Global Reading Challenge

Inspired by ab_reads on Instagram, I have decided to give myself the challenge of reading one book from every country in the world!

To compile my list (below), I first hunted down a list of all the countries in the world. I found this one here, which I have used. I cannot vouch for its accuracy, because I am not a geographer, so if you see any glaring errors/oversights, please let me know in the comments below! I have then selected 52 to be getting started with (in bold), so I eventually have one for every week of a year, so a full year travelling the world (in book form)! This are purely based on where I know I have already read books from or where interests me in the world. I have tried to select at least one country from every continent, but again, let me know if I’ve missed any. I have then filled in all of the books I have already read (with the year in which I read it) and then put some suggested books for the countries I haven’t read from, based off of my goodreads to-read list and this blogpost. This is a work in progress and will be updated periodically, so please let me know if you have any suggestions!

As I am a Arabic and French to English translator, I have indicated whether I read the book in French or Arabic and which language it was translated from (if it was indeed translated). Unless otherwise indicated, I read the books in the original English.

NB: Most of the books I have chosen were written by an author from that country. Occasionally, I have chosen a book about that country, with an author from another country (indicated by an asterix).

  1. AfghanistanThe Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  2. Albania
  3. Algeria
  4. Andorra
  5. Angola
  6. Antigua and Barbuda
  7. Argentina
  8. Armenia
  9. AustraliaThe Secret River by Kate Grenville
  10. Austria
  11. Azerbaijan
  12. Bahamas
  13. Bahrain
  14. Bangladesh
  15. Barbados
  16. Belarus
  17. Belgium
  18. Belize
  19. Benin
  20. Bhutan
  21. Bolivia
  22. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  23. Botswana
  24. Brazil
  25. Brunei
  26. Bulgaria
  27. Burkina Faso
  28. Burundi
  29. Côte d’Ivoire
  30. Cabo Verde
  31. Cambodia
  32. Cameroon
  33. CanadaAnne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (READ 2019 [and probably earlier when I was a child]). I reread this as an adult when the Netflix series ‘Anne with an E’ came out and was delighted to discover it was set in Canada (after I spend a month in Canada last year!)
  34. Central African Republic
  35. Chad
  36. Chile
  37. China
  38. ColombiaLove in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez (READ 2019)
  39. Comoros
  40. Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)
  41. Costa Rica
  42. Croatia
  43. Cuba
  44. Cyprus
  45. Czechia (Czech Republic)The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. Translated from Czech by Michael Henry Heim.
  46. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  47. Denmark
  48. Djibouti
  49. Dominica
  50. Dominican Republic
  51. Ecuador
  52. EgyptThe Map Of Love by Ahdaf Soueif.
  53. El Salvador
  54. Equatorial Guinea
  55. Eritrea
  56. Estonia
  57. Eswatini (fmr. “Swaziland”)
  58. Ethiopia
  59. Fiji
  60. Finland
  61. FranceHistoire d’O [The Story of O] by Pauline Réage (READ 2015)
  62. Gabon
  63. Gambia
  64. Georgia
  65. GermanyAn Exclusive Love by Johanna Adorján (Translated from German by Anthea Bell)
  66. Ghana Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  67. Greece
  68. Grenada
  69. Guatemala
  70. Guinea
  71. Guinea-Bissau
  72. Guyana
  73. Haiti
  74. Holy See
  75. Honduras
  76. Hungary
  77. Iceland
  78. IndiaA Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
  79. Indonesia
  80. Iran Nina is Not OK by Shappi Khorsandi
  81. Iraq
  82. IrelandBrooklyn by Colm Tóibín (READ 2017)
  83. Israel
  84. Italy Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli
  85. Jamaica
