labfs39 reads around the world

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labfs39 reads around the world

Edited: Dec 31, 2023, 8:53 pm

I am using this thread to keep track of my reading by authors from the 193 UN member states plus Palestine, Tibet, and Taiwan. I am breaking out Scotland and Wales under UK and each province under Canada.

An asterisks after an author's name means the book is translated. The date is the year I read the book, if I know. I'm only including books I've read relatively recently. I'm not listing every book I've read, but those most representative of the country. For instance, I'm not listing Holocaust memoirs unless a substantial amount is about the author's country.

For reviews and conversations about my reading, please see my Club Read thread.

Create Your Own Visited Countries Map

Edited: Nov 18, 2023, 10:30 am

1. Khaled Hosseini - The Kite Runner
2. Nelofer Pazira - A Bed of Red Flowers: In Search of My Afghanistan (2011)
3. Latifa* - My forbidden face : growing up under the Taliban (2011)
4. Atiq Rahimi* - The patience stone: sang-e saboor, A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear, and Earth and Ashes (2022)

1. Ismail Kadare* - Chronicle in Stone and Doruntine

1. Boualem Sansal* - The German mujahid (2011)
2. Tahar Djaout* - The Last Summer of Reason (2011)
3. Assia Djebar* - So Vast the Prison (2023)



Antigua and Barbuda

1. Jacobo Timerman* - Prisoner without a name, cell without a number

1. Antonia Arslan* - Skylark farm (2010)

1. Jill Ker Conway - The Road from Coorain
2. Randa Abdel-Fattah - Does My Head Look Big In This? (2010)
3. Gail Jones - Sorry (2012, 2018), Five Bells (2023)
4. M. L. Stedman - The light between oceans (2014)
5. James Vance Marshall - Walkabout (2018)


1. Kurban Said* - Ali and Nino: A Love Story (2011)

Edited: Sep 17, 2022, 8:00 am






1. Dimitri Verhulst* - Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill (2011)
2. Aline Sax* - The war within these walls (2013)
3. Michel Kichka* - Second Generation: The Things I Didn't Tell My Father (2022)



Edited: May 28, 2023, 8:30 am



Bosnia and Herzegovina
1. Zlata Filipovic* - Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo

also, by non-native: Besieged: Life Under Fire on a Sarajevo Street by Barbara Demick (2022)




1. George Gospodinov* - Time Shelter (2023)

Burkina Faso


Edited: Mar 2, 2023, 11:41 am

Vaddey Ratner - In the Shadow of the Banyan (2012) and Music of the Ghosts (2018)



Newfoundland and Labrador
Douglas H. Glover - Elle
A.J. Stacey and Jean Edwards Stacey - Memoirs of a Blue Puttee: The Newfoundland Regiment in World War One (2021)

Nova Scotia
Alister MacLeod - No Great Mischief (2020)

Prince Edward Island
L.M. Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables (2022) (and 7 others)

New Brunswick

Jacques Poulin* Translation is a Love Affair (2010), Spring Tides (2011), and Mister Blue (2012)

Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake
Joseph Boyden - Three day road (2011) (Cree)
Stuart McLean - Stories from the vinyl cafe (2012), Vinyl Cafe Diaries, Secrets from the Vinyl Cafe
Waubgeshig Rice - Moon of the crusted snow (2021) (Anishinaabe)


Farley Mowat - The dog who wouldn't be and The boat who wouldn't float


British Columbia
Iona Whishaw - A Killer in King's Cove (2021)
Emily St. John Mandel - Station Eleven (2023)

Northwest Territories


Edited: May 5, 9:13 pm

Cape Verde
1. Dina Salústio* - The Madwoman of Serrano (2023)

Central African Republic


1. Roberto Bolaño* - By Night in Chile (2022)

1. Dai Sijie* - Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
2. Adeline Yen Mah - Falling leaves : the true story of an unwanted Chinese daughter
3. Ha Jin - Waiting and War Trash
4. Shan Sa* - The Girl Who Played Go (2010)
5. Yan Mo* - Red sorghum (2013), The Garlic Ballads (2018)
6. Ertai Gai* - In search of my homeland : a memoir of a Chinese labor camp (2021)
7. Gao Xingjian* - Buying a Fishing Rod for my Grandfather (2022)
8. Xianliang Zhang* - Grass soup (2024), Half of Man is Woman (2024)
9. Ji-li Jiang - Red Scarf Girl (2024)
10. Emily Wu - Feather in the Storm (2024)

Also, NF by non-native: Hungry Ghosts by Jasper Becker (2024), Mao's Great Famine by Frank Dikötter

1. Gabriel García Márquez* - One Hundred Years of Solitude, The story of a shipwrecked sailor, Love in the Time of Cholera, Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2018)


Congo, Democratic Republic of

Congo, Republic of

Costa Rica

Côte d'Ivoire

1. Slavenka Drakulić - How we survived communism and even laughed
2. Dubravka Ugrešić* - Baba Yaga laid an egg (2015)



Czech Republic
1. Bohumil Hrabal* - Too loud a solitude, I served the King of England, Dancing lessons for the advanced in age (2013)
2. Milan Kundera - The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
3. Jaroslav Hašek* - The Good Soldier Svejk
4. Jiří Gruša* - The Questionnaire, Or, Prayer For A Town & A Friend
5. Jiří Weil* - Mendelssohn is on the roof
6. Ludvík Vaculík* - The guinea pigs
7. Arnost Lustig* - Lovely Green Eyes, Children of the Holocaust, The house of returned echoes, The Unloved: From the Diary of Perla S.
8. Peter Sís - The Conference of the Birds (2012), The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain (2012)
9. Ivan Klíma - My First Loves (2013)
10. Josef Skvorecky* - Miss Silver's Past (2013)
11. Dita Kraus - A Delayed Life (2021)

Edited: Mar 2, 2023, 11:41 am

1. Peter Hoeg* - Smilla's Sense of Snow
2. Jens Christian Grøndahl* - An Altered Light (2023)



Dominican Republic

Edited: Aug 26, 2023, 8:30 pm


1. Naguib Mahfouz* - The Cairo Trilogy: Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street (2012)
2. Nawal El Saadawi* - Woman at Point Zero (2023)

El Salvador

Equatorial Guinea


1. Kalevipoeg*
2. Toivo U. Raun - Estonia and the Estonians
3. Arved Viirlaid* - Graves without crosses

Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)

1. Abraham Verghese - Cutting for stone (2011)
2. Maaza Mengiste - Beneath the Lion's Gaze (2023)

Edited: May 15, 7:03 pm


1. Tove Jansson* - The summer book (2014), The true deceiver (2021)
2. Arto Paasilinna* - The year of the hare (2016)
3. Sofi Oksanen* - Purge (2016)
4. Marja-Liisa Vartio* - The parson's widow (2017)

1. Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt* - The Most Beautiful Book in the World: 8 Novellas by (2010)
2. Lydie Salvayre* - The company of ghosts (2010)
3. Muriel Barbery* - The Elegance of the Hedgehog (2010)
4. Dominique Fabre* - The waitress was new (2011)
5. Anne Wiazemsky* - My Berlin Child (2011)
6. Philippe Claudel* - Brodeck (2011), Monsieur Linh and his child (2012), The Investigation (2012), By a Slow River (2013)
7. Albert Camus* - The plague (2013)
8. Irene Nemirovsky* - Suite Francaise (2013)
9. Guy de Maupassant* Boule de suif (2013)
10. J.-M. G. Le Clézio* - Wandering star (2013)
11. Laurent Binet* - HHhH (2013)
12. Andre Schwarz-Bart - The Last of the Just (2013)
13. Philippe Grimbert* - Memory (2013)
14. Jean Echenoz* - 1914: a novel (2014)
15. Patrick Modiano* - Suspended sentences : three novellas (2016), Dora Bruder (2021)
16. Gabriel Chevallier* - Fear: A Novel of World War I (2017)
17. Laurence Cosse* - A Novel Bookstore (2010), Bitter Almonds (2019)
18. Timothée de Fombelle - Capitaine Rosalie (2023)
19. Maylis De Kerangal - Eastbound (2024)

I am including none of the classics by Hugo, Balzac, Zola, Dumas, etc. that I read prior to 2010.

Edited: Jan 10, 5:24 pm




1. Hans Fallada* - Every Man Dies Alone (2010)
2. Erich Maria Remarque* - All quiet on the western front (2011)
3. Herta Müller* - The hunger angel (2012), The Land of Green Plums (2012)
4. Anonymous* - A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary
5. Werner Otto Mueller-Hill* - The True German: The Diary of a World War II Military Judge (2013)
6. Fritz Percy Reck-Malleczewen* - Diary of a man in despair (2013)
7. Hans Keilson* - Comedy in a Minor Key (2014), Life Goes On (2014)
8. Winfried Georg Sebald* - Austerlitz (2018), The Emigrants (2020)
9. Alina Bronsky* - Baba Dunja's Last Love (2021), The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine (2021), My Grandmother's Braid (2022)
10. Anna Seghers* - The Seventh Cross (2023)

1. Yaa Gyasi - Homegoing (2021)

1. Homer* - Iliad, Odyssey
2. Plato* - Phaedo


1. Eduardo Halfon* - Monastery (2022), Canción (2022), The Polish Boxer (2023)


1. Abdulai Sila* - The Ultimate Tragedy (2023)


Edited: Nov 4, 2023, 2:40 pm

1. Edwidge Danticat - The Farming of Bones, The Dew Breaker (2010)


1. Sándor Márai - Embers
2. Magda Denes - Castles Burning: A Childs Life in War (2011)
3. Imre Kertész* - The Pathseeker (2011), Fatelessness (2012)
4. Dezső Kosztolányi - Skylark (2012)
5. Arthur Koestler* - Darkness at noon (2016)
6. Antal Szerb* - Journey by moonlight (2018), The Pendragon Legend (2019)
7. Stephen Nasser - My Brother's Voice (2023)

Edited: Apr 24, 2:34 pm

1. Kristin Omarsdottir* - Children in Reindeer Woods (2012)
2. Halldór Laxness* - Independent People (2014)

1. Jhumpa Lahiri - The Namesake
2. Arundhati Roy - The God of Small Things
3. Aravind Adiga - The White Tiger (2009)
4. Vikram Seth - Two Lives (2010)
5. Amitav Ghosh - Sea of poppies (2012), River of Smoke (2012), The Hungry Tide (2022)


1. Marina Nemat - Prisoner of Tehran: A Memoir (2010)
2. Gina B. Nahai - Caspian Rain (2010)
3. Marjane Satrapi - The complete Persepolis (2011)
4. Dalia Sofer - The Septembers of Shiraz (2011)
5. Shirin Ebadi - Iran Awakening: From Prison to Peace Prize (2012)
6. Farnoosh Moshiri - The bathhouse
7. Dina Nayeri - A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea (2013)
8. Sahar Delijani - Children of the Jacaranda Tree (2013)
9. Laleh Khadivi - The Age of Orphans (2011, reread 2021)
10. Azar Nafisi - Reading Lolita in Tehran (2022)
11. Mahmoud Dowlatabadi* - The Colonel (2022)
12. Shokoofeh Azar* - The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree (2023)

1. Sinan Antoon* - The Corpse Washer (2022)
2. Faleeha Hassan* - War and Me: A Memoir (2022)

1. Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray (2014)
2. Claire Keegan - Foster (2023)
3. Emma Donoghue - Room, The Pull of the Stars (2023), Akin (2023)
4. Colum McCann - Apeirogon (2024)

1. Meir Shalev* - A Pigeon and a Boy (2008)
2. A. B. Yehoshua* - A woman in Jerusalem (2010), The liberated bride (2011)
3. Yoel Hoffmann* - Katschen & the Book of Joseph
4. Yael Dayan - Death Had Two Sons (2012)
5. Avner Mandelman - Talking to the enemy : stories (2012)
6. Assaf Gavron - Almost dead (2017)
7. Boaz Yakin - Jerusalem: A Family Portrait (2022)
8. Ruth Modan - The Property (2022)

1. Milena Agus* - From the Land of the Moon (2011)
2. Carmine Abate* - The Homecoming Party (2011)
3. Andrea Camilleri* - The shape of water (2012)
4. Alessandro Baricco* - Silk (2016)
5. Elena Ferrante* - My brilliant friend (2020), The story of a new name (2020)

Edited: Feb 4, 1:54 pm


1. Yasuo Kuwahara - Kamikaze
2. Masuji Ibuse* - Black rain (2010)
3. Yoko Ogawa* - The Housekeeper and the Professor (2010), The Memory Police (2021)
4. Haruki Murakami* - The wind-up bird chronicle (2011), 1Q84 (2012), and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (2022)
5. Kenzaburō Ōe* - A personal matter (2013)
6. Keiji Nakazawa* - Barefoot Gen Vol. 1-3 (2013)
7. Allen Say - Drawing From Memory (2014)
8. Kobo Abe* - The Woman in the Dunes (2021)
9. Hiromi Kawakami* - The Nakano thrift shop (2021), The Ten Loves of Nishino (2022)
10. Yasunari Kawabata* - Snow Country (2022), The Old Capital (2024)
11. The Crazy Iris and Other Stories of the Atomic Aftermath edited by Kenzaburō Ōe* (2022)
12. Kanoko Okamoto* - A Riot of Goldfish (2022)
13. Shion Miura* - The Easy Life in Kamusari (2022)
14. Toshikazu Kawaguchi* - Before the Coffee Gets Cold (2022)
15. Shohei Ooka* - Fires on the Plain (2022), Taken Captive (2023)
16. Michihiko Hachiya* - Hiroshima Diary (2023)
17. Satoshi Yagisawa* - Days at the Morisaki Bookshop (2024)


Edited: Feb 18, 10:46 am


1. Khadija Abdalla Bajaber - The House of Rust (2023)
2. Binyavanga Wainaina - "Discovering Home" (2023)
3. Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor - "Weight of Whispers" (2023)


Korea (Democratic People's Republic of)
1. Kang Chol-Hwan* - Ten years in the North Korean gulag : the aquariums of Pyongyang (2011)
2. Hyeonseo Lee - The girl with seven names : escape from North Korea (2021)
3. Ishikawa, Masaji* - A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea (2023)

Also, by non-native: Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick

Korea (Republic of)
1. Young-ha Kim* - Your Republic Is Calling You (2011)
2. Suki Kim - Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite (2014)
3. Elizabeth Kim - Ten thousand sorrows : the extraordinary journey of a Korean war orphan
4. Keum Suk Gendry-Kim* - Grass (2022), The Waiting (2022)
5. Kyung-sook Shin* - Please Look After Mom (2022)

1. Randa Jarrar - A Map of Home (2010)

1. Chingiz Aitmatov* - Jamilia (2021), The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years (2024)

Edited: Sep 17, 2022, 3:02 pm



1. Nathalie Abi-Ezzi - A Girl Made of Dust (2010)
2. Elias Khoury* - White Masks (2011), Gate of the Sun (2011)
3. Rabih Alameddine - An Unnecessary Woman (2022)





1. Julija Šukys - Siberian exile : blood, war, and a granddaughter's reckoning (2018), Epistolophilia : writing the life of Ona Šimaitė (2019)
2. Alvydas Šlepikas* - In the Shadow of Wolves (2019)


Edited: Sep 14, 2023, 7:56 am



1. William Kamkwamba - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2023)

1. Tan Twan Eng - The Garden of Evening Mists (2012), The gift of rain (2019)
2. Yangsze Choo - The Night Tiger (2022)




Marshall Islands


1. Nathacha Appanah* - The Last Brother (2011)

Edited: Feb 18, 2023, 11:29 am

1. Ignacio Padilla* - Shadow Without a Name



1. Galsang Tschinag*- The Blue Sky, The Gray Earth (2022)


1. Abdellatif Laâbi* - The bottom of the jar (2013), Rue du Retour (2013)
2. Malika Oufkir* - Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail

1. Mia Couto* - The Tuner of Silences (2023)
2. Paulina Chiziane* - The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy (2023)

Myanmar (formerly Burma)
1. Pascal Khoo Thwe - From the Land of Green Ghosts (2022)

Edited: May 15, 7:05 pm




1. Corrie Ten Boom - The hiding place
2. Gerbrand Bakker* - The twin (2011)
3. Theo Coster* - We All Wore Stars: Memories of Anne Frank from Her Classmates (2012)
4. Anne Frank* - The Diary of a Young Girl (reread 2014)
5. Willem Frederik Hermans* - An untouched house (2021)
6. Helen Colijn - Song of Survival (2022)
7. Marga Minco - Bitter Herbs (2024)

New Zealand
1. Keri Hulme - The Bone People (2009)
2. Lloyd Jones - Hand me down world (2011), Mister Pip (2011)
3. Doug Gold - The Note Through the Wire (2021)



1. Chinua Achebe - Things Fall Apart
2. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Half of a Yellow Sun (2019), Purple Hibiscus (2023)
3. Uwem Akpan - Say you're one of them (2021)
4. Sefi Atta - The Bad Immigrant (2022)
5. Buchi Emecheta - The Joys of Motherhood (2023)
6. Ben Okri - "Incidents at the Shrine" (2023)
7. Helon Habila - "Love Poems" (2023)
8. Segun Afolabi - "Monday Morning" (2023)

1. Sigrid Undset* - Kristin Lavransdatter vol. 1-3
2. Knut Hamsun* - Hunger (2012)
3. Hanne Ørstavik* - Love (2019)
4. Karl Ove Knausgaard* - My struggle vol. 1 (2019)


Edited: Jan 31, 4:29 pm

1. Mohsin Hamid - The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2011)
2. Jamil Ahmad - The Wandering Falcon (2011)
3. Mohammed Hanif - A case of exploding mangoes (2018)
4. Kamila Shamsie - Burnt Shadows (2022)


Palestine (not a UN member nation)
1. Susan Abulhawa - Mornings in Jenin (2010)
2. Suad Amiry - Sharon and My Mother-in-Law: Ramallah Diaries (2010)
3. Ghada Karmi - In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story (2010)
4. Izzeldin Abuelaish - I Shall Not Hate (2011)
5. Laila El-Haddad - Gaza Mom (2022)
6. Adania Shibli* - Minor Detail (2024)

also, by non-natives: Palestine by Joe Sacco and The Palestinian-Israeli Conflict by Martin Bunton


Papua New Guinea


1. Mario Vargas Llosa* - Aunt Julia and the scriptwriter (2017)


1. Czesław Miłosz - The Issa Valley, The collected poems, 1931-1987, The History of Polish Literature
2. Bruno Schulz* - The Complete Fiction of Bruno Schultz: The Street of Crocodiles, Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass
3. Stanisław Lem* - Solaris, Hospital of the Transfiguration
4. Henryk Sienkiewicz* - Quo vadis
5. Isaac Bashevis Singer - Love and exile (2012), Naftali the Storyteller and His Horse, Sus, and other stories (2012), When Shlemiel Went to Warsaw and Other Stories (2012)
6. Magdalena Tulli* - In red (2013)
7. Tadeusz Browski* - This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen (2013)
8. Jan Karski - Story of a secret state (2014)

1. Jose Saramago* - Blindness (2011), The elephant's journey (2011), The Double, The Cave


Edited: Dec 16, 2023, 9:01 am

1. Ramona Ausubel - No One is Here Except All of Us (2012)
2. Sara Tuvel Bernstein - The seamstress : a memoir of survival (2013)
3. Lena Constante* - The silent escape : three thousand days in Romanian prisons (2013)

1. Eugenia Semyonovna Ginzburg* - Journey into the Whirlwind (2010)
2. Olga Grushin - The Line (2011), The Dream Life of Sukhanov (2011)
3. Mikhail Bulgakov* - A country doctor's notebook (2012), The Master and Margarita (2012)
4. Vasily Grossman* - Life and fate (2012), Everything Flows, The Road (2013)
5. Vladimir Sorokin* - Ice trilogy (2013)
6. Anton Chekhov* - Sakhalin Island (2014)
7. Ludmila Ulitskaya* - Daniel Stein, Interpreter (2014)
8. Mikhail Khodorkovsky - My Fellow Prisoners (2015)
9. Mikhail Shishkin - The light and the dark (2017)
10. Nikolai Gogol* - Tara Bulba (2022)
11. Joseph Brodsky* - Nativity Poems (2023)
12. Alexander Pushkin* - The Captain's Daughter (2023)

Khassan Baiev - The oath : a surgeon under fire (2013)

Yuri Rytkheu* - A Dream in Polar Fog (2013)

1. Scholastique Mukasonga* - Our Lady of the Nile (2023)

Edited: Dec 30, 2023, 5:15 pm

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines


San Marino

Sao Tome and Principe
1. Gervásio Kaiser - Native Dance: An African Story (2023)

Saudi Arabia
1. Manal M. Omar - Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity-My Own and What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos (2010)

1. Mariama Bâ* - So Long a Letter (2023)
2. David Diop* - At Night All Blood is Black (2023)

1. Téa Obreht - The Tiger's Wife (2013)
2. Danilo Kiš* - A tomb for Boris Davidovich (2014)


Edited: Dec 11, 2023, 12:16 pm

Sierra Leone
1. Ishmael Beah - A long way gone : memoirs of a boy soldier (2008)
2. Aminatta Forna - The Memory of Love (2011)

1. Kevin Kwan - Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend (2022)
2. Jing-Jing Lee - How We Disappeared (2022)
3. Jeremy Liang - State of Emergency (2023)

1. Thomas Buergenthal - A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy (2009)

1. Prežihov Voranc* - The Self-Sown (2021)

Solomon Islands

1. Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed - When Stars are Scattered (2022)
2. Nadifa Mohamed - Black Mamba Boy (2023)

