Read Around the World: Brunei to Central African Republic

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 the British Virgin Islands, so today we’re covering ten countries from Brunei to the Central African Republic. Join us on our literary world trip as we read around the world in more than 200 books.


True Ghost Stories of Borneo – Aammton Alias

Brunei is a tiny nation on the island of Borneo and our selection takes in traditional folk tales and supernatural encounters from this paradise island. The collection includes more than thirty stories and many have no satisfying explanation.

True Ghost Stories of Borneo

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Street Without a Name – Kapka Kassabova

Kassabova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and grew up under the drab, muddy, grey mantle of one of communism’s most mindlessly authoritarian regimes. Escaping with her family as soon as possible after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, she lived in Britain, New Zealand, and Argentina, and several other places. But when Bulgaria was formally inducted to the European Union she decided it was time to return to the home she had spent most of her life trying to escape.

Street Without a Name

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Burkino Faso

I Dansé: Welcome to Burkina Faso – Gabriel R. Goguen

A big shot computer consultant finds himself in the middle of a love triangle involving an international soccer player, and a local teacher who likes to cast spells and explore the traditional occult possibilities of Burkina Faso’s magic, sorcery and potions. Follow the characters as they explore what it means to evolve into modern society in the midst of traditional values, religion and animist beliefs.

I Dansé

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Life After Violence – Peter Uvin

Burundi recently emerged from twelve years of civil war. In this book, ordinary Burundians, farmers, artisans, traders, mothers, soldiers and students talk about the past and the future, war and peace, their hopes for a better life and their relationships with each other and the state. Young men, in particular, often seen as the cause of violence, talk about the difficulties of living up to standards of masculinity in an impoverished and war-torn society.

Life After Violence

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First They Killed My Father – Loung Ung

One of seven children of a high-ranking government official, Loung Ung lived a privileged life in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh until the age of five. Then, in April 1975, Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into the city, forcing Ung’s family to flee and, eventually, to disperse. Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans, her siblings were sent to labor camps, and those who survived the horrors would not be reunited until the Khmer Rouge was destroyed.

First They Killed My Father

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Your Madness, Not Mine – Makuchi

Women’s writing in Cameroon has so far been dominated by Francophone writers. The short stories in this collection represent the yearnings and vision of an Anglophone woman, who writes both as a Cameroonian and as a woman whose life has been shaped by the minority status her people occupy within the nation-state.

Your Madness, Not Mine

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Anne of Green Gables – L. M. Montgomery

When it came to Canada, only one book would do. This is the story of Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, who is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.

Anne of Green Gables

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Cape Verde

Other American Dreams – Sergio F. Monteiro

On a quiet island nation in the Atlantic Ocean, where the easy pace of life draws thousands of tourists a year to its serene beaches, a boat full of dead migrants has washed up on its shores unannounced. Shocking the residents of this sleepy tourist destination as well as local policeman, Sergeant Abel ‘Aranha’ Teixeira. But there is a secret world hidden from the view of tourists and Aranha is no stranger to the corruption that plagues his otherwise picture perfect island home.

Other American Dreams

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Cayman Islands

So, You Want to Live on an Island – Gay Morse

This book is a hilarious account of true stories as experienced by a dive instructor on the island of Little Cayman. Most people think that the day to day life of a dive master is that dream job of the Caribbean. However, you would never imagine that searching for lost dentures, chasing floating toupees, or answering silly questions are all part of the daily routine. The book offers the pros and cons of island life as well as interesting historical data about the island of Little Cayman, great tips for surviving life on an island as well as local nicknames for fish, birds, and trees.

So, You Want to Live on an Island

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Central African Republic

State of Rebellion – Louisa Lombard

In 2012, a wave of violence swept through the Central African Republic as Seleka rebels clashed with anti-Balaka militias. In the face of seemingly senseless bloodshed, journalists, politicians, and scholars struggled to account for the conflict’s origins. In this first comprehensive account of the violence, Louisa Lombard argues that the conflict was more than a straightforward religious clash between Christians and Muslims. Instead, she traces the roots of the conflict to fears of spiritual insecurity and a social breakdown that drove inter-communal violence.

State of Rebellion

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We hope you’re enjoying this new blog series, we’ll be back with the next journey through literature in a few days, starting with Chad.

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

Benin to British Virgin Islands

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