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Personal Lists 2011-2013 > Tanya's list - 2013

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message 1: by Tanya (last edited Dec 28, 2012 03:57AM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments Placeholder for the new year. I'm not even going to pretend that I'll follow a pre-determined list as I think I only read 3 from my original list in 2012, so I'll be adding countries as I go. I intend to try for resident authors this year and will aim for at least 50% of the 52 being new (unread) countries.


message 2: by Tanya (last edited Jan 08, 2013 10:09PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 1. China Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth 9.1.13
Coming of age story for 21 year old girl from a rural village who moves to Beijing to work in the film industry.


message 3: by Tanya (last edited Jan 10, 2013 09:14PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 2. Albania The Fall of the Stone City 11.1.13
Tale of the city of Gjirokaster during the German occupation, followed by that of the Soviet Union. A little cryptic in places because of my lack of knowledge of Albania, but definitly worth reading. This is the first Ismail Kadaré book I've read, and I am looking forward to more.


message 4: by Tanya (last edited Jan 14, 2013 08:42PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 3. North Korea The Aquariums of Pyongyang 15.1.13
North Korean who spent 10 years of his childhood in a 'Work Camp' before escaping to South Korea in the mid 90s. An interesting, and rather horrifying book that gives some insight into life under Kim Il Sung.


message 5: by Tanya (last edited Jan 16, 2013 07:33PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 4. Iraq Love in a Torn Land: Joanna of Kurdistan: The True Story of a Freedom Fighter's Escape from Iraqi Vengeance 17.01.13
Well written memoir of a young Kurdish woman and her marriage to a rebel and life in Kurdistan under Sadaam's rule.


message 6: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments Following Osho's example and making this cool map of my actual travels. This year I'm going to attemp to read for countries I haven't been to.




Jenny (Reading Envy) (readingenvy) | 1309 comments Mod
I love the map thing! I used the traveller's point website to track my journey but I should do a more visual version. I'm also trying to fill in some gaps this year; should be easy since I have three shelves of books left.


message 8: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 5. Indonesia The Black Lake 25.1.13
Short book exploring the changing nature of the relationship between a local Javanese and Dutch landowner's son from childhood 'brothers' to antagonists in the nationalist struggle. Well written. I enjoyed this book.


message 9: by Tanya (last edited Jan 31, 2013 03:52PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 6. Tonga Lords of the Pacific 01/02/13
Adventure set in Tonga in the civil war of the late 1700's. Full of detailed historical research and lots of naval fighting. Worth reading if you're looking for some insight into Tongan culture and history.


message 10: by Tanya (last edited Apr 22, 2013 04:05PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 7. Israel Yasmine 05/02/2013
Iraqi-Jewish immigrant, working as Arab liaison in Jerusalem just after the 6 Day War, falls in love with Arab Christian, with all of the complications you'd expect.


message 11: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 8. Pakistan The Blind Man's Garden 15.2.13
Pakistani foster brothers seek adventure in Afghanistan leaving blind father and family to deal with changing Pakistan.


message 12: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 9. Yemen Salmon Fishing In The Yemen 17.2.13


message 13: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 10. Vietnam Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War 8.3.13
American marines in the Vietnam war. I really enjoyed this. It was the sort of book where you really cared what happened to the characters.


message 14: by Tanya (last edited Mar 13, 2013 05:07PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 11. South Africa Life and Times of Michael K 14.3.13
Slightly depressing book about a rather aimless person living on the edge of society. I think this was my first Coetzee. I can see why his writing is so respected, but I prefer something with a little more direction.


message 15: by MiA (new)

MiA (mirhershelf) | 48 comments Tanya, these are interesting choices. I believe I'll look up some of these titles on my next trip to the bookstore.
The map is also a great idea. I think I'll make one of my list too. ;)


message 16: by Tanya (last edited Apr 07, 2013 09:50PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 12. Poland Mosaic: A Chronicle of Five Generations 8/4/13
This has taken me forever to finish as I've been travelling. Non-fiction account of a Jewish family in Poland, with particular reference to the War and German occupation. Good read.


message 17: by Tanya (last edited Apr 22, 2013 04:10PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 13. Switzerland The Zurich Conspiracy 23/4/13
Very mediocre thriller set in Zurich. I'm hoping its a bad translation and the actual book wasn't quite as bad.


message 18: by Tanya (last edited May 09, 2013 08:10PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 14. Czech Republic Daughter of Smoke & Bone 10.05.13


message 19: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 15. Japan 1Q84 12.5.13
16. Zimbabwe The Boy Next Door 20.5.13


message 20: by Tanya (last edited May 23, 2013 04:26PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 17. Portugal Cain 24.5.13
I really enjoyed this. It was very funny and beautifully written.


