rachbxl reads around the world

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rachbxl reads around the world

1rachbxl
Oct 20, 2023, 3:28 am

Hello everyone, those that know me and those that don't. Years ago I embarked upon a round-the-world reading trip that I tracked in the Reading Globally group, but much as I enjoyed it and the variety it brought to my reading, life got in the way and I abandoned it, always with the thought that I'd pick it up again at some point. And now, encouraged by Lisa (labfs39) and Monica (Trifolia), here I am.

I aim to read something from each of the 193 member states of the UN plus Palestine, Taiwan and Tibet. My original goal was to read one book from each country but I like the idea of reading more where possible to have a better chance of what I read being even slightly representative. I originally counted only fiction, but as I'm reading more non-fiction now I may bend that rule. I've always listed books according to author nationality rather than setting, but I won't include a book that tells me nothing about the culture of the author's country of origin. I'm going to pick up where I left off rather than start again.

2rachbxl
Edited: Oct 20, 2023, 8:50 am

1. Afghanistan
- Earth and Ashes by Atiq Rahimi, trans. Erdag M. Goknar (2008)

2. Albania

3. Algeria
- La Disparition de la langue française by Assia Djebar (2008)
- An Unfinished Business by Boulalem Sansal, trans. Frank Wynne (2014)
- Mersault, contre-enquete by Kamel Daoud (2016)

4. Andorra

5. Angola
- The Book of Chameleons by JE Agualusa, trans (2016)

6. Antigua and Barbuda
- Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid (2008)

7. Argentina
- Los premios by Julio Cortazar (EN translation available: The Winners) (2008)
- Purgatoria by Tomas Eloy Martinez (2009)
- La aventura de un fotografo en La Plata by Adolfo Bioy Casares (2009)
- Distanica de rescate by Samantha Schweblin (2019)
- Siete casas vacias by Samantha Schweblin (2019)

8. Armenia

9. Australia
- Remembering Babylon by David Malouf (2008)
- The Dry by Jane Harper (2018)
- Sarah Thornhill by Kate Grenville (2018)

10. Austria
- The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler, trans. (2018)

11. Azerbaijan

3rachbxl
Edited: Oct 20, 2023, 11:08 am

12. Bahamas

13. Bahrain

14. Bangladesh
- A Golden Age by Tahmina Anam (2008)
- Revenge by Taslima Nasrin, trans. (2011)

15. Barbados

16. Belarus

17. Belgium
- La vraie vie by Adeline Dieudonné (2019)
- Antechrista by Amelie Nothomb (2020)

18. Belize

19. Benin

20. Bhutan

21. Bolivia

22. Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Manuel d'exil: Comment réussir son exil en trente-cinq leçons by Velibor Colic (2018)

23. Botswana
- The Heavens may Fall by Unity Dow (2009)

24. Brazil
- Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector trans. Giovanni Pontiero (2010)
- Family Ties by Clarice Lispector trans. Pontiero (2010)
- The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector trans. Pontiero (2010)
- The Brothers by Milton Hatoum trans. John Gledson (2015)

25. Brunei

26. Bulgaria

27. Burkina

28. Burundi

4rachbxl
Edited: Oct 20, 2023, 11:00 am

29. Cambodia

30. Cameroon

31. Canada
- Still Life: a Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery by Louise Penny (2012) + other Three Pines novels

32. Cape Verde

33. Central African Republic

34. Chad

35. Chile
- Lo que esta en mi corazon by Marcela Serrano (2008)

36. China
- The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices by Xinran, trans. Esther Tyldesley (2008)
- The Vagrants by Yiyun Li (2009)
- Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang, trans. (2013)
- Stick out your Tongue by Ma Jian, trans (2016)
- The Dark Road by Ma Jian, trans (2016)

37. Colombia
- Delirio by Laura Restrepo (EN translation available: Delirium) (2008)

38. Comoros

39. Congo, Democratic Republic of the

40. Congo, Republic of the

41. Costa Rica

42. Croatia
- The Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugresic trans. Michael Henry Helm (2009)

43. Cuba
- La isla de los amores infinitos by Daina Chaviano (EN translation available: The Island of Eternal Love) (2008)

44. Cyprus

45. Czech Republic

5rachbxl
Edited: Oct 20, 2023, 8:55 am

46. Denmark

47. Djibouti

48. Dominica

49. Dominican Republic
- Drown by Junot Diaz (2008)
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (2013)

50. East Timor

51. Ecuador

52. Egypt
- Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi, trans. Sherif Hetata (2009)
- Blue Aubergine by Miral al-Tahawy trans. Anthony Calderbank (2009)

53. El Salvador
- Insensatez by Horacio Castellanos Moya (EN translation available: Senselessness) (2009)

54. Equatorial Guinea

55. Eritrea

56. Estonia

57. Eswatini

58. Ethiopia
- Beneath the Lion's Gaze by Maaza Mengiste (2013)
- The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste (2020)