South Africa
1. Ivan Vladislavić - The Folly (2021), The Exploded View (2023)
2. Trevor Noah - Born a crime: stories from a South African childhood (2022)
3. Nadine Gordimer - "The Ultimate Safari" (2023)
4. J.M. Coetzee - "Nietverloren" (2023)
5. Mary Watson - "Jungfrau" (2023)

South Sudan


Sri Lanka
1. Michael Ondaatje - Anil's Ghost
2. Ru Freeman - On Sal Mal Lane (2013), A disobedient girl (2013)

Edited: May 15, 6:59 pm

1. Daoud Hari - The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur (2011)
2. Tayeb Salih* - The Wedding of Zein and Other Stories (2012), Season of migration to the North (2014)
3. Leila Aboulela - "The Museum" (2023)


1. Stieg Larsson* - The girl with the dragon tattoo (2010)
2. Frans Gunnar Bengtsson* - The long ships (2014)
3. Fredrik Backman* - A man called Ove (2017), Britt-Marie Was Here, My grandmother asked me to tell you she's sorry, And every morning the way home gets longer and longer (2018), Beartown, Anxious People (2022)
4. Cordelia Edvardson* - Burned Child Seeks the Fire: A Memoir (2021)
5. Astrid Lindgren* - Pippi Longstocking (2022)
6. Selma Selma Lagerlöf* - The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (2023)
7. Tomas Tranströmer* - Memories Look at Me: A Memoir (2023)
8. Annika Thor* - A Faraway Island and The Lily Pond (2024)

1. Johanna Spyri - Heidi


Edited: Jan 4, 2023, 1:18 pm

Taiwan (not a UN member nation)


1. Abdulrazak Gurnah - Paradise (2021)


Tibet (not a UN member nation)



Trinidad and Tobago
1. V. S. Naipaul - A house for Mr. Biswas (2013)

1. Yamen Manai* - The Ardent Swarm (2023)

1. Orhan Pamuk* - My name is Red (2019), Snow (2022)
2. Özge Samancı - Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey (2022)
3. Elif Shafak - The Bastard of Istanbul (2022)
4. Twenty Stories by Turkish Women Writers * (2022)
5. Ahmet Altan* - I Will Never See the World Again (2022)



Edited: Sep 9, 2023, 2:07 pm

1. Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi - The first woman (2023)

1. Nikolaĭ Vasilʹevich Gogol* - The complete tales of Nikolai Gogol
2. Marina Lewycka - A short history of tractors in Ukrainian, Strawberry Fields (2011)

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
1. Julian Barnes - The sense of an ending
2. Pat Barker - Regeneration (2011), The Eye in the Door (2011), The Ghost Road
3. Leo Marks - Between silk and cyanide : a codemaker's war, 1941-1945 (2017)
4. Hilary Mantel - Wolf Hall (2021), Bring Up the Bodies (2021), The Mirror and the Light (2021)
5. Jacqueline Winspear - Maisie Dobbs series (2013-22) (14 books)
6. Jane Austen - Persuasion (2023)
7. George Eliot - Middlemarch (2023)

Northern Ireland
1. Maggie O'Farrell - The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox (2010)

1. Jane Duncan - My Friends the Miss Boyds (2018), My Friend Muriel, My Friend Monica
2. Ali Smith - Autumn (2021), Winter (2021)

1. Dylan Thomas - A Child's Christmas in Wales

United States
See my Fifty States Fiction (or Nonfiction) Challenge



Edited: Mar 9, 10:17 am


1. María Eugenia Manrique* - The Caiman (2022)

1. Que Mai Phan Nguyen - The Mountains Sing (2021), Dust Child (2022)
2. Thi Bui - The best we could do : an illustrated memoir (2021)
3. Viet Thanh Nguyen - The Sympathizer (2021)
4. Kim Thúy* - Em (2021), Ru (2023), Mãn (2024)
5. Duong Thu Huong* - Novel Without a Name (2022)
6. Christina Vo & Nghia M. Vo - My Vietnam, Your Vietnam (2024)

1. Nujood Ali - I am Nujood, age 10 and divorced (2015)


1. Alexandra Fuller - Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood (2018)
2. Tsitsi Dangarembga - Nervous Conditions (2023)
3. Brian Chikwava - "Seventh Street Alchemy" (2023)

Nov 28, 2021, 6:38 am

Welcome to the group (and more importantly, the challenge!) :)

Nov 28, 2021, 8:59 pm

>27 Jackie_K: Thanks, Jackie. I'm glad I found this group. I've wanted to track my global reading over time. This will be fun!

Edited: Dec 2, 2021, 6:16 pm

Added to Sweden:

Burned Child Seeks the Fire by Cordelia Edvardson, translated from the Swedish by Joel Agee

I debated where to put this one. The author was born in Germany, moved to Sweden as a young adult, but spent most of her adult life in Israel. In the end I chose Sweden over Germany because she wrote the book in Swedish.

My review is here.

Nov 29, 2021, 6:56 pm

After chatting with some other LTers about how they are curating their lists, I have decided to tweak mine. I have deleted most books that I read before I started writing reviews on LT (~2010). I have also deleted books by authors who don't write about the country with which they are associated. For example, I took The Book Thief off the list because although the author is Australian, the book is set in Germany. I also removed some memoirs.

The second change is that in many cases, I am only counting one book per author, although I note how many others I have read by them. The result is a new, sleek list. I did lose a couple of countries, like Greece and Slovenia, because I haven't read anything from there recently, but I feel like this version is more reflective of what I hope to gain from participating. A work in progress!

Nov 29, 2021, 9:20 pm

>30 labfs39: I appreciate that you are someone willing to get as involved in curating a book list as I am.

Dec 1, 2021, 10:56 am

> 30 - It's complicated, isn't it, but so much fun. I enjoyed reading your list and am looking forward to see how you fill in the gaps.
P.S. Dimitri Verhulst is Belgian and not Dutch. I can't have one of my Flemish compatriots be hijacked by the Dutch :-)

Dec 1, 2021, 5:29 pm

>31 RidgewayGirl: Birds of a feather, lol

>32 Trifolia: Thank you, Monica! I found another book I had put on the wrong list. Too much cutting and pasting...

I'm going back through and adding an asterisk after an author's name if it's translated. Normally I'm fastidious about adding translator's names, because they place such an important role, but for the sake of brevity, I didn't do that here. But I do like knowing at least whether it was translated.

Edited: Dec 2, 2021, 6:15 pm

Added to Vietnam:

Em by Kim Thuy, translated from the French by Sheila Fischman

Loved this book. My review is here.

This is my fourth book from Vietnam this year.

Dec 2, 2021, 5:21 am

Wonderful! Another member for the group - welcome! x

Dec 2, 2021, 5:01 pm

I was looking through my library collection on LT looking for books from countries that I haven't yet read. I came across An Ermine in Czernopol by Gregor von Rezzori. He was "an Austrian-born, Romanian, German-language novelist, memoirist, screenwriter and author of radio plays, as well as an actor, journalist, visual artist, art critic and art collector. He was fluent in German, Romanian, Italian, Polish, Ukrainian, Yiddish, French, and English; during his life, von Rezzori was successively a citizen of Austria-Hungary, Romania, and the Soviet Union, before becoming a stateless person and spending his final years as a citizen of Austria." (according to Wikipedia)

Good grief! Where do I put him? lol

Dec 2, 2021, 6:14 pm

Added to Somalia:

When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

This is a young adult graphic novel that was a well-deserved finalist for the National Book Award.

My review is here.

Dec 3, 2021, 5:39 am

>36 labfs39: - LOL - My former math teacher taught me that all problems can be solved mathematically.

Dec 3, 2021, 7:02 am

>36 labfs39: Add a new category “The World” :)

Dec 3, 2021, 10:26 am

>35 starbox: Thanks, Starbox

>38 Trifolia: Ha! I'm afraid this one is beyond my ability to solve

>39 AnnieMod: That's a really good idea actually!

Dec 3, 2021, 11:13 am

You've inspired me, Lisa. I've been looking over my reading this year, and I have read from a few countries.

Dec 3, 2021, 2:26 pm

>41 BLBera: I think we are all inspiring each other, Beth. This is my best reading year in a long time. Although I'm not sure I'll ever read a book from every country, it is fun to track and think about. I've picked a few more off my TBR that will fill in gaps. I'm not assigning myself anything, but if the books are lying around and visible, I'm more likely to get in the mood to read them. Using psychology on myself. :-)

Edited: Dec 7, 2021, 11:04 am

Another addition for JAPAN

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder
Originally published 1994, English translation 2019. 274 p.

An odd dystopian novel that was rather unmemorable for me

My review is here.

Dec 11, 2021, 11:15 am

To add a layer of complexity to two countries, I broke the US out by state and Canada by province/territory. I put the US books in the Fifty States challenge and left Canada here, but put subcategories like I did for the UK. I have read books from 6 of the 13 Canadian areas. Still fine tuning the US list. Next up: Russia?

Dec 12, 2021, 10:31 am


Memoirs of a Blue Puttee: The Newfoundland Regiment in World War One by A.J. Stacey and Jean Edwards Stacey

A colorful regional memoir of the Newfoundland Regiment and particularly the first 500 volunteers, known as the "Blue Puttees."

My review can be found here.

Dec 12, 2021, 12:44 pm

>44 labfs39: Oh no! You're rushing headlong into smaller and smaller subdivisions. I forsee the English shires, the German Bundesländer, French régions and Swiss cantons up next. And then I will do the same because such behavior is infectious.

Dec 12, 2021, 1:01 pm

LOL. I know, such a rabbit hole, nay warren, I've gotten myself into. I have separated US and Canada into subunits, because I have read enough books from each that it looked unwieldly as one list. We'll see where I go from here. Currently I am busily moving my wish list from my collection to an LT list. It's a good clean up project, as I am removing those that are no longer of interest (um, that's 2 out of 23), and it will keep my library tags cleaner. Searching the list is cumbersome, but at least it keeps it within LT without having to create a new account (and keep signing in back and forth).

Dec 13, 2021, 5:56 pm

Novella from KYRGYZSTAN

Jamilia by Chingiz Aitmatov, translated from the Russian by James Riordan

I loved this quiet, atmospheric story set on the steppes during WWII.

My review is here.

Dec 19, 2021, 8:28 pm

This is a neat infographic that might generate some ideas:

The Most Iconic Books Set in 150 Countries Around the World

Note that the book only needed to be set in a country, not written by a native author. So you get Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson for North Korea, which wouldn't work for me.

Dec 20, 2021, 10:01 am

>49 labfs39: - Thank you for this infographic. There are some odd choices, some obvious ones (i.e. the ones that I already read), but also some good suggestions. I agree that the setting cannot be the only criterion for choosing a book, but it can sometimes be quite difficult to find books by native authors. But I love the quest.

