Around the World in 80 Books discussion

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ATW in 80 Books World Challenge > Alice - Circumnavigator

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message 1: by Alice (last edited Dec 30, 2013 07:19PM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Happy 2013! I'm only including one book from each country; starting in 2009.



here are North America and Antarctica:

North America, US: The Girl Who Fell from the Sky
North America, Canada: Alias Grace

Antarctica: Life on the Ice: No One Goes To Antarctica Alone

Total Countries: 145
# Regions: 9


message 2: by Alice (last edited Dec 22, 2013 05:16PM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Africa

Total African Countries: 40

Algeria - In the Name of God
Angola - The Cabinda Incident
Benin -
Botswana - The Good Husband of Zebra Drive
Burkina Faso
Burundi -
Cameroon - The Fiddler on Pantico Run: An African Warrior, His White Descendants, A Search for Family
Canary Islands -
Cape Verde -
Central African Republic - African Tales: Folklore of the Central African Republic
Chad - Angry Wind: Through Muslim Black Africa by Truck, Bus, Boat, and Camel
Comoros -
Congo (Republic) -
Congo (DRC) - A Thousand Sisters: My Journey into the Worst Place on Earth to Be a Woman
Djibouti -
Egypt - A Border Passage: From Cairo to America – A Woman's Journey
Equitorial Guinea - Tropical Gangsters: One Man's Experience with Development and Decadence in Deepest Africa
Eritrea -
Ethiopia - Cutting for Stone
Gabon -
Gambia -
Ghana - Changes: A Love Story
Guinea - To Timbuktu: A Journey Down the Niger
Guinea-Bissau - The Ringtone and the Drum: Travels in the World's Poorest Countries
Ivory Coast - Aya: Life in Yop City
Kenya - One Day I Will Write About This Place: A Memoir
Lesotho -
Liberia - This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President
Libya - In the Country of Men
Madagascar -
Malawi - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope
Mali - Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali
Mauritania - Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff
Mauritius - The Last Brother
Morocco - Dreams Of Trespass: Tales Of A Harem Girlhood
Mozambique - Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town
Namibia - Soul of a Lion
Niger -
Nigeria - The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives: A Novel
Reunion -
Rwanda - Baking Cakes in Kigali
Sao Tome & Principe -
Senegal - So Long a Letter
Seychelles - The Edge of Eden
Sierra Leone - A Long Way Gone
Somalia - Sweet and Sour Milk
South Africa - Country of My Skull: Guilt, Sorrow, and the Limits of Forgiveness in the New South Africa
South Sudan - A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story
Sudan - Lyrics Alley: A Novel
Swaziland -
Tanzania - Paradise
Togo - Do They Hear You When You Cry
Tunisia - Pillar of Salt
Uganda - The Last King of Scotland
Western Sahara - Glory in a Camel's Eye: A Perilous Trek Through the Greatest African Desert
Zambia - Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness
Zimbabwe - The Last Resort: A Memoir of Zimbabwe


message 3: by Alice (last edited Dec 30, 2013 07:19PM) (new)


message 4: by Alice (last edited Aug 05, 2013 03:03PM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Australia/Oceania

Total Oceanic "Countries": 7

Open Ocean - Innocents Abroad Too: Journeys Around the World on Semester at Sea
Australia - In a Sunburned Country
Cook Islands -
Fiji -
French Polynesia -
Kiribati - The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific
Marshall Islands -
Micronesia -
Nauru - Paradise for Sale: A Parable of Nature
New Caledonia -
New Zealand - The Bone People
Niue -
Rapa Nui (Easter Island) - Easter Island
Palau -
Papua New Guinea -
Pitcairn Island -
Samoa -
Soloman Islands -
Tonga -
Tuvalu -
Vanuatu - Getting Stoned with Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu


message 5: by Alice (last edited Dec 13, 2013 01:45PM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Caribbean

Total Caribbean Countries: 7

Anguilla - A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean
Antigua - Annie John
Aruba -
Bahamas -
Barbados - In the Castle of My Skin
Bermuda -
Cayman Islands -
Cuba - Finding Manana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus
Curacao -
Dominica -
Dominican Republic - The Feast Of The Goat
Dutch Caribbean (Bonaire, Saba, St. Eustatius) -
French West Indies (Guadeloupe, St. Barts, Martinique & St. Martin) -
Grenada -
Haiti - The Farming of Bones
Jamaica - The Pirate's Daughter
Montserrat -
Puerto Rico -
St. Kitts & Nevis -
St. Lucia -
St. Maarten -
St. Vincent & the Grenadines -
Trinidad & Tobago -
Turks & Caicos -
British Virgin Islands -
US Virgin Islands -


message 6: by Alice (last edited Nov 23, 2013 09:20AM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Europe

