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 New Caledonia, we’re starting this list at New Zealand.
Join us on our literary world trip as we read around the world in more than 200 books.
The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to stake his claim in New Zealand’s booming gold rush. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: a wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous cache of gold has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.
The Jaguar Smile – Salman Rushdie
In The Jaguar Smile, Rushdie paints a brilliantly sharp and haunting portrait of the people, the politics, the terrain, and the poetry of “a country in which the ancient, opposing forces of creation and destruction were in violent collision.” Recounting his travels there in 1986, in the midst of America’s behind-the-scenes war against the Sandinistas, Rushdie reveals a nation resounding to the clashes between government and individuals, history and morality.
Still Waters in Niger – Kathleen Hill
The unnamed, Irish-American narrator of Hill’s transporting, semi-autobiographical first novel returns, after 17 years, to the searing heat of West Africa and the quiet sound of children murmuring thanks to Allah when a coin is dropped in their open palms. She comes to visit her grown daughter, Zara, who works in a medical clinic in Matameye, Nigeria, near the town Zara had lived in as a child.
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart is the first of three novels in Chinua Achebe’s critically acclaimed African Trilogy. It is a classic narrative about Africa’s cataclysmic encounter with Europe as it establishes a colonial presence on the continent. Told through the fictional experiences of Okonkwo, a wealthy and fearless Igbo warrior of Umuofia in the late 1800s, Things Fall Apart explores one man’s futile resistance to the devaluing of his Igbo traditions by British political andreligious forces and his despair as his community capitulates to the powerful new order.
Milkman – Anna Burns
Milkman is a story of the way inaction can have enormous repercussions, in a time when the wrong flag, wrong religion, or even a sunset can be subversive. Told with ferocious energy and sly, wicked humor, Milkman establishes Anna Burns as one of the most consequential voices of our day.
The Orphan Master’s Son – Adam Johnson
Part breathless thriller, part story of innocence lost, part story of romantic love, The Orphan Master’s Son is also a riveting portrait of a world heretofore hidden from view: a North Korea rife with hunger, corruption, and casual cruelty but also camaraderie, stolen moments of beauty, and love.
A Spare Life – Lidija Dimkovska
Zlata and Srebra are 12-year-old twins conjoined at the head. It is 1984 and they live in Skopje, which will one day be the capital of Macedonia but is currently a part of Yugoslavia. A Spare Life tells the story of their childhood, from their only friend Roze to their neighbor Bogdan, so poor that he one day must eat his pet rabbit.
Out Stealing Horses – Per Petterson
Set in the easternmost region of Norway, Out Stealing Horses begins with an ending. Sixty-seven-year-old Trond has settled into a rustic cabin in an isolated area to live the rest of his life with a quiet deliberation. A meeting with his only neighbor, however, forces him to reflect on that fateful summer.
The Sultan’s Shadow – Christiane Bird
A story virtually unknown in the West, about two of the Middle East’s most remarkable figures—Oman’s Sultan Said and his rebellious daughter Princess Salme—comes to life in this narrative. From their capital on the sultry African island of Zanzibar, Sultan Said and his descendants were shadowed and all but shattered by the rise and fall of the nineteenth-century East African slave trade.
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 Palau.
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: