
- America Reading Challenge: Books Set In Each State
It’s too funny, I read four of your African (Half of A Yellow Sun, The Alchemist, Americanah, Out of Africa), four of your Asian (Norwegian Wood, A Suitable Boy, The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns), four of your North American (I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, The Goldfinch) books and only one of the European (Shadow of the Wind) ones. LOL
I liked them all but my favourites among those are probably the last three Asian ones and Shadow of the Wind. Missing South America, I love so many books from there.
Wow Marianne, sounds like we’re kindred spirits! And thanks for sharing your favorites too! When I was thinking about all mine, I was dismayed to find just how little I’ve read from South America. I like to try and keep a nice balance globally! What are your favorites from that part of the world? I’d love to add some new titles to my to-read list 🙂
I was just introduced to your site and would really like to download your list, especially the Books from Around the World. I did sign up with my email address but it did not ask for a password. How do I download you lists? They sound so interesting.
Hi Ann, thanks for commenting – 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 them too!
Hi. I signed up, you sent me an email with login details, but I inadvertently deleted it. I would like the printable World Reading Challenge. I love all your reading ideas. I created my own world reading challenge this year – one country for every letter of the alphabet. It has been so much fun deciding on the country and then the author, and then the book. I am looking forward to more of “reading the world”.
Hi Betty-Lou! Sorry to hear you lost your login details, I’ve just sent you an email with information to access the resource library. Thanks so much for your kind words, your reading challenge sounds amazing! I’m hoping to put together another world reading challenge to continue broadening my horizons in the year ahead. 🙂
Interesting list! I have read a few.
Have you ever read Isabel Allende’s trilogy?
City of Beasts
Kingdom of the Golden Dragon
Forest of the Pygmies
Each book is set in different parts of the world.
Hi Eloisa, thanks so much! I wasn’t familiar with this series, but it sounds absolutely fascinating! It sounds like the novels move through the Amazon, Himalayas and Africa in succession. I’ve added them all to my to-read list! 🙂