6rachbxl
Edited: Oct 20, 2023, 11:24 am

59. Fiji

60. Finland
- When I Forgot by Elina Hirvonen trans. Douglas Robinson (2009)
- The Summer Book by Tove Jansson trans. (2014)
- When Time Runs out by Elina Hirvonen trans. (2018)
- The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo, trans. (2019)

61. France
- Kiffe kiffe demain by Faiza Guène (EN translation available: Kiffe Kiffe Tomorrow) (2008)
- Le rendez-vous by Justine Lévy (2009)
- Ceux qui vont mourir te saluent by Fred Vargas (2016)
- Les Amandes amères by Laurence Cosset (2019)

62. Gabon

63. Gambia

64. Georgia
- The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischwili, trans. (2020)

65. Germany
- Murder Farm by Andrea Maria Schenkel, trans. Anthea Bell (2009)
- Nightmare in Berlin by Hans Fallada, trans. (2021)

66. Ghana
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (2018)

67. Greece
- I'd Like by Amanda Micahlopoulou, trans. (2009)
- Zigzag through the Bitter Orange Trees by Ersi Sotiropoulos trans. Peter Green (2010)

68. Grenada

69. Guatemala
- El boxeador polaco by Eduardo Halfon (2015)

70. Guinea

71. Guinea -Bissau

72. Guyana

73. Haiti
- The Farming of Bones by Edwige Danticat (2008)
- Brother, I'm Dying by Edwige Danticat non-fiction (2009)
- Krik? Krak! by Edwige Danticat (2012)
- Claire of the Sea Light by Edwige Danticat (2022)

74. Honduras

75. Hungary
- Fatelessness by Imre Kertész trans. Tim Wilkinson (2009)
- The Door by Magda Szabo trans. Len Rix (2010)

7rachbxl
Edited: Oct 20, 2023, 11:29 am

76. Iceland
- The Journey Home by Olaf Olafsson trans. by the author (2008)
- The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indridason trans. Bernard Scudder (2010)
- Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indridason trans. (2016)
- Why Did you Lie by Yrsa Sigurdadottir trans (2019)
- The Sacrament by Olaf Olafsson trans. (2020)

77. India
- Separate Journeys ed. Geeta Dharmarajan (short stories by contemporary Indian women writers) (2009)
- Leila by Prayaag Akbar (2019)
- Gun Island by Amitav Ghosh (2022)

78. Indonesia
- Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan, trans (2016)

79. Iran
- Je viens d'ailleurs by Chahdortt Djavann (no EN translation?) (2008)
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (2008)
- The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer (2009)
- My Uncle Napoleon by Iraj Pezeshkzad trans. Dick Davis (2009)

80. Iraq
- Gilgamesh, version by Stephen Mitchell (2008)

81. Ireland
- The China Factory by Mary Costello (2014)
- Broken Harbour by Tana French (2015)
- Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (2018)
- Foster by Claire Keegan (2022)
- April in Spain by John Banville (2022)

82. Israel
- Bethlehem Road Murder by Batya Gur, trans. Vivian Eden (2008)

83. Italy
- L'amica geniale by Elena Ferrante (2020)
- L'arminuta by Donatella di Pietrantonio (EN translation available: A Girl Returned) (2022)

84. Cote d'Ivoire
- Aya de Yopougon by Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie (2012)

85. Jamaica
- The Girl with the Golden Shoes by Colin Channer (2012)

86. Japan
-Snow Country by Kawabata, translated by Edward G. Seidensticker (2008)
- The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa trans. (2009)
- The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa trans. Stephen Snyder (2012)

87. Jordan

88. Kazakhstan

89. Kenya
- Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong'o, trans (2016)

90. Kiribati

91. Korea, North (Democratic People's Republic of)

92. Korea, South (Republic of)
- Le Visiteur du sud by Oh Yeong Jin (2012)
- The Vegetarian by Han Kang, trans (2016)
- I'll Be Right There by Kyung-sook Shin trans (2019)

93. Kuwait

94. Kyrgyzstan
- Djamilia by Tchinghiz Aitmatov trans. (into French) A. Dimitrieva and Louis Aragon (2009)

8rachbxl
Edited: Oct 20, 2023, 10:59 am

95. Laos

96. Latvia

97. Lebanon

98. Lesotho

99. Liberia

100. Libya
- Anatomy of a Disappearance by Hisham Matar (2012)

101. Liechtenstein

102. Lithuania

103. Luxembourg

104. Madagascar

105. Malawi

106. Malaysia
- The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (2012)
- The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng (2014)
- Lake Like a Mirror by Ho Sok Fong trans. (2021)

