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ATW in 80 Books World Challenge > dalex tourist 2019

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message 1: by dalex (last edited Nov 08, 2019 08:17AM) (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments books-globe

I plan to attempt a tourist challenge in 2019 - visit at least 24 countries of the world in any region and in any order. I want to also attempt to visit all 8 regions, even though this is not a requirement for this level of challenge.

Current tally: 32/24

1. Switzerland - The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain (4 Stars)
2. Afghanistan - When the Moon Is Low by Nadia Hashimi (4 Stars)
3. United States - Sugar Run by Mesha Maren (4 Stars)
4. England - The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman (5 Stars)
5. Scotland - The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell (4 Stars)
6. Israel - The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (3 Stars)
7. Norway - The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland by Nicolai Houm (3 Stars)
8. Australia - All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld (4 Stars)
9. China - Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien (3 Stars)
10. Tahiti - The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (4 Stars)
11. Germany - The Undertaking by Audrey Magee (4 Stars)
12. Ireland - History of the Rain by Niall Williams (3 Stars)
13. Netherlands - The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith (3 Stars)
14. Democratic Republic of the Congo - Ruined by Lynn Nottage (4 Stars)
15. Iceland - Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (3 Stars)
16. Russia - A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (3 Stars)
17. Argentina - The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis (5 Stars)
18. Croatia - Girl at War by Sara Nović (4 Stars)
19. Canada - Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper (3 Stars)
20. Northern Ireland - Milkman by Anna Burns (4 Stars)
21. New Guinea - Euphoria by Lily King (4 Stars)
22. Greece - Outline by Rachel Cusk (3 Stars)
23. Jamaica - The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (5 Stars)
24. Nigeria - Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (3 Stars)
25. Grenada - Sugar Money by Jane Harris (4 Stars)
26. Czechia - Melmoth by Sarah Perry (3 Stars)
27. India - The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter (3 Stars)
28. Italy - How to Be Both by Ali Smith (4 Stars)
29. Uruguay - Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis (4 Stars)
30. Wales - Cove by Cynan Jones (4 Stars)
31. Vietnam - The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam (3 Stars)
32. Barbados - Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (4 Stars)


message 2: by dalex (last edited Nov 13, 2019 12:17PM) (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments North America

United States
California - Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker (3 Stars)
California - The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (3 Stars)
Connecticut - Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg (4 Stars)
Florida (?) - Trust Exercise by Susan Choi (2 Stars)
Georgia - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (5 Stars)
Georgia - The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (3 Stars)
Illinois - The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (5 Stars)
Iowa - Lila by Marilynne Robinson (4 Stars)
Kansas - The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal (4 Stars)
Kentucky - The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan (3 Stars)
Kentucky - The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (2 Stars)
Maine - Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (4 Stars)
Massachusetts - Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks (3 Stars)
Mississippi - Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (4 Stars)
Missouri - Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (4 Stars)
New York - Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (5 Stars)
New York - A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (4 Stars)
New York - The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman (4 Stars)
North Carolina - Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (3 Stars)
Ohio - Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (4 Stars)
Tennessee - A Death in the Family by James Agee (4 Stars)
Tennessee - The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor (3 Stars)
Vermont - The Secret History by Donna Tartt (5 Stars)
West Virginia - Sugar Run by Mesha Maren (4 Stars)


Canada
Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper (3 Stars)
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald (4 Stars)

Mexico


message 3: by dalex (last edited Nov 18, 2019 09:56AM) (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments Europe

UK and Ireland
England - The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman (5 Stars)
England - Everything Under by Daisy Johnson (5 Stars)
England - Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller (5 Stars)
England - Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell (3 Stars)
England - Wake by Anna Hope (4 Stars)
England - Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (4 Stars)
England - Grief Is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter (4 Stars)
England - God On The Rocks by Jane Gardam (3 Stars)
England - Snap by Belinda Bauer (3 Stars)
England - Invitation to the Waltz by Rosamond Lehmann (4 Stars)
England - The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons (3 Stars)
England - The Road Home by Rose Tremain (4 Stars)
England - The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters (4 Stars)

Scotland - The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell (4 Stars)
Scotland - Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart (3 Stars)
Scotland - The Last Pearl Fisher of Scotland by Julia Stuart (3 Stars)
Scotland - Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (4 Stars)

Ireland - History of the Rain by Niall Williams (3 Stars)
Ireland - Normal People by Sally Rooney (4 Stars)
Ireland - A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride (4 Stars)
Ireland - Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (4 Stars)

Northern Ireland - Milkman by Anna Burns (4 Stars)

