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Reading around the World

I want to see the world, one book at a time. It's cheaper than airfare.

It all started with the 50 states.

I’ve always been interested in learning about other people and places. I’ve always read a lot. Often those two interests have intersected. Several years ago, when I still read a lot of YA, I was intrigued by a YA read around the USA blog, and started on my quest to read a book for every state (and territories too. Why not?). My goal has expanded far out of the original YA category, though. Genre doesn’t matter anymore, as long as there’s a sense of the place, past or present, gained by reading the book. Here’s my list of what I’ve read so far (underlined) and ideas of what I might read (italics). Suggestions are always welcome, although I can’t guarantee that they’ll be read promptly, if at all.

  • Alabama To Kill a Mockingbird, While the World Watched
  • Alaska Julie of the Wolves
  • Arizona The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service
  • Arkansas Simple Jess
  • California Whispering Rock
  • Colorado My First White Friend; One More Valley, One More Hill
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida Skinny Dip
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii Unfamiliar Fishes
  • Idaho Blue Heaven
  • Illinois
  • Indiana A Girl Named Zippy
  • Iowa The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana Twelve Years a Slave, The Summer I Became a Nerd
  • Maine 
  • Maryland Life of an American Slave, Baltimore Blues, The Other Wes Moore
  • Massachusetts Johnny Tremain
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota Ashes to Ashes
  • Mississippi Beneath a Meth Moon
  • Missouri
  • Montana  The Girls from the Five Great Valleys
  • Nebraska A Lantern in Her Hand
  • Nevada Sin City
  • New Hampshire Silverhill, Calico Captive, Our Town
  • New Jersey Finger Lickin’ Fifteen
  • New Mexico
  • New York The Woman Who Wasn’t There
  • North Carolina Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio; The Hard Way on Purpose
  • Oklahoma Kind of Kin, American Terrorist
  • Oregon The Fence My Father Built, Crooked River
  • Pennsylvania Julie, The Parting
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina Beautiful Creatures
  • South Dakota Spring for Susannah
  • Tennessee All the Pretty Girls
  • Texas The Outcasts
  • Utah The World’s Strongest Librarian
  • Vermont
  • Virginia Big Stone Gap
  • Washington Frost Burned
  • West Virginia Daughter of the Stars
  • Wisconsin Caddie Woodlawn, The Westing Game, Dairy Queen
  • Wyoming The Eagle Catcher
  • Washington, D.C. A Deeper Darkness
  • Guam Keeper of the Night
  • Puerto Rico The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico
  • U.S. Virgin Islands Adrift on St Johns, Land of Love and Drowning
  • Northern Marianas Warriors in the Crossfire
  • American Samoa
Featured post

Reading all around the UK

In

There’s probably no other country that has more books in the English language set in it than the ever-shifting entity currently known as the United Kingdom. Of course I had to read more than one book for the UK. Not only would only reading one book be boring, but it would also be rather difficult. There are just too many good books to chose from. By reading a book for every English county, as well as books for the extended countries and territories of the UK, I can have a really long list of interesting books to read, and learn even more about England than my Anglophile self already knew. British overseas territories are at the bottom of the list. Books I’ve read already are underlined. Ideas are in italics. Suggestions are welcome.

*A note. Some English counties have shifted from the historic boundaries. In the interest of not missing out on anything, I have included some overlapping counties from both the old borders and the new, although I haven’t gone so far as to require a book for every division of Yorkshire, for instance (There are four of them!) If you have information that could correct my list, let me know.

