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Ask Each Other > Finding books from less-represented countries

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

It would be helpful to me, and perhaps to others, to have a thread for requesting titles and authors for more obscure countries. Please give the country for which you seek a book and any rules you've imposed on your challenge. I'll post mine below.


message 2: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 18, 2012 03:32AM) (new)

I've read books for these countries, but I want books that match my rules better or that are more emblematic of the country.

My rules: The writer (or one writer, if there are multiple authors) must have lived in the country for at least two years. Books set in the country are preferable, but this isn't a requirement. Genre doesn't matter.

Countries I'd like suggestions for:
Comoros: I've read A Fish Caught in Time: The Search for the Coelacanth and I have a drama/poetic something in French (a language I functionally don't read).

Palau: I read a governmental report of over 100 pages on education in Palau, but I'd like to read a book, even if it's a monograph.

Andorra: I read a cookbook by Eric Ripert, who was raised in Andorra and says this influenced his culinary style, but the book doesn't go into it.

I'd also be happy for a recommendation for a Basque writer.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I saw that and put it on my "find out more" stack, since I can't tell how long the author lived there. Looks promising, though.

I'd also like a better book for Bahrain. The one I read was historically important but bland.


message 4: by Amanda (last edited Dec 18, 2012 02:54PM) (new)

Amanda Shirley Deane (author of The Road to Andorra) and her family didn't live in Andorra for very long, but they did visit all of the villages and try to learn about the culture. The book was written in the 1960s however, so it does not exactly provide a modern view of the country.
For Palau I found a book called The Fish and Rice Chronicles: My Extraordinary Adventures in Palau and Micronesia. I don't know how long the author lived there and if it meets your requirements, but several Palauans reviewed it on Amazon and enjoyed it.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks. The Palau book sounds better than reading the education report (not that it wasn't interesting, it just wasn't quite a book).


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Palau Primary Health Care Manual, also a recent publication, also looks promising.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Sorry to multi-post. Just found this, published this month, for Bahrain: MY ARAB SPRING.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks. I've read and enjoyed the Kurlansky.

I've wishlisted The Fish and Rice Chronicles and downloaded MY ARAB SPRING.


message 9: by Friederike (new)

Friederike Knabe (fknabe) | 117 comments Osho wrote: "I've read books for these countries, but I want books that match my rules better or that are more emblematic of the country.

My rules: The writer (or one writer, if there are multiple authors) mu..."


For a Basque writer, I can highly recommend The Accordionist's Son by Bernardo Atxaga by Bernardo Atxaga. I found it a brilliant book.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks!


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I ran across a couple books for Bahrain: Travel Letters from an American Living in the Middle East-Bahrain: And Other Travel Tales and My Beautiful Bahrain: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry about Life and Living in Bahrain. The author of the first book lived there for three years, the second seemed to have multiple authors.


message 12: by Diane (new)

Diane  | 370 comments The Stones Cry Out! is written by Josh Raul Conte, a native Andorran. I'm not sure where the book takes place.

I read The Road to Andorra and it is a nice look into the Andorran culture (written in the early 60s). The author only lived there for about a year and a half (she is from Australia originally).

For Bahrain, I picked up these two on Kindle:
Crowded With Voices: Thirteen Years In The Middle East (I think the author is of Indian descent, but lived in Bahrain for several years) and Bras, Boys, and Blunders: Juliet & Romeo in Bahrain, a light YA read (author of Indian descent and grew up in Bahrain).

For Palau, Being a Palauan. Author not from Palau, but book offers good insight into culture.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks.

Chelsea, my rule is that the author must have lived in the country for at least 2 years, though those look interesting.


message 14: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 20, 2012 08:19AM) (new)

From the description of The Stones Cry Out!:

"This is the story of how that dream became a nightmare and of his complete dedication to his faith and ideals throughout the various vicissitudes of his life from his ordination until he is driven from the priesthood by a practicing homosexual archbishop. This is story of that nightmare."

I'll pass.


message 15: by Diane (new)

Diane  | 370 comments Osho wrote: "From the description of The Stones Cry Out!:

"This is the story of how that dream became a nightmare and of his complete dedication to his faith and ideals throughout the various vicissitudes of h..."


lol


message 16: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Does anyone know of a good book for Brunei? The only "books" I can find for it are Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and Fifa 192: The True Story Behind the Legend of the Brunei Darussalam National Football Team neither of which I have much interest in. I don't have any rules, it doesn't matter if it is fiction or non-fiction.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

I read Arif K. Abukhudairi: Thoughts of the Times: Introduction to Arabic Literature, but it wasn't tremendously Brunei-specific.


message 19: by Barbarac (new)

Barbarac (bcb72) | 191 comments Osho, for Basque authors I can recommend Miguel Unamunoand Pío Baroja. They are 2 of the greatest authors in Spanish literature, and both happen to be born in the Basque country. Some of their books are translated and even free online.


message 20: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Thank you, that's helpful. I'll have to see if I can find those wildlife books, I bet they are filled with pretty pictures!


message 21: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 21, 2012 09:38AM) (new)

Barbarac, thank you.

Amanda, I've read bird field guides for several countries.


message 22: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I ran across this website and thought it could be helpful:
http://www.packabook.co.uk/
Just click on the country and it will give a list of travel memoirs, novels, and guidebooks along with their descriptions.


message 23: by Val (last edited Jan 24, 2013 03:27AM) (new)

Val Has anyone any ideas for South Sudan?
South Sudan only became an independent state on 9 July 2011, so I am not expecting there to be many authors giving South Sudanese as their nationality, but I can live in hope.
The closest I have found so far is A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story, which is partly about a 'lost boy' from South Sudan, but written by an American.


message 24: by Amanda (last edited Jan 24, 2013 08:26PM) (new)

Amanda Hi Val, I found a few books for South Sudan, most of them seem to be about the "lost boys" hopefully one of these will be helpful:
They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan This book is written by three boys from southern Sudan about there experiences during the war for independence.
The Humanitarian (not listed on goodreads): http://www.amazon.com/Humanitarian-1-...
This book is set in the new South Sudan, however the author appears to be foreign.
Lost Boy, Lost Girl: Escaping Civil War in Sudan Like They Poured Fire, Lost Boy, Lost Girl takes place in southern Sudan before independence, but does have Sudanese authors.
From Bush to Bush. Journey to Liberty in South Sudan I don't really know what kind of book this is, if it's a memoir or a historical account, but it is both set in South Sudan and written by a South Sudanese.


message 25: by Val (last edited Jan 25, 2013 01:02AM) (new)

Val Thank you for those Amanda.
From Bush to Bush. Journey to Liberty in South Sudan seems to be a mixture of memoir and political analysis. It looks the most interesting, but is very expensive.


message 26: by Vizara (new)

Vizara | 95 comments For Serawak:
Good Morning and Good Night ISBN 978-0-7126-0348-5.
by Margaret Brooke, the Ranee of Serawak.


My Life in Serawak
ISBN 0-19-582663-9.

also by Margaret Brooke.
They are both about her life as Ranee in the 19th century. She was married to Charles Brooke, the White Rajah of Serawak.


message 27: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1988 comments Mod
Val wrote: "Has anyone any ideas for South Sudan?
South Sudan only became an independent state on 9 July 2011, so I am not expecting there to be many authors giving South Sudanese as their nationality, but I c..."


Hi Val - if you're still looking for one, check out What Is the What.


message 28: by Val (new)

Val Thanks Lilisa.
I have ordered From Bush to Bush. Journey to Liberty in South Sudan through the inter-library loan system. It may take a long time to get it, but I am on a waiting list.


message 29: by [deleted user] (last edited Mar 23, 2013 01:00PM) (new)

Don't forget that although it only became a state a couple of years ago, there were still people there pre-separation who may now claim South Sudanese as their identity.


message 30: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1988 comments Mod
Val wrote: "Thanks Lilisa.
I have ordered From Bush to Bush. Journey to Liberty in South Sudan through the inter-library loan system. It may take a long time to get it, but I am on a waiting list."


Enjoy!


message 31: by Jessaka (new)

Jessaka the humanitarian sounds like a great book and has 4 to 5 stars from readers. south sudanese book


message 32: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Does anyone know of a good book set in Liechtenstein? Travel and adventure memoirs, mysteries, and historical fiction are my favorite genres, but I'm not very picky, as long as it isn't extremely political.


message 33: by Rusalka (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 1011 comments Mod
A Year of reading the world (http://ayearofreadingtheworld.com/the...) has these down for Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein: Iren Nigg / Stefan Sprenger / Heinrich Harrer "Seven Years in Tibet" / CC Bergius "The Noble Forger"

And this http://ayearofreadingtheworld.com/201... was her post about it. May give you a couple of ideas?


message 34: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Thanks, that helps. I'll be sure to take a look at those!


message 35: by Rusalka (last edited Jun 15, 2013 07:51AM) (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 1011 comments Mod
No worries. Again, not personal recs but a start!

Now the important question. What are you going to cook for Liechtenstein?


message 36: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Good question! Unfortunately, I'm not too certain at this point. Some Öpfelküechli (Apple Ring Fritters) maybe?


message 37: by Rusalka (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 1011 comments Mod
I'm drooling already!


message 38: by Rita (last edited Aug 09, 2013 09:19PM) (new)

Rita Chapman | 15 comments I've just found this group. I recently read Suzanna Fisher's 90 Daze in Lusaka, http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/book...
which was interesting and based on the author's time there.


message 39: by Louise (new)

Louise | 120 comments I can really recommend reading Ismail Kadaré for Albania, he's written some interesting stuff.


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

Anyone got something by an author who lived in São Tomé and Príncipe for at least two years? I read a book about the literature of ST&P for my challenge, but the authors examined have no books in English.


message 41: by Diane (new)

Diane  | 370 comments Osho wrote: "Anyone got something by an author who lived in São Tomé and Príncipe for at least two years? I read a book about the literature of ST&P for my challenge, but the authors examined have no books in E..."

Osho wrote: "Anyone got something by an author who lived in São Tomé and Príncipe for at least two years? I read a book about the literature of ST&P for my challenge, but the authors examined have no books in E..."

This is an obscure book and no longer on Goodreads (and is probably boring as heck):

Sleeping Sickness: A Record of Four Years' War by Bernardo Francisco Bruto da Costa. The author was a government official in São Tomé and Príncipe back in the 1920's. I am pretty sure he lived there at least two years, although I can't find much about him.

There is also a short story writer named Gervásio Kaiser (also not on Goodreads). I don't know if you have a length requirement - his short stories are pretty short. Two of his stories that have been translated to English are Native Dance: An African Story and The Stranger.


message 42: by Diane (last edited Aug 20, 2013 05:49PM) (new)

Diane  | 370 comments Here's another one by a native author:

Exorcising Devils from the Throne by Albertino Da Boa Morte Francisco Exorcising Devils from the Throne by Albertino Da Boa Morte Francisco


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks! I require a novella/monograph or longer, so I'll check out Exorcising Devils.


message 44: by Stelleri (last edited Aug 21, 2014 05:57PM) (new)

Stelleri | 40 comments Here's the Penguin Great Journeys series--excerpts from longer works. They're short, nicely made, and mostly available from $.01 to $4.00 used at Amazon. You can see the regions on the spines, and should be able to see the countries from descriptions of the books:

Herodotus: Snakes with Wings and Gold-digging Ants
Al-Mas'udi: From The Meadows of Gold
Marco Polo: The Customs of the Kingdoms of India
Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca: The Shipwrecked Men
William Dampier: Piracy, Turtles and Flying Foxes
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu: Life On The Golden Horn
James Cook: Hunt For The Southern Continent
Olaudah Equiano: Sold as a Slave
Alexander von Humboldt: Jaguars and Electric Eels
Sir Richard Burton: To the Holy Shrines
Walter Henry Bates: In the Heart of the Amazon Forest
Alfred Russel Wallace: Borneo, Celebes, Aru
Mark Twain: Can-Cans, Cats and Cities of Ash
Isabella Bird: Adventures in the Rocky Mountains
Anton Chekhov: A Journey to the End of the Russian Empire
Mary Kingsley: The Congo and the Cameroons
Ernest Shackleton: Escape from the Antarctic
George Orwell: Fighting in Spain
Wilfred Thesiger: Across the Empty Quarter
Ryszard Kapuscinski: The Cobra's Heart




message 45: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Very helpful Stelleri! Thanks for sharing!


message 46: by Stelleri (new)

Stelleri | 40 comments I now have all but two books of this series in hand, so let me know if I can give you information about any of them. I'm looking forward to reading the set!


message 47: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1988 comments Mod
Anyone have suggestions for books set in the Turks and Caicos Islands?


message 48: by Claire (new)

Claire (clairemcalpine) | 312 comments Ann Morgan who spent one year reading around the world (the work of author's who came from each of those countries) and then recently published a book about the experience has published a list of all the recommendations she was given during that year. You can find it here:

The List - Ann Morgan's Year of Reading the World

I didn't find anything written by or set in the Turks and Caicos Islands though.


message 49: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1988 comments Mod
Thanks Claire - I've seen the list before - it's a great list and I've now bookmarked it. And yes, it doesn't have any books for Turks and Caicos so still on my quest...


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