Weekly Geeks – Where In The World…

11Jul09

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This week’s Weekly Geeks asks you to tell us about your globe trotting via books. Are you a global reader? How many countries have you “visited” in your reading? What are your favorite places or cultures to read about? Can you recommend particularly good books about certain regions, countries or continents? How do you find out about books from other countries? What countries would you like to read that you haven’t yet?

Use your own criteria about what you consider to be “visiting” — whether a book is written about the country or by a native or resident of the country.

For fun, create one of these maps at this website ticking off the countries you’ve read books from – you might be surprised how many (or how few!) countries you’ve read. Include the map in your blog post if you’re so inclined.

Feel free to tell us about any actual world traveling you’ve done in addition to your literary travels.

I’m sticking to global-trotting via the medium of books in this post, restricted to the last seven months. I don’t think I can recall all the books I’ve read, based in different destinations, but, this year, I have been trying out a self-imposed 12 Country Challenge, where I try and read books from twelve different authors belonging to twelve different countries. I’m almost done with this; have one more book to go.

I am not including books from United States of America and United Kingdom, due to the sheer volume of them. However, am including some of the countries the books were based in.

Europe

  1. Denmark {Anne Holm – I Am David}
  2. Germany {Bernhard Schlink – Homecoming}
  3. Hungary {Gyorgy Dragoman – The White King}
  4. France {Patricia Duncker – Hallucinating Foucault}
  5. Spain {Carlos Ruiz Zafon – The Shadow Of The Wind}
  6. Czech Republic {Milan Kundera – The Book of Laughter & Forgetting}
  7. Ireland {Sebastian Barry – The Secret Scripture}
  8. Ireland {Anne Enright – The Gathering}

Middle East

  1. Turkey {Orhan Pamuk – The White King}

Africa

  1. Nigeria {Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Half Of A Yellow Sun}

Asia

  1. Japan {Haruki Murakami – Norwegian Wood}
  2. Japan {David Mitchell – Number9Dream}
  3. India {Rohinton Mistry – Such A Long Journey}
  4. India {Vikas Swarup – Q&A}
  5. India {Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Children}
  6. Pakistan {Mohsin Hamid – Moth Smoke}

South America

  1. Columbia {Gabriel Garcia Marquez – News of a Kidnapping}

As for books I’d like to read – well, some Brazilian/Argentinean literature would be nice. Also, books based in China/Hong Kong. Don’t think I’ve read anything based in those countries, which is a pity.

How about you? Do you enjoy globe-trotting as well?

And, I have one more book for this challenge left. Any recommendations?

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15 Responses to “Weekly Geeks – Where In The World…”

  1. I’m just putting together my map and I have only read one book based in South America. I think I need to try to seek out more South American books in the future. You have a lot of Indian books too – I find it very interesting that I have read so many books based in India compared to neighbouring countries.

    • 2 uncertainprinciples

      If you come across any, let me know, please! I’m going to try finding some Brazilian books soon – it’s a country I know surprisingly little about!

      Think it’s because Indian literature seems to have so much more depth than some of the other countries? You’ve got the likes of Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie, Rohinton Mistry… and then, Q&A must be one of the most popular books of the last one year.

      I’ve read a couple of Pakistani authors, one Bangladeshi author, but nothing based in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma, Taiwan etc. Also, bizarrely, I’ve not read anything based in China. Should look into that.

  2. I have also recommended Q & A in my Weekly Geeks post. here is my full list.

  3. 4 Maree

    That’s a great idea for a challenge. And, of course for a suggestion, I have to fly the New Zealand flag … :)

  4. 5 rikkiscraps

    I absolutely love Kundera. If you liked the one you mention you might want to try Laughable loves. It’s brilliant.

    • 6 uncertainprinciples

      @pussreboots : I really enjoyed Q&A. I want to read Six Suspects next, but I don’t se it happening for some time.

      @Maree : of course :) my dabble with Kiwi entertainment has been isolated to Flight of the Conchords. If you have any good book recommendations, please let me know.

      @rikkiscraps : thanks! I want to read The Joke as well. Really liked Book of Laughter and Forgetting, albeit, I thought The Unbearable Lightness of Being was better.

  5. 7 Care

    Very organized. I’m going to have to check on something I read that spent some time in Hong Kong (I’m thinking it was by Ishiguro’s When We Were Orphans?)
    Also, check the url box in your profile – I think it might be empty. It should have your blog address so that any comments you leave elsewhere will link back here. :)

    • If you think this is organized, check out pussreboots! Oooh, I read When We Were Orphans when I was about fourteen/fifteen, and most of the story seems to have escaped me.

      By the way, thanks for the heads up on the blog url. I’ve updated it now.

  6. I’ve been meaning to read Hakuri Murakami – my brother eats those books up

    • I’ve read two of his works: Norwegian Wood, and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, and absolutely loved them.

      You should give it a shot – Norwegian Wood was great.

  7. If you are looking for an Australian book to enjoy look for DIAMOND DOVE (aka MOONLIGHT DOWNS) by Adrian Hyland, or THE BROKEN SHORE by Peter temple, or SHATTER by Michael Robotham

  8. I haven’t read it myself, but I saw a review of Imagining Argentina on Heather J.’s web site, Age 30+…A Lifetime of Books. It sounds like it would be an interesting read that would provide some good insight into some of Argentina’s history. The review is here:

    http://age30books.blogspot.com/2008/08/imagining-argentina.html

  9. If you’re looking for books that take place in China, you should pick up some Lisa See. I loved “Peony in Love”, although most people like “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” better.


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