Read Around the World: Benin to British Virgin Isles

We’re into a new blog series now where we’re going to read around the world, featuring a book from every country in the world. We’ll work alphabetically through all the countries in the world and add in some smaller countries and islands too, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe!

We’ll work alphabetically and the last list ended at Belize, so today we’re covering ten countries from Benin to the British Virgin Isles. Join us on our literary world trip as we read around the world in more than 200 books.


Say You’re One of Them

Benin is a tiny African nation and proved one of the most troublesome countries to find a story from so far, but this anthology of short stories from across Africa travels from Nigeria to Benin, and Ethiopia, bringing the magic of rural Africa to life.

Say You’re One of Them

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The Deep – Peter Benchley

Bermuda is mostly known for the water that surrounds it, and the dangers that water poses. Famed for its reefs and diving, Bermuda is a popular diving destination but if you’re diving for shipwrecks, you would hope you don’t get an experience like the one in The Deep.

The Deep

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Married to Bhutan – Linda Leaming

Tucked away in the eastern end of the Himalayas lies Bhutan—a tiny, landlocked country bordering China and India. Impossibly remote and nearly inaccessible, Bhutan is rich in natural beauty, exotic plants and animals, and crazy wisdom. In this funny, magical memoir, we accompany Linda Leaming on her travels through South Asia, sharing her experiences as she learns the language, customs, and religion; her surprising romance with a Buddhist artist; and her realizations about the unexpected path to happiness and accidental enlightenment.

Married to Bhutan

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The Bolivian Diary – Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara

As soon as we got to Bolivia we knew there was only one book choice for this nation. This is Che Guevara’s last diary, compiled from notebooks found in his backpack when he was captured by the Bolivian army in October 1967 and subsequently executed. It became an instant bestseller.

The Bolivian Diary

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Bonaire/St Eustatius/Saba

Omeros – Derek Walcott

For these tiny Caribbean Islands we chose Derek Walcott’s epic poem, Omeros. The 4,000 line poem will wash over you in waves evoking the beauty and the landscape of this Caribbean idyll.


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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Zlata’s Diary – Zlata Filipovic

If you’re over 30, the chances are that when you think of Bosnia, you think of the Bosnian conflict. When Zlata’s Diary was first published at the height of that war, it became an international bestseller and was compared to The Diary of Anne Frank, both for the freshness of its voice and the grimness of the world it describes.

Zlata’s Diary

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Twenty Chickens for a Saddle – Robyn Scott

For Botswana we chose this stunning memoir that the author’s adventures of growing up in Botswana with her loving and eccentric family, an upbringing marked by her doctor father’s yearnings to be a vet, her holistic and home-schooling mother, and the apartheid mind-set embraced by their white neighbors.

Twenty Chickens for a Saddle

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Ancient Tillage – Raduan Nassar

For Brazil we chose this classic coming of age novel of Brazil. As Andre grows up and learns farming the land life consists of “the earth, the wheat, the bread, our table, and our family.” As he begins to harbor shameful feelings for his sister Ana, we follow his torment as he falls into the comforting embrace of liquor as―in his psychological and sexual awakening―he must choose between body and soul, obligation and freedom.

Ancient Tillage

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British Antarctic Territory

Chasing the Light – Jesse Blackadder

In Chasing the Light, Jesse Blackadder blurs fact and fiction as she takes us along on the journey of the first three women to Antarctica. Or is it the first three? Legend and ambition blur the reality as much as any creative license on the author’s part.

Chasing the Light

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British Virgin Islands

Two on the Isle – Robb White

Set in the Depression Era in the 1930s, Two on the Isle tells the story of two Americans who escaped all the misery and set up home in the then barren Marina Cay in the Virgin Islands.

Two on the Isle

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We hope you enjoyed the first list in this new blog series, we’ll be back with the next journey through literature in a few days, starting with Australia

As the series continues, you can try this search to find the rest of the blogs in this series. Alternatively if you’re looking for a specific country so far we have covered:

Afghanistan to Aruba

Australia to Belize

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