Edited: Dec 20, 2021, 1:24 pm

>50 Trifolia: yeah I liked the infographic, but rolled my eyes at the usual suspects. That being said, many people havent read them, soooo. I too wish they put in native authors; But there were many, esp African and Latin American countries that I haven't read (tho I have read others from said countries) will be fun to explore.

ETA I just notice that on the bottom, each book is listed alphabetically with the country name with a synopsis. that is very helpful

Edited: Dec 20, 2021, 2:49 pm

>49 labfs39: Thanks for the link. I'm sharing it on Litsy, where the food and lit group is not as, um, strict? about criteria. And I'll probably be checking it out for some of the countries I haven't run across things from when I get to that point.

Dec 20, 2021, 4:02 pm

>50 Trifolia: it can sometimes be quite difficult to find books by native authors. But I love the quest

What has been the hardest country to find a book from so far? I can imagine that some of the island nations might be challenging. I like the quest too. And list making.

>51 cindydavid4: Thank you for mentioning the list under the images. I hadn't scrolled that far. Mainly I liked looking at the maps surrounded by books. Two of my favorite things.

>52 markon: For folks that aren't as obsessive, the infographic could be an interesting prompt.

Dec 20, 2021, 5:45 pm


The Folly by Ivan Vladislavić

I enjoyed this little book, but don't ask me what it is about!

My review on Club Read is here.

Dec 21, 2021, 2:03 pm


The Self-Sown by Prežihov Voranc, translated from the Slovene by Irma M. Ožbalt

Hester Prynne on steroids. Yikes! Social Realism is not for the faint of heart.

You can read my review here.

Dec 27, 2021, 10:02 pm


A Delayed Life: The powerful memoir of the librarian of Auschwitz by Dita Kraus

A fascinating memoir of a girl's childhood in Prague, her survival of the Holocaust as a young teen, and life on a kibbutz in Israel. Highly recommended.

My review is here.

Edited: Jan 8, 2022, 10:31 am


Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey by Özge Samancı

Another hit. I also highly recommend this delightful graphic memoir of a girl growing up in Turkey.

My review can be found on my Club Read 2022 thread.

Jan 8, 2022, 7:54 am

Hi Lisa, the link for your review if Dare to disappoint goes to the Victorian Tavern?

Jan 8, 2022, 10:32 am

>58 markon: Whoops! Thank you.

Jan 9, 2022, 1:42 pm


Snow by Orhan Pamuk, translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely

I read My Name is Red a few years ago and thought it amazing, so I began Snow with anticipation and high hopes. Unfortunately, I struggled to like this book, or even finish it. I think it would have made a good novella.

My review is here.

Jan 10, 2022, 4:02 pm

>60 labfs39: I agree... I enjoyed The Silent House much more than Snow...

Jan 16, 2022, 8:08 pm


The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak
Published 2006, 360 pages

I enjoyed this novel of two families, one Armenian and living in San Francisco, the other Turkish and living in Istanbul. When the Armenian American teen visits her Turkish counterpart, lots of willfully forgotten secrets come to light.

My review is here.

Edited: Feb 1, 2022, 9:35 am

CANADA, British Columbia

A Killer in King's Cove by Iona Whishaw
Published 2016, 408 p.

A young woman moved to remote British Columbia after WWII to escape memories of the war and her role as a intelligence agent. A murder in the village lands her in the midst of intrigue.

My review is here.

Jan 28, 2022, 8:26 pm


Twenty Stories by Turkish Women Writers translated by Nilüfer Mizanoğlu Reddy
Published 1988, 129 p.

A great collection for exposing me to new Turkish authors and social issues of the 1950s to 1980s.

Feb 4, 2022, 1:13 pm


The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh
Published 2005, 333 p.

What do you get when you put a cetologist, a translator, and a fisherman on a boat in the Sundarban islands with man-eating tigers and a cyclone? Quite the adventure!

Click here for my full review and here for a map.

Feb 4, 2022, 1:14 pm

>65 labfs39: What's with tigers and boats in fiction? :)

Feb 6, 2022, 3:21 pm

>66 AnnieMod: Lol, right? I didn't know is that the tigers in the Sundarbans not only stalk people, but will swim out and attack a small boat. Most tigers only attack people when cornered. Scientists have tried to discover why these tigers are so aggressive toward people (not enough fresh water? did they get used to eating corpses after cyclones? food shortages?), but nothing they've tried has prevented attacks. Other than simply killing the tigers, which are now endangered.

Feb 6, 2022, 3:26 pm


I will never see the world again : the memoir of an imprisoned writer
by Ahmet Altan, translated from the Turkish by Yasemin Çongar
Published 2019, 211 p.

A must-read collection of essays/memoir by a Turkish novelist imprisoned for delivering "subliminal messages." Beautifully written and highly recommended.

My review and notes on each essay are on my thread.

Feb 6, 2022, 10:08 pm

>66 AnnieMod: hee,life of pi comes to mind

Feb 6, 2022, 10:29 pm

>69 cindydavid4: That's the first that came to mind as well - thus my comment :)

>67 labfs39: I think that there was an article a few years ago somewhere (New Yorker? Harper's? Somewhere online?) about the fact that if you are in a boat in some areas, you need to be more scared of tigers than of sharks - so I kinda knew that - but had not really thought of it in awhile (nowhere near boats or tigers so that kind of information is filed somewhere together with the white bear's liver being toxic to people... and it resurfaces only when someone does mention something on the topic).

Feb 7, 2022, 2:19 am

>67 labfs39: >70 AnnieMod: Great! Something else to worry about ! ;-) In your local multiplex after Hollywood has grown tired of zombies, sharks, viruses, krakkens, etc.

Feb 7, 2022, 7:35 am

>70 AnnieMod: >71 Dilara86: Evidently the Indian government has tried some different things, to no avail. They dug ponds on some of the bigger tiger-inhabited islands so they would have fresh water. Didn't change the number of attacks. Built fake people and ran electricity to them so that when the tiger attacked it was shocked. Tigers learn quickly. Someone even came up with the idea of wearing masks on the back of your head with eyes on them, the thought being that since tigers don't like to attack when being looked at, the extra eyes might protect your back. The tigers just chortled at that one.

Feb 7, 2022, 2:34 pm

>68 labfs39: That sounds amazing!

Feb 11, 2022, 11:33 am


Jerusalem: A Family Portrait by Boaz Yakin and Nick Bertozzi
Published 2013, 385 p.

A graphic novel about a family fighting in different factions during the years leading up to the establishment of the state of Israel.

My review is here.

Mar 14, 2022, 10:16 pm


The Property by Rutu Modan, translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen
Published 2013, 222 pages

Read more here.

Mar 28, 2022, 11:27 am


An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine
Published 2013, 291 p.

A must read for aging bibliophiles!

My review is here.

Mar 28, 2022, 1:53 pm

>76 labfs39: I thought that title looked familiar, it's already on my wishlist after someone else on LT gave it a glowing review!

Apr 17, 2022, 12:20 pm


Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Published 2003, 356 p.

A "memoir in books" by an Iranian professor who was fired for refusing to wear the veil in class.

My review is here.

Edited: Apr 22, 2022, 12:28 pm


The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, translated from the Persian by Tom Patterdale
Published in German in 2009, English translation 2011. 247 p.

I highly recommend this difficult, but rewarding, novel to anyone interested in Iran.

Review here.

Apr 24, 2022, 12:41 pm


My grandmother's braid by Alina Bronsky, translated from the German by Tim Mohr
Published 2019, English translation 2021, 159 p.

Bronsky scores again with another acerbic grandmother dominating her little sphere of influence. Less abusive than Hottest Dishes, but less likeable than Baba Dunja.

Read more here.

May 1, 2022, 6:12 pm


Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between by Laila El-Haddad
Published 2010, 442 p.

A Palestinian blogger, journalist, and mom records her life living and working in the Gaza Strip.

Review here.

May 5, 2022, 5:27 pm


The Bad Immigrant by Sefi Atta
Published 2022, 362 p.

A fantastic novel about race relations in the US as perceived by a recent immigrant from Nigeria.

My review is here.

May 8, 2022, 6:14 pm


The Corpse Washer by Sinan Antoon, translated from the Arabic by the author
Published 2010, 185 p.

This is the first book I've read by an Iraqi author, and what a wonderful way to begin. It is, as the title might suggest, sad, but beautifully written and highly recommended.

My review is here.

May 19, 2022, 10:36 am

Great reading! I added your list of iconic books from >49 labfs39: to my list of resources. I'm more casual than you are about counting books set in a country rather than being by an author from that country. Trying to read five books from each country, I make sure that at least one is a native author.

May 19, 2022, 11:28 am

Thanks, streamsong. I sometimes twist myself in notes trying to figure out where a book belongs. So many authors were born in one place, educated in another, live in a third, and write in a language not their native one. It gets confusing fast!

May 19, 2022, 11:34 am


Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie
Published 2009, 370 p.

Beautifully written story about four interconnected families over three generations. Starts in Japan, then moves to Delhi, then Pakistan, and ends in Afghanistan and the US. Truly a global reading journey.

Review here.

May 20, 2022, 7:29 pm


The patience stone: sang-e saboor by Atiq Rahimi, translated from the French by Polly McLean
Published 2008, 141 p.

An Afghani woman reveals all her secrets while tending her unconscious husband in a house on the frontlines of a battle.

Read more, including my feeling about Khaled Hosseini's introduction, on my thread.

Jun 4, 2022, 9:02 am


A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear by Atiq Rahimi, translated from the Dari by Sarah Maguire and Yama Yari
Published 2002, English translation 2006, 152 p.

A man wakes up beaten and bloody in the sewer beside the road unsure of who he is or how he got there.

The review is here.

Jun 16, 2022, 7:23 pm


Earth and Ashes by Atiq Rahimi, translated from the Dari by Erdağ M. Göknar
Published 2000, English translation 2002, 81 p.

A man and his grandson are on their way to see his son with some horrible news.

My full review

Jun 17, 2022, 5:11 am

Great thread! I've added The Colonel and The Corpse Washer to my wishlist :-) Thanks for the book bullets!

Jun 17, 2022, 8:28 am

>90 Dilara86: Thanks, Dilara. I loved both of those. Not cheery reading, but very good.

Edited: Jul 20, 2022, 11:05 am

GUATEMALA (This is my first book by a Guatemalan author.)

Monastery by Eduardo Halfon, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn
Published 2014, 158 p.

Beautifully written vignettes, the stories are almost plotless and capture snapshots of life.

Full review here.

Jul 24, 2022, 6:34 pm


Buying a Fishing Rod for my Grandfather by Gao Xingjian, translated from the Chinese by Mabel Lee
Published 2004, 172 p.

This collection of six short stories by Nobel Laureate Gao Xingjian are tied together by their sense of impending doom and loss.

My review is here.

Jul 31, 2022, 3:26 pm


Born a crime: stories from a South African childhood by Trevor Noah
Published 2016, 288 p.

A warm and humorous memoir of growing up under apartheid in South Africa.

My review is here.

