Books & Travel

I love traveling and despite a full-time job, I endeavor and travel around 60+ days in a year. I have been doing this for the last 4-5 years now; still each trip is a dream and special in its own way. But for the balance 300 days in the year that I am not traveling, I am either reading travel related books or dreaming about it or planning my next trip. I have always love reading and with travel related books – I now get to experience another way of visiting places without actually leaving home. I have also come to realize that reading about the cultural nuances and history of a city or place in advance of a visit,makes the trip worthwhile, more memorable, and takes the experience to a whole new level. It helps me actually understand the place and its undertone much better.

Found this beautiful quote on Pinterest

Found this beautiful and apt quote on Pinterest

But after reading about Ann Morgan’s project of reading a book (literature) from each country, I realized that all the books I have been reading are concentrated on a few big countries or certain places. And I have been completely missing out on books and stories from Africa, South America, Central Asia and a whole lot of other countries.

So, in an endeavor to enhance the quality of my reading and to improve my understanding of other countries, I have decided to try and read a book from every country. The idea is to read books that will inspire me to then travel to that place. I have decided to keep the criteria of book selection pretty simple – it could be a travelogue, fiction, non-fiction, literature or a book on that country’s history – it should help me understand the background of the place, what helped shape the country that way and ultimately inspire me to travel there. The idea is to read, as much as possible, books written by local authors or translations and avoid the famous travel writers. Needless to say guide books and travel books don’t qualify.

I am quite excited about this idea but am sure I will face my set of challenges in looking for local books especially for the smaller countries. And also for books not available on kindle or in print in India. But I guess I’ll learn and discover ways and means around these problems.

As a start, I have made a list of 196 independent countries and will read one book that inspires me to travel to each of them. I will keep adding those names against each of these countries and also share my thoughts and reviews on each book read. So, let’s get started!!

  1. Afghanistan – Earth and Ashes by Atiq Rahimi and The Places In Between by Rory Stewart
  2. Albania – Balkan Beauty, Balkan Blood by Robert Elsie and Broken April by Ismail Kadare 
  3. Algeria
  4. Andorra
  5. Angola
  6. Antigua and Barbuda
  7. Argentina
  8. Armenia
  9. Australia
  10. Austria
  11. Azerbaijan 
  12. The Bahamas
  13. Bahrain 
  14. Bangladesh 
  15. Barbados 
  16. Belarus 
  17. Belgium
  18. Belize
  19. Benin
  20. Bhutan
  21. Bolivia
  22. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  23. Botswana
  24. Brazil
  25. Brunei
  26. Bulgaria
  27. Burkina Faso
  28. Burundi
  29. Cambodia
  30. Cameroon
  31. Canada
  32. Cape Verde
  33. Central African Republic
  34. Chad
  35. Chile
  36. China
  37. Colombia
  38. Colombia
  39. Comoros
  40. Congo, Democratic Republic of
  41. Congo, Republic of
  42. Costa Rica
  43. Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) 
  44. Croatia 
  45. Cuba 
  46. Cyprus 
  47. Czech Republic 
  48. Denmark 
  49. Djibouti 
  50. Dominica 
  51. Dominican Republic 
  52. East Timor 
  53. Ecuador 
  54. Egypt 
  55. El Salvador 
  56. Equatorial Guinea 
  57. Eritrea 
  58. Estonia 
  59. Ethiopia 
  60. Fiji 
  61. Finland 
  62. France 
  63. Gabon 
  64. The Gambia 
  65. Georgia 
  66. Germany 
  67. Ghana 
  68. Greece 
  69. Grenada 
  70. Guatemala 
  71. Guinea 
  72. Guinea-Bissau 
  73. Guyana 
  74. Haiti 
  75. Honduras 
  76. Hungary 
  77. Iceland 
  78. India 
  79. Indonesia 
  80. Iran 
  81. Iraq 
  82. Ireland 
  83. Israel 
  84. Italy 
  85. Jamaica 
  86. Japan 
  87. Jordan 
  88. Kazakhstan 
  89. Kenya 
  90. Kiribati 
  91. Kuwait 
  92. Kyrgyzstan 
  93. Laos 
  94. Latvia 
  95. Lebanon 
  96. Lesotho 
  97. Liberia 
  98. Libya 
  99. Liechtenstein 
  100. Lithuania 
  101. Luxembourg 
  102. Macedonia 
  103. Madagascar 
  104. Malawi 
  105. Malaysia 
  106. Maldives 
  107. Mali 
  108. Malta 
  109. Marshall Islands 
  110. Mauritania 
  111. Mauritius 
  112. Mexico 
  113. Micronesia, Federated States of 
  114. Moldova 
  115. Monaco 
  116. Mongolia 
  117. Montenegro 
  118. Morocco 
  119. Mozambique 
  120. Myanmar 
  121. Namibia 
  122. Nauru 
  123. Nepal 
  124. Netherlands 
  125. New Zealand 
  126. Nicaragua 
  127. Niger 
  128. Nigeria 
  129. North Korea 
  130. Norway 
  131. Oman 
  132. Pakistan 
  133. Palau 
  134. Palestine 
  135. Panama 
  136. Papua New Guinea 
  137. Paraguay
  138. Peru 
  139. Philippines 
  140. Poland 
  141. Portugal 
  142. Qatar 
  143. Romania 
  144. Russia 
  145. Rwanda
  146. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  147. Saint Lucia
  148. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  149. Samoa
  150. San Marino
  151. Sao Tome and Principe 
  152. Saudi Arabia
  153. Senegal
  154. Serbia
  155. Seychelles 
  156. Sierra Leone
  157. Singapore
  158. Slovakia
  159. Slovenia
  160. Solomon Islands
  161. Somalia
  162. South Africa
  163. South Korea 
  164. South Sudan 
  165. Spain
  166. Sri Lanka
  167. Sudan
  168. Suriname
  169. Swaziland 
  170. Sweden
  171. Switzerland
  172. Syria
  173. Taiwan
  174. Tajikistan 
  175. Tanzania
  176. Thailand
  177. Togo
  178. Tonga
  179. Trinidad and Tobago
  180. Tunisia
  181. Turkey
  182. Turkmenistan
  183. Tuvalu
  184. Uganda
  185. Ukraine
  186. United Arab Emirates 
  187. United Kingdom
  188. United States of America
  189. Uruguay
  190. Uzbekistan
  191. Vanuatu
  192. Vatican City
  193. Venezuela 
  194. Vietnam
  195. Yemen
  196. Zambia
  197. Zimbabwe

I have some recommendations of books already and look forward to hearing from you all on your recommended reads, especially for the smaller lesser known countries. Join me on this adventure and here’s to you all – a happy reading and happy virtual travels 🙂

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