  86. JapanConvenience Store Woman: A Novel by Sayaka Murata (translated from Japaense by Ginny Tapley Takemori) (READ 2020) I read this as it is the second book club pick for the Global Reads Book Club, created by Eve Lindemuth Bodeux.
  87. Jordan
  88. Kazakhstan
  89. Kenya – Out of Africa by Karen Blixen*
  90. Kiribati
  91. Kuwait
  92. Kyrgyzstan
  93. Laos
  94. Latvia
  95. Lebanon
  96. Lesotho
  97. Liberia
  98. Libya
  99. Liechtenstein
  100. Lithuania
  101. Luxembourg
  102. Madagascar
  103. Malawi
  104. Malaysia
  105. Maldives
  106. Mali
  107. Malta
  108. Marshall Islands
  109. Mauritania
  110. Mauritius
  111. Mexico
  112. Micronesia
  113. Moldova
  114. Monaco
  115. Mongolia
  116. Montenegro
  117. MoroccoL’Armée du Salut [The Salvation Army] by Abdellah Taïa (READ 2016). French. I chose this for a piece of coursework for my masters.
  118. Mozambique
  119. Myanmar (formerly Burma)
  120. Namibia
  121. Nauru
  122. Nepal
  123. Netherlands – The Happy Housewife by Heleen van Royen (READ 2014) Translated from Dutch.
  124. New Zealand
  125. Nicaragua
  126. Niger
  127. NigeriaWe Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (READ 2016)
  128. North KoreaEscape from Camp 14 by Blaine Harden*
  129. North Macedonia
  130. Norway The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder (READ 2014, although again I’m sure I read it as a child) Translated from Norwegian.
  131. Oman
  132. Pakistan I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  133. Palau
  134. Palestine State
  135. Panama
  136. Papua New Guinea
  137. Paraguay
  138. PeruDeath in the Andes by Mario Vargas Llosa
  139. Philippines
  140. Poland
  141. Portugal
  142. Qatar
  143. Romania
  144. RussiaAnna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  145. Rwanda The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya
  146. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  147. Saint Lucia
  148. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  149. Samoa
  150. San Marino
  151. Sao Tome and Principe
  152. Saudi ArabiaGirls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea
  153. Senegal De purs hommes by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr. French.
  154. Serbia
  155. Seychelles
  156. Sierra Leone
  157. Singapore
  158. Slovakia
  159. Slovenia
  160. Solomon Islands
  161. Somalia
  162. South AfricaDisgrace by J. M. Coetzee (READ 2013)
  163. South KoreaPlease Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin. Translated from Korean by Chin-young Kim
  164. South Sudan
  165. SpainYerma by Federico García Lorca (READ 2018)
  166. Sri Lanka
  167. Sudan
  168. Suriname
  169. SwedenThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Translated from Swedish.
  170. SwitzerlandThe Nomad by Isabelle Eberhardt. French.
  171. Syria Sahra ma’a Abi Khalil al-Qabbani [An Evening with Abu Khalil al-Qabbani] by Sa’adullah Wannous (READ 2017) Arabic. I read this for my BA dissertation.
  172. Tajikistan
  173. Tanzania
  174. Thailand
  175. Timor-Leste
  176. Togo
  177. Tonga
  178. Trinidad and Tobago
  179. Tunisia
  180. TurkeySnow by Orhan Pamuk
  181. Turkmenistan
  182. Tuvalu
  183. Uganda
  184. Ukraine
  185. United Arab Emirates
  186. United KingdomWuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (READ 2012) – Being British, I have read many books from the U.K., so I thought I’d pick my favourite.
  187. United States of AmericaThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. (READ 2018) I actually wrote a study guide on this.
  188. Uruguay
  189. Uzbekistan
  190. Vanuatu
  191. Venezuela
  192. Vietnam
  193. Yemen
  194. Zambia
  195. Zimbabwe

READ: 13/5225%
READ: 13/195 – 0.06%

Published by verityroat

Verity Roat BA CANTAB MA TRANSLATION CIOL Career Associate is a Norfolk-based Arabic and French > English translator and languages tutor.

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