Aug 7, 2022, 8:36 am


Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata, translated from the Japanese by Edward G. Seidensticker
Published 1956, translation 1984, 175 p.

I'm having a hard time summoning up this book in a pithy statement. Instead I'll just point to my rather lengthy review.

Aug 11, 2022, 10:47 pm


The Crazy Iris and Other Stories of the Atomic Aftermath edited by Kenzaburō Ōe
Published 1985, 204 p.

I read this collection on this the 77th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Despite the difficult topic, many of the stories were beautifully expressed, and I learned a lot about the lived experience of Japanese survivors.

My review is here.

Aug 13, 2022, 7:12 pm


A Riot of Goldfish by Kanoko Okamoto, translated from the Japanese by J. Keith Vincent
PUblished 1937, English translation 2010, 113 p.

This volume is comprised of two stories. I read the first, eponymous one and declined to read the second. Far more interesting than the story is the life of the author.

My review and short bio is here.

Edited: Aug 21, 2022, 11:07 am


Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel
Published 2014, 386 p.

I loved this novel, so different from Murakami's magical/surreal books, about a man who was abruptly cut off by his high school friends and struggles for years with the pain of not knowing why.


Edited to fix link

Aug 21, 2022, 11:06 am


The Easy Life in Kamusari by Shion Miura, translated from the Japanese by Juliet Winters Carpenter
Published 2012, Translation 2021, 197 p.

I enjoyed this YA novel about a boy sent to a remote village to learn forestry.


Sep 3, 2022, 11:05 am


Grass by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, translated from the Korean by Janet Hong
Published 2017, English translation 2019, 478 p.

A difficult to read, but important, graphic novel about a Korean "comfort woman".

My review

Sep 5, 2022, 11:18 am


Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin, translated from the Korean by Chi-young Kim
Published 2008, English translation 2011, 237 p.

Although I had difficulty getting into this book due to the second person narration, I'm glad I persevered as I liked it quite a bit. It's about a family reflection on their relationships with their mother after she goes missing.


Sep 7, 2022, 3:40 pm


The Waiting by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, translated from the Korean by Janet Hong
Published 2021, English translation 2021, 247 p.

A graphic novel about waiting to be selected for the family reunification program. Not as powerful as Grass, but good.


Sep 7, 2022, 3:49 pm

I like how you are reading groups of books set in a single country. It's more deliberate and gives you a better idea of what the literature of a place looks like than my scattershot approach.

Sep 7, 2022, 3:55 pm

>103 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay, it's because of my participation in the Asian Book Challenge. Every month this year has been focused on the literature of a particular country. So last month was Japan, this month Korea. It has been nice, although it takes up most of my reading bandwidth. I'm not sure I will do the same next year.

Edited: Sep 17, 2022, 10:15 am

I'm noticing the same, but enjoying the dif styles of writing in each country. I can still read a few of my own picks during the month, tho the field is getting crowded and my tbr mountain continures to grow(being retired helps!)

Sep 14, 2022, 3:37 pm


Taras Bulba by Nikolai Gogol, translated from the Russian by Peter Constantine
Published 1835 and revised 1842, this translation 2004, 141 p.

An important but disturbing war epic glorifying the Dnieper Cossacks.


Sep 14, 2022, 3:38 pm

>105 cindydavid4: Will you do such a concentrated challenge again next year, Cindy?

Sep 17, 2022, 4:04 am

>46 RidgewayGirl:
Oh no! You're rushing headlong into smaller and smaller subdivisions. I forsee the English shires, the German Bundesländer, French régions and Swiss cantons up next. And then I will do the same because such behavior is infectious.
I came at this the other way! I started off with English counties (a list compiled with some other on-line readers, trying to list the most famous book for each county, having seen something similar done for the USA), am now just over half-way through a tour of the US states (over on Fifty States challenge board), which all led me to gradually realise how little world reading I've done, hence starting my list here. Certainly opening my reading eyes!

>33 labfs39:
I'm going back through and adding an asterisk after an author's name if it's translated. Normally I'm fastidious about adding translator's names, because they place such an important role, but for the sake of brevity, I didn't do that here. But I do like knowing at least whether it was translated.
Really good point - I must do at least the same to acknowledge translation. Sometimes very interesting comparing translations too (it's taken me a while to work out which one I want to read for Les Miserables - my planned choice for France). BTW, your list is certainly giving me loads of ideas - thank you!

Edited: Sep 17, 2022, 4:15 am

>49 labfs39:
This is a neat infographic that might generate some ideas:
The Most Iconic Books Set in 150 Countries Around the World
Note that the book only needed to be set in a country, not written by a native author. So you get Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson for North Korea, which wouldn't work for me.

Nor me. Being a Brit, I can't agree with Pride and Prejudice either. Much as I adore Jane Austen, she's simply too 'English' - as about as far away as one can get from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales as one can imagine. It's partly why I split the UK into 4 separate countries for my list (I've read a huge amount of English lit, some Scottish lit, but virtually no Welsh or Northern Irish). Not sure what I'd suggest (need to think about it) but Austen is so much of the southern, genteel, English world, she's a definite non-starter for me on this front. Even other English writers like Eliot (Middlemarch is English provincial, but at least more centred) or Dickens would be better IMO.
Maybe Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse - English author, Scottish setting?
I'll bet Americans would say the same thing about a lot of American literature, or Canadians about Canada?!

Sep 17, 2022, 8:28 am

>108 Willoyd: So many possibilities! So far I have broken out the UK, US, and Canada, but toying with Russia. I love lists, so doing so is fun for me. English shires would be a challenge!

>108 Willoyd: Translations are an interesting topic. It's the one drawback to reading world literature, I'm never sure how much of what I am reading is the translator and how much is the author. But it's a small price to pay and interesting in its own right. Choosing a translator and comparing translations is something I think about too.

>109 Willoyd: Maybe Ali Smith for the UK? She was born in Scotland, educated in England, and her books deal with topics all over the UK, like Brexit and the Scottish vote for independence.

Sep 17, 2022, 8:31 am

So I'm rearranging my lists. When I started, I was listing the book titles first, but quickly realized that my lists were too long if I listed every book by a single author on separate lines. So I listed one book by the author, then put (+2 others) after. But that didn't work for me either, as I wanted to know which books I had read. So I started listing all the books, then the author. Clunky. So now I'm trying author first, then the books. LOL. Too much futzing I know...

Sep 17, 2022, 9:27 am

>11 labfs39: But it's always fun to play with lists of books, Lisa. :)

Sep 17, 2022, 10:16 am

>107 labfs39: oh yes if there is one. Would love a year of Africa, because I have read remarkably little of the cultures of that great continent. I have more of South America, tho I definitely still have gaps. Also would love an American indiginous challenge; read books by authors of different tribes in our country.

Sep 17, 2022, 10:20 am

>108 Willoyd: what did you come up with for Wales. I read How green was my valley a book my dad handed me when I was about 11, and loved it.

Sep 17, 2022, 10:24 am

>111 labfs39: this is why I do not post my books here; I have enough trouble at home just keeping my categories straight. I finally decided to stop separating paper backs from Hard back of the same author. Doesn't look stunning on my shelves but its a heck of a lot easier to find a book.

Sep 17, 2022, 7:47 pm

>110 labfs39:
Ali Smith is an interesting possibility. Another , older, idea that occurs is Tobias Smollett's Expedition of Humphry Clinker - Scottish author again, of a book that travels extensively In UK.

Sep 19, 2022, 9:21 am

>112 BLBera: I love lists almost as much as I love books, Beth. ;-)

>113 cindydavid4: Those all sound good, Cindy. Maybe you should start one!

>114 cindydavid4: I find it much easier to shift books virtually than physically. I arrange all my fiction by author, except certain publishers, whose books I group for aesthetic reasons (NYRB, Europa Editions, Archipelago, Folio).

>115 cindydavid4: That's one I haven't read. I've been trying to think of what I would pick for the US. Your country is so old, and my country is so large that there are lots of books to choose from.

Edited: Sep 20, 2022, 6:04 am

>114 cindydavid4:
What did you come up with for Wales.
One Moonlit Night by Caradog Prichard. Read it last week: excellent. Very dark, but not miserable. Definitely different! It's the first book I've read in translation from Welsh, which is one of the main reasons I chose it (plus, of course, it's regarded as a modern Welsh classic). I've heard plenty of good things about How Green Was My Valley, and I probably should read it, but I've always been put off by the fact that Richard Llewellyn claimed to be born in St David's from a mining family, when he was actually born in London, the son of a publican (both his parents were Welsh though, so he would still count for my list). That shouldn't put me off the book I know, but, rather illogically, it has.

>115 cindydavid4:
I have enough trouble at home just keeping my categories straight. I finally decided to stop separating paper backs from Hard back of the same author. Doesn't look stunning on my shelves but its a heck of a lot easier to find a book.
All my fiction is shelved in author alphabetical order - only way I can cope. My non-fiction is much more complicated! (eg biography in order of date of death, with currently alive shelved at end alphabetically by subject of book; the rest by broad categories then Dewey number within those. Obsessive or what?!)

Sep 20, 2022, 7:22 pm


Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, translated from the Japanese by Geoffrey Trousselot
Published 2015, English translation 2020, 272 p.

The Funiculi Funicula is a small underground café from which customers can time travel. A quiet book about relationships and what people would do with a limited do-over.


Sep 25, 2022, 4:11 pm


By Night in Chile by Roberto Bolaño, translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews
Published 2000, English translation 2003, 130 p.

A cerebral novel about the complicity of the Catholic Church and literary intelligentsia in Pinochet's regime.


Oct 1, 2022, 7:23 pm


Canción by Eduardo Halfon, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman and Danial Hahn
Published 2021 and 2022, 158 p.

The author-narrator tells the story of his grandfather's kidnapping by Guatemalan guerillas in 1967 and ruminates on identity, names, and the Guatemalan Civil War.

My review

Edited: Oct 9, 2022, 11:07 am


Novel Without a Name by Duong Thu Huong translated from the Vietnamese by Phan Huy Duong and Nina McPherson
Published 1991, English translation 1995, 289 p.

The story of a North Vietnamese soldier told by an author who experienced the horrors firsthand.


Oct 12, 2022, 8:01 pm


The Blue Sky by Galsang Tschinag, translated from the German by Katharina Rout
Published 1994, English translation 2006, 159 p.

This is the first in a trilogy of autobiographical novels by Tuvan Galsang Tschinag. It's the story of his childhood on the steppes on Mongolia.


Oct 12, 2022, 8:02 pm

That makes five countries that I've added to my challenge so far this year: Chile, Guatemala, Iraq, Mongolia, and Venezuela!

Oct 12, 2022, 9:52 pm

>124 labfs39: How many books have you added to your list here this year? It seems like at least a few dozen.

Oct 13, 2022, 2:43 am

Isn't The Blue Sky a lovely book! Novel without a Name sounds very interesting (but also a tough read).

