Books From Around the World

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With yesterday being World Book Day, I started thinking about all the great books from around the world. I personally love reading books in translations and wanted to take a second to highlight some great books from different countries. Let me know in the comments below what books you have read and enjoyed from different countries and continents.

 

Africa

Nigeria

I Do Not Come to You By Chance

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Nwaubani puts an interesting take on the well-established Nigerian 419 internet scams and puts a face on the other side of the computer screen. Kingsley wants to get a well- paying job to help his family with their financial burden, but has trouble reaching his goal. In order to make money he takes a job from his “uncle” Cash Daddy as a 419er who scams people in America and Europe into sending money.

 

Antarctica

Antarctica: A Global Warning

Antarctica: A Call to Action

Sebastian Copeland

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I’m going to be honest. I have no clue if there are actually any authors from Antarctica, but photographer Sebastian Copeland twice highlighted the awe inspiring beauty and fragile ecosystem of Antarctica.

 

Asia

South Korea

Please Look after Mom

Kyung-sook Shin

Please Look after Mom looks at what happens in Seoul when the 70-year old mother of a family disappears from a train station. Her five grown children and her husband, want to find her but also are fighting with themselves over the way they treated her before her disappearance. This book asks “what would your family say about you if you disappeared one day” and the answer may be more haunting than expected.

 

Australia

New Zealand

Black Earth White Bones  

Chris Else

black

Kit Wallace ran away to the Pacific nation of Ventiak. While he plans on secluding himself, he finds himself being drawn into the lives of the people around him. So, when he is asked to cooperate in a scam that will defraud the Ventiakans of millions of dollars, Kit is torn between his self-serving nature and a growing sense of loyalty to the townspeople.

 

Europe

 Netherlands

Under the Skin

Michel Faber

Part of the fun of Faber’s novel is deciding whether to be worried for the main character Isserley, a woman driving down the road alone picking up hitchhikers, or to be worried for the hitchhikers she picks up. As Isserley listens to the hitchhikers, always men who have big muscles, she learns ominous facts, like who might miss them if they disappear.

 

North America

Mexico

The Strain

Guillermo Del Toro

The vampire threat gets a new take in The Strain, the start of Del Toro’s trilogy. A jet arrives in JFK with all but four passengers dead. The CDC tries to get a handle on the situation and Abraham Setrakian develops theories about a vampire’s arrival. By mixing the realism of a spreading epidemic and the fantastic nature of a supernatural enemy, the reader understands another features of the vampire mythos, how it feels to be infected.

 

South America

 Argentina

How I Became a Nun

Cèsar Aira

A stop for strawberry ice cream changes six year old César’s life for good. In the city of Rosario an ice cream vendor serves César an ice cream laced with cyanide. Her father kills the ice cream vendor and César ends up in the hospital with cyanide poisoning, a disease that cause her to have delusions. As César handles the every day, and not so every day, situations a six year old deals with, readers gets sucked into seeing César’s version of life. And with César  it’s hard to know what is imagined and what is reality.

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