Total European Countries: 31

Albania - Broken April
Andorra -
Austria - The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss
Azores - Barnacle Love
Belarus - Burning Lights
Belgium - The Lady and the Unicorn
Bosnia & Herzegovina - People of the Book
Bulgaria -
Croatia - How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed
Czech Republic - The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
Denmark - The Royal Physician's Visit
England - The Hand That First Held Mine
Estonia - Purge
Finland - Snow Angels
France - The Black Tower
Germany - The Book Thief
Gibraltar -
Greece - The Messenger of Athens
Greenland - This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland
Guernsey - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Hungary -
Iceland -
Ireland - An Innocent in Ireland: Curious Rambles and Singular Encounters
Italy - Under the Tuscan Sun
Kosovo -
Lativia -
Liechtenstein -
Lithuania -
Luxembourg -
Macedonia -
Madeira -
Malta -
Moldova - Playing the Moldovans at Tennis
Monaco -
Montenegro -
Netherlands - Girl with a Pearl Earring
Norway - Kristin Lavransdatter, Part 1: The Wreath
Poland - Marie Curie: A Life
Portugal -
Romania - Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey
Russia - Travels in Siberia
San Marino -
Scotland - Espresso Tales
Serbia -
Slovakia -
Slovenia -
Spain - Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia
Sweden - The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Switzerland - 360 Degrees Longitude: One Family's Journey Around the World--A Memoir
Ukraine - Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places
Vatican City - When in Rome: A Journal of Life in the Vatican City
Wales -


message 9: by Diane , Armchair Tour Guide (new)

Diane  | 12949 comments Alice wrote: "Caribbean - Haiti The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat

Caribbean - Dominican Republic The Feast Of The Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa The Feast Of The Goat by Mario Var..."


Great job!


message 10: by Connie (new)

Connie G (connie_g) | 862 comments Have a great trip, Alice! Enjoy your holidays!


message 11: by Diane , Armchair Tour Guide (new)

Diane  | 12949 comments Alice wrote: "I'm signing off for the year - off to travel for real (not just via books) until January. It's been great fun! Happy Holidays everyone, and happy reading in 2013!"

Have a fun and safe trip, Alice!


message 12: by Alice (last edited Jan 10, 2013 10:45AM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments I'm back! My first book for 2013. :-) I'm going to take it easier this year, and read many books that won't count for any of these challenges, but I'll still keep track of my cumulative total here.

Oceania - Kiribati The Sex Lives of Cannibals Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific by J. Maarten Troost The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific by J. Maarten Troost - This book is full of slapstick humor, but also some real insights into life on a small atoll in the middle of the Pacific ocean. The author never loses sight of the fact that he's an outsider and can never fully understand the culture, but manages to give a (as far as I know) realistic picture of the life and culture of the people of Kiribati.

Now at 105 countries


message 13: by Diane , Armchair Tour Guide (new)

Diane  | 12949 comments Alice wrote: "I'm back! My first book for 2013. :-) I'm going to take it easier this year, and read many books that won't count for any of these challenges, but I'll still keep track of my cumulative total here...."

Welcome back, Alice! How was your trip?


message 14: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 176 comments I'm glad you're back, Alice. I missed seeing your latest books and succinct reviews! Happy New Year.


message 15: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Diane wrote: "Alice wrote: "I'm back! My first book for 2013. :-) I'm going to take it easier this year, and read many books that won't count for any of these challenges, but I'll still keep track of my cumulati..."

It was really great - I love travelling! Thanks.


message 16: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Suzanne wrote: "I'm glad you're back, Alice. I missed seeing your latest books and succinct reviews! Happy New Year."

Thanks! Happy travels this year!


message 17: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Oceania - Vanuatu Getting Stoned with Savages A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu by J. Maarten Troost Getting Stoned with Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu by J. Maarten Troost - Another quick, silly read. Not as good as "The Sex Lives of Cannibals" because, as the author states, they were really living as expats in Vanuatu and Fiji - mostly interacting with other foreigners. But, still some very funny insights.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Please let me know if I can be helpful for locating authors from less well represented countries.


message 19: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Osho wrote: "Please let me know if I can be helpful for locating authors from less well represented countries."

Yes, please! I try to find things at the local library, whenever possible. But, some countries are hard!


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

They are indeed. Since you're reading several genres, it's a little easier. What rules have you adopted for your challenge?


message 21: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Caribbean - Anguilla A Trip to the Beach Living on Island Time in the Caribbean by Melinda Blanchard A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean by Melinda & Robert Blanchard - Ahhh . . . life on a caribbean island. No worries in the world; oh wait, running a restaurant, surviving a hurricane. Hey, this isn't what I signed up for! But, the authors did enjoy it anyway - and make it sound like fun. Still, I can't imagine how type-A their lives must have been in Vermont to make the world of a high end restaurant seem comparatively relaxing.


message 22: by Nancy H (new)

Nancy H | 838 comments Alice wrote: "Caribbean - Anguilla A Trip to the Beach Living on Island Time in the Caribbean by Melinda Blanchard A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean by Melinda & Robert Blanchard - Ahh..."

I had that same reaction - they just seemed to