Oct 13, 2022, 2:41 pm

>125 RidgewayGirl: Wow, you are right. I've added 41 books to the global challenge so far this year! Considering I only read 10 books total in 2020, this is great. :-)

>126 Dilara86: It was! So much so that I ordered the next one in the trilogy, The Gray Earth, right away, and it should arrive tomorrow.

Oct 31, 2022, 9:06 pm

My first book from Burma/Myanmar:

From the Land of Green Ghosts by Pascal Khoo Thwe
Published 2002, 304 p.

A fascinating memoir of a boy from a rural Burmese tribe who studies English literature in college, but must flee to the jungle during the uprisings against the regime and ends up studying at Cambridge.


Nov 4, 2022, 9:40 am


The Ten Loves of Nishino by Hiromi Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell
Published 2003, English translation 2013, 172 p.

Ten chapters, ten women, one boring self-centered womanizer. Disappointing.


Nov 13, 2022, 11:12 am


The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
Published 2019, 372 p.

A magical mystery about an 11-year-old boy with a mission to find and bury his master's amputated finger and the young woman who finds it.

My review

Nov 15, 2022, 12:43 pm


The Gray Earth by Galsan Tschinag (Irgit Schynykbai-oglu Dshurukuwaa), translated from the German by Katharina Rout
Published 1999, English translation 2010, 303 p.

This is the second in Galsan's autobiographical fiction trilogy, picking up where The Blue Sky left off, with Dshurukuwaa heading off to the state-run boarding school. Love, love, love these books.

My review.

Edited: Nov 15, 2022, 1:19 pm

>131 labfs39:
The Blue Sky is what I've listed to read for Mongolia too - one to look forward to by the sound of it!

Nov 19, 2022, 8:08 am

>132 Willoyd: I really enjoyed them both. Unfortunately the last volume in the trilogy isn't due out in English translation until next year.

Nov 19, 2022, 8:10 am

My first book from


Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Published 2013, 527 p.

A fun romp of a book about a Chinese-American girl going to Singapore with her boyfriend to meet his crazy rich family.

My review

Nov 20, 2022, 9:26 am


Fires on the Plain by Shohei Ooka, translated from the Japanese by Ivan Morris
Originally published 1952, this translation 2001, 246 p., 4*

Amazing novel about a conscripted Japanese soldier struggling for survival in the Philippines during WWII.

My review

Nov 27, 2022, 9:58 am


Song of Survival: Women Interned by Helen Colijn
Published 1995, 216 p.

A gripping firsthand account of a young woman's internment in the Dutch West Indies (modern Indonesia) by the Japanese in WWII.

My full review

Dec 3, 2022, 10:49 am

Although not written by a native Bosnian and thus not being included in my count, I want to mention the book I just finished. The journalist author lived in Sarajevo for almost two years while writing it, and it's a fascinating account of how the Muslims, Serbs, and Croats of a single street lived (and died) during the Bosnian War.

Besieged : life under fire on a Sarajevo street by Barbara Demick

Dec 7, 2022, 7:27 pm


Dust Child by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
To be published March 2023, 339 p.

The stories of Phong, an orphan looking for his American father; Trang, a young Vietnamese girl forced into becoming a bar girl; and Dan, an American vet returning to Vietnam to put his ghosts to rest. Another beautifully written novel from the author of The Mountains Sing.

My review is here.

Dec 10, 2022, 5:40 pm


How We Disappeared by Jing-Jing Lee
Published 2019, 348 p.

The book moves between a young women's experiences as a comfort woman in 1940s Singapore, her life as an older woman, and chapters told from the perspective of a 12yo boy (the least interesting and an unnecessary plotline).

My review.

Dec 27, 2022, 11:10 am


War and Me: A Memoir by Faleeha Hassan, translated from the Arabic by William Hutchins
Published 2022, 364 p.

A fascinating memoir about growing up in Iraq, but I didn't fully engage emotionally due to the writing.

My review.

Jan 4, 2023, 1:22 pm


The Ardent Swarm by Yamen Manai, translated from the French by Lara Vergnaud
Originally published 2017, English translation 2021, 195 p., 4*

An allegorical novel about a beekeeper trying to protect his bees from the alien Asian hornet during the aftermath of the Arab Spring.

My review on Club Read.

Jan 4, 2023, 1:36 pm

>141 labfs39: I like the sound of that one!

Jan 4, 2023, 1:38 pm

>142 Jackie_K: It was my first book by a Tunisian author, and I quite liked it. A nice blend of science and politics without getting too heavy. In fact it was quite funny in places.

Jan 4, 2023, 3:03 pm

Oh dear, I've taken note of multiple books from here, several I already know about and I have 2 of Eduardo Halfon's books out from the library currently.

>134 labfs39: I read Crazy Rich Asians and quite enjoyed it but would never be able to pick up anymore in the series. So over the top.

Jan 4, 2023, 3:49 pm

>144 avatiakh: I think you’ll appreciate the Halfon, Kerry. The Ardent Swarm is lighter. I should have stopped after the first Kwan book. More than enough :-$

Jan 8, 2023, 9:31 am


Nativity Poems by Joseph Brodsky, translated from the Russian by various poets
Collection published 2001, 113 p. 3*

A linear collection of Christmas poems written between 1962-1995.

My Club Read review is here.

Edited: Jan 14, 2023, 9:35 am


So Vast the Prison by Assia Djebar, translated from the French by Betsy Wing
Originally published 1995, English translation 1999, Seven Stories Press, 3*

If I had to describe this book in a single word, it would be "gaze." Assia Djebar, a filmmaker as well as writer, is always aware of sightlines and who is gazing at whom.

My full review is here.

Edited: Jan 18, 2023, 9:08 am


A River in Darkness: One Man's Escape from North Korea by Masaji Ishikawa, translated from the Japanese by Risa Kobayashi and Martin Brown
Originally published 2000, English translation 2017, 159 p., 4*

Ishikawa was born in Japan but moved with his family to North Korea as a teen. Decades later he would make his escape.

My review is here.

Jan 25, 2023, 4:52 pm


Hiroshima Diary: The Journal of a Japanese Physician, August 6-September 30, 1945 by Michihiko Hachiya, translated from the Japanese by Warner Wells
English translation 1955, 238 p., 4.5*

A fascinating account of the first weeks following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

My review is here.

Jan 29, 2023, 2:08 pm


The Wonderful Adventures of Nils by Selma Lagerlöf, translated from the Swedish by Velma Swanston Howard
Original publication 1906 and 1907 (two parts), later combined. English translation 1907, Project Gutenberg 2004, 4*

An adventure story for children that imparts a tremendous amount of information about the geography, mythology, ecology, and industry of Sweden.

Full review

Feb 4, 2023, 9:27 pm


Madwoman of Serrano by Dina Salústio, translated from the Portuguese by Jethro Soutar
Originally published in 1998, English translation 2019, Dedalus, 228 p.

This is the first novel by a female author to be published in Cape Verde, and the first to be translated into English. I loved the magical realism of the village, and the author's use of language is interesting.

It's a hard book to sum up in a couple of sentences. See my review for more.

Feb 6, 2023, 12:11 pm


The Ultimate Tragedy by Abdulai Sila, translated from the Portuguese by Jethro Soutar
Originally published 1995, English translation 2017, Dedalus Books, 187 p.

The first novel from Guinea Bissau to be translated into English, it is set during the years leading up to the armed revolt against the Portuguese. It follow the lives of a young woman, a local leader, and a semi-assimilated teacher and their relationships.

Full review

Feb 11, 2023, 8:39 pm


Memories Look at Me: A Memoir by Tomas Tranströmer, translated from the Swedish by Robin Fulton
Originally published 1983, English translation 2011, New Directions, 60 p.

A very short collection of vignettes from the Nobel Laureate's childhood.

My review

Edited: Feb 12, 2023, 1:26 pm


The Tuner of Silences by Mia Couto, translated from the Portuguese by David Brookshaw
Originally published 2009, English translation 2012, Biblioasis, 230 p.

A beautifully written, poetic work about a father's descent into madness and his relationship with his young sons on a deserted game reserve.

My review

Feb 13, 2023, 7:50 pm


Native Dance: An African Story by Gervásio Kaiser

One of the few works available in English from this country, this short story was a disappointment.

Short review here.

Feb 19, 2023, 8:46 am


The First Wife: A Tale of Polygamy by Paulina Chiziane, translated from the Portuguese by David Brookshaw
Originally published 2002, English translation 2016, Archipelago Press, 494 p.

A poignant, funny satire of a woman fighting not only for her own rights, but those of her rival wives.

My full review

Edited: Mar 3, 2023, 9:49 am


An Altered Light by Jens Christian Grøndahl, translated from the Danish by Anne Born
Originally published 2003, English translation 2004, 271 p., 3*

A surburban housewife thinks about her relationships with her ex-lover and soon to be ex-husband and in the final chapters tries to unravel her mother's secret.

My review

Mar 20, 2023, 9:39 pm


Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Published 2003, 307 p., 4.5*

A young Nigerian girl struggles to survive in her father's strict Catholic household and finds respite visiting her aunt in the countryside. Wonderfully written but difficult reading.

No review for this one.

Mar 20, 2023, 9:45 pm


The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta
Published 1979, 224 p., 3.5*

A woman whose self-worth and societal standing are centered on childbearing, especially having sons, struggles to survive as the world around her changes.

My longwinded review is here.

Edited: Apr 1, 2023, 10:16 am


Taken Captive: A Japanese POW's Story by Ōoka Shōhei, translated from the Japanese by Wayne P. Lammers
Originally published 1952, English translation 1996. 4*

A detailed and fascinating recollection of the year Ōoka Shōhei spent in an American POW camp in the Philippines.

My review

Apr 2, 2023, 3:53 pm

>160 labfs39: Sounds like one I need to read. Have only read about American POW's in a Japanese camp!

Apr 2, 2023, 4:40 pm

>161 Tess_W: I hadn't either. It was very interesting. Not only his experience, but the mindsets of the Japanese POWs toward capture, hygiene, food, the Emperor, the military hierarchy, the atomic bombings, and the Japanese surrender.

Apr 3, 2023, 9:44 am


Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste
Published 2010, 308 p., 5*

Beautifully written book about a family during the Ethiopian revolution and early years of the Derg regime (1974-77).

My review

Edited: Apr 18, 2023, 8:19 pm


Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed
Published 2010, 288 p., 3.5*

A fictionalized biography of the author's father, this debut novel recounts his amazing 1000-mile journey as a boy through the horn of Africa to Egypt and the Middle East from 1935-47.

My review is here.

Edited: Apr 19, 2023, 6:42 pm

>158 labfs39:
Read Purple Hibiscus with a book group a while ago - universally highly rated. I'd say your 4.5* is pretty much spot on.

