Around the World in 80 Books discussion

73 views
ATW in 80 Books World Challenge > Laurie's 2018 Tourist Challenge

Comments Showing 1-43 of 43 (43 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Laurie (last edited Nov 01, 2018 04:50PM) (new)

Laurie | 627 comments I've decided to try the Tourist Challenge again this year. I didn't do one of the annual challenges in 2017, so I'll see if I can get to 24 different countries in 2018.

32 countries




1. USA
2. Azerbaijan
3. Belarus
4. Germany
5. Kiribati
6. France
7. Italy
8. Finland
9. Nigeria
10. San Marino
11. Turkey
12. Bangladesh
13. China
14. St. Kitts and Nevis
15. Qatar
16. Argentina
17. England
18. Congo (Republic)
19. Vietnam
20. Australia
21. Poland
22. Jamaica
23. Albania
24. Israel
25. Somalia
26. Chile
27. Haiti
28. Japan
29. Burundi
30. Malawi
31. Barbados
32. Armenia


message 2: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new)

Diane | 12904 comments Happy travels, Laurie!


message 3: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 1/24 countries

Started in my home country of the US.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead 4 stars for an unusual and unapologetically inaccurate depiction of slavery in the US. By inaccurate, I mean that the underground railroad in the story is not a metaphorical term for the safe houses that sheltered slaves in their quest for freedom when they escaped their owners. Whitehead's underground railroad is an actual physical railroad in tunnels underground that is used to transport runaway slaves to safety. There are other inaccuracies which show other terrible things which have been done to blacks in America or that might have happened if our history had gone a very slightly different way.


message 4: by Mome_Rath (new)

Mome_Rath | 1346 comments This has been on my reading list since it came out. Did you like the book?


message 5: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments Mome_Rath wrote: "This has been on my reading list since it came out. Did you like the book?"

I liked it and gave it 4 stars. I can tell from the reviews that the alternate history format is not to everyone's liking.


message 6: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 2/24 countries

Azerbaijan - Ali and Nino: A Love Story by Kurban Said
4 stars - My review


message 7: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 3/24 countries

Belarus - Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich
5 stars. My review

I couldn't understand before reading this book why some people count it for Belarus since Chernobyl is in Ukraine. But most of the people interviewed in this book are from Belarus which was much more widely affected than Ukraine was by nuclear fallout.


message 8: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new)

Diane | 12904 comments Laurie wrote: "3/24 countries

Belarus - Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich
5 stars. My review

I couldn't understand before readin..."


We read this at the same time! Amazing book. I had wondered the same thing about why it was usually counted as Belarus instead of Ukraine as well. Very enlightening book. Compelled me to do further research on the Internet as to what has happened since the book was written.


message 9: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 4/24 countries

Germany - Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
4 stars - A compelling story of a woman born in 1915 who was a Zwerg, a dwarf, growing up in a small German town. Trudi faced many challenges as a dwarf which made her always feel an outsider in her town since she was different.


message 10: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 3060 comments I enjoyed Stones of the River so much that I read more of Ursula Hegi's books. They were good too.


message 11: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I enjoyed Stones of the River so much that I read more of Ursula Hegi's books. They were good too."

I'll have to take a look at her others, thanks.


message 12: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 5/24 countries

Kiribati - A Pattern Of Islands by Arthur Grimble
4 stars - My review


message 13: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 6/24 countries

France - Blue Is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh 4 stars


message 14: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 7/24 countries

Italy - The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg
3 stars


message 15: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 8/24 countries

Finland - The Moomins and the Great Flood by Tove Jansson
4 stars


message 16: by Laurie (last edited Sep 03, 2018 07:10AM) (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 9/24 countries

Nigeria - Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo
4 stars


message 17: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 10/24 countries

San Marino - The Gladiator by Harry Turtledove
3 stars - My Review


message 18: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 12/24 countries

Turkey - Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World by Suzy Hansen
4 stars - I found this memoir/political history fascinating because the author knew virtually nothing about the history between Turkey and the US before she went to live there in 2007. I have to add that I am quite ignorant of that particular history as well. She went on a two year journalism grant and has stayed in Turkey ever since because she fell in love with the country. She admits that looking at the US from the viewpoint of many foreigners is not easy or pleasant because of our history of intervention in seemingly everyone's affairs.

