Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Places I've Visited Through Books

I've been working on the Around the World in 80 Books Challenge since 2013. So far, I've read books from seventy-six countries around the world.

Where do I often visit?

Because I am American, I have the most access to books set in the United States, England, and Australia. But there are other places I often visit in books:

The Little Pleasures of Paris Paris to the Moon Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris

France, of course. I've read at least 163 books set in France. Some of my favorites are The Little Pleasures of Paris, Paris to the Moon, and Mrs. 'arris Goes to Paris.

Italian Days Italian Folktales Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

Italy. It's the homeland of my ancestors. I've read 36 books set in Italy. I love Italian Days, Italian Folktales, and The Essentials of Italian Cooking.

Japanland: A Year in Search of Wa The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches (Yuasa) The Roads to Sata: A 2000-Mile Walk Through Japan

Japan. I'm fascinated with Japan. I've read 19 books set in Japan.  I especially like Japanland, The Narrow Road to the Deep North, and The Roads to Sata.

Other Places. I often read books set in India and China. I occasionally read books set in Mexico, Norway, Sweden, and Greece.

There are 194 recognized countries in the world. That means I've yet to read books set in 118 countries. Here are the countries I've yet to read in: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verdi, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Eswatini, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Iraq, Ireland, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Niger, North Macedonia, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zambia.

I like to read both fiction and nonfiction set in various parts of the world.

Do you have any suggestions for me?

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


  1. Wow! That's a lot! I find myself either in some version of the US be it real or dystopian-tized or a fantasy place! This one was hard for me and ended up breaking it into different categories! Lol!

    Here's my Tuesday Post

    Have a GREAT day!

    Old Follower :)

  2. You need to read Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. It's set in Lithuania and is fantastic!

    1. Oh my! I forgot about that one. I will add it to my list.

  3. I hope you find books set in all of those countries soon.

    My Top Ten Tuesday post.

  4. nice way to do it, I should do a count for each country.
    I did the 52 countries challenge and loved so much that experience. Here is my post, you may find some ideas, I have countries there that you have yet to read: https://wordsandpeace.com/2012/01/04/around-the-world-in-52-books/
    Here's my post for today: https://wordsandpeace.com/2019/02/26/top-ten-places-to-visit/

  5. We do visit a lot of places in books! I'd like to visit Italy, Ireland and Scotland in person. Great TTT and thanks for visiting mine! :)

  6. Across the Mekong River by Elaine Russell is set in Laos and

  7. I love your spin on this week's topic! I need to read more books set in France and Japan. Most books I read are set in space and/or parallel dimensions. Incidentally, if you want to "visit" Kazakhstan, The Silent Steppe is one of favourite books.

    Here's my TTT: https://dinaratengri.com/2019/02/places-mentioned-in-books-that-id-like-to-visit-realism-may-vary/

  8. I've been to France, Italy & Greece, as well as the UK (I live here) and several states in the US.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/top-ten-tuesday-200/

  9. Wow. You keep track of the countries of books you've read? How? Where? I am so impressed.

    1. I wish I had a better way to do it, but I keep a list at Google Sheets and I have a map at Google maps.

  10. But, Deb, no Canada? We're your closest neighbour - and most Canadian lit doesn't have to be translated into English. I'm hoping I missed your mention of us, 'cause I don't see it, even in your 'long-list'.

    1. I have read Canada, but I do have a funny story about that. I went to Toronto some years ago, and, like I always do, I went to a bookstore there and asked for a recommendation for a good Canadian book. The bookseller looked puzzled and said, "Golly, I can't think of any!" Goodness!

    2. That's a crime! I hope that clerk was fired.

      CanLit made a comeback here in the early 1970s and has been roaring ever since. Let me know if you'd like some recommendations (particularly in Atlantic Canada), and I'd be happy to oblige. :-)

  11. I love this post. I also tend to read more books set in North America and Europe than anything else, but I have a few favourites that I'd love to recommend, if you're interested! Most of these are countries you've already read from but that I have favourites from, so I thought I'd include them just in case you wanted to re-visit them!

    Chile - Isabel Allende has several books set in her home country, notably House of the Spirits and Eva Luna

    Columbia - Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote a non-fiction book called News of a Kidnapping that is about the drug cartel kidnapping 10 men and women (mostly journalists). What I found interesting is how it draws characters - from all walks of life - and fleshes them out.

    Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala etc. - I loved Mary Morris' Nothing to Declare. I think it's out of print, but if you can get your hands on it it's a lovely travel memoir.

    Peru, Ecuador - Along the Inca Road by Karin Muller. Much like the one above, this is another woman's travel memoir, this time about walking the 3200-mile Inca Road. Lovely detail and texture to her story. Read ages ago, but left an impression.

    Mexico - for fiction, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel is a quick, easy, whimsical story of a young girl's doomed love and how her loss ripples through her entire family. (Also magical realism light.)

    Greece - My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. Recently had a TV series based on it. First in a trilogy of memoirs. Written during the post-WWII era about a family headed by a single mother who ups stakes and moves to Corfu, where young Gerald discovers his true love for nature and every living thing in it. Except, possibly, his siblings. Funny and sweet.

    Ireland - Sally Rooney. Normal People. I feel like I remember you saying you hadn't read it yet, and I think it's worth a try. It's not everyone's favourite, but those who love it REALLY love it!

    Canada - this is my part of the world, so I could make a lot of recommendations. But I'll stick with Miriam Toews as her new book, Women Talking, has been getting a lot of buzz. I haven't read it yet, but her novel All My Puny Sorrows is an all-time favourite of mine! It's loosely autobiographical and deals with mental health, depression and suicide, but from a perspective I've never encountered before and with rare insight and even, at times, humour.

    Then there's a book called The Size of the World by Jeff Greenwald all about his journey around the entire world without leaving its surface, so that one was unique!

    Sorry if this is too long, but I got excited.


    1. So many wonderful recommendations! Some I have read---My Family & Other Animals, Like Water for Chocolate, Nothing to Declare, Isabel Allende's books, Size of the World---but there are several---Normal People, Along the Inca Road, News of a Kidnapping, Women Talking---that I am adding to my wish list. Thank you so much.

  12. Great list this week! I'd love to visit Japan some day in the future. :)

    Check out my TTT, my Read Harder Challenge Update, and my Monstrous March TBR

  13. What a lovely way to travel!

  14. Great list! I would have to check which places I have visited through reading. Loved The Narrow Road to the Deep North!
    Not surprised you haven't read anything set in Belgium. Those are hard to find, especially in translation. Some books are partly set in Belgium, like Death of a Hero. Novels about WWI or Waterloo might be easiest to read about Belgium.


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