BTW - sorry to be pedantic - but whilst browsing down your lists of books read, I spotted that under the United Kingdom, you have listed 'Britain', 'Wales', 'Scotland', 'Northern Ireland'. I think, for 'Britain', you mean 'England'. 'Britain' is sometimes used as a shorthand for the UK, but there is, in fact, no actual entity specifically of that name nowadays. Great Britain is the name of the island containing the main parts of England, Scotland and Wales, and that is sometimes shortened to Britain. TBH, the whole thing about the UK, Great Britain etc is something most people (including many Brits) never quite get their heads around, but it does tend to bring out the pedantry in others (like me!). For instance, when you see teams from Great Britain (eg Olympics), it's actually wrong, because that excludes anybody who doesn't live on the island (including all Northern Irish). It should, more accurately, be United Kingdom. Except that people from the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands compete in British (!) teams, but neither are part of the UK....!!

Apr 19, 2023, 6:47 pm

>165 Willoyd: Thank you! My error, which I've corrected.

Edited: Apr 29, 2023, 7:37 pm


Ru by Kim Thúy, translated from the French by Sheila Fischman
Published 2009, English translation 2012, 141 p., 4.5*

A beautifully written fictional account of the author's life told in short vignettes.

My full review

Edited to add one line summary

Apr 29, 2023, 7:33 pm

>167 labfs39: Need another one for Vietnam so on my WL this goes!

Apr 29, 2023, 7:39 pm

>168 Tess_W: I really enjoyed it, Tess. One thing that interested me was how warmly she and her family were welcomed in Canada. I recently read Sigh, Gone about a similar escape from Vietnam, but this time to the US, and it was not as smooth.

May 6, 2023, 3:32 pm


The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar, translated from the Persian
Published 2017, Europa Editions, 245 p.

The story of a family caught up in the terrors of the Iranian Revolution and its aftermath, narrated by the ghost of 13 year-old Bahar, and told in the style of magical realism.

My review

Edited: May 28, 2023, 9:58 am


Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel
Published 2022, 302 p.

Time Shelter is many things: an exploration of memory and memory loss, an imagined future where each European country chooses a different decade in which to live, and a meta-novel where the narrator/author is at once the creator and the created.

My review

May 28, 2023, 5:35 pm

>171 labfs39: Just bought that to read for Bulgaria!

Sep 2, 2023, 11:44 am


Foster by Claire Keegan
Published 2010, 95 p.

A sentimental novella about a girl who spends a few months with foster parents.

My review

Sep 2, 2023, 11:58 am


The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
Published 2020, 437 p., 4*

A coming-of-age story set in Uganda.

My review

Sep 2, 2023, 12:01 pm


Middlemarch by George Eliot, narrated by Maureen O'Brady

I had loved this novel when I first read it as a young adult, and revisited it now on audiobook.

No review

Sep 2, 2023, 12:07 pm


Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi, translated from the Arabic by Sharif Hatatah
Published 1975, English translation 1983, 142 p., 4*

A fictionalization of the life story of a woman on death row interviewed by the author.

My review

Sep 2, 2023, 12:10 pm


Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
Published 1988, 212 p., 3.5*

The coming-of-age story of a girl from Zimbabwe with a thirst for education.

My review

Sep 2, 2023, 7:21 pm

>174 labfs39: glad you liked it as much as I did. the two dancing in the rain scenes were brilliant

Sep 3, 2023, 8:53 am

>178 cindydavid4: Such joyful abandon is hard to find, whether in real life or books, or at least adult books.

Edited: Sep 6, 2023, 4:19 am

An interesting recent selection( and, as ever, an invaluable source of ideas), made all the more so as several are on my list to read:
Time Shelter: I've read this now, and absolutely agree with your review: loved the early part of the book, but it started to drag, and to me began to feel a bit heavy-handed at times. An interesting read though.
Foster: not my choice for Ireland (I've got Ulysses on my must-read list!), but I read Small Things Like These recently for one of my book groups. I was rather underwhelmed given the rave reviews. Sounds very similar in style to Foster
Middlemarch: one of my all-time favourite books (I studied it for A-Level - the British final school exams - and reread it since), so it can't qualify for my project, as books have to be previously unread by me (and also published since 1920). I've split the UK into the home nations, and, whilst I've read my books for the other nations, have yet to even settle on which book for England! (Maybe Zadie Smith's White Teeth, but would like a book not based in London).
The First Woman and Nervous Conditions: both on my short lists for those countries!

Sep 8, 2023, 7:11 am

>180 Willoyd: We do seem to have similar tastes in our international reading. Do you have another thread where I can follow you, or just the Global Challenge?

I read Ulysses in college, and wow, what an experience. I would imagine that it is a bit easier now with the Internet. I desperately needed a compendium when I read.

The African Novel Challenge this year has inspired me to read books from so many new-to-me countries.

Sep 8, 2023, 7:17 am


The Exploded View by Ivan Vladislavić
Published 2004, 197 p., 4*

I enjoyed this short novel of four interconnected stories. A census taker, an engineer, an artist, and a billboard installer struggle with everyday life and the incipient racism in South Africa.

My review

Sep 8, 2023, 10:51 am

>181 labfs39:
The only thread on LibraryThing that I contribute to about reading (as opposed to book collecting!) is the Fifty States Fiction Challenge, as I'm also about 60% of the way through a journey round the USA. (I had intended to wait and finish that first before tackling this, but decided life was too short!).
I do keep a blog of my reading on Book Club Forum, a small forum based in the UK (where there's also a record of my English Counties journey, finished a few years ago). I've not yet really found an equivalent here, but even after a decade or more, I've still not got groups here properly worked out.

Sep 8, 2023, 12:50 pm

>183 Willoyd: I like having a thread, because I like the conversations around books and reading. I've made some friends through years of talking books on LT. The group called Club Read is my favorite hangout. Good folks there, some I've known for a decade or more now. My current thread is here.

Sep 8, 2023, 1:14 pm

>184 labfs39:
Looks promising - I'll have a good look round! Thank you.

Edited: Sep 11, 2023, 6:48 pm


The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
Published 2020, 295 p., 4*

An historical novel set in 1918 during the Great Influenza in Dublin and startling in its similarities to the more recent covid pandemic, despite having been writing earlier.

My review

Sep 11, 2023, 11:23 am

>186 labfs39:
Really intrigued - how does The Pull of the Stars count as a book for Northern Ireland? As far as I can see it's a book set in Dublin by an author from Dublin (now living in Canada)?

Sep 11, 2023, 6:30 pm

I think it was pretty settled in dublin but recent readers will remember more than i will

Sep 11, 2023, 6:52 pm

>187 Willoyd: Good catch! I had the book correctly listed under Ireland at the top of my thread, but when I inserted my review, I had just finished reading about Maggie O'Farrell, and with her in mind, wrote Northern Ireland instead of Ireland. Whoops! Thanks

>188 cindydavid4: Absolutely Dublin, Cindy. Thanks.

Edited: Sep 12, 2023, 5:45 pm

>189 labfs39: Looks a good one for Ireland. I will stick to Ulysses for my prospective choice though, not least because I might at last get to read it! I can recommend David Park's Travelling in a Strange Land for Northern Ireland - a read that pretty much all of one of my book groups really enjoyed. I was going to read Milkman, recommended by a very particular/fussy friend, but then the Park came up as a group choice!

Sep 14, 2023, 7:55 am


The Boy Who Harnassed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
Published 2009, 290 p., 4.5*

When a famine forces William to drop out of school, he studies an old physics book and decides to build a windmill to drive a pump that will irrigate their fields. Inspiring memoir.

My review

Sep 14, 2023, 12:44 pm

>191 labfs39: I enjoyed this book very much. What a wonderful young man!

Oct 12, 2023, 8:30 pm

Another first:


Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated from the French by Melanie L. Mauthner
Originally published in 2012, Eng translation 2014, Archipelago Press, 244 p., 3*

Virginia and Veronica are the only Tutsis at the Catholic high school in the late 1970s when anti-Tutsi aggression is building.

My review is here.

Oct 16, 2023, 8:29 am

Found you! Your criteria for listing (by author) are very similar to what I was doing, wherever possible. I’m very tempted to jump back in (I do like a good list!)

Oct 16, 2023, 1:12 pm

>194 rachbxl: I do like a good list!

LOL. Who among us doesn't?

Nov 4, 2023, 2:18 pm


The Polish Boxer by Eduardo Halfon
Published 2012, 188 p. (Read in October)

The first novel by Eduarado Halfon to be published in English, it is the third novel by him that I have read. Although Canción remains my favorite, this is a solid read in the same style as his other books.

My review

Nov 4, 2023, 2:27 pm


Captaine Rosalie by Timothee de Fombelle
Published 2014, 64 p. (read in the original French)

While her father is away at the front during WWI, five and a half year old Rosalie pretends she is a spy with a secret mission.

My review

Nov 4, 2023, 2:38 pm


My Brother's Voice: How a Young Hungarian Boy Survived the Holocaust by Stephen Nasser and Sherry Rosenthal
Published 2003, 232 p.

Stephen "Pista" Nasser was 13-years-old when he and the rest of his family was taken from a Budapest ghetto to Auschwitz. He would survive the Mühldorf labor camp and return to Hungary, later emigrating to Canada.

My review

Nov 18, 2023, 10:28 am

I read Half a Cup of Sand and Sky, but decided not to include it on this list as it is such a hodgepodge. It is set in Iran but the author was born in the US and now lives in Sweden.

Nov 18, 2023, 10:29 am


Five Bells by Gail Jones
Published 2011, 218 p., 3.5*

A quay, a day, and
Four people who intersect
In surprising ways.

My review

Edited: Nov 23, 2023, 5:06 pm


My first book from Kenya.

The House of Rust by Khadija Abdalla Bajaber
Published 2021, 258 p.

A girl goes to sea,
On a boat comprised of bones,
With a talking cat.

A fascinating blend of allegory, fable, and a coming of age story with Islamic faith bumping into African myth.

My review

Nov 23, 2023, 8:45 pm

>201 labfs39: If you're getting stuck into Kenya, I can strongly recommend A Grain Of Wheat!

Nov 23, 2023, 11:49 pm

>202 Willoyd: Thanks, I actually own that one, but have yet to read it. Nice to know that will be a good one. For some reason I'm intimidated by Thiong'o.

Nov 24, 2023, 2:14 am

>203 labfs39:
Don't be. I found it very readable.

Dec 2, 2023, 6:26 pm

Ten years of the Caine Prize for African writing : plus J.M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer and Ben Okri edited by Chris Brazier
Published 2009, New Internationalist Publications, 205 p.

This collection of 14 short stories were written by authors from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

My review and a brief description of each story is here.

Dec 16, 2023, 8:59 am


State of Emergency by Jeremy Tiang
Published 2017, Epigram Press, 245 p.

A beautifully written and well-paced novel about an extended family in Singapore from 1940s to present.

My review

Dec 18, 2023, 2:26 pm

Hi Lisa, I added this one to my WL! It sounds compelling. I haven't read anything from Singapore so far.

