World in Books: Travel through Reading

Some years ago I realized that I have read substantial amount of European/American literature but nothing from many countries around the world. So, I have decided to read at least one book from each country in the world. I still haven’t accomplished this task, but working on it 🙂

Here is the list I am compiling. I tried to find the most reveled writers/novels from each country. I mainly go for fiction and try to forego poems, biographies, etc. Of course, given the limited number of languages I can read in and the limited availability of some books, finding the titles on this list is not always easy. As a result, some of these are the novels I liked, others are simply the only ones I have read from that particular country.

Many of the books on the list I have already read, some are waiting on my bookshelves to be read and copies of some I am still looking for.

This list is missing titles from a lot of countries and I will be happy to receive recommendations.


  1. Afghanistan

Khaled Hosseini – Kite Runner

Atiq Rahimi – Patience of Stone

  1. Albania

Ismail Kadare – Broken April

  1. Algeria

Mohammed Dib – Algerian Trilogy

Assia Djebar – So Vast the Prison

  1. Andorra

Albert Salvadó – The Teacher of Cheops

  1. Angola

Agualusa – My father’s wives, The Book of Chameleons

Ondjaki – Good Morning Comrades

  1. Antigua & Barbuda

Jamaica Kincaid – Lucy

  1. Argentina

Julio Cortázar – Hopscotch

Borges – Ficciones

  1. Armenia

Khachatur Abovian – Wounds of Armenia

Hovhannes Tumanyan

  1. Australia

Colleen McCullough – The thorn birds

Markus Zusack – the book thief

  1. Austria

Stefan Zweig – Mary Stuart

Elfriede Jelinek – the piano teacher

  1. Azerbaijan

Ali and Nino

  1. Bahamas

Ian Strachan – God’s angry babies

  1. Bahrain

Ali Saeed – Quixotiq

Sarah Shaffi- Yumai

  1. Bangladesh

Tahmima Anam – Golden Age

Zahir Raihan – For Thousand Years

  1. Barbados

George Lamming – In the Castle of My Skin

  1. Belarus

Svetlana Alexeevich – Voices from Chernobyl

  1. Belgium

Amelie Nothomb – Bluebird

  1. Belize

Zee Edgell – Beka Lamb

  1. Bhutan

Choden – The Circle of Karma

  1. Bolivia

Alcides Arguedas – bronze Race

  1. Bosnia & Herzegovina

Ivo Andrich – The bridge on Drina

Meša Selimović – Death and Dervish

  1. Botswana

Bessie Head – When rain clouds gather

  1. Brazil

Jorge Amado – Gabriela, Dona Flor

Machado de Assis – Dom Casmurro

  1. Brunei

Aammton Alias – The Last Bastion of Ingei, Imminent

  1. Bulgaria

Ivan Vazov – Ude Yoka

Georgi Gospodinov – Natural Novel

  1. Burkina Faso

Norbert Zongo – Parachute Drop

  1. Cambodia

Vaddey Ratner – In the Shadow of the Banyan

Loung Ung – First They Killed My Father

  1. Cameroon

Mongo Beti – Mission to Kala

Ferdinand Oyono – Houseboy

  1. Canada

Margaret Atwood – Handmaid’s tale

  1. Cape Verde

Germano Almeida – The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva Araújo

