Read Around the World: Montenegro to New Caledonia

We’re more than half way through our blog series now, storming through the world alphabetically as we 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 Mongolia, we’re starting this list at Montenegro.

Join us on our literary world trip as we read around the world in more than 200 books.


Montenegro – Starling Lawrence

In 1908, with world war a dark prophecy on the horizon, an English traveler, Auberon Harwell, enters a far valley in Montenegro — a spy sent to assess the political situation while posing as a botanist. Drawn into the drama of a young Serb in love with an unattainable woman, Harwell’s sense of duty and honor will be severely compromised by his own dangerous desires — leading him toward a shattering confrontation that will forever change the world he thought he knew.


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At Home with Miss Vanesa – E. A Markham

The returnees are making a new life on a Caribbean island they call home. After all their time in London, Boston, and Paris, their birthplace now presents something of a challenge. But when Miss Vanesa’s artistic club meets on the narrative verandah there’s seduction and sardines, Jacuzzis and world affairs to keep them busy. Nora, Fred, and Vanessa like to discuss the foolishness of men and draft letters to exclude undesirables.

At Home with Miss Vanesa

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The Caliph’s House – Tahir Shah

In the tradition of A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun, acclaimed English travel writer Tahir Shah shares a highly entertaining account of making an exotic dream come true. By turns hilarious and harrowing, here is the story of his family’s move from the gray skies of London to the sun-drenched city of Casablanca, where Islamic tradition and African folklore converge–and nothing is as easy as it seems….

The Caliph’s House – Tahir Shah

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Secrets in the Fire – Henning Mankell

It is the wise old woman of the village who teaches young Sofia about the secrets in the fire. Within the flames hide all things past and all things yet to be. But not even old Muazena can see the horrors the fire holds for Sofia and her family—not the murderous bandits who drive them from their home, and not the landmine that takes Sofia’s legs. In her long journey toward recovery, Sofia must still deal with growing up.

Secrets in the Fire – Henning Mankell

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The Glass Castle – Amitav Ghosh

Set in Burma (now Myanmar) during the British invasion of 1885, this masterly novel tells the story of Rajkumar, a poor boy lifted on the tides of political and social chaos, who goes on to create an empire in the Burmese teak forest. When soldiers force the royal family out of the Glass Palace and into exile, Rajkumar befriends Dolly, a young woman in the court of the Burmese Queen, whose love will shape his life. He cannot forget her, and years later, as a rich man, he goes in search of her.

The Glass Palace

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The Purple Violet of Ashaantu – Neshani Andreas

Through the voice of Mee Ali, readers experience the rhythms and rituals of life in rural Namibia in interconnected stories. In Oshaantu, a place where women are the backbone of the home but are expected to submit to patriarchal dominance, Mee Ali is happily married. Her friend, Kauna, however, suffers at the hands of an abusive husband. When he is found dead at home, many of the villagers suspect her of poisoning him.

The Purple Violet of Oshaantu

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Talash – Chandra Bhushan S. Mishra

Written from the author’s own experience of living on Pleasant Island, Republic of Nauru, Talash gives a unique insight to this beautiful island nation, seen through the eyes of one visitor.


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The Snow Leopard – Peter Matthiessen

In 1973, Peter Matthiessen and field biologist George Schaller traveled high into the remote mountains of Nepal to study the Himalayan blue sheep and possibly glimpse the rare and beautiful snow leopard. Matthiessen, a student of Zen Buddhism, was also on a spiritual quest to find the Lama of Shey at the ancient shrine on Crystal Mountain. As the climb proceeds, Matthiessen charts his inner path as well as his outer one, with a deepening Buddhist understanding of reality, suffering, impermanence, and beauty.

The Snow Leopard

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The Upstairs Room – Johanna Reiss

So many books came to mind when considering the Netherlands, many of them set in WWI, including The Hiding Place, and A Diary of a Young Girl, but we choose The Upstairs Room for this list.

When the German army occupied Holland in 1940, Annie was only eight years old. Because she was Jewish, the occupation put her in grave danger. Most people thought the war wouldn’t last long, but Annie knew that if she wanted to stay alive, she would have to go into hiding.

The Upstairs Room

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New Caledonia

Nights of Storytelling – Raylene Ramsay

Nights of Storytelling is the first book to present and contextualize the founding texts of New Caledonia, a country sui generis in the relatively little-known French Pacific. Extracts from literary, ethnographic, and historical works in English translation introduce the many voices of a diverse culture as it moves toward “independence” or the “common destiny” framed by the 1998 Noumea Agreements.

Nights of Storytelling

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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 New Zealand.

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

Chad to Cuba

Curaçao to Egypt

El Salvador to Finland

France to Greece

Grenada to Hungary

Iceland to Japan

Kazakhstan to Lesotho

Liberia to Malta

Marshall Islands to Mongolia

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