Around the World reading in 2021

anonymous person magnifying view of coins shaped in world map

While I’m rounding up my 2021 reading, I wanted to take a look at how I did with my goal of reading more books written or set in in different countries of the world (see my Around the World page for full details of what I’ve read so far). I was pleased to see that I managed quite a few this year, although non-European countries were weakly represented. I’d like to read more of those next year.

I’m a bit loose in deciding what books count for this project, including authors who have lived in or thoroughly researched a country, as well as those who were born there and speak the native language. Mostly I try to focus on books that are mainly set in a single country, with a few exceptions for interesting cross-cultural or immigrant narratives. And I count multiple books from the same country. I find this gives different perspectives that are fascinating. I also count regions that are not officially separate countries, like Wales and Crete, when historically and geographically they do have a separate identity. And I included a historical novel set in ancient Italy (Pompeii), because the setting was so wonderfully imagined.

Have you read any of these, or would you like to? What would you recommend for an around the world reading tour?

anonymous person magnifying view of coins shaped in world map
Photo by Monstera on

8 thoughts on “Around the World reading in 2021

  1. Great to see you visited so many places in your reading, I don’t think I’ve read any of these, though many are familiar.

    From my favourites this year, I can recommend for Uganda The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, for Cameroon How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue and for France Winter Flowers by Angelique Villeneuve.

    A favourite author of mine is Maryse Condé from Guadeloupe, her Tales From the Heart, Stories From Childhood is excellent or her novel Crossing the Mangrove.

  2. Ooh, well done! I’ve done the Ozeki, none of the others. But I have covered this year (so far)
    The Gambia

    which I’m quite pleased with (please excuse the pasted list from my spreadsheet, I couldn’t face putting all the commas in!)

    1. I’m sure you do Jean, you are always reading something interesting. I imagine when you look at what you read this year you’ll find it’s been more extensive than you think.

    1. I’m missing a lot, especially in South and Central America and Africa. So it will be fun to trawl your list for more ideas (I also still have the copy of The World Between Two Covers from your giveaway, I have to get into that soon too!)

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