  1. CAR

Pierre Makombo Bamboté – Princesse Mandapu

  1. Chile

Isabel Allende – House of Spirits

  1. China

Mo Yan – Red Sorghum

Cao Xueqin – Dream of the Red Chamber

Eileen Chang – Love in the fallen city

  1. Colombia

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Love in the time of cholera

  1. Comoros

Mohamed Toihiri – The Kafir of Karthala

  1. Congo

Alain Mabanckou – Broken Glass

  1. DRC

Valentin Y Mudimbe – Before the Birth of the Moon

  1. Costa Rica

José León Sánchez – Island of Lonely Men

  1. Cote D’Ivoire

Ahmadou Kourouma – Allah is Not Obliged

  1. Croatia

Krleza – Edge of Reason, Return of Philip Latinowicz

Diakalic – Café Europaine

  1. Cuba

Alejo Carpentier – Explosion in a Cathedral

Leonardo Padura The Man Who Loved Dogs

  1. Cyprus

Panos Ioannides – Census

  1. Czech Republic

Bohumil Hrabal – I Served the King of England

Milan Kundera – The Unbearable Lightness of Being

  1. Denmark

Henrik Ibsen – Doll house

Blixen – out of Africa

  1. Djibouti

Abdourahman A. Waberi – Passage of tears

  1. Dominica

Jean Rhys – Wide Sargasso Sea

  1. Dominican Republic

Junot Diaz – The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

  1. East Timor

Cardoso – The Crossing

  1. Ecuador

Jorge Icaza – Huasipungo

Martinez –

  1. Egypt

Baha Tahir – Aunt Safiya and the Monastery

Naguib Mahfouz – The Cairo Trilogy

  1. El Salvador

Horacio Castellanos Moya – Senselessness

  1. Equatorial Guinea

Donato Ndongo-Bidyogo – Shadows of Your Black Memory

  1. Eritrea

Sulaiman Addonia – The Consequences of Love

  1. Estonia

Kross – The Czar’s Madman

Mati Unt The Autumn Ball

  1. Ethiopia

Dinaw Mengestu – All our names

Maaza Mengiste – Beneath the Lion’s Gaze

  1. Fiji

Epeli Hauʻofa – Tales of the Tikongs

  1. Finland

Väinö Linna – Under the North Star

Tove Jansson – Tales from Moominvalley

  1. France

I simply can’t make a choice here, I have too many favourates, what with Hugo, Stendahl, Dumas, Verne, Balzac, etc. etc.

  1. Germany

Herman Hesse – Steppenwolf

  1. Georgia

Guram Dochanashvili – First Robe

As his novella – The man who loved literature is not translated, if at all translatable

  1. Ghana

Armah – The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born

Gyasi – homegoing

  1. Guatemala

Asturias – Senor President

  1. Guinea

Camara Laye – The Radiance of the King

  1. Greece

Nikos Kazantzakis – Zorba the Greek

  1. Guyana

Wilson Harris – Palace of the Peacock

  1. Haiti

Danticat – Breathe, Eyes, Memory

  1. Honduras

Ramón Amaya Amador – Cipotes

  1. Hungary

Antal Szerb – Journey by moonlight

Imre Kertész – Fatelessness

  1. Iceland

Haldor Laxness – The Fish can sing

  1. Israel

Amos Oz – My Michael

  1. Italy

Italo Calvino – If on a winter’s night a traveler

I will bypass the classics like Dante and Bocaccio.

I quite like Eco and Pirandello as well J

  1. India

Arundhati Roy – The God of small things

Amitav Ghosh – the Glass Palace

  1. Indonesia

Pramoedya Ananta Toer – The Buru Quartet

  1. Iraq

Fadhil Al-Azzawi – The Last of the Angels

Ahmed Sadawi – Frankenstein in Baghdad

  1. Iran

Goli Taraghi

Marjane Satrapi – Persepolis

  1. Ireland

As Ulysses is one of those few books lying on my shelf for ages, though I just can’t get around reading it, here are some other books J

George Bernard Shaw – Pygmalion

Oscar Wild – Picture of Dorian Gray

  1. Japan

Kobo Abe – The woman in sand

Haruki Murakami – Norwegian wood

  1. Kazakhstan

Mukhtar Auezov – Abai

  1. Kenya

Ngugi Wa Thiong’o – A Grain of Wheat

  1. Kiribati

Teweiariki Teaero – Waa in Storms

  1. Kyrgizstan

Chingiz Aitmatov – Jamila

  1. Kuwait

Saud Alsanousi – Bamboo Stalk

  1. Latvia

Alberts Bels – The Cage

Blaumanis – in the shadow of death

  1. Lebanon

Amin Maalouf – Samarkand

  1. Lesotho

Mofolo – Chaka

  1. Liechtenstein

Iren Nigg

  1. Libya

Ibrahim Al Kuni – The Bleeding of the Stone

  1. Lithuania

Ričardas Gavelis – Vilnius Poker

Balys Sruoga Forest of the Gods

  1. North Macedonia

Venko Andonovski – Navel of the World

  1. Madagascar

Naivo – Beyond the Rice Fields

  1. Malaysia

Tan Twan Eng – Garden of Evening mists

Samad Said – Salina

  1. Malawi

Steve Chimombo – The Basket Girl

  1. Maldives

Abdullah Sadiq – Dhon Hiyala and Ali Fulhu

  1. Mali

Amadou Hampâté Bâ – The Strange Destiny of Wangrin

  1. Malta

Immanuel Mifsud – In the Name of the Father

  1. Mexico

Carlos Fuentes – The Death of Artemio Cruz

  1. Morocco

Taher Ben Jelloun

  1. Mozambique

Mia Couto – Terra Somnambula

Paulina Chiziane – Niketche

  1. Nepal

Narayan Wagle – Palpasa Cafe

  1. Netherlands

Anne Frank’s Diary

Herman Koch – Naked lunch

  1. New Zealand

Keri Hulme – Bone people

  1. Nicaragua

Ruben Dario – Azul

  1. Nigeria

Chihua Achebe – Things Fall Apart

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  1. Norway

Hamsun – Mysteries

  1. Oman

Abdulaziz Al Farsi – Earth Weeps, Saturn Laughs

  1. Palestine

Ghassan Kanafani – Men in the Sun

  1. Pakistan

Mohsin Hamid – The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Mohammed Hanif – The case of exploding mangoes