Dec 18, 2023, 4:11 pm

>207 MissBrangwen: Mirjam, how nice to hear from you! Hope all is well. Yes, I would heartily recommend State of Emergency. Fantastic historical fiction.

Dec 20, 2023, 1:12 pm

>208 labfs39: All is well, but I don't seem to read very globally these days, hence my lack of posting! But I do lurk, and I have some more international books lined up for next year and hope to be more active here.
I'll keep State of Emergency in mind!

Dec 31, 2023, 11:31 am


So Long a Letter by Mariama Bâ, translated from the French by Modupe Bode-Thomas
Published 1980, English translation 1981, 96 pages, Waveland Press

A semi-autobiographical, epistolary novel about two women, both betrayed by their husbands who take a second wife, but react very differently.

My first novel from Senegal. My full review is here.

Dec 31, 2023, 2:24 pm


At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop, translated from the French by Anna Moschovakis
Published 2018, English translation 2020, 145 p.

A beautiful yet brutal novel about the horrors and madness of war and of colonial racism. Not for the faint of heart.

My review

Jan 6, 1:09 pm


The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata, translated from the Japanese by J. Martin Holman
Published 1962, revised English translation 2006, e-book

A quiet ode to the natural beauty and traditions of Kyoto.

My Review

Jan 7, 10:12 am

>212 labfs39: It's been ages since I read a Kawabata - I am feeling all nostalgic, now...
>211 labfs39: I'm in full agreement with you. So glad this book was translated.

Jan 10, 7:13 pm


The Seventh Cross by Anna Seghers, translated from the German by Margot Bettauer Dembo
Published 1942 in both German and English, 402 p., NYRB

Seven men escape from a German prison camp, but are recaptured until one one remains at large.

My review

Feb 1, 8:37 am


Minor Detail by Shibli Adania, translated from the Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette
Published 2016, English translation 2020, 105 p., New Directions

An Israeli captain in the Negev desert and a woman fifty years later are linked by a terrible incident.

My review is here.

Feb 1, 12:55 pm

>215 labfs39: I got this book fairly recently, thanks for your very interesting review!

Feb 1, 1:00 pm

>216 Jackie_K: Thanks, Jackie. An interesting and sad book. I’ll look forward to your thoughts.

Feb 4, 9:42 pm


Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa, translated from the Japanese by Eric Ozawa
Published 2010, English translation 2023, 154 p., 3*

A light novel about a young woman who, jilted by her boyfriend, moves into a room above her uncle's bookshop.

My review

Feb 10, 3:35 am

>218 labfs39: I don't think I will read this, but the cover is beautiful!

Feb 10, 1:07 pm

>215 labfs39:
My listed book for Palestine too. Looks promising (and on the shelves TBR). Published by a very interesting and relatively new independent publisher here - Fitzcarraldo - who have some amazing authors/titles on their books, including Olga Tocarczuk, Jon Fosse, Annie Ernaux and a load of others. I'm really enjoying exploring a few publishers like this now.

Feb 10, 4:44 pm

>220 Willoyd: There are some great small presses out there, the trick is sometimes finding them. I like to support them, as much as I can, especially those that do translations.

Edited: Feb 10, 6:22 pm

>221 labfs39: the trick is sometimes finding them
Two others I particularly enjoy: Peepal Tree here in Leeds, specialising in Caribbean, and Peirene, previously focusing on European novellas in translation but broadening out. I'm also dipping into Jacaranda (black), Tilted Axis (Asian), Lolli (Nordic) and Charco (Latin-American). They're all UK based, so don't know how useful that list is, but some very interesting publishing going on.

Feb 10, 7:04 pm

>222 Willoyd: There was a discussion about publishers of translations on the Just Lists thread on Club Read that you might find interesting. Tilted Axis came up and Peirene was on the list. I will add the others. Thanks!

Feb 11, 12:07 pm

Mãn by Kim Thúy, translated from the French by Sheila Fischman
Published 2013, English translation 2014, 139 p.

I love Kim Thúy's writing, and this novella, which draws heavily on her experience as a restauranteur and chef, is no exception.

My review

Edited: Feb 12, 8:57 am

This message has been deleted by its author.

Feb 12, 8:57 am

>224 labfs39: An amazing author with an amazing translator: it's high on my list to read. Have you seen the recent film adaptation of Ru? Very moving!

Feb 12, 11:52 am

>226 Cecilturtle: I had not heard of the film until Danielle/Yells told me after learning about it from you. Of the three books by Thuy that I have read, this was my least favorite, in part because it is very foodie, and I am not very interested in the culinary arts. That said, her writing is so good that she could be writing about just about anything and I would find it interesting!

And yes, Sheila Fischman is an amazing translator. I love her translations of Jacques Poulin too, another of my favorite authors.

Feb 18, 4:58 pm


I'm torn about where to put this one. It's by a Kyrgyz author but set in Kazakhstan...

The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years by Chingiz Aitmatov, translated from the Russian by John French
Published 1980, English translation 1983, 352 p., Indiana University Press

A man on the steppe,
His life and loves, his camel,
And space aliens.

My Review

Feb 25, 1:22 am

>228 labfs39: I don't have this dilemma: I always go by location rather than nationality.

BTW, I like your haiku!

Feb 25, 8:50 am

>229 Dilara86: That would simplify things! Thanks

Edited: Feb 26, 8:31 pm

>230 labfs39:
An alternative view! I don't have that dilemma either as nationality always takes priority with me: it's more about the literature of a country than the setting. I wouldn't let an American writing about the UK count as my book for the UK - and vice-versa! The one circumstance I would allow this is if I couldn't find a writer of the relevant nationality, then I'm allowed to fall back to writers from other countries (although first fall back stage is one who has lived or is living in the relevant country). The only country that's applied to so far is Vatican City.

Feb 27, 7:54 am

>231 Willoyd: Like you, I usually default to nationality, but that's not also clear cut (where the author was born? grew up? lives now? lived longest? has citizenship or passport?). In this case, Aitmatov grew up on the boundary between the two countries, and knew the steppe intimately. In addition, Soviet authors from satellite countries and areas were "encouraged" to write about other nationalities, not their own, to promote pan-nationalism. But, in the end, I stuck with nationality and put Day Lasts under Kyrgyrstan with Jamilia.

Curious, since you go strictly by nationality, if an author is from Tanzania, say, and writes about his ex-pat life in the UK, would you put that author under Tanzania or UK?

Edited: Feb 27, 12:12 pm

>232 labfs39:
Tanzania! To give you a real example (for me): Tete-Michel Kpomassie's excellent book Michel the Giant was an account of his 1960s sojourn in Greenland. It was my book for Togo, Kpomassie's native country. It could be allowed for Greenland (well, Denmark) if I couldn't find a native author, but not necessary!
You're right though - nationality isn't always clear cut, not by any means (ex-pats are particularly problematic on occasions, as are dual nationals). Basically I just try and read a book that represents as closely as I can the literature of that country as a priority over the geography - although my ideal is a book that does both! (And when you say 'strictly' - I don't have any rules per se, just guidelines to help me find and decide!).

Feb 27, 1:08 pm

This is the conundrum when reading globally! I find that any hard and fast rule I set is challenged almost immediately. I also counted An African in Greenland for Togo, despite how relatively little of the book is set there. If I do read a sixth book from a Togolese author, I'll replace the Kpomassie book with that.

Feb 27, 4:36 pm

>233 Willoyd: >234 RidgewayGirl: That's one of the great things about the global challenge—everyone gets to set their own rules. I enjoy hearing about how people decide which countries to include and what "counts" for each country. In an increasingly mobile global world, I find myself tweaking my self-imposed guidelines as needed.

I would agree with both of you about An African in Greenland, a book I have on my wishlist.

Feb 27, 4:42 pm

>235 labfs39: It's fantastic, Lisa. You'll love it. Just don't read the first part while sitting under a tree. And this is a great book for a hot summer's day.

Feb 27, 4:56 pm

>236 RidgewayGirl: Just don't read the first part while sitting under a tree

Ok, that's intriguing...

Edited: Feb 27, 6:16 pm

>234 RidgewayGirl: And yet a classic by a Togolese writer. No despite for me - a straight shoe-in!
>235 labfs39: >236 RidgewayGirl:
Total agreement there! We did it as a book group read (my choice), and it turned out to be most people's group read of the year, including mine. Great read! Not just learning something of 2 very different cultures for the price of one, but then seeing they themselves interacting!

Feb 28, 10:53 am

>235 labfs39: It is a good problem to have, Lisa. We are reading globally! I usually go by country of birth...

Edited: Feb 28, 11:42 am

I go by the location of the story. I look at this challenge as a record of reading journeys I have taken to different countries. Sometimes my journey is facilitated by a native and sometimes by a fellow visitor. That's assuming, in the latter case, that I feel there is a significant degree of authenticity to the storytelling as a whole. In other words, does that writer actually know what he/she/they is/are talking about? If the answer to that question is no, then I simply don't include the book here.

Mar 5, 4:02 pm


Grass Soup by Zhang Xianliang, translated from the Chinese by Martha Avery
Originally published 1992, English translation 1994, Godine Publishers, 4*

The diary/memoir of a poet sent to reeducation camps for 22 years due to anti-rightist poems. Cover June-September 1960.

My review

Mar 9, 10:15 am


Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution by Ji-li Jiang
Published 1997, 285 p.

A young adult memoir about a twelve year old girl in Shanghai.

My review

Mar 14, 8:29 am


Feather in the Storm by Emily Wu and Larry Engelmann
Published 2006, 336 p.

Another interesting memoir of a young girl during the Cultural Revolution until the age of 19.

My review

Edited: May 5, 9:22 pm


Apeirogon by Colum McCann
Published 2020, 463 p.

My review

Edited: May 5, 9:22 pm


A Faraway Island by Annika Thor, translated from the Swedish by Linda Schenck
Published 2009, 247 p.

Two Jewish sisters are sent to Sweden from Austria in the summer of 1939. The eldest sister is placed with a seemingly cold woman and struggles to adapt to life on the remote island.

My review

May 15, 6:57 pm


Half of Man is Woman by Zhang Xianliang, translated from the Chinese by Martha Avery
Originally published 1985, English translation 1986, 253 p., 3.5*

A man who has been imprisoned since he was a youth and a woman who has been married and divorced twice fall in love on a State Farm. By the author of Grass Soup.

My review

May 15, 7:02 pm

FRANCE set in Siberia

Eastbound by Maylis De Kerangal, translated from the French by Jessica Moore
Published 2012, English translation 2023, Archipelago Books, 127 p., 4*

A Soviet conscript on a Trans-Siberian train, desperate to escape before reaching the training camp, seeks help from an older French woman.

My review

May 15, 7:08 pm


Bitter Herbs: A Little Chronicle by Marga Minco, translated from the Dutch by Jeannette K. Ringold
Originally published 1957, English translation 2020, 147 p., 4*

The only member of her family to survive the Holocaust, the author wrote a series of fictionalized short stories based on her experiences, arranged them chronologically, and published them as a novel.

My review