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Travel by Books: 2009 Wrap-Up

January 22, 2010

Total Countries I visited via books in 2009: 92

It’s been a long time coming, but here’s the summary of my global reading from last year! I visited all of the countries you see on the map as blue, either via a book set there, an author from there, or a chapter of a book set there. For each country, I’ve listed the relevant book(s) and indicated if it was the author, the setting, or a selection (which means at least one chapter) that brought me to that country. I’ve also made collages! On each collage, you’ll see a map, and then the covers of the books set in/by a national of a country and author pictures for those of that nationality at least somewhere near the country itself. And you can click on them to make them much larger. Enjoy! :) (I haven’t linked to my reviews for all of the books, but I did review most of them. You can easily look them up via my review directories or by just using the search box; you’ll find them both in the right sidebar on my blog). Oh, and I haven’t included the US and the UK, since I don’t consider either international (after all, I lived in England for seven years!), and there’d be too many books anyway. ;)

To jump to a particular geographic region, use these internal links:
Asia | Europe | Middle East & Maghreb | North America & Caribbean | Oceania | South America | Sub-Saharan Africa


Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thurber (selections)

A Golden Age by Tahmima Anam (author & setting)
Creating a World Without Poverty by Muhammad Yunus (author)

Finding George Orwell in Burma by Emma Larkin (setting)
Burmese Days by George Orwell (setting)
From the Land of Green Ghosts by Pascal Khoo Thwe (author & setting)

Night of Many Dreams by Gail Tsukiyama (setting)
The Girl Who Played Go by Shan Sa (author & setting)
The Last Days of Old Beijing by Michael Meyer (setting)
Serve the People by Jen Lin-Liu (setting)
Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong (author & setting)
The Noodle Maker by Ma Jian (author & setting)
Raise the Red Lantern by Su Tong (author & setting)
China: Fragile Superpower by Susan Shirk (setting)
Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thurber (selections)

Mistress of Spices by Chitra Divakaruni (author)
The Tiger Ladies of Kashmir by Sudha Koul (author & setting)
Adventure Divas by Holly Morris (selections)
Spell of the Tiger by Sy Montgomery (setting)
Haunting Bombay by Shilpa Agarwal (author & setting)
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (author & setting)

This Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer (author & setting)
Shooting the Boh by Tracy Johnston (setting)
Adventure Divas by Holly Morris (selections)
Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman (selections)

Goodbye by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (author & setting)
The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman and Yoshitaka Amano (author & setting)
Emma Vol. One by Kaoru Mori (author)
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto (author & setting)
Hardboiled and Hard Luck by Banana Yoshimoto (author & setting)
A Year in Japan by Kate Williamson (setting)
A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro (author & setting)
The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson (setting)
The Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby (setting)
Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata (author & setting)
Tales of Moonlight and Rain by Akinari Ueda (author & setting)

Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thurber (selections)

Kyrgyz Republic
Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thurber (selections)

Kampung Boy by Lat (author & setting)

The Blue Sky by Galsan Tschinag (author & setting)

The Devil’s Picnic by Taras Grescoe (selections)

South Korea
Bad Samaritans by Ha-Joon Chang (author)

Tibet, Tibet by Patrick French (setting)

Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thurber (selections)

Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong (author & setting)


Ali and Nino by Kurban Said (author & setting)

The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich(author)

Chocolate by Mort Rosenblum (selections)

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (author & setting)
The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox (setting)
Trap for Cinderella by Sebastien Japrisot (author & setting)
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (author & setting)
A Well-Timed Enchantment by Vivian Vande Velde (setting)
Ysabel by Guy Gavriel Kay (setting)
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier (setting)
The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner (setting)
A Guide to Elegance by Genevieve A Dariaux (author)
French Milk by Lucy Knisley (setting)
Claudine at School by Colette (author & setting)
Disquiet by Julia Leigh (setting)
Chocolate by Mort Rosenblum (selections)

Betsy and the Great World by Maud Hart Lovelace (setting)

