Thursday 22 October 2015

Travel the World in Books: Africa, Asia, Australia & Europe

Travel the World in Books Readathon, Oct. 18-31, 2015. Mini-challenges to inspire you to think outside the book!

As promised I'm running a couple of days behind schedule on the discussion topics for the Travel the World in Books Readathon, but here I am with day 4 and day 5 combined! I'm going to go by continent and mention the highlights of what I've read. None of them have as many as I'd like them to but that can be rectified!


We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is a mini book version of the TED talk that she gave and is absolutely fascinating and just so important. If I could, I would make everybody read it. It's particularly interesting to see feminism from a non-Western point of view.

The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi
This book is set between London and Nigeria and is the story of eight year old Jessamy, a child with an active imagination, and her struggle to come to terms with both her English and Nigerian heritage. It's a little bit creepy, a little bit mysterious and very well written.

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
I'm including this even though I had to return it to the library unfinished because I only stopped reading it due to time constraints, not because I didn't like it. It tells the story of four brothers who decide to become fishermen and the tragedy that befalls their family because of that decision. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year and incorporates a lot of Nigerian fairytale elements into it. I'm planning to finish it sometime soon.


Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
I've read Kafka on the Shore by Murakami as well as getting distracted a few (very enjoyable) chapters into 1Q84 which I will be getting back to soon. I read Norwegian Wood way back in 2012 and looking back on my posts about it (I read it as part of a readalong) there were things I loved and things I really didn't like. I like the way Murakami writes relationships though, they always seem to be fairly detached, in as much as they don't take over the entire book. He also writes well about people's internal state, and this book is very much about the psychological condition of the main character, Toru.

Map of the Invisible World by Tash Aw

A beautifully written novel about Indonesia during the '60s. Rereading my review I remember very little about it, but I have clung onto a desire to read more of Tash Aw's work and the memory that I learned a lot from it!


The Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart

This is the only book I remember reading that's actually set in Australia, which I kind of feel terrible about, but it's a very good one! It's nonfiction and about how Susan Maushart got rid of technology from the lives of herself and her kids for a 3 month period. They lived in Perth while 'the experiment' was going on and it is mentioned quite a lot but it's not really the central focus of the book. Regardless, I would highly recommend this book, particularly if you're interested in how technology affects our habits.


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This book is super cute. Anna is sent by her father to the American School in Paris for her senior year, where she meets Etienne...It's YA and just really lovely, all about exploring Paris and falling in love.

Chocolat, The Lollipop Shoes and Peaches for Monsieur Le Cure by Joanne Harris

A trio of books about chocolatier Vianne Rocher and her various adventures around (mostly rural) France. These books are full of magic and wonder and yumminess and they are some of my favourites. Actually I'd highly recommend all of Joanne Harris's work, but these fulfill the international criteria.

Books, Baguettes & Bedbugs: The Left Bank World of Shakespeare and Co by Jeremy Mercer

This is Jeremy Mercer's memoir about the time that he spent in the famous Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company. It's fantastic, and if you didn't already want to go there its tales of eccentricity and literacy will definitely make you want to!

That's all I have for today but I've been reading everyone else's posts and my TBR has already grown exponentially!


  1. I've read Norwegian Wood (liked it a lot!) and We Should All Be Feminists (LOVED it). The others I need to add!

  2. YES ... I am so glad Adichie is here. She's such an amazing writer. And more book recs; my head is spinning :)