Around the World in 50 Books

I have finally completed my challenge of reading 50 books set in different parts of the world! I began this challenge almost with the start of my blog in 2018 and my last review of Maryse Condé’s book marked the end of this exciting challenge. Below are my book results categorised in the following sections: Europe, The Middle East, Africa, Asia, North America, The Caribbean, South America and Oceania. Please note that the books below correspond to plot locations and not to the authors’ countries of origin.

EUROPE:   vector map europe

THE MIDDLE EAST: 

AFRICA: africa map

ASIA

NORTH AMERICA:

THE CARIBBEAN: 

SOUTH AMERICA: south america

OCEANIA:

32 thoughts on “Around the World in 50 Books

  1. What a great idea! I’ve got far too much challenges going at the moment, but I’m adding this to my list of future projects.

    Forgive me if you’ve written about this before, but what would you say was the biggest benefit of doing this?

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    1. Thanks, I have enjoyed this challenge very much!

      I think the benefits are obvious, and, at least for me, it was discovering authors and books I would never have previously considered reading, broadening my horizons, “travelling” vicariously to different locations by reading the books, being exposed to cultures, traditions, folklore, societies from around the world, and learning about them, as well as about the circumstances of different people living in different countries.

      Looking now at my list, I notice that there are different “vibes” coming from each of my categories. In Europe, it seems that, generally, stories point to understanding and coming to to terms with one’s past, in Africa and South America, the vast majority of books were about dealing with one’s immediate environment and problems that arise from the way society functions, and my chosen stories from Asia seem to have been about both: trying to understand one’s/country’s past and dealing with immediate problems.

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      1. Such an interesting project. I love how you were able to see those patterns arise from the different countries and experience so many cultures through storytelling.
        I think there’s such beauty in studying the diversity of the world, and also a wonderful sense of humanity when you begin to see the stories which tie us all together and bind us.
        How did did you chose which books to read?

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  2. Well done! I’ve been meaning to read more international literature as well, but 50 countries seem too much to cope with at the moment. I’ll just take it little by little without setting any targets.

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  3. Such a worthy and doubtless worthwhile challenge, and one which I had the courage and the stamina to undertake — if only I didn’t have all these very plausible excuses… Anyway, well done you! Was it a worthwhile exercise to do?

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  4. Well done! I have read a book (I forget the author’s name) where she challenged herself to read books by authors from every country. Different to this challenge I know but it might be an idea for a future one…

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  5. How amazing! Congrats for finishing your challenge! Out of your list I only recognised a few of them (I am currently reading White Nights) but I absolutely love the idea! Recently I’ve tried to buy books of a local author everytime I travel to a new place, or to find books that are set in a place that I know, so that I can recognise and better picture the places! So far, the problem has been finding the time (or *taking* the time) to read all of them!
    Did you have an overall favourite? or one that really surprised you?

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    1. Thank you and that’s a great idea you have to read local authors. When I travel I also always try to sample, try, see or read all kinds of cultural “curiosities” from that locality, be it painters’ work, local dish or other. This “cultural immersion” is delightful!

      I consider the strongest books on my list to be Roy’s The God of Small Things, Hardy’s The Woodlanders and Pamuk’s My Name is Red (but I am a huge admirer of both Pamuk and Hardy so I am biased there)). I was very pleasantly surprised by women authors I read and found almost all of them great – Chan’s Half a Lifelong Romance, Head’s When Rain Clouds Gather, Lispector’s The Hour of the Star, Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow, to name a few.

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  6. Amazing challenge. Congrats. I have read a few, only a handful. I would agree that Arundhati Roy’s God of small things is very powerful. (I find it an Indian version of García Marquez.) (If you haven’t read him, you must.) (Personally I don’t like Vargas Llosa. Tried several times to no avail.)
    Compliments again. A great idea.

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  7. Congratulations on completing such an amazing challenge! You’ve certainly inspired me to try and read books from a wider range of different countries. There are already so many on this list that I want to read, especially The God of Small Things, The Fishermen, and anything by Maryse Conde 📚❤️ X x x

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