49 Incredible Books From 49 Different Countries


Go travel the world via novel and memoir while you are under Quarantine at home.


Ann Morgan is a American writer and book fantatic.

Amid a multitude of English and American authors, there were very few books from beyond the English-speaking world.

So she set an ambitious goal: to read one book from every country in the world over the course of a year. You can more about the book she wrote about literary challenge, “The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe.”

Below are 49 of the most interesting titles that Morgan included in her list.

Great keeping yourself busy while quarantined at home but still escaping through books.


Algeria

Amazon The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris by Leïla Marouane “Basile Tocquard is a handsome, wealthy, Parisian bank manager. Born in Algeria, his life was once devoted to Sundays with his mother, family reunions, pious sobriety, and devout Islamism. But now the time has come for him to find a suitable apartment in the trendiest neighborhood in Paris, for aperitifs at the Deux Magots and the Café de Flore, for shopping sprees at the most exclusive boutiques in Paris. And for a sex life free of prohibitions! Thus his adventures begin. Unfortunately for him, but to the delight of the reader, his story is filtered through a rather unsympathetic female narrator who refuses to show our hero the attention he feels he deserves.”


  • Colombia

Amazon Delirium by Laura Restrepo “Internationally acclaimed for the virtuosity and power of her fiction, Laura Restrepo has created in Delirium a passionate, lyrical, devastating tale of eros and insanity. Aguilar, an unemployed literature professor who has resorted to selling dog food for a living, returns home from a short trip to discover that his wife, Agustina, has gone mad. He doesn’t know what has happened during his absence, and in his search for answers, he gradually unearths profound and shadowy secrets about her past.”


  • Australia

Amazon Cloudstreet by Tim Winton “An epic novel that regularly tops the list of best-loved novels in Australia. After two separate catastrophes, two very different families leave the country for the bright lights of Perth. The Lambs are industrious, united, and―until God seems to turn His back on their boy Fish―religious. The Pickleses are gamblers, boozers, fractious, and unlikely landlords. Change, hardship, and the war force them to swallow their dignity and share a great, breathing, shuddering house called Cloudstreet.”


  • Saudi Arabia

Girls of Riyadh

by Rajaa Alsanea


“When Rajaa Alsanea boldly chose to open up the hidden world of Saudi women—their private lives and their conflicts with the traditions of their culture—she caused a sensation across the Arab world. Now in English, Alsanea’s tale of the personal struggles of four young upper-class women offers Westerners an unprecedented glimpse into a society often veiled from view. Living in restrictive Riyadh but traveling all over the globe, these modern Saudi women literally and figuratively shed traditional garb as they search for love, fulfillment, and their place somewhere in between Western society and their Islamic home.”



  • Japan

Twelve years have passed since Kei’s husband, Rei, disappeared and she was left alone with her three-year-old daughter. Her new relationship with a married man—the antithesis of Rei—has brought her life to a numbing stasis, and her relationships with her mother and daughter have spilled into routine, day after day. Kei begins making repeated trips to the seaside town of Manazuru, a place that jogs her memory to a moment in time she can never quite locate. Her time there by the water encompasses years of unsteady footing and a developing urgency to find something. Through a poetic style embracing the surreal and grotesque, a quiet tenderness emerges from these dark moments. Manazuru is a meditation on memory—a profound, precisely delineated exploration of the relationships between lovers and family members. Both startlingly restless and immaculately compact, Manazuru paints the portrait of a woman on the brink of her own memories and future.”


  • Dominican Republic

Amazon

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz “Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who—from the New Jersey home he shares with his old world mother and rebellious sister—dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. But Oscar may never get what he wants. Blame the fukú—a curse that has haunted Oscar’s family for generations, following them on their epic journey from Santo Domingo to the USA. Encapsulating Dominican-American history, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao opens our eyes to an astonishing vision of the contemporary American experience and explores the endless human capacity to persevere—and risk it all—in the name of love.”


Russia

Amazon One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn “The simply told story of a typical, grueling day of the titular character’s life in a labor camp in Siberia, is a modern classic of Russian literature and quickly cemented Solzhenitsyn’s international reputation.”


  • Ethiopia

Amazon Beneath the Lion’s Gaze by Maaza Mengiste “The brutal 1970s civil war in Ethiopia is the dramatic setting in this first novel, told from searing personal viewpoints that humanize the politics from many sides and without slick messages. The author, born in Addis Ababa and now living in New York, tells the story in unforgettable detail: between Emperor Haile Selassi in his lush palace set against the famine outside, captured in the image of a child gnawing on a stone.”