  • Bedfordshire
  • Berkshire
  • (City of) Bristol
  • Buckinghamshire The Verneys
  • Cambridgeshire Sidney Chambers & the Shadow of Death
  • Cheshire
  • (City of) London Miranda’s Big Mistake
  • Cornwall Mistress of Mellyn
  • Cumbria/ Cumberland
  • Derbyshire The Toll Booth
  • Devon The Painter’s Daughter
  • Dorset Far from the Madding Crowd; The Black Tower; The Private Patient
  • Durham
  • Essex Blue Eyed Witch
  • Gloustershire The Quiche of Death
  • Greater Manchester
  • Hampshire Lady Almina & the Real Downton Abbey
  • Herefordshire
  • Hertfordshire Longbourne
  • Huntingdonshire
  • Isle of Wight Traitor’s Storm
  • Kent In Fairleigh Field, Plague Land
  • Lancashire
  • Leicestershire The Secret Rooms
  • Lincolnshire The Secrets of Wishtide
  • Norfolk Devices & Desires
  • Northamptonshire Mansfield Park
  • Northumberland The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frey
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Oxfordshire Lark Rise
  • Rutland
  • Shropshire Fatal Flaw
  • Somerset Persuasion
  • Staffordshire How to Create the Perfect Wife
  • Suffolk Unnatural Causes; La’s Orchestra
  • Surrey A Room with a View
  • Sussex Cold Comfort Farm
  • Tyne & Wear
  • Warwickshire
  • Westmoreland
  • West Midlands
  • Wiltshire The Wolves of Savernake; Sarum
  • Worcestershire A Skeleton in the Closet
  • Yorkshire Brackenthorpe
    • North Riding Venetia
  • Isle of Man
  • Guernsey The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society
  • Jersey
  • Wales Evans Above
  • Orkneys The Flight of Gemma Hardy
  • Hebrides Call the Nurse
  • Shetland
  • Northern Ireland
  • Akrotiri & Dhakelia
  • Anguilla* A Trip to the Beach
  • Bermuda*
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory*
  • British Virgin Islands*
  • Cayman Islands* Confessions of a Latter Day Virgin
  • Falkland Islands*
  • Gibralter* The Shadow of the Rock
  • Montserrat*
  • Pitcairn Island
  • St Helena* & Ascension* & Tristan da Cunha* The Murder of Napoleon; Scant Particulars
  • South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands
  • Turks & Caicos Islands*

*Some of these overseas territories will be difficult to find books about. While I prefer to count a book towards only one region, I read a travel narrative called Outposts that had chapters dedicated to each of the territories with an * by them. If I can’t find anything more thorough, that will have to do.

Reading around France

Finding a book to read about France is NOT difficult. Finding one to read about every single province in and territory of France is a lot more challenging. Here’s what I’ve got so far, both what I’ve read and what ideas I have. Territories are listed below provinces. Suggestions are welcome.

  • Alsace A Time to Dance, a Time to Die
  • Aquitane The Ripening Sun
  • Auvergne Village of Secrets
  • Brittany Dark Triumph
  • Burgundy Shadows in the Vineyard
  • Centre-Val de Loire
  • Champagne-Ardenne Champagne: the Farewell
  • Frache-Comte
  • Ile-de-France (Paris) Belle Epoque
  • Languedoc-Rousillon Hot Sun, Cool Shadows; Chasing the Heretics
  • Limousin Bon Courage
  • Lorraine
  • Midi Pyrenees
  • Nord Pas du Calais
  • Normandy The Conquerer
  • Pay de la Loire
  • Picardy Unmentionables
  • Poitou Charentes Tout Sweet
  • Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur Encore Provence; A Year in Provence; Lisette’s List
  • Rhone-Alpes
  • Corsica
  • French Guiana
  • Guadeloupe
  • Martinique The Rose of Martinique
  • Mayotte
  • Reunion

Read more than one book, ay?

Canada is a surprisingly diverse country, ranging from the Yukon gold fields to the red farm fields of Anne of Green Gables, with windswept prairie and Pacific rain forest and so much more in between. So I want to read a book set in each province and territory of Canada, to really get a better sense of the entire country.

  • Alberta Stupid to the Last Drop; When Calls the Heart
  • British Columbia 
  • Manitoba I am Hutterite
  • New Brunswick The Midnight Tunnel
  • Newfoundland and Labrador Theater of Fish
  • Northwestern Territories Bones are ForeverMrs Mike; The Tenderness of Wolves
  • Nova Scotia Someone Knows My Name; Blizzard of Glass
  • Nunavut  Arctic Autumn
  • Ontario  Growing up Amish
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec Calico Captive, Still Life
  • Saskatchewan Etta & Otto & Russell & James
  • Yukon City of the Lost

Books about Down Under

Australia isn’t just the Sydney Opera House and Uluru and golden beaches. Which is why I want to read a book set in each state of Australia.  (I’m not adventurous enough to try to read a book for each of Australia’s far-flung islands. Yet, anyway.). I have some ideas already. I don’t mind what genre, but I do want a sense of setting, which is why I ended up not counting The Rosie Project towards this list.