Wales - Cove by Cynan Jones (4 Stars)

other European countries
Switzerland - The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain (4 Stars)
Norway - The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland by Nicolai Houm (3 Stars)
Germany - The Undertaking by Audrey Magee (4 Stars)
Netherlands - The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith (3 Stars)
Netherlands - The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton (4 Stars)
Iceland - Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (3 Stars)
Russia - A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (3 Stars)
Russia - Despite The Falling Snow by Shamim Sarif (4 Stars)
Croatia - Girl at War by Sara Nović (4 Stars)
Greece - Outline by Rachel Cusk (3 Stars)
Czechia - Melmoth by Sarah Perry (3 Stars)
Italy - How to Be Both by Ali Smith (4 Stars)


message 4: by dalex (last edited Nov 15, 2019 10:17AM) (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments Africa
Democratic Republic of the Congo - Ruined by Lynn Nottage (4 Stars)
Nigeria - Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (3 Stars)
Nigeria - Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ (4 Stars)

Asia
East Asia
China - Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien (3 Stars)
Vietnam - The Headmaster's Wager by Vincent Lam (3 Stars)

South Asia
Afghanistan - When the Moon Is Low by Nadia Hashimi (4 Stars)
India - The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter (3 Stars)
India - The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (4 Stars)

Caribbean
Jamaica - The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (5 Stars)
Jamaica - The Long Song by Andrea Levy (4 Stars)
Grenada - Sugar Money by Jane Harris (4 Stars)
Barbados - Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (4 Stars)

Latin America
Argentina - The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis (5 Stars)
Uruguay - Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis (4 Stars)

Middle East
Israel - The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (3 Stars)

Oceania
Australia - All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld (4 Stars)
Australia - The Strays by Emily Bitto (4 Stars)
Australia - The Lost Man by Jane Harper (4 Stars)
Tahiti - The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (4 Stars)
New Guinea - Euphoria by Lily King (4 Stars)



______________________________________________
Science Fiction & Fantasy

US - The Book of Flora by Meg Elison (4 Stars)
US - The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (4 Stars)
US - Wanderers by Chuck Wendig (5 Stars)
US - Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (3 Stars)
Canada - Autonomous by Annalee Newitz (3 Stars)
Canada - The Amateurs by Liz Harmer (4 Stars)
England - The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn (2 Stars)
England - My Real Children by Jo Walton (4 Stars)
England - The Machine by James Smythe (4 Stars)
England - Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield (5 Stars)
England - Five Children and It by E. Nesbit (2 Stars)
England - Skin by Ilka Tampke (5 Stars)
England - A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin (3 Stars)
Ireland - Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff (4 Stars)
Mongolia - The Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera (4 Stars)
Finland - Memory of Water by Emmi Itäranta (4 Stars)
Singapore - The Black Tides of Heaven by J.Y. Yang (4 Stars)
Siberia - Far North by Marcel Theroux (4 Stars)
Multiple locations - Touch by Claire North (3 Stars)
Fictional location - The Gunslinger by Stephen King (3 Stars)
Ficitonal location - The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (5 Stars)
Fictional location - The Weaver by Emmi Itäranta (4 Stars)
Fictional location - Her Silhouette, Drawn in Water by Vylar Kaftan (4 Stars)
Fictional location - A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (4 Stars)
Fictional location - The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison (5 Stars)


message 5: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new)

Diane | 12911 comments Enjoy your journey, Dalex! I look forward to seeing where your books take you!


message 6: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments Thanks Diane!

I started off my journey in Switzerland with The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain. It was a very good book - quiet and simple yet poignant. I rated it 4 Stars.


message 7: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments My second book was When the Moon Is Low by Nadia Hashimi. I counted this as being set in Afghanistan because even though it takes place in several different countries it is very much about Afghan identity and culture. It is a beautiful heartbreaking story about a family fleeing Afghanistan to seek asylum in London. I enjoyed it very much.


message 8: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments I traveled to West Virginia with Sugar Run by Mesha Maren. It's about a woman who is released from prison after serving 18 years of a life sentence and her attempts to rebuild her life and make peace with her past. It is a very good - albeit sad - book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


message 9: by dalex (last edited Jan 19, 2019 06:54AM) (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments I've been to England with The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman, which is about a female boxer in 18th century England (with some other side plots). I loved it! Very well written, insightful and entertaining, and just completely engaging.


And to Scotland with The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell. A woman learns that she has a great aunt who has been in a mental institution for 60ish years. Why was she institutionalized and why was she written out of the family story? Is she really insane? And now that the institution has been shut down, what is to become of her? It's a very compelling story and an interesting insight into a time when women could be placed in an institution just because they didn't behave "properly." I really enjoyed it and would recommend it.


message 10: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new)

Diane | 12911 comments dalex wrote: "And to Scotland with The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell. ..."

I have wanted to read this for a long time. I'm happy to see you enjoyed it.


message 11: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments Diane wrote: "I have wanted to read this for a long time. I'm happy to see you enjoyed it."