Loot by Sharon Waxman (selections)
Route 66 A.D. by Tony Perrottet (selections)

The Bell by Iris Murdoch (author)
Belfast Diary: War as a Way of Life by John Conroy (setting)
Confessions of a Pagan Nun by Kate Horsley (setting)
The Likeness by Tana French (author & setting)
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (setting)

Silk by Alessandro Baricco (author)
The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan (setting)
Death and Judgement by Donna Leon (setting)
A Venetian Affair by Andrea Di Robilant (author & setting)
Brunelleschi’s Domeby Ross King (setting)
I’m Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti (author & setting)
Loot by Sharon Waxman (selections)
Route 66 A.D. by Tony Perrottet (selections)

The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder (author)
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset (author & setting)
The Devil’s Picnic by Taras Grescoe (selections)

The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (author)

The Maias by Eca de Queiros (author & setting)

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (setting)

Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko (author & setting)
Natasha’s Dance by Orlando Figes (setting)

The Devil’s Picnic by Taras Grescoe (selections)

Ain’t Myth Behaving by Katie Macalister (setting)

The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton (author)
The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton (author)
Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton (author)
The Devil’s Picnic by Taras Grescoe (selections)
Chocolate by Mort Rosenblum (selections)

Middle East & Maghreb

Palace of Desire by Naguib Mahfouz (author & setting)
The Egyptologist by Arthur Phillips (setting)
Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell (setting)
The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany (author & setting)
Route 66 A.D. by Tony Perrottet (selections)
The Arabian Nights trans. by Husain Haddawy (selections)
Dreams and Shadows by Robin Wright (selections)
Loot by Sharon Waxman (selections)

Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi (author & setting)
Persepolis: the Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi (author & setting)
The Arabian Nights trans. by Husain Haddawy (selections)
Dreams and Shadows by Robin Wright (selections)
Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron (selections)

Iraq (aka Sumer)
Gilgamesh trans. by Stephen Mitchell (author & setting)
The Arabian Nights trans. by Husain Haddawy (selections)
Dreams and Shadows by Robin Wright (selections)
Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron (selections)

Exit Wounds by Rutu Modan (author & setting)

Dreams and Shadows by Robin Wright (selections)

Dreams and Shadows by Robin Wright (selections)

The Gate of the Sun by Elias Khoury (author & setting)
Dreams and Shadows by Robin Wright (selections)

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia Exposed by John Bradley (setting)
Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris (setting)

Dreams and Shadows by Robin Wright (selections)
Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron (selections)

My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (author & setting)
Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron (selections)
Loot by Sharon Waxman (selections)

North America & Caribbean

Annie John by Jamaica Kincaid (author & setting)

Canada (I’ve read quite a few Canadian authors this year, so rather than include them all, I’ve included one for each province I’ve read.)
Green Grass, Running Water by Thomas King (Alberta) (author & setting)
Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill (Nova Scotia) (author & setting)
Still Life by Louise Penny (Quebec) (author & setting)
Obasan by Joy Kogawa (British Colombia) (author & setting)
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood (Ontario) (author & setting)
The Day the World Came to Town by Jim Defede (Newfoundland) (author & setting)
“The Rez Sisters” by Tomson Highway (Manitoba) (author & setting)


Adventure Divas by Holly Morris (selections)
Ruins by Achy Obejas</a. (author & setting)

Dominican Republic
Once Upon a Quinceanera by Julia Alvarez (author)
The Farming of the Bones by Edwidge Danticat (setting)

An African in Greenland by Tete-Michel Kpomassie</a. (setting)

The Farming of the Bones by Edwidge Danticat (author)
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder (selections)

The Book of Night Women by Marlon James (author & setting)
The Pirate’s Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson (author & setting)
The New Moons Arms by Nalo Hopkinson (author & setting)
The Girl with the Golden Shoes by Colin Channer (author & setting)

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (author & setting)
La Perdida by Jessica Abel (setting)
Across the Wire by Luis Alberto Urrea (author & setting)
Oaxaca Journal by Oliver Sacks (setting)
Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea (author & setting)
Aura by Carlos Fuentes (author & setting)

Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo (author & setting)


Click on the map to enlarge! I’ve included pictures of all the authors from Oceania countries I read, as well as books set in/about the region. When a cover is on a top of an author picture, that means its their book. ;) For the text version, if I list the author’s name first, that means they’re a native of the country. If the book’s title is in bold, that means it’s set in that country. Make sense? Oh, and if (selection) follows the book, that means that only a chapter or so was set in/about the country.