107. Maldives

108. Mali

109. Malta

110. Marshall Islands

111. Mauritania

112. Mauritius
- Le dernier frère by Natacha Appanah (EN translation available: The Last Brother) (2009)
- Les rochers de Poudre d'Or by Natacha Appanah (2014)

113. Mexico

114. Micronesia

115. Moldova

116. Monaco

117. Mongolia

118. Montenegro

119. Morocco
-L'Enfant de sable by Tahar Ben Jelloun (English translation available: The Sand Child) (2008)
- Sur ma mère by Tahar Ben Jelloun (2009)
- Cette aveuglante absence de lumière by Tahar Ben Jelloun (EN translation available: This Blinding Absence of Light) (2012)
- Le pays des autres by Leila Slimani (2020)

120. Mozambique
- A River Called Time by Mia Couto trans. David Brookshaw (2009)
- Mar Me Quer by Mia Couto (2009)

121. Myanmar

9rachbxl
Edited: Oct 20, 2023, 11:26 am

122. Namibia

123. Nauru

124. Nepal

125. Netherlands
- The Dinner by Herman Koch, trans. (2012)

126. New Zealand

127. Nicaragua

128. Niger

129. Nigeria
- Everything Good Will Come by Sefi Atti (2009)
- Night Dancer by Chika Unigwe (2012)
- The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin (2014)
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2014)
- Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo (2018)

130. North Macedonia

131. Norway
- Before you Sleep by Linn Ullmann, trans. Tiina Nunnally (2008)
- Dregs by Jorn Lier Horst trans. (2016)
- Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson trans. (2016)
- Death of the Demon by Anne Holt, trans. (2016)
- Across the China Sea by Gaute Heivoll, trans. (2018)

132. Oman

133. Pakistan
- The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid (2008)
- A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie (2015)
- Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie (2018)
- Best of Friends by Kamila Shamsie (2023)
- Dissident Club: chronique d'un journaliste pakistanais exilé en France by Taha Siddiqui and Hubert Maury (2023)

134. Palau

135. Palestine

136. Panama

137. Papua New Guinea

138. Paraguay

139. Peru
- Crisis respiratoria by Susanne Noltenius (2008)
- Travesuras de la nina mala by Mario Vargas Llosa (EN translation available: The Bad Girl) (2010)

140. Philippines

141. Poland
- Zdazyc przed Panem Bogiem by Hanna Krall (EN translation available: Shielding the Flame) (2008)
- Trzepot Skrzydel by Katarzyna Grochola (2008)
- Szafa by Olga Tokarczuk (2008)
- Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski (2023)

142. Portugal
- Blindness by José Saramago, trans. Giovanni Pontiero (2009)
- The Word Tree by Teolinda Gersao, trans. (2013)

10rachbxl
Edited: Oct 20, 2023, 11:32 am

143. Qatar

144. Romania
- Train to Trieste by Domnica Radulescu (2009)

145. Russia
- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn, trans. Max Hayward and Ronald Hingley (2008)
- Sonechka by Ludmila Ulitskaya trans. (2012)
- Medea and her Children by Ludmila Ulitskaya trans; (2012)
- The Funeral Party by Ludmila Ulitskaya trans. (2012)

146. Rwanda

147. Saint Kitts and Nevis

148. Saint Lucia

149. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

150. Samoa

151. San Marino

152. Sao Tome and Principe

153. Saudi Arabia

154. Senegal
- Le Ventre de l'Atlantique by Fatou Diome (EN translation available: The Belly of the Atlantic) (2008)
- Une si longue lettre by Mariama Ba (EN translation available: So Long a Letter) (2014)

155. Serbia

156. Seychelles

157. Sierra Leone
- The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna (2011)
- Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna (2011)

158. Singapore

159. Slovakia

160. Slovenia
- Joyce's Pupil by Drago Jancar, trans. various (2008)

161. Solomon Islands

162. Somalia

163. South Africa
- The Pickup by Nadine Gordimer (2008)

164. South Sudan

165. Spain
- Los mares del sur by Manuel Vazquez Montalban (EN translation available: Southern Seas) (2008)
- Nada by Carmen Laforet (2010)
- In Diamond Square by Mercè Rodoreda trans. from Catalan (2016)
- El desorden que dejas by Carlos Montero (2016)
- When I Sing, Mountains Dance by Irene Solà trans from Catalan (2023)

166. Sri Lanka
- Mosquito by Roma Tearne (2008)
- Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai (2008)
- Brixton Beach by Roma Tearne (2015)
- The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje (2018)

167. Sudan
- The Wedding of Zein and Other Stories by Tayeb Salih trans. Denys Johnson-Davies (2012)
- Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, trans. (2014)
- Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela (2014)

168. Suriname

169. Sweden
- To Mervas by Elisabeth Rynell trans. Victoria Haggblom (2010)
- Drowned by Therese Bohman trans. Marlaine Delargy (2012)
- The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist trans. (2018)
- A Man Called Ove by Frederick Backman, trans. (2019)

