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Personal Lists 2011-2013 > Jenna's List

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message 1: by Jenna (last edited Oct 10, 2012 01:16PM) (new)

Jenna Garrett (jennajean) | 8 comments I am beginning to build my list for 2013, starting with books I already own. In some cases, I've listed just the country - as I know I'd like to read a book from there, but am undecided about what to choose. Suggestions/recommendations of your favorites are welcome!


Rayuela by Julio Cortazár (reading in Spanish - the English version is titled "Hopscotch" and the translation by Gregory Rabassa is supposed to be very good.)

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Paula by Isabel Allende (reading in Spanish)


Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez (reading in Spanish)

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad


Dominican Republic:
This is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz


El Salvador:
The Violence of Love by Oscar Romero

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala by Rigoberta Menchu (reading in Spanish)

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy


Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi


Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee


The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel

Puerto Rico:
Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings edited by Roberto Santiago


South Africa:


St. Lucia:
Omeros by Derek Walcott

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

United Kingdom:
Room With a View by E.M. Forster

message 2: by Judy (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) | 2225 comments You've got a good start, Jenna. I loved Cutting for Stone and would like to read Paula someday.

message 3: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Garrett (jennajean) | 8 comments Thanks! I usually read a mix of genres - fiction, nonfiction, political, historical, poetry, classics, contemporary, etc. - it keeps me engaged with my reading, so I'm trying to make this list reflect that.

I'm also not going to be strict about whether the author or the setting corresponds to the country, though I do want to make an effort to read local authors when I can.

message 4: by Judy (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) | 2225 comments Nice. You have got the spirit of things and I do look forward to the rest of your list. I have a feeling that we will cross paths more than once with our lists. Sue and Chelsea (of this group) are two other people who love to read variety that you will probably have a lot in common with.

message 5: by Sue (new)

Sue Jenna wrote: "I am beginning to build my list for 2013, starting with books I already own. In some cases, I've listed just the country - as I know I'd like to read a book from there, but am undecided about what ..."

A book for Japan that I loved was The Housekeeper and the Professor. Wonderful story, wonderful and very different relationships. I also enjoyed The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

message 6: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Garrett (jennajean) | 8 comments Thanks for the great recommendations!

message 7: by Allie (new)

Allie (alliet) I love this idea! I might have to do this in 2013 too :)

Egypt: Anything by Naguib Mahfouz! I liked this particular one Midaq Alley

India: The White Tiger Supposedly tells you what India is actually like? It's pretty gritty. A hit with my book club.

Nigeria: Half of a Yellow Sun Learned a LOT reading this book.

Russia: Master and the Margarita - really, read this one. If you're only going to read one of these, this is the one. Made me laugh out loud. There is a cat who plays chess and loves vodka. It's great.The Master and Margarita

South Africa: Anything by Coetzee or Nadime Gordimer. Stark, but great literature. I personally love Disgrace and July's People

Spain: Have you read Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls? It's an interesting look at the Spanish Civil War.

Have you thought of adding Portugal? If so, read Blindness It is as gripping as a horror movie - and such a memorable book! Not set in Portugal but written by Saramago, a Portuguese writer.

Also, Paul Theroux is a travel writer who consistently drops notes in his books about the "greats" of each country that he visits. That's how I found out about a lot of these authors. If you haven't read any Theroux, I'd recommend it.

message 8: by Jenna (new)

Jenna Garrett (jennajean) | 8 comments Woo thanks for the recs Allie! I've read For Whom the Bell Tolls but none of the other books you recommended. I'll check 'em out!

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