Around the World in 80 Books

Around the world in 80 Books

As a single parent for many years, I have not had the opportunity to travel at all. While I hope this will change in the future, for now I will explore the world vicariously through the books in this challenge set up by Lucy and Sarah at one of my favourite book blogs – Hard Book Habit.

The idea is to read your way around the world sampling books from a range of countries along the way.

As you can imagine this affords great list-making opportunities, and I passed a happy few hours deciding on my choices. Thankfully, there is no time limit, which is good as it’ll take me forever to finish this lot!

I have many set books to read on my degree course over the next few years and many of those take place abroad so I have added those to my list, along with others I want to read, and several new ones discovered in my search. So…

My around the world in 80 Books List:

  1. IrelandDubliners, James Joyce
  2. America A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson
  3. SwedenAstrid and Veronika, Linda Olsson
  4. GermanyDiary of a Pilgrimage, Jerome K. Jerome
  5. ItalyVenice, Jan Morris
  6. PatagoniaIn Patagonia, Bruce Chatwin
  7. AntarcticAlone on the Ice, David Roberts
  8. ThailandTouch the Dragon, Karen Connelly
  9. The CaribbeanAn Embarrassment of Mangoes, Ann Vanderhoof
  10. Sea TravelsThe Sea Inside, Philip Hoare
  11. TravelingThe Idle Traveller, Dan Kieran
  12. AmericaOn the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City, Alice Goffman
  13. GreeceEurydice Street: A Place in Athens, Sofka Zinovieff
  14. VariousMagic Bus – On the Hippie Trail from Istanbul to India, Rory Maclean
  15. Andalucia/SpainDriving Over Lemons, Chris Stewart
  16. CambodiaFirst They Killed My Father, Loung Ung
  17. AfghanistanThe Bookseller of Kabul, Asne Seierstad
  18. EgyptLetters from Egypt, Florence Nightingale
  19. AustraliaThe Fatal Shore, Robert Hughes
  20. Ireland Dancing at Lughnasa, Brian Friel
  21. FranceSketchbook from the South of France, Sara Midda
  22. Around BritainTiny Islands, Dixie Wills
  23. Germany Candide, Voltaire
  24. Iraq Talking about Jane Austen in Baghdad, Bee Rowlatt, May Witwit
  25. West Africa and SurinamOroonoko, Aphra Behn
  26. North KoreaEscape from Camp 14, Blaine Harden
  27. Pacific IslandsSouth Sea Tales, Robert Louis Stevenson
  28. ScotlandThe Living Mountain, Nan Shepherd
  29. Wales On Angel Mountain, Brian John
  30. Persia/IranThe Secret Rose Garden, Mahmud Ibn ‘Abd Al-Kar Shabistari
  31. Greece – Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernières
  32. America, India, Europe, ThailandUnaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri
  33. PakistanThree Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson
  34. FranceThe Secrets of Pistoulet, Jana Kolpen
  35. ItalyLegend of the Villa della Luna, Jana Kolpen
  36. WalesUnder Milk Wood, Dylan Thomas
  37. IndiaThe God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
  38. JapanHiroshima, John Hersey
  39. ChinaJourneys on the Silk Road, Joyce Morgan, Conrad Walters
  40. ColumbiaOne Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  41. ChileThe House of Spirits, Isabel Allende
  42. NorwaySophie’s World, Jostein Gaarder
  43. Palestine Fast Times in Palestine, Pamela J. Olsen
  44. SudanSeason of Migration to the North, Tayeb Salih
  45. FranceGood Morning, Midnight, Jean Rhys
  46. Canada Anne of Green Gables, L. M. Montgomery
  47. FranceThe Lost Domain, Alain-Fournier
  48. EgyptIndigo: Egyptian Mummies to Blue Jeans, Jenny Balfour-Paul
  49. NorwayA Death in the Family, Karl Ove Knausgaard
  50. JapanThe Book of Tea, Kakuzo Okakura
  51. AlaskaIf you Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name, Heather Lende
  52. Ethiopia, Sweden, AmericaYes, Chef, Marcus Samuelsson
  53. ScotlandThe Scottish Himalayan Expedition, W. H. Murray
  54. ItalyThe Land Where Lemons Grow, Helena Attlee
  55. EnglandMeadowland, John Lewis-Stempel
  56. FranceIn Search of Lost Time Vol 1: Swann’s Way, Marcel Proust
  57. RussiaThe Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  58. HollandThe Black Tulip, Alexandre Dumas
  59. AmericaPilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard
  60. IndiaMidnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
  61. SamoaComing of Age in Samoa, Margaret Mead
  62. RussiaSpeak, Memory, Vladimir Nabokov
  63. Various Atlas of Remote Islands, Judith Schalansky
  64. America Walden, Henry David Thoreau
  65. New ZealandLand of the Long White Cloud, Lesley Gould
  66. Peru Turn right at Machu Picchu, Mark Adams
  67. SiberiaTravels in Siberia, Ian Frazier
  68. NepalDon’t Let the Goats Eat the Loquat Trees, Thomas Hale
  69. Various Darwin’s Notebook, Jonathan Clement
  70. Various The Geography of Bliss, Eric Weiner
  71. SeasThe Sea Around Us, Rachel Carson
  72. TravelThe Art of Travel, Alain de Botton
  73. TravelCruising Attitude, Heather Poole
  74. ItalyDriving Over Lemons, Chris Stewart
  75. GreenlandAn African in Greenland, Kpomassie Tete-Michel
  76. IndiaOriginal Letters from India, Eliza Fay
  77. AustraliaTracks, Robyn Davidson
  78. VariousDestinations: Essays from Rolling Stone, Jan Morris
  79. Rwanda We wish to inform you…, Philip Gourevitch
  80. VariousA Writer’s World: Travels 1950-2000, Jan Morris

There are light reads along with heavier subject matter. I hope to stretch my reading horizons by reading books that I might not usually reach for straight away and learn about places in the world which I am not familiar with. This list is not set in stone, and I reserve the right to swap out a few along the way. I’ll post about each book as I read it, and link back here as well.

To find out more about the challenge do pop over to Hard Book Habit where I’m sure you’ll find some great ideas as well as at the other blogs taking part.

My suitcases are packed (with books) – off I go!

24 thoughts on “Around the World in 80 Books

  1. I’m so glad you’re joining in the fun! And what a fantastic list – I’ll definitely be stealing a few of those for my own travels. I look forward to reading your reviews. Happy travels! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. One hundred years of solitude is one of the few books on the list that I’ve read before. I’m looking forward to reading it again as it’s a favourite of mine too.


  2. What a great idea! I imagined at first you were going to read resident authors and thought that would be difficult with many maybe not translated. I have read some of the books on the list but not a great many. Looking forward to reading about your adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the books just have to be connected with a place in some way – so could be resident authors or subject. The rules seem pretty loose – which makes it a bit easier to make interesting choices.


  3. I’m loving this idea and will be following your progress. I’d been thinking myself that I’d like to read more about the world, but I’m drawn to works that have been translated from the native tongue of non-English speaking countries.

    (I wonder do you realise you’ve listed The Bookseller of Kabul twice?)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Some of these are translated, but there’s nothing to stop you creating your own challenge.
    (Thanks for letting me know about the double up… I’ll leave it for now until I find another book to replace it 🙂 )


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