message 21: by Tanya (last edited May 27, 2013 08:25PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 18. England Rivers of London 28.5.13
Very cool, fun, urban fantasy detective story set in London with Punch, of Punch and Judy fame a major character.


message 22: by Tanya (last edited Jun 02, 2013 05:55PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 19. Kenya A Guide to the Beasts of East Africa 3.6.13
I didn't enjoy this quite as much as A Guide to the Birds of East Africa but it was still a lovely book with happy endings, centred on Mr Malik and his friends.


message 23: by Tanya (last edited Jun 11, 2013 05:22PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 20. Nigeria Americanah 12.6.13
Just as enjoyable as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's other books, and lovely to read a Nigerian book that doesn't focus on corruption, scams or poverty.


message 24: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 21. Peru Who Killed Palomino Molero? 19.6.13
Detective story set in 1950's Peru.


message 25: by Tanya (last edited Jun 19, 2013 08:17PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 22. Ireland The Gamal: A Novel 20/06/13
Quirky, interesting story told by the 'village idiot' (the Gamal in Irish) who is suffering PTSD. Funny, sad, entertaining. I really enjoyed this.


message 26: by Tanya (last edited Jul 04, 2013 04:13PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 23. Swaziland When Hoopoes go to Heaven 24.6.13
Nice, light, happy story told from 10 year old boys point of view. A good insight into some interesting aspects of Swazi culture.


message 27: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 24. India Miss New India 5.7.13
Young Indian girl runs away from her traditional town, and her parent's plans for her marriage to make it big in a Bangalore call centre. The lead character is not always likeable and there is a little too much melodrama, but this is a really interesting depiction of the clash between old, traditional India and modern India and the limited choices available for women in both worlds.


message 28: by Tanya (last edited Jul 18, 2013 09:26PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 25. Romania Black Sea Twilight 19/7/13
Coming of age story spanning Ceausescu's reign and the subsequent revolution. This was a good story, and more accessible than Herta Müller my previous Romanian read.


message 29: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 26. Transnistria (Moldova) Siberian Education: Growing Up in a Criminal Underworld 19/7/13
Transnistria is a breakaway territory of Moldova where a population of Siberian Urka have settled. The Urka have a long history of banditry and crime, and form a highly controlled, moralistic, ritualised criminal society. Young boys get their first knife before they turn ten, time in prison is expected and is proudly displayed by tattoos. This is the authors fascinating memoir of growing up in this world.


message 30: by Lilisa (new)

Lilisa | 1971 comments Mod
Tanya wrote: "25. Romania Black Sea Twilight 19/7/13
Coming of age story spanning Ceausescu's reign and the subsequent revolution. This was a good story, and more accessible than Herta Müller my previous Romania..."


Thanks, sounds interesting. I've added it to my to read list - thanks.


message 31: by Tanya (last edited Jul 23, 2013 08:34PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 27. Rwanda An Ordinary Man: An Autobiography 24.7.13
Compelling story of the man behind 'Hotel Rwanda' and the history that led to, and consequences of, the Rwandan genocide. Difficult subject matter, but very well written.


message 32: by Tanya (last edited Jul 25, 2013 04:49PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 28. Italy The Whisperer 25.7.13
Police procedural on the hunt for a serial killer. Not bad.


message 33: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 29. Ethiopia Cutting for Stone 9.8.13
Orphaned Anglo Indian twins brought up in a Ethiopian hospital. I really enjoyed this.


message 34: by Tanya (last edited Aug 18, 2013 05:00PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 30. Tahiti Tiare in Bloom: A Novel 19.8.13
Third book in a series promoted as "like the No 1 Ladies Detectives series" - although I didn't see the similarity. This was a nice light, easy read, full of the good, and bad, of the Tahitian culture.

31. Antigua Annie John 19.8.13
Coming of age in the 50's. Quick and easy to read, but a little flat.


message 35: by Tanya (last edited Aug 20, 2013 03:57PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 32. Dominican Republic The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao 21/8/13
I enjoyed this, but think my lack of Spanish, means that I missed out on a lot.


message 36: by Rusalka (new)

Rusalka (rusalkii) | 1005 comments Mod
Glad you enjoyed it Tanya. I understand though. It does make you wonder if you're missing things, and sitting typing lots of text into google translate isn't as fun as reading.

I read some great books in English that have too much in another language. I read one Danish book that translated all the Danish to English, but had one character who spoke German, and didn't translate his dialogue!


message 37: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments Rusalka wrote: "Glad you ..."

I listened to this which made it even worse - if you look at written Spanish, you can normally get a bit of an idea, or as you say, you can google translate - but listening in a car - you've got buckleys!


message 38: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 33. East Timor No Name Bird 2.9.13
Story of a young boy and his fighting bird during just before the Indonesian invasion of Timor. A little patchy in places, and the author tried to hit every bit of relevant history (WW2, Portuguese colonialism, Balibo), over-complicating what could have been a powerful story.


message 39: by Tanya (last edited Sep 05, 2013 08:50PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 34. UAE Layover in Dubai 6.9.13
Thriller set in Dubai. Started off really well, and held my interest, but lost it a bit towards the end. Interesting contrast between organised crime and local Emiratee culture.


message 40: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 35. Sweden The Preacher 4.11.13
A good Scandinavian police procedural.


message 41: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Tanya, I've only just notice your world map in message #6. You are so well travelled! How often do you go OS? Mongolia stands out on the map; looks like it's calling out to you??


message 42: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments Lesley wrote: "Tanya, I've only just notice your world map in message #6. You are so well travelled! How often do you go OS? Mongolia stands out on the map; looks like it's calling out to you??"
Hi Lesley - yep - I travel whenever I can. I tend to do a 'big trip', i.e. 8-10 weeks every second year, with a small 1 or 2 week local Asian or Island one in the off years. The last big one was up the coast of West Africa from South Africa around to Malta. I'm hoping to cash in some of my long service leave and do the Caucuses & region (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran) or more Africa next year. And yes, Mongolia is also on the list - I'd like to combine it with Kamchatka/Russian Far East.


message 43: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 36.Iceland Burial Rites 9.11.13
I really enjoyed this. A good story set in a well researched rural landscape.


message 44: by Lesley (last edited Nov 12, 2013 01:43PM) (new)

Lesley Tanya, apologies for not getting back to your reply sooner. I had to pull out the atlas to have a good look at the Caucuses, as I am really unfamiliar with that area. It's off the beaten track of tourism, so I imagine it will be very interesting. I'm thinking there will be a fusion of Middle Eastern and Eastern European influences, but I'm just guessing!

I like the idea of alternating short then longer trips. I've done only shorter trips in the last few years, as I don't like being away from my stock for too long, and leaving others with the responsibilities of calving, feeding in dry times etc. I am off to Vietnam for 10 days in Feb/Mar next year, then a fortnight in Shanghai and the Yangtze in October. In 2015 I hope to travel the Silk Road from Beijing to Kashgar or maybe further along into Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan.

Mongolia is on my list too. Beautiful open spaces.

Do you travel with a small/adventure tour company or friends? Just wondering if you have any recommendations for such travel companies. I travelled to India with Intrepid Travel a few years ago now. They were very good, but always on the lookout for other companies with good itineraries.


message 45: by Tanya (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments Lesley wrote: "Tanya, apologies for not getting back to your reply sooner. I had to pull out the atlas to have a good look at the Caucuses, as I am really unfamiliar with that area. It's off the beaten track of t..."

Lesley - have you been to Vietnam? I really enjoyed it. Great food, spectacular scenery, interesting history and cheap! just how I like to travel.

I did the Silk Road many years ago - we drove up from Pakistan on the Karakorum, through Kashgar (which is amazing - you really should make sure you go through it on a Sunday for the markets), and then on through Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and finished in Uzbekistan. This was perhaps my best trip ever - I can't recommend it enough. We did this one with Explore who I can recommend. I've also heard really good things about Exodus. I did something in Thailand with Intrepid many, many years ago. They were fine, but we had a addict as a guide and so we seemed to spend a lot of time in some very dodgy areas, so I'm not sure I'd travel with them again.


message 46: by Tanya (last edited Nov 17, 2013 06:57PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 37. Afghanistan The Taliban Cricket Club 18.11.13
Slightly odd story of an Afghan girl who loves cricket, teaching her brother & cousins to play so they can escape the Taliban.


message 47: by Lesley (last edited Nov 18, 2013 12:37PM) (new)

Lesley Tanya, I haven't been to Vietnam before so it will be exciting. I'm particularly looking forward to the food and Halong Bay.

Your Silk Road trip sounds fascinating. The Karakorum Pass would be spectacular I image. I have requested brochures from Explore. More travel brochures lying around the house..... Looks like they do some interesting trips. Thanks for letting me know about them.


message 48: by Tanya (last edited Nov 19, 2013 02:50PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 38. Paraguay This Green Hell 20.11.13
Rather over the top thriller - but good fun read. Probably shouldn't count as Paraguay as very little about the local culture etc, but it did have a significant geographic/environmental setting and I'm a little behind on my around the world reads so I'm counting it!


message 49: by Eliana (new)

Eliana What a fascinating list!

...and how I envy you guys the fabulous traveling! Other than around the US, my traveling has all been of the armchair variety.


message 50: by Tanya (last edited Dec 01, 2013 04:18PM) (new)

Tanya (tanya_) | 229 comments 39. Morocco The Prince of Bagram Prison: A Novel 2.12.13
Another thriller set predominantly in Morocco, but also Iraq, Spain and the US. Quite good. Some interesting (and horrifying) background around political prisoners in 1970's Morocco.


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