  • Uruguay

Amazon The Decapitated Chicken by Horacio Quiroga “Tales of horror, madness, and death, tales of fantasy and morality: these are the works of South American master storyteller Horacio Quiroga. Author of some 200 pieces of fiction that have been compared to the works of Poe, Kipling, and Jack London, Quiroga experienced a life that surpassed in morbidity and horror many of the inventions of his fevered mind... His stories are infused with death, too, but they span a wide range of short fiction genres: jungle tale, Gothic horror story, morality tale, psychological study.”


  • Liechtenstein

Amazon Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer “In this vivid memoir that has sold millions of copies worldwide, Liechtenstein’s Heinrich Harrer recounts his adventures as one of the first Europeans ever to enter Tibet and encounter the Dalai Lama.”


  • Turkey

Amazon The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak “[T]he most widely read female writer in Turkey... Shafak effortlessly blends East and West, past and present, to create a dramatic, compelling, and exuberant tale about how love works in the world. Shafak unfolds two parallel narratives-one set in the thirteenth century, when Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, the wandering dervish known as Shams of Tabriz, and one contemporary, as an unhappy American housewife, inspired by Rumi’s message of love, finds the courage to transform her life.”


  • Pakistan

Amazon The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad “A remarkable, award-winning book about the tribes of Pakistan and Afghanistan. In this extraordinary tale, Tor Baz, the young boy descended from both chiefs and outlaws who becomes the Wandering Falcon, moves between the tribes of Pakistan and Afghanistan and their uncertain worlds full of brutality, humanity, deep love, honor, poverty, and grace. The wild area he travels — the Federally Administered Tribal Area — has become a political quagmire known for terrorism and inaccessibility. Yet in these pages, eighty-year-old debut author Jamil Ahmad lyrically and insightfully reveals the people who populate those lands, their tribes and traditions, and their older, timeless ways in the face of sometimes ruthless modernity. This story is an essential glimpse into a hidden world, one that has enormous geopolitical significance today and still remains largely a mystery to us.”

  • Bhutan

Amazon The Circle of Karma by Kunzang Choden “The first novel by a woman to come out of the small kingdom of Bhutan. Written in English, the novel tells the story of Tsomo, a young Bhutanese woman who embarks on the difficult and lonely journey of life. Tsomo’s travels, which begin after her mother’s death, take her away from her family, and leads her across Bhutan and into India. All the while, Tsomo seeks to find herself and a life partner, and grows as a person and a woman. The text of this unusual work is enriched by detailed descriptions of ritual life in Bhutan.”


  • Senegal

Amazon So Long a Letter by Mariama Bâ “Written by award-winning African novelist Mariama Ba and translated from the original French, So Long a Letter has been recognized as one of Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century. The brief narrative, written as an extended letter, is a sequence of reminiscences—some wistful, some bitter—recounted by recently widowed Senegalese schoolteacher Ramatoulaye Fall. Addressed to a lifelong friend, Aissatou, it is a record of Ramatoulaye’s emotional struggle for survival after her husband betrayed their marriage by taking a second wife. This semi-autobiographical account is a perceptive testimony to the plight of educated and articulate Muslim women. Angered by the traditions that allow polygyny, they inhabit a social milieu dominated by attitudes and values that deny them status equal to men.”


  • Mexico

Amazon Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel “Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother’s womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef. She shares special points of her favorite preparations with listeners throughout the story.”


  • Iceland

Amazon Stone Tree by Gyrõir Elíasson “Along the lonely western shores of Iceland, among its vast mountain ranges and its barren lava fields, this sublime collection of short stories blends the desires and efforts of its numerous protagonists, nearly all intent on taking leave of their normal lives in order to pursue their dreams more seriously.”


  • Guatemala

Amazon The President by Miguel Angel Asturias “Winner! Nobel Prize for Literature. Guatemalan diplomat and writer Miguel Angel Asturias began this award-winning work while still a law student. It is a story of ruthless dictator and his schemes to dispose of a political adversary in an unnamed Latin American country usually identified as Guatemala. The book has been acclaimed for portraying both a totalitarian government and its damaging psychological effects. Drawing from his experiences as a journalist writing under repressive conditions, Asturias employs such literary devices as satire to convey the government