  1. Panama

Gloria Guardia – Freedom in flames

  1. Papua New Guinea

Vincent Eri – The Crocodile

  1. Paraguay

Augusto Roa Bastos – I the Supreme

  1. Peru

Ljosa – Aunt Julia and the Screenwriter

  1. Philippines

Rizal – Noli me Tangere, El Filibusterismo


  1. Poland

Sienkiewicz – Quo Vadis, With Fire and Sword

Boleslaw Pruss – The Doll

  1. Portugal

Saramago – Blindness

  1. Romania

Herta Müller – The Hunger Angel

Mircea Eliade – The Forbidden Forest

  1. Russia

Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Turgenev – choice is very difficult

Dostoevsky – Crime and Punishment

  1. Rwanda

Scholastique Mukasonga – Our lady of the Nile

  1. Saint Lucia

Derek Walcott – Omeros

  1. Samoa

albert wendt – leaves of the banyan tree

  1. Saudi Arabia

Rajaa al-Sanea – Girls of Riyadh

  1. Senegal

Mariama Ba – So Long the letter

  1. Serbia

Milorad Pavich – Khazar Dictionary

  1. Sierra Leone

Aminatta Forna – Memory of Love

  1. Singapore

Rachel Heng – Suicide Club

  1. Slovakia

Peter Pišťanek – Rivers of Babylon

  1. Slovenia

Vladimir Bartol – Alamut

Drago Jančar – I Saw Her That Night

  1. Solomon Islands

Rexford Orotaloa – Two Times Resurrection

  1. Somalia

Nuruddin Farah – From a Crooked Rib ; Crossbones

  1. South Africa

Coetzee – Life and Times of Michael K , Disgrace

Nadine Gordimer – Burger’s Daughter

  1. South Korea

Han Kang – the Vegetarian

  1. Sri Lanka

Michael Ondaatje

Shyam Selvadurai – Cinnamon Gardens

  1. Spain

Cervantes – Don Quixote

Unamuno – Mist

  1. Sudan

Tayeb Salih – Season of Migration to the North

  1. Suriname

Cyntia McLeod – Cost of Sugar

  1. Sweden

Astrid Lindgren – well, anything J

Selma Lagerlof

  1. Switzerland

Max Frisch – Homo Faber

Friedrich Dürrenmatt – The Pledge

  1. Syria

Rafik Schami – Dark side of love

Salwa al Neimi – The proof of the honey

  1. Taiwan

Li-Hung Hsiao – A Thousand Moons on a Thousand Rivers

  1. Tanzania

Abdulrazak Gurnah – Desertion

  1. Thailand

Kukrit Pramoj – Four Reigns

  1. Tonga

Joshua Taumoefolau – A Providence of War

  1. Trinidad &Tobago

V.S. Naipaul – A House For Mr Biswas

Shiva Naipaul – Chip Chip Gatherers

  1. Tunisia

Hassouna Mosbahi – A Tunisian Tale

  1. Turkey

Reşat Nuri Güntekin – The Wren

I am not such a fan of the famous modern authors, Pamuk or Shafak.

  1. UAE

Maha Gargash – The Sand Fish

  1. Uganda

Isegawa – Abysinian Chronicles

Plot p’Bitek – White Teeth

  1. Ukraine

Gogol – Taras Bulba

  1. UK

Shakespeare to Austen, Dickens to Hillary Mantel it’s extremely difficult to choose a favorite

Orwell – 1984

  1. USA

Another difficult choice, but I will go for

Bradbury – Fahrenheit 451

Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby

  1. Uruguay

Juan Carlos Onetti The Shipyard

Eduardo Hughes Galeano – Walking words

  1. Venezuela

Rómulo Gallegos – Donna Barbara

  1. Vietnam

Viet Thanh Nguyen – Sympathizer

Bao Ninh – The Sorrow of War

  1. Yemen

Zayd Mutee Dammaj, The Hostage

  1. Zambia

Luka Mwango – Perdition

  1. Zimbabwe

Tsitsi Dangarembga – Nervous Conditions

Charles Mungoshi – Waiting for the rain

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