Weekly Geeks: Where in the world have you been?

Weekly Geeks: Where in the world have you been?

This week’s Weekly Geeks asks you to tell us about your globe trotting via books. Are you a global reader? How many countries have you “visited” in your reading? What are your favorite places or cultures to read about? Can you recommend particularly good books about certain regions, countries or continents? How do you find out about books from other countries? What countries would you like to read that you haven’t yet?


It took me at least an hour to think of the many countries I’ve visited in books. Of course the United States was one of the easiest countries. To my surprise so was France, Chile, and Spain.  I  realized how little I’ve visited Asia and Africa. All together though I’ve been to 34 countries through my reading. A few of my favorite books from other countries are:


A Man, a Woman, and a Man by Savyon Liebrecht. Fiction. Israel. I found this book years ago at my local library. When I tried to find it again last year, I was dismayed to find that my library no longer has it. Hamutal and Saul meet at the nursing home that their parents reside. Soon they start an adulterous affair and both fall in love. From what I remember of this book, it was the plot and the beautiful language that kept me reading.

The Killer’s Tears by Anne-Laure Bondoux. Fiction, young adult. France. I don’t remember how I found this book but I’m glad I did. Angel Allegria is a killer on the run from the police. When he encounters the Poloverdos’ farmhouse, he kills both parents but spare their son Paolo. This is the start of an unlikely friendship between the two. I love the first sentence, “No one ever arrived here by chance”.

Blindness by Jose Saramago. Fiction. Portugal. I read Blindness years ago and feel in love with Saramago’s writing. Blindness is Saramgo’s exploration in what would happened if people suddenly went blind with no reason behind it. Lyrical but yet haunting, Blindness is a book I still think about.

Any suggestions for Africa?

22 thoughts on “Weekly Geeks: Where in the world have you been?

  1. Thanks for reminding me about Saramago, I loved Blindness.
    As for Africa, I enjoy The #1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith that take place in Botswana. The Translator by Daoud Hari is fantastic and covers Darfur in Sudan. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay is a great YA fiction that takes place in South Africa. And Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen is a really good memoir about Kenya (although the movie came across as a fictional story). Those are a few I can think of right now :D.

  2. Stories I’ve read by Nadine Gordimer and J.M.Coetzee are set in South Africa. and I just realized I missed a recent read that was set in Japan! I might have to remake my map…

  3. I just read a new author, Kwei Quartey, who grew up in Ghana. If you like mysteries, you might want to try Wife of the Gods. It is out sometime this month. The development of characters is quite good. You might hear it compared to Alexander McCall Smith, but Smith’s (No.1 Ladies Detective Agency) has a lot of charm while Quartey’s book is a little bit more gritty. I reviewed it if you want to read my review.

    If you are looking for a “classic”, you might try Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

    This looks like a fantastic exercise to allow readers to fill in the gaps! I might do this just so I can develop a list of reading from those countries that I tend to overlook.

  4. This is such a great activity. I’ll have to sit down and see where I’ve “been”. I think I’m mostly in Europe but I have read a few Asian and African and even a little bit of Australian lit so maybe it won’t be as dismal as I think. :) You already have some great suggestions for African books so I won’t list them again. Enjoy your reading!

  5. I have traveled a lot through books. I don’t know if I would be able to think of all the places I have been over the year! You have some good Africa suggestions, so I will leave you to them.

  6. I had two big Africa books/series I wanted to recommend, (THE NO. 1 LADIES’ DETECTIVE AGENCY series by Alexander McCall Smith and THINGS FALL APART by Chinua Achebe), but it seems that everyone else beat me to it. :) I’ll also throw CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY by Alan Paton out there; I found it a rather uneven read, but it does get the reader thinking about South Africa and apartheid.

  7. One that comes immediately to mind is WEST WITH THE NIGHT by Beryl Markham. WEST WITH THE NIGHT is nonfiction, but it reads like the most beautiful fiction. I reviewed it here. Markham’s life was remarkable and inspirational too and I think you would enjoy it.

  8. If you want to combine it with the Canadian Book Challenge, you could read M.G. Vassanji’s Book of Secrets, set in east Africa.

    I, too, loved Blindness. Nervous about reading the sequel, though.

  9. This is a great Weekly Geeks prompt. I thought I had been doing so well with my virtual book travels but I’ve only visited 10 countries this year! Yikes. You are doing great and if you want to add more Africa books I have read Cutting For Stone, a good part of it takes place in Ethiopia. Very good story.

  10. You’ve done pretty well. If you are looking for an Australian book to enjoy look for DIAMOND DOVE (aka MOONLIGHT DOWNS) by Adrian Hyland, or THE BROKEN SHORE by Peter Temple, or SHATTER by Michael Robotham

Comments are closed.