  • New South Wales Glitter and Glue
  • Northern Territory A Town Like Alice
  • Queensland Dead Heat; Carpenteria
  • South Australia  Little River, Big Fish
  • Tasmania In Tasmania
  • Western Australia Rabbit Proof Fence
  • Victoria Cocaine Blues

Reading around Italy

Italy seems to be one of the more common settings for English-language books. Yet when we think of Italy what usually comes to mind? Rome? Sicily? Maybe Milan? I wanted to learn more about the parts of Italy that don’t get as much press, so I made a list of the regions of Italy, and plan to read a book set in each one.

  • Abruzzo
  • Aosta Valley
  • Apulia
  • Basilatica
  • Calabria  Blood Brotherhood
  • Campagnia From Pompeii
  • Emilia-Romagna The Charterhouse of Parma
  • Friuli-Venezia Guilia Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere
  • Lazio
  • Liguria Beautiful Ruins
  • Lombardy Demon Catchers of Milan
  • Marche
  • Molise
  • Piedmont
  • Sardinia
  • Sicily The Leopard, On Persephone’s Island
  • Tuscany The Monster of Florence
  • Trentino-Alto Adige/ Sudtirol Nazis on the Run
  • Umbria Chasing Francis
  • Veneto Passion Blue

You can see the whole world from here.

After I set a goal to read a book in every US state and territory, it was an easy step to say, “Hey, why not just read one about every country in the world too? And while I’m at it, just throw in notable but not autonomous areas too.” This is a work in progress. If I forgot any countries while typing, let me know and I’ll fix it. Books I have read are in normal font; books I’m considering are in italics. Asterisks indicate countries that are broken down into further lists separately.  Suggestions are welcome.

