Read Around the World: Chad to Cuba

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


African Rice Heart – Emily Star Wilkens

Emily recently returned from a second trip to Chad where she worked with a malnutrition program and lived with Jolie and Samedi’s family. African Rice Heart is an earthy, candid, and poetic narrative that traces Emilys journey of growth, challenge, and discovery and the sense of belonging she found in her year in Chad.

African Rice Heart

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The House of Spirits – Isabel Allende

The House of Spirits is Allende’s first, unforgettable novel and brings to life the triumphs and tragedies of three generations of the Trueba family in Chile, bringing to life the personal and political aspects of live in a truly unforgettable tale.

The House of Spirits

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Joy Luck Club – Amy Tan

Four mothers, four daughters, four families whose stories change depending on who’s telling the tale. It’s 1949 and four Chinese women who are recent immigrants to San Francisco begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong and talk. They may be in San Francisco but be under no illusion, this iconic classic is a novel of China.

Joy Luck Club

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One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This classic novel tells the story of the rise and fall of a mythical town in Colombia through the history of one family. Inventive, amusing, and sad, the story is brimming with truth, compassion and a lyrical magic that Marquez creates in this fantastic work of fiction.

One Hundred Years of Solitude

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Stars and Keys – Lee Haring

Stars and Keys is a collection of folk tales from the Southwest Indian Ocean, bringing to life the belief and unique blend of rich culture from Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Réunion, and the Comoros.

Stars and Keys

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A Bend in the River – V. S Naipaul

In this brilliant and iconic novel V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man—an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isolated town at the bend of a great river in a newly independent African nation. A convincing and disturbing vision of what happens in a place caught between the dangerously alluring modern world and its own tenacious past and traditions.

A Bend in the River

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Costa Rica

Happier than a Billionaire – Nadine Hays Pisani

Nadine Pisani quit her job, followed her dream and started a new life in Costa Rica. his is her funny, and insightful account of adjusting to a different life, unreliable services, and some quirky neighbours too.

Happier than a Billionaire

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Cote  d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Aya – Marguerite Abouet

Aya tells the story of its nineteen-year-old heroine, her easygoing friends Adjoua and Bintou, and their meddling relatives and neighbors. It’s a breezy and wryly funny account of the desire for joy and freedom, and of the simple pleasures and private troubles of everyday life in Yop City, Ivory Coast. Aya is the first in a series of books.


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The People We Were Before – Annabelle Thorpe

Growing up in the borderlands between Croatia and Serbia, Miro’s blissful childhood is shattered when his best friend is horribly wounded by a land mine, a legacy of conflicts gone by. When he moves to the Dalmatian Coast with his parents to start a small hotel he thinks he’s left it all behind, but as his country descends into another devastating war, destroys the life he’s worked to build.

The People We Were Before

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Slow Train to Guantanamo – Peter Millar

There are so many well known books set in Cuba but we couldn’t resist this fantastic nonfiction travelogue, starting in the romantic capital of Havana and taking in the Cuban countryside and its people from the ramshackle Cuban railway system that was once the pride of Latin America.

Slow Train to Guantanamo

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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 Curaçao.

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

Brunei to Central African Republic

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