Around the World in 80 Books

Come on in, we’re hosting a challenge! We have put some music on, donned our most chic lounge-wear, and shall be providing drinks and nibbles*.  All you have to do is pick books that are linked by either content or author to far away places, which will enable you to go off on a booky world tour. We shall be doing 80 books, but the amount, speed, countries and routes taken is entirely up to you. Feel free to add your links in the comments section of any of our posts that are tagged with #AW80books, and also add that tag to your own post.

If you’re wondering where we’re headed on our #AW80books reading challenge, pull up a chair, shove those maps out of the way, and take a sneaky peek at our provisional globe-trotting reading lists.

*Nibbles may contain nuts, and be imaginary.


  1. Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria & USA)

2. The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov (Russia)

3. Pointed Roofs – Dorothy Richardson (Germany)

4. Compartment No. 6 – Rosa Liksom (Russia & Travel)

5. Wolf Totem – Jiang Rong (Mongolia)

6. Herman Hesse – Siddartha (India)

7. The Green Road – Anne Enright (Ireland)

8. Snow Blind – Ragnar Jonasson (Iceland)

9. Roseanna – Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (Sweden)

10. The Fall Of The Stone City – Ismail Kadare (Albania)

11. The Enchanted April – Elizabeth Von Arnim (Italy)

12. The Vegetarian – Han Kang (South Korea)

13. Irmina – Barbara Yelin (Germany & Barbados)

14. Like Water for Chocolate – Laura Esquivel (Mexico)

15. Pétronille – Amélie Nothomb (France)

16. A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki (Canada & Japan)

17. Mr Fortune’s Maggot – Sylvia Townsend Warner (Cook Islands/Polynesia)

18. The Man who went up in Smoke – Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö (Hungary)

19. The Quiet American – Graham Greene (Vietnam)

20. The Glorious Heresies – Lisa McInerney (Ireland)

21. Swing Time – Zadie Smith (Gambia)

Santa Evita – Tomas Eloy Martinez

Out Stealing Horses – Per Petterson

The Feast of Goats – Mario Vargas Llosa

The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende

The Garlic Ballads – Mo Tan

The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai – Ruiyan Xu

The Gift of Rain – Tan Twain Eng

The Greengage Summer – Rumer Godden

The Black Book – Orhan Pamuk

Star of The Sea – Joseph O’Connor

Remembering Babylon – David Malouf

Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage – Haruki Murakami

South: the Endurance Expedition – Ernest Shackleton

White Fang – Jack London

The Motorcycle Diaries – Ernesto Che Guevara

Hopscotch – Julio Cortazar

Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee

The Forty Rules of Love – Elif Shafak

Moby Dick – Herman Melville



  1. A House for Mr Biswas – V. S. Naipaul (Trinidad)

2. Burial Rites – Hannah Kent (Iceland)

3. The Room – Jonas Karlsson (Sweden)

4. The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco (Italy)

American Pastoral –  Philip Roth

The Elephant Keeper’s Children – Peter Høeg

The Charterhouse of Parma – Stendhal


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