  • Afghanistan Kabul Beauty School
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Antarctica Whiteout 12
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis
  • Armenia An Armenian Sketchbook
  • Australia*
  • Austria  The Story of the Trapp Family Singers; The Star of Kazan
  • Azerbaijan Gentlemen of the Road
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh Banker to the World
  • Barbados To Hell or Barbados
  • Belarus Defiance; Voices from the Man Without a Face; The Wall
  • Belgium An Infamous Army; The Professor
  • Belize
  • Benin Spirit Rising (Angelique Kidjou)
  • Bhutan Radio Shangri-La; Married to Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina The Cellist of Sarajevo
  • Botswana  Tears of the Giraffe
  • Brazil Brazil on the Rise; The Burning Season
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia  Never Fall Down
  • Cameroon  The Innocent Anthropologist
  • Canada *
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China  Boxers and Saints
    • Tibet Seven Years in Tibet
    • Hong Kong
    • Macau
    • Inner Mongolia
    • Ningxia
    • Xinjiang
    • Guangxi
  • Columbia Gaviotas; Tales from the Town of Wisdom
  • Comoros
  • (Democratic Republic of) Congo  A Thousands Sisters; Blood River; King Leopold’s Ghost
  • (Republic of the) Congo
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia  Hidden Rainbow
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic The Mercy Seller; The Piper on the Mountain
  • Denmark The King’s Hounds; Number the Stars
    • Faroe Islands
    • Greenland  Smilla’s Sense of Snow; This Cold Heaven
  • Djibouti  Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • East Timor
  • Ecuador The End of the Spear
  • Egypt Crocodile on the Sandbank
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia The Hospital by the River
  • Fiji
  • Finland From Finland with Love; Sibelius
  • France*
  • Gabon  Between the Man and Beast
  • (The) Gambia
  • Georgia Eight Pieces of Empire
    • Abkhazia
    • South Ossetia
  • Germany The Hangman’s Daughter
  • Ghana  King Peggy
  • Greece  My Family & Other Animals
    • Crete The Moon Spinners
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala Tree Girl
  • Guinea  Prince Among Slaves
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti  The Big Truck that Went by
  • Honduras
  • Hungary  I Kiss Your Hands Many Times; Ballad of the Whiskey Robber
  • Iceland Jar City
  • India Sacred Games; Gandhi; A Passage to India
  • Indonesia  Thief of Glory
  • Iran Persepolis
  • Iraq
  • Ireland A Week in Winter
  • Israel  An Israeli Love Story; Watchmen on the Walls; The Bronze Bow
  • Italy*
  • Ivory Coast  Nine Hills to Namboukala
  • Jamaica A Brief History of Seven Killings
  • Japan
  • Jordan Leap of Faith
  • Kazakhstan Woman in Exile; Wildwood
  • Kenya It’s Our Turn to Eat; Unbowed; Dreams from my Father
  • Kiribati  The Sex Lives of Cannibals
  • (North) Korea The Impossible State; Without You, There is No Us
  • (South) Korea I’ll be Right There; When My Name was Keoko
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos The Coroner’s Lunch
  • Latvia  The Mascot; The Rings of My Tree
  • Lebanon House of Stone
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia Mighty Be Our Powers
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania  Between Shades of Gray
  • Luxembourg The Expat
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
  • Malaysia  Inot the Hands of Borneo; The War of the Running Dogs
  • Maldives
  • Mali  Mansa Musa; To Timbuktoo for a Haircut; Monique & the Mango Rains
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands  Bombs over Bikini
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico  The Mark of Zorro
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova Playing the Moldovans at Tennis
  • Monaco  Grace of Monaco
  • Mongolia Genghis; Secret History of the Mongol Queens
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco  The Caliph’s House; A House in Fez
    • Western Sahara
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal  Sold; Little Princes
  • Netherlands Diary of a Young Girl
    • Aruba
    • Curacao
    • Sint Maarten
  • New Zealand  Land of the Long White Cloud
    • Cook Islands
    • Niue
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria Purple Hibiscus; The Secret Life of Bab Segi’s Wives; Americanah
  • Norway Midnight Sun
  • Oman
  • Pakistan  I am Malala
  • Palau  Vanished (Wil Hyton)
  • Palestine  I Shall Not Hit
  • Panama Panama Fever
  • Papua New Guinea  Lost in Shangri-La; Four Corners
  • Paraguay At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland Maus I & II
  • Portugal  1494
  • Qatar The Girl who Fell to Earth
  • Romania  Tortured for Christ
  • Russia Catherine the Great
  • Rwanda  An Ordinary Man
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent & the Grenadines
  • Samoa  Coming of Age in Samoa; Telesa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome & Principe
  • Saudi Arabia Princess
  • Senegal  However Long the Night, So Long a Night
  • Serbia  The Day of the Pelican
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore Crazy Rich AsiansAunty Lee’s Delights
  • Slovakia Siren of the Waters
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia Desert Flower; Black Hawk Down; The Mayor of Mogadishu

    • Somaliland
  • South Africa  Born a Crime
  • South Sudan
  • Spain Spanish Lessons; The Spanish Bride; Driving over Lemons
  • Sri Lanka  The Hamilton Case
  • Sudan Slave: My True Story
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden Faceless Killers
  • Switzerland Heidi
  • Syria The Street Philosopher & The Fool; A Woman in the Crossfire
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania  Crazy River: a Plunge into Africa; (Jane Goodall)
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Tonga  Queen Salate of Tonga
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey Dare to Disappoint
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda The Price of Stones; Vain
  • Ukraine  The Boy from Reactor 4; An Echo in my Blood; The Secret of the Priest’s Grotto
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom*
  • United States*
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan Dirty Diplomacy; Chasing the Sea
  • Vanuatu  Getting Stoned with Savages
  • Vatican City Praying to Rome
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam  When Heaven and Earth Changed Places
  • Yemen I am Nujood, Age 10 & Divorced
  • Zambia  Warrior Princess
  • Zimbabwe  The Fear; Don’t Let’s Go to the Dog’s Tonight; House of Stone

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