Bangladesh - Sultana's Dream by Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain
4 stars - An incredible short story by a Bengali (Bangladesh) author. It is amazing because it is a feminist utopian story published in 1905. Apparently the author was an ardent Muslim feminist which I greatly admire in a woman at that time in history.


message 19: by Laurie (last edited Apr 05, 2018 06:47PM) (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 13/24 countries

China - The Art of War by Sun Tzu
3 stars- Considered a great military classic which was undoubtedly applicable to warfare for most of the last couple of centuries, but now seems quaint. There is still some good strategy but mostly so outdated that I'm not sure why it is still read.


message 20: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 14/24 countries

St. Kitts and Nevis - The Final Passage by Caryl Phillips
2 stars


message 21: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 15/25 countries

Qatar - 800 Days in Doha by Penelope Gordon
3.5 stars - My review


message 22: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 16/24 countries

Argentina - The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey by Ernesto Che Guevara
3.5 stars - I enjoyed this travel memoir which is Ernesto when he was a young medical student and a few years ago from his revolutionary beginnings. It is somewhat repetitive after their motorcycle breaks down and the two young men are irresponsible vagabonds, but it whetted my interest in learning about Che as a revolutionary.


message 23: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 17/24 countries

England - North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
5 stars - I loved this classic which is known for its depiction of factory workers and their struggles during the early Industrial Revolution through the eyes of a young gentlewoman in northern England.


message 24: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 18/24 countries

Congo (Republic) - Tomorrow I'll Be Twenty by Alain Mabanckou
3.5 stars


message 25: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 19/24 countries

Vietnam - The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
3 stars


message 26: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 20/24 countries

Australia - Force of Nature by Jane Harper
4 stars - My review


message 27: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 21/24 countries

Poland - Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman
4 stars - an outstanding graphic novel depicting the beginning of the holocaust featuring the author's father and mother. Now I must move on to part 2 to see the details of the family's experience in the concentration camp.


message 28: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 3060 comments In Maus Part 2, we also see the relationship between the author and his father. I enjoyed both parts.


message 29: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments Rosemarie wrote: "In Maus Part 2, we also see the relationship between the author and his father. I enjoyed both parts."

I'm glad it's not all about the camp then. I don't look forward to seeing exactly what happened to his mother, but I can guess at this point.


message 30: by Laurie (last edited Jul 04, 2018 07:08PM) (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 22/24 countries

Jamaica - Dancing Lessons by Olive Senior
3 stars


message 31: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 23/24 countries

Albania - Chronicle in Stone by Ismail Kadare
3 stars - In regard to WWII, this is one of those countries most of us never hear about. Since the story is told through the eyes of a ten year old boy, the events are isolated to what happened in his small town close to the border with Greece. It was occupied alternately and repeatedly by Greeks and Italians then finally the Germans. Amazing how the townspeople had to deal with all of the chaos of the various occupying forces and being bombed by the Allies.


message 32: by Laurie (last edited Jul 04, 2018 07:08PM) (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 24/24 countries

Israel - A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman
3 stars - My review

Challenge complete but I'll keep posting and see how many countries I can get to this year


message 33: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new)

Diane | 12904 comments Congrats on reaching your 24th country!


message 34: by Mome_Rath (new)

Mome_Rath | 1346 comments Congratulations on finishing the tourist challenge! Hope you enjoy the rest of your literary travels this year!


message 35: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments Thank you, Diane and Mome_Rath


message 36: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 25 countries

Somalia
Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed
4 stars - A coming of age story about an orphaned Somali boy in the WWII era. Little of this book is actually set in Somalia (Somaliland), but the Somali kinship that Jama looks for in people wherever he travels is important.


message 37: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 26 countries

Chile
My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile by Isabel Allende
3.5 stars - I enjoyed the memories of Allende growing up in Chile along with her reflections about the history, culture, and politics of the country. It was a little disjointed in places to me and toward the end she declined to tell much about her life in exile because she had already told that story in her memoir, Paula. But since I haven't read Paula, I felt irritated that this interesting part of her life is hardly touched on. In reality, she didn't go into much depth about her life at any stage. Allende tells stories about Chile and its people, and they are the focus more than she is.


message 38: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 27 countries

Haiti
The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat
This could be counted for the Dominican Republic or Haiti as the first half of the book is set in DR. I chose Haiti since that is where Danticat is from.

My review


message 39: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 28 countries

Japan
Revenge by Yōko Ogawa
3.5 stars


message 40: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments Updated map




29 countries
Burundi
Small Country by Gaël Faye
3 stars


message 42: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 31 countries
Barbados
Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
4 stars - An unusual retelling of a Senegalese folktale told in a fantasy or magical realism genre. I counted this for Barbados since the story does not name the country of the setting, but the author is from Barbados.


message 43: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 627 comments 32 countries
Armenia
An Armenian Sketchbook by Vasily Grossman
3 stars - A very eclectic mix of thoughts and ramblings about a 2 month visit to Armenia by the author. It was amusing to read repeated references to his role as a non-Armenian speaking translator to an Armenia author. Grossman has a kind of droll humor that peeks through as he clearly enjoyed his time in Armenia even though he didn't speak the language and he wasn't greeted with the acclaim he expected beforehand.


back to top