I hope you like it when you get 'round to it! This is the second novel I've read by O'Farrell and have very much enjoyed both, so much so that I added a third to my reading list for this year.


message 12: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments I read The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks, which is about King David, ancient Israel, and Judaism. I was actually rather disappointed in this book, which surprised me because I've very much enjoyed other books by this author. It was just too much about warfare and politics and I never made any kind of emotional connection with the story.


message 13: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments I traveled to Norway with The Gradual Disappearance of Jane Ashland by Nicolai Houm. It was an ok book but I didn't love it. The synopsis led me to think it was going to be primarily a wilderness survival adventure but it's really not at all. And I never felt drawn into Jane's story. I don't know what caused that disconnect - maybe because it's a Norwegian male writing about an American female, or maybe it's just the author's style. There was an itsy bit of a glimpse of Norwegian culture but overall it was an unremarkable forgettable book for me.


message 14: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments I read All the Birds, Singing by Evie Wyld, which I counted for Australia even though it also takes place partially in England. It was a grim tragic story but the quality of writing and the character development of the protagonist made it a thoroughly engrossing read. I liked it quite a bit more than I expected to based on the synopsis.


message 15: by dalex (last edited Feb 21, 2019 12:59PM) (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments For China I read Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien.

It was an interesting story but I thought it was confusing (politics and history, plus many characters with multiple names) and overly long (a lot of extraneous bits about etymology and music). I think the confusion prevented me from becoming fully engaged in the narration. Based on the numerous award nominations this book received I was expecting to really like it but for me it was just a good 3 Star read.


message 16: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments Updates:

Tahiti - The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (4 Stars - a sprawling complex story that covers decades and continents yet has a sense of intimacy that made it quite compelling)

Germany - The Undertaking by Audrey Magee (4 Stars - grim and bleak but emotive and memorable)

Ireland - History of the Rain by Niall Williams (3 Stars - meandering and overly clever and just not really what I was hoping for based on the synopsis)


message 17: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments Updates:

Netherlands - The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith (3 Stars - an interesting story about a female painter in the Netherlands in the 1600s, a man who owns one of her paintings centuries later, and a professor in the present day who has to deal with the repercussions of having made a forgery of one of the Dutch paintings when she was a student. It was a good book but I thought it was both overly detailed and underdeveloped.)

Democratic Republic of the Congo - Ruined by Lynn Nottage (4 Stars - a powerful play about women who are abused during a civil war in Africa)


message 18: by dalex (last edited Apr 10, 2019 07:27AM) (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments Updates:

Iceland - Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (3 Stars - A well-written atmospheric story about a woman accused of murder in the early 19th century. I thought it was good but the pacing made for a slow ponderous novel.)

Russia - A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (3 Stars - Based on rating and award noms I really expected to be impressed by this novel set during a Russian civil war in the '90s but I honestly thought it was rather boring.)

Argentina - The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis (5 Stars - It is about a woman who disguises herself as a man in order to be a tango musician in the early 1900s in Argentina...and comes to realize that she feels more "real" as a man than as a woman. Beautifully written with a very strong sense of time and place and an interesting study of gender identity.)

Current tally: 17/24


message 19: by dalex (last edited Apr 29, 2019 06:39AM) (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments Updates:

Croatia - Girl at War by Sara Nović (4 Stars) This coming-of-age story relates the experience of young Ana during the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s and her attempts as an adult to find peace with her childhood memories. It is truly an exceptional book, relating a horrifying harrowing tale in a simple manner that is no less emotionally moving for its sparsity. A truly memorable and conscious-raising book.


Canada - Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper (3 Stars) Melancholy and atmospheric, this story is about how the dwindling fish population impacts a tiny village in Newfoundland. Beautiful written with complex characters. Enjoyable and memorable.

Current tally: 19/24


message 20: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments Updates:

Northern Ireland - Milkman by Anna Burns (4 Stars) Exploring the political turmoil of the Troubles, this is a challenging book that is bleak, grim, and darkly witty. I can't say I loved it but I certainly was impressed with how the author crafted the book.

New Guinea - Euphoria by Lily King (4 Stars) Set in the 1930s, the story explored the impact of three anthropologists on the indigenous tribal peoples of New Guinea. I really liked this book; it was well written, engaging, and tragic.

Current tally: 21/24


message 21: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments And.....I've completed the challenge!

22. Greece - Outline by Rachel Cusk (3 Stars)

23. Jamaica - The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (5 Stars)

24. Nigeria - Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (3 Stars)


message 22: by Lizzy (new)

Lizzy Go dalex! I'm a newcomer to this group, but love seeing all your postings on ATY.


message 23: by dalex (new)

dalex (912dalex) | 22 comments Lizzy wrote: "Go dalex! I'm a newcomer to this group, but love seeing all your postings on ATY."

Hi Lizzy! Good luck with the Around the World challenge!


message 24: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new)

Diane | 12911 comments Congrats on completing your challenge, Dalex!


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