2018 Reading Challenge: A Book Set in Another Country
This is one of the more subjective tasks on the 2018 Reading Challenge because the actual task is "Read a book set in a country you'd like to visit." I've picked six books in places I'd like to visit to feature here, but feel free to email me if you need recommendations for a book set in any particular country, and I'll try my best to find one for you! Anything goes for this category -- fiction, nonfiction, poetry, even fantasy!
1. Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe): This book is considered an archetypal Nigerian novel translated into English, documenting pre-colonial life in southeastern Nigeria. If you're like me and watched the debut episode of PBS's Great American Read, you are probably dying to read this book (Sarah Jessica Parker picked it as her favorite).
2. The Heart's Invisible Furies (John Boyne): Set in Ireland from the 1940s to today, The Heart's Invisible Furies is a book you may have missed when it came out in hardcover last year. But it's out in paperback now, so never fear! It's a beautifully written book that evokes Ireland's culture throughout.
3. The City of Brass (S. A. Chakraborty): This book is a fantasy book, so we can't quite visit the exact country it takes place in, but the real life Middle East (from Egypt to Iran) would work instead. Chakraborty builds her fantasy story on Middle Eastern mythology, and the elaborate djinn city where most of the story takes place is incredibly compelling and will make you wish it was real.
4. The Life to Come (Michelle de Kretser): When I read this book, I was blown away at how well de Kretser evokes place. Her book primarily takes place in Australia, but one of the main sections takes place in Paris. Both settings are vividly described -- you'll feel like you're there!
5. You Me Everything (Catherine Isaac): This newly released book is set in the idyllic French countryside during the summer -- what more could you want in a summer read? Plus, the cover is beautiful!
6. The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon): This book is translated into English from Spanish, but even in translation, the lyricism of Zafon's sentences is still present. It's set in post-Spanish Civil War Barcelona, and the setting permeates the entire book. As a bonus, this book is a story within a story, which I always love!
Bonus: I've already mentioned Crazy Rich Asians in a previous post, but I LOVED it and as a result of finishing it, I definitely want to visit Singapore one day.