Disquiet by Julia Leigh (author)
The Dreaming, Vol. One by Queenie Chan (author & setting)
The White Earth by Andrew McGahan (author & setting)
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan (author)
Tales From Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (author)
The Seance by John Harwood (author)
The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough (author & setting)
Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz (selection)

New Zealand
The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox (author)
Ruined by Paula Morris (author)
Here At the End of the World We Learn to Dance by Lloyd Jones (author & setting)
Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera (author & setting)
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (author)
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (author)
Adventure Divas by Holly Morris (selections)

Papua New Guinea
Javatrekker by Dean Cycon (selection)

Western Samoa

Where We Once Belonged by Sia Figiel (author & setting)

Savage Island (Niue)
Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz (selection)

Tahiti (French Polynesia)
Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz (selection)

Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz (selection)

South America

A Secret for Julia by Patricia Sagastizabal (author)
A Reading Diary by Alberto Manguel (author)
The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel (author)
Here At the End of the World We Learn to Dance by Lloyd Jones (setting)

Little Star of Bela Lua by Luana Monteiro (author & setting)
Gabriela, Clove, and Cinnamon by Jorge Amado (author & setting)

My Invented Country by Isabel Allende (author & setting)
Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende (author)

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (author & setting)

The Devil’s Picnic by Taras Grescoe (selections)

El Salvador
Javatrekker by Dean Cycon (selection)


Javatrekker by Dean Cycon (selection)

Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman (selections)
Javatrekker by Dean Cycon (selection)

The Bad Girl by Mario Vargas Llosa (author & setting)
The Last Days of the Incas by Kim MacQuarrie (setting)

The Lady, the Chef, and the Courtesan by Marisol (author & setting)

Sub-Saharan Africa

The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa (author & setting)

Your Madness Not Mine by Makuchi (author & setting)
The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (selections)

Cote d’Ivoire
Aya by Marguerite Abouet and Clement Oubrerie (author & setting)

In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz by Michela Wrong (setting)

The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (selections)

Notes From the Hyena’s Belly by Nega Mezlekia (author & setting)
The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (selections)
Javatrekker by Dean Cycon (selection)

Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey (author & setting)
The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (selections)

The Book of Secrets by M G Vassanji (author & setting)
Javatrekker by Dean Cycon (selection)

The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (selections)

Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill (selections)
The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (selections)

The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (selections)

Sleepwalking Land by Mia Couto (author & setting)

The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (author)
Song for Night by Chris Abani (author & setting)
The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (selections)

The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (selections)

Sierra Leone
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah (author & setting)
Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill (selections)

Born in the Big Rains by Fadumo Korn (author & setting)
The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (selections)

South Africa
Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog (author & setting)
A Time of Angels by Patricia Schonstein (author & setting)
A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn (author & setting)

The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (selections)

The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (selections)

An African in Greenland by Tete-Michel Kpomassie (author)

First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria by Eve Brown-Waite
The Shadow of the Sun by Ryszard Kapuscinski (selections)

Zenzele by J. Nozipo Maraire (author & setting)

138 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2010 7:37 am

    This is so amazing! Not just the number of books you read, but those really awesome maps you have created! I must say, this is the best wrap-up post I’ve seen! And you have such a diverse reading history, I’m just speechless!

  2. January 22, 2010 7:48 am

    Oh my. How fun. I love seeing this! Thanks for putting it together, I’m sure it took a long time!

    I sometimes wish I read enough to be able to cover the globe every year!

