Reading Around The World

I recently learned of someone who spent a year reading books from around the world – all 196 independent countries. (To view her blog, go to ayearofreadingtheworld.com) As an avid reader and someone interested in other cultures and customs I found this to be very intriguing.  So, I’ve developed my own Reading Around The World series focusing on 63 countries that Peace Corps is involved in (plus former countries). I’ll also list books I’ve read from countries not served by PC. Any book marked with ^ indicates it is a PC story. These books consist of a variety of different topics, but all are about the culture, history and/or customs of the country listed. Recommendations are encouraged! For books on my country of service (Morocco), go here.

Eastern Europe & Central Asia

Albania

Armenia

Azerbaijan*

Bosnia-Herzegovina*

Bulgaria*

Cyprus*

Czech Republic*

Estonia*

Hungary*

Georgia

Kazakhstan*

Kosovo

Kyrgyz Republic:  I am Me Because of You by Karen Lawrence^

Latvia*

Lithuania*

Macedonia

Moldova

Poland*:  The Girl from Krakow by Alex Rosenberg

Romania*

Russia*: The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport; Between Love & Honor by Alexandra Lapierre

Slovak Republic*

Turkey*: Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World by Suzy Hansen; My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

Turkmenistan*

Ukraine: Savaged Lands by Lana Kortchik

Uzbekistan*

South America:

Argentina*

Bolivia*

Brazil*: Never Stop Walking: A Memoir of Finding anime Across the World by Christina Rickardsson

Chile*: Ten Women by Marcela Serrano

Colombia: The Gringo Brought His Mother by Geneva Sanders^

Ecuador: Living Poor A Peace Corps Chronicle by Moritz Thomsen^

Guyana

Paraguay

Peru: Turn Right at Machu Picchu by Mark Adams; Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Suriname*

Uruguay*

Venezuela*

Caribbean

Dominican Republic: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

Eastern Caribbean

Haiti*

Jamaica

Central America & Mexico

Belize

Costa Rica

El Salvador*

Guatemala

Honduras*: The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston

Mexico

Nicaragua

Panama

Asia: The Wishing Tree by John Shors

Afghanistan*:The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini; A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Bangladesh*

Cambodia: The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine by Somaly Mam

China: River Town by Peter Hessler^; Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang; Out of Mao’s Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China by Phillip P. Pan; The Emperor Far Away by David Eimer; Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman; Dreaming in Chinese-Mandarin Lessons in Life, Love and Language by Deborah Fallows

India*: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri; Staying On by Paul Scott; Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo; Beneath the Marble Sky by John Shors; The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C Morais

Indonesia: The Paradise Guest House by Ellen Sussman; Nirzona by Abidah El Khalieqy; The Birdwoman’s Palate by Laksmi Pamuntjak; The Question of Red by Laksmi Pamuntjak

Malaysia*

Mongolia

Myanmar (Burma): The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker

Nepal

Pakistan*: I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Phillipines

South Korea*

Sri Lanka*

Thailand

Timor-Leste

Africa: Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan; African Visas by Maria Thomas

Benin: Murder in Benin-Kate Puzey’s Death in the Peace Corps by Aaron Kase^

Botswana: The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Burkino Faso*: Service Disrupted by Tyler Lloyd^

Burundi*: Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder

Cameroon

Cape Verde*

Central African Republic*

Chad*

Comoros

Cote d’Ivoire*: Nine Hills to Nambinkaha by Sarah Erdman^

Democratic Republic of Congo*

Ethiopia: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Equatorial Guinea*

Eritrea*

Gabon*

Ghana: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Guinea

Guinea-Bissau*

Kenya*:  West with the Night by Beryl Markham

Lesotho

Liberia: This Child Will be Great by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Madagascar

Malawi

Mali*: Badass Librarians from Timbuktu

Mauritania*

Mauritius*

Mozambique

Namibia: Grandma 64 Joins the Peace Corps and Lands in Namibia by Anne Baker^

Niger*

Nigeria*: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Republic of Congo*

Rwanda: An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesaagina

Sao Tome and Principe*

Senegal

Seychelles*

Sierra Leone: A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

Somalia*

South Africa: Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Sudan*: Emma’s War: Love, Betrayal and Death in the Sudan by Deborah Scroggins

Swaziland

Tanzania

The Gambia

Togo

Uganda: The Queen of Katwe – The Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster by Tim Crothers

Zaire*

Zambia

Zimbabwe*

Pacific Islands:

Cook Islands*

Fiji: Fiji by Lance Morcan

Kiribati*: The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost

Marshall Islands*

Micronesia

Niue*

Papua New Guinea*: Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff

Samoa

Solomon Islands*

Tonga:

Tuvalu*

Vanuatu

North Africa/Middle East:  From Muhammed to Burj Khalifa by Michael Rank; From Beirut to Jerusalam by Thomas L Friedman; The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Bahrain*

Iran*: Then They Came for Me by Maziar Bahari; A Sliver of Light-Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran by Shane Bauer

Jordan*: Queen Noor by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Libya*

Malta*

Morocco: For books on my country of service go here.

Oman*

Tunisia*

Yemen*: I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali

Peace Corps Related

~All You Need is Love: The Peace Corps Spirit of the 1960’s by Elizabeth Cobbs Hoffman

~Living on the Edge, fiction by Peace Corps writers

~A Life Inspired: Tales of Peace Corps Service

Other cultures

(this will not include various books on United States, France, Italy and the UK because I’ve read an overabundance of those over the years)

Borneo: Stranger in the Forest by Eric Hansen

Cuba: Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton; Cuba Diaries by Isadora Tattlin

Egypt: The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George; Cleopatra A Novel by Stacy Schiff; Sipping from the Nile: My Exodus from Egypt by Jean Naggar

Germany: In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson; The Book Thief by Markus Zusak; Night by Elie Wiesel

Japan: The Great Passage by Shion Miura

North Korea: Without You, There is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite by Suki Kim; Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick; Somewhere Inside by Laura and Lisa Ling

Prague: The Bloodletters Daughter by Linda Lafferty

Saudi Arabia: Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea

Singapore: The Moonlight Palace by Liz Rosenberg

Switzerland: Portrait of a Girl by Dorthe Binkert

Tibet: Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer; Freedom in Exile: The Autobiography of the Dalai Lama by Dalai Lama XIV

Vietnam: The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

UAE: My Vision by Mohammed Rashid Al Maktoum

*Indicates a former PC Country

^Indicates written by a PCV regarding their service

italics indicates on my To Read list

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