170. Switzerland
- All Days are Night by Peter Stamm, trans (2016)
- Leon and Louise by Alex Capus, trans. (2020)

171. Syria

11rachbxl
Edited: Oct 20, 2023, 7:56 am

172. Tajikistan

173. Taiwan

174. Tanzania
- By the Sea by Abdulrazak Gurnah (2009)
- Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah (2015)

175. Thailand

176. Tibet

177. Togo

178. Tonga

179. Trinidad and Tobago
- White Woman on a Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey (2012)

180. Tunisia

181. Turkey

182. Turkmenistan

183. Tuvalu

12rachbxl
Edited: Oct 20, 2023, 11:27 am

184. Uganda
- Snake Pit by Moses Isegawa (2008)

185. Ukraine
- One More Year by Sana Krasikov (2012)

186. United Arab Emirates

187. UK
- Trespassing by Louise Kennedy (2023)

188. USA
- Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (2012)

189. Uruguay

190. Uzbekistan

191. Vanuatu

192. Venezuela
- La hija de la espanola by Karina Sainz Borgo (2020)

193. Vietnam
- The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (2018)
- THe Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai (2020)

194. Yemen

195. Zambia

196. Zimbabwe
- Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga (2008)
- We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (2014)
- The Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu (2014)

13Willoyd
Oct 20, 2023, 5:00 am

>12 rachbxl:
Absolutely delighted to see another participant in this fascinating project - it's certainly transformed my reading. Your criteria are not dissimilar to mine, so am particularly looking forward to reading what you list and your thoughts.

14rachbxl
Oct 20, 2023, 5:26 am

>12 rachbxl: Thanks for the welcome. I'm going back over my old threads to fill out the lists I've created above, and it's struck me again just how much this project transformed my reading when I set out on it (2008), as you say. I don't expect such a great transformation this time, as even if I haven't been actively pursuing my goals, this project has continued to inform my reading to a certain extent - but I'll be very happy with even a mini-transformation. I look forward to checking out your thread soon.

15Jackie_K
Oct 20, 2023, 6:01 am

Welcome from me too!

16Tess_W
Oct 20, 2023, 7:10 am

Welcome to the group!

17labfs39
Oct 20, 2023, 8:36 am

Yay, Rachel's here! Reading through your list I found myself saying either, "oh, yes, that was a good book," or "ooh, must check this one out"!

18Willoyd
Edited: Oct 20, 2023, 10:06 am

>14 rachbxl:
I look forward to checking out your thread soon.
A few points of contact already: Angola, Sudan, Antigua and Barbuda, Japan and Korea jump out in that respect! My favourite of those definitely Season of Migration to the North, but also really enjoyed The Book of Chameleons - Africa is providing some rich pickings.

19rachbxl
Edited: Oct 20, 2023, 12:02 pm

>15 Jackie_K:, >16 Tess_W: Thanks!

>17 labfs39: Hello Lisa! You were too quick to jump on to my lists - I hadn't even finished them ;-) They're up-to-date now.

>18 Willoyd: I thought Season of Migration to the North was excellent. I'd forgotten all about The Book of Chameleons until I came across it on one of my old threads this afternoon - I was happy to be reminded of a book I enjoyed. In fact in my comments on it in my Club Read thread I said I would try to read more by Agualusa, which I haven't, so I've made a mental note to go back to him. Have you read anything else by him?

20rachbxl
Oct 20, 2023, 12:08 pm

I've spent a happy afternoon going through old threads (for a few years now I've only had a thread in Club Read) and transferring titles to my lists on this thread. I'm going to list up to 5 titles per country, replacing one or the other if I read a book that I feel is more representative. I'm listing multiple books by the same author, but again, I'll replace one or the other if I read something by another author from that country. When I started out on my round-the-world trip one of my rules was that I could only include books I had read since the start of the trip, so no going back to include books I had already read, and I'll stick to that. I also said that where possible the authors had to be new to me, but that was when I was only listing one book per country; as I'm now listing up to 5, I'm including newly-read books by authors I already knew.

21labfs39
Oct 20, 2023, 1:34 pm

>19 rachbxl: You were too quick to jump on to my lists - I hadn't even finished them That's okay, I enjoyed going through them again!

I love this challenge for it's flexibility to be whatever people want. I do enjoy when people talk out loud about their thinking behind the rules of their personal challenge. It definitely influences my own thoughts.

Many of the authors you've listed are ones that I would like to explore further, because I read one book by them and was wowed: Shamsie, Ulitskaya, Atta. Others I would read anything that gets translated: Tan Twan Eng, Atiq Rahimi. Some are on my TBR or wishlist, others are new to me. I love lists like this :-)

22JellyBelly1213
Oct 20, 2023, 1:38 pm

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