    • February 10, 2010 5:53 am

      You can just spread it out a bit more! Or read lots of international books with your son. ;)

  3. January 22, 2010 8:12 am

    Yay! This is so cool and exactly the post I have been waiting for from you! I am sure to plumb this all year when I’m looking to travel to new destinations! Thanks for this amazing resource, Eva!

    • February 10, 2010 5:54 am

      I’m glad it lived up to your expectations!

  4. January 22, 2010 8:17 am

    Girl!! I’m going to bookmark this page for reference. Love this!! Great work with the maps!!

  5. January 22, 2010 8:26 am

    What an amazing post! It not only provides reading suggestions, but the visuals are stunning, and so creative. Thanks for doing all this!

  6. January 22, 2010 8:59 am

    Holy cow those maps are cool! I love visual representations of what one has read (which is why we must love book covers so much). :) You’re so well read, and I think you’ve done such a great job in sharing with the rest of us what is out there. Thanks!

  7. January 22, 2010 9:31 am

    Wow, impressive! I hadn’t had books chosen for some of those coutries so am loving the list! Congratulations on hitting so many different countries.

  8. kiss a cloud permalink
    January 22, 2010 10:15 am

    Love this, Eva! How cool that you got to keep track!

    • February 10, 2010 5:55 am

      lol; I actually had to go through my ‘Books Read’ list title by title, remembering where each one was set/where each author was from. I totally should have kept track throughout the year; it would have been simpler. :)

  9. January 22, 2010 10:27 am

    This is AWESOME. Lovely maps!

  10. January 22, 2010 10:34 am

    That must have taken you ages! I’m going to bookmark this post as a resource any time I want to read another country.

  11. January 22, 2010 10:56 am

    What an amazing post! It must have taken some time to put all that together, maps and all!:) And your lists are very useful. I just realised that I have read very few books by South-American writers, so, now I’ll check if my library has any of those you mention in this post.


  12. January 22, 2010 11:19 am

    Wow, Eva – I am AWED by this!! And thank you so much for putting this all in one post with links…I am saving your post since I am working on reading books from all the countries and I could use some recommendations. Thank you!

    • February 10, 2010 5:56 am

      Thanks Wendy! I know I used your ‘TBR’ list to get a few ideas for my own reading last year. :)

  13. January 22, 2010 11:27 am

    You are officially a well read and well traveled young lady. I am really impressed by your journey around the world. I am going to tag this post as a favourite to help me with my own epic adventures around the world. This month alone, I have been to America, Iran and France and stayed a bit in good old Blighty. I just find this completely fascinating, the idea of travelling the world from my armchair.

  14. January 22, 2010 11:32 am

    ZOMG…Eva, this is so freakin’ awesome!!!! I am positively in love with this post!!!! You so made me want to keep track of my reading like this for this year. Of course, it will be soooo much easier for me considering that I read a teeny fraction of what you do.

    Yep, love this…and will be revisiting often (even though I’ve already added many of these to my wish list, I sadly must admit that when I go back and look at my list I sometimes don’t remember what the book is about). Anyway, thanks, Eva! You so rock! :D

    • February 10, 2010 5:56 am

      You should keep track! And thanks so much for your enthusiasm Debi! :D

  15. January 22, 2010 12:40 pm

    This is amazing and I am going to print it out so I can use it as a reference since I love reading books with an international setting! Thank you!

  16. January 22, 2010 1:41 pm

    As everyone else has noted, this is very cool. I am reading my way around the world but once I read a book from a country, I don’t keep track of other books that are also set in that country as well so I have nowhere near as comprehensive an idea of where all I spent my reading time as you do. Love the visuals too. I wish I was computer savvy enough (and not so bone lazy) that I could not only produce but track stuff this well too. :-)

    • February 10, 2010 5:57 am

      Thanks Kristen! lol-I didn’t track it at all fancy. Just went through the list multiple times. *sigh* And I just use Picasa to make the collages.

  17. January 22, 2010 1:55 pm

    OMG this is the coolest post ever. Wow!!!! I’m not even going to pretend to track this information. I would start out fine, but mid-February I’d be slacking off. I consider it a big step that I’m counting audio hours and print pages for 2010!

    I’m such a map freak, though — and I love yours.

    • February 10, 2010 5:58 am

      Aww-thanks! I tried counting pages/hours last year, and stopped in February because I got bored! lol Like I’ve said earlier, I actually didn’t keep running track; just figured everything out at the end. :)

  18. January 22, 2010 2:17 pm

    I’m impressed. I’m impressed with your reading and with your collages. We need to find you a job that would fully utilize these skills. I’m serious here. There has to be a way for you to make some money here. I bet there are people out there who would pay for web pages like those collages.

    Have you put your blog on your resume?

    • February 10, 2010 5:58 am

      Thanks so much CB. :) Right now, I’m sick, so I haven’t submitted my resume anywhere in forever!

  19. January 22, 2010 2:19 pm

    This is a great great post! And definitely a place I would visit often, if only just to refer for authors, their books, and their countries.

    Could I recommend a Malaysian author, Tan Twan Eng’s The Gift of Rain, if you’ve not read it yet? =)

    • February 10, 2010 6:00 am

      Ohh-thanks Michelle! I haven’t read that, but I’m fascinated by Malaysia. :) I really want to visit one day!

      • April 5, 2010 1:11 pm

        I am Gobsmacked Eva, Gobsmacked at how awesome your map and collage looks. You inspired me! Would you mind if I steal the same ideas from you and do up the same project?!! (pluz, pluz..)

        You read Kampung Boy! Lat! I have that comic book signed personally by Lat when I was 7 (I’m now approaching the big 4!!)

        May I introduce Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad; The Harmony Silk Factory, Tash Aw; and as Michelle suggested The Gift of Rain, on Malaysia…?

        I thought Jose Eduardo Agualusa (Angola) looks like Colin Farrell. :)

        I know you must be sick of this, but this is so awesome. I am going to kick start my project soon, soon, soon!

  20. January 22, 2010 2:20 pm

    Wow. This must have taken you a year and half to create this post. But it is simply amazing. Wow.

    • February 10, 2010 6:01 am

      LOL; I think it took about two seasons of TV on DVD to finish it all up. :)

  21. January 22, 2010 2:49 pm

    This is too fabulous! It’s not like just reading a book and going on to the next one. This is proof you really enjoyed the author’s work.

  22. January 22, 2010 3:06 pm

    WOW!! This was ENTIRELY too much fun :D

  23. January 22, 2010 3:54 pm

    I’ve got to know what you used to put these maps and covers together. Do tell!

    • February 10, 2010 6:02 am

      I just used Picasa-it’s free, and it’s really intuitive. I only recently downloaded it, but the ‘collage’ feature is super easy. :)

  24. January 22, 2010 4:19 pm

    Good lord Eva! This would have taken me months! How do you do it?? Seriously. Do you keep handwritten entries and notes along the way?


    • February 10, 2010 6:03 am

      I just went through my whole ‘Books Read’ list at the end of the year! I remember books well enough to know what countries were discussed where, except some of the nonfiction that dealt w/ multiples…those I looked up the Table of Contents via Amazon or actually remembered to note. ;)

  25. January 22, 2010 4:52 pm

    You are amazing Eva. This is an impressive list, and I’m going to bookmark it for future reference.

  26. January 22, 2010 5:07 pm

    I love the graphics! Wonderful!

  27. January 22, 2010 6:52 pm

    I’m not adding much to the chorus here, Eva, but this is amazing! A beautiful entry and a great resource for others looking to diversify their reading or hone in on a particular region of the world. Nicely done!

  28. January 22, 2010 7:13 pm

    Wow, all I can say is ‘holy crap that’s impressive!’

  29. January 22, 2010 7:35 pm

    Best reading list EVER! Thanks! :-D

    • February 10, 2010 6:04 am

      I’m glad you like it Jill! You gave me so many great travelogue recs last year. :)

  30. January 22, 2010 8:03 pm

    Wow – I am so inspired by your reading. Great post!

  31. Mome Rath permalink
    January 22, 2010 9:31 pm

    Eva – you are in inspiration! So happy to see someone else who has read This Earth of Mankind — that’s my favorite book I’ve read this year so far. And all the other books you’ve read: Palace Walk (missed Fahmy), Persepolis, My Name is Red… so many good stories (and I appreciate the honesty about how the latter two didn’t grab you as much as they did others). I like all the options you give for more world reading!

    • February 10, 2010 6:06 am

      I liked My Name is Red much more than my first Pamuk (Black Book). :) So I’ll be reading more of him this year and hoping the trend continues, lol. Isn’t Toer amazing?!

      • Mome Rath permalink
        February 12, 2010 7:56 pm

        Toer is fantastic! I’ll be checking out Child of All Nations here soon; I’m saving the quartet to last me through the year, though I really want to know what happens next with Minke and Annelies and Nyai Ontosoroh. Hope you’re feeling better.

  32. January 22, 2010 11:42 pm

    Impressive travels!

  33. January 22, 2010 11:52 pm

    Wonderful post and beautiful maps and collage! Interesting to know that you read some real ‘thick’ books last year – I can see Vikram Seth’s ‘A Suitable Boy’ and Sigrid Undset’s ‘Kristin Lavransdatter’ here :) Nice to see ‘The Story of Art’ by E.H.Gombrich in your list. It is one of my favourite books! I have Orlando Figes’ ‘Natasha’s Dance’ on my ‘TBR’ list for this year. I found the title ‘Notes From the Hyena’s Belly’ by Nega Mezlekia quite fascinating! One of my friends who had been to Ethiopia recently told me that there is a city there where they feed hyenas every evening so that the hyenas are friendly with the city folks and don’t attack them or their property. I found that a fascinating story and this title reminded me of that. Does this book talk about that?

    I am going to keep coming back to this post for inspiration and reading suggestions :)

    • February 10, 2010 6:08 am

      I know I’ve read about Harar, but I can’t remember if it was specifically in Mezlekia’s memoir. He grew up in the Jijigia. But there are definitely hyenas mentioned! :)

      I love the huge books, so I’m planning on seeking out some more thick ones this year…let me know if you have any suggestions!

      I think you’ll *really* enjoy Natasha’s Dance!

  34. January 23, 2010 1:27 am

    Oh my gosh. This post must have taken you forever!

    You almost have visited the whole world in one year! How impressive is that?

  35. January 23, 2010 7:09 am

    I did not see Sri Lanka there! We have so many authors from Michael Ondaatje, Romesh Gunasekera, Shyam Selvadorai, Ru Freeman, Michelle de Kretser, Ashok Ferrey, amongst others! Please check them out. We are a tiny nation but there is a lot of good stuff here!!!

    • February 10, 2010 6:09 am

      Remember that this is just last year’s reading. :) I’ve read Ondaatje in the past, and I’ve had my eye on Selvadorai for awhile, but my library doesn’t stock him. I’ve heard of Freeman, but the others are new to me-thanks for the suggestions!

  36. January 23, 2010 8:19 am

    That must have taken you days! You are well traveled and well read!

    • February 10, 2010 6:09 am

      Thanks! I definitely spread the work out over the whole month to keep my sanity. ;)

  37. January 23, 2010 10:51 am

    This is amazing – and definitely a great reference for future reading!

  38. January 23, 2010 12:55 pm

    Wow! You certainly read all over the globe! Great concept :)

  39. January 23, 2010 3:40 pm

    That’s such a great idea! I think my map for last year would look rather sad, but it’s certainly something to keep in mind to help remind me to branch out as much as I can!

    • February 10, 2010 6:11 am

      I hope you do a post on your geographical reading! I think it’s fun to see where different bloggers read. :)

      • February 10, 2010 8:02 am

        I made the post Eva – it is a bit sad, since I only covered about 15% of the globe, but it’s also interesting to see where I did travel to, or foreign authors read. It’s given me a goal for the year and I’ve already made good progress. Very inspiring! Um, if you click on my name it should take you to my blog and just scroll down a bit (you visited me before, for the Read-a-Thon, but I’m sure you visited tonnes of people that day!)

  40. January 23, 2010 4:00 pm

    This is really spectacular! Not only have you put together an extensive (almost exhaustive) list, but you have such outstanding selections. I found several, such as A Golden Age by Tamima Aman, that no one I know besides me has ever heard of. Thanks for the post – I’m going to check some of these out!

    • February 10, 2010 6:11 am

      Thank you! Wasn’t A Golden Age incredible?!

  41. January 23, 2010 4:45 pm

    I don’t keep track of this and I should. Congrats on such great progress!

    • February 10, 2010 6:12 am

      Thanks Kelly! This year, I’m being more organised and keeping track by month, rather than leaving it all to the end, lol.

  42. January 23, 2010 7:37 pm

    Wow, this is crazy and I love it! I can’t imagine how much time this took you but I am seriously impressed. I love stopping by your blog because I never know what I am going to find but I am never disappointed.

    PS…I’m kind of obsessed with your new layout.

    • February 10, 2010 6:12 am

      Aww-you’re making me blush with all the compliments! :) I worked on it when I was watching awesome TV on DVD, but it definitely took awhile!

  43. January 23, 2010 10:32 pm

    I am blown away by the commitment this project shows. I am envious of the reading you have accomplished. I am inspired by the conglomeration of titles you have amassed, and I am grateful for the reading list you have provided for this humble bibliophile. I beg your permission to browse and pick some of these titles for my reading pleasure in the year to come. I hope to create a blog (eventually) that other readers will find half as inspirational as yours. Thank you for your hard work. I am glad that you most likely enjoyed a great deal of the time you spent on its creation. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • February 10, 2010 6:13 am

      Thanks so much Mary Beth. :) I definitely hope you try out some of the books I’ve read, and good luck with your future blog!

  44. January 24, 2010 4:01 am

    A great post, I’ll certainly be coming here for help when I’m trying to complete The Olympic Challenge

  45. January 24, 2010 1:19 pm

    I know this must have taken a lot time. Its beyond beautiful on so many levels.

  46. January 24, 2010 5:39 pm

    This is absolutely amazing! You read so many books from so many countries… I am simply astounded! Not to mention the amazing collages – which were just a sheer stroke of genius. When you just mark off the countries you have read a book from, it doesn’t quite portray how much effort you had to put in… but the collages do!

    I have wanted to do something similar for a while, but I am afraid I have not the guts. Extraordinary job, and great post!

    • February 10, 2010 6:13 am

      Thanks so much Kay! :D I say you should go for it yourself!

  47. January 24, 2010 9:51 pm

    What a great post! You’re awesome, Eva!

  48. January 24, 2010 10:31 pm

    Wow, that is such an awesome post! Absolutely love it : I love the lists and LOVE the maps. This gives me so many ideas for future reading – it even makes me wish I would have thought of doing such maps before! :-) You visited many countries, that’s impressive.

    • February 10, 2010 6:14 am

      Thanks Kay! The map at the top of the post was really easy to make, so I hope you do it for your own reading!

  49. January 25, 2010 9:17 am

    Amazing tour, Eva. Linking to Readers Against WhiteWashing. What a fantastic listing and visual to read around the world. Bookmarking this page for myself as well.

    Thank you.

  50. January 25, 2010 11:33 am

    Everyone is saying what I am thinking. This post is absolutely AMAZING!!!!!!!!! Thank you for this treat for the eyes and mind!

  51. January 25, 2010 3:02 pm

    wow Eva! Congratulations – what an achievement and so beautifully presented – a true inspiration!

    • February 10, 2010 6:16 am

      Aww-thank you Tracey. I’m blushing. :)

  52. January 25, 2010 3:18 pm

    Wow, this is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a LONG time. You seem to have a similar reading taste to me, and I’ve been wanting to “expand my reading” so I’m bookmarking this post. I love it.

    • February 10, 2010 6:17 am

      Thank you Atla! :D That’s awesome we have similar reading taste!

  53. January 25, 2010 4:40 pm

    This is the most beautiful post I’ve ever seen! What a great idea. I even posted today – just about your post! :) Wow. Amazing presentation. Love it, love it, love it!

    • February 10, 2010 6:18 am

      Wow-thank you so much Rachelle! I’m sorry I haven’t visited your blog yet; I’ve pretty much not been on the internet for the last two weeks!

  54. January 25, 2010 6:28 pm

    This is fabulous! Your collages are just the coolest.

  55. January 26, 2010 12:01 am

    Amazing! Perfect for the new Diversify Your Reading site. :-)

    • February 10, 2010 6:19 am

      Thank you Kelly! I definitely used it to add some links to Diversify Your Reading. :)

  56. January 26, 2010 10:48 am

    This is an impressive post in every way! What amazing graphics! Hope you are feeling better soon.

  57. January 26, 2010 11:00 am

    Hi! I found your blog through a friend and absolutely LOVE your travel by books! I’m going to post your blog’s link on my blog, because I think it is a completely fascinating and fun idea. Thank you for such great global book selections!!



    • February 10, 2010 6:22 am

      Thanks for stopping by! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. :) And you might really enjoy knowing that over 90% of the books were from the library! hehe

  58. January 26, 2010 2:30 pm

    Awesome! What a wonderful idea and thank you for a great resource.

  59. January 28, 2010 7:38 pm

    Eva this blows my mind on so many levels. You are an inspiration! I’m sending links to this page to all my friends who love to read and/or travel.

    When I first glimpsed the map of the world I thought you had read books from the white countries, and then I read it was the blue ones. Wow!!! And you read so many books in one year. This would be an amazing feat for a lifetime reading program.

    I hope school teachers find this page and create a lesson plan for their kids.

  60. Vipula permalink
    January 29, 2010 4:53 pm

    Wow! Its amazing that you have read such a variety. I am trying to read more international writers in this year and have not made much progress.But your post acts as a good recommendation.

  61. January 29, 2010 7:31 pm

    Beautiful shiny graphics and an inspiring reading list. Thank you!

  62. February 2, 2010 3:24 am

    Wow, what a fabulous book list and I LOVE the maps!

    • February 10, 2010 6:23 am

      Thanks! Maps are so much fun, aren’t they? :)

  63. February 3, 2010 10:00 am

    Eva, this is one of the coolest reading overviews ever. Not only am I impressed by how broad your reading is, but those detailed maps and book and author graphics are amazing! :D

  64. Juanita permalink
    February 6, 2010 3:30 pm

    Very cool. Those are some amazing maps.

  65. Amy O permalink
    February 7, 2010 9:38 am

    You have a wonderful collection of books by country. I will have to check some of them out. I recently read “Daughters of the Stone” by Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa. It takes place in Puerto Rico late 19th century to contemporary. It is a wonderful evocative story of several generations of women and their struggles within themselves, each other, the men in their lives and society. No matter your country you will empathize with these women from many perspectives: grandmother, mother, daughter, mother -in-law and wife. I know Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the U.S. and not a country per se, but it has its own very unique culture and world view.

    • February 10, 2010 6:24 am

      Thanks for the rec! I definitely have read Puerto Rican authors in the past, and I wouldn’t ignore them just because PR isn’t independent! :)

  66. February 15, 2010 4:00 pm

    Wow, Eva, this looks amazing! It must have taken you ages to put it all together. I’m in awe also at how much you read!

  67. April 5, 2010 6:36 am

    I LOVE your maps!!! So awesome. And your list is superb too — I know how time consuming they are. Very cool!


  1. What a Great Idea! «
  2. Reading the World Challenge – Update #1
  3. Around the World in 12 Books Challenge | Giraffe Days
  4. Travel Abroad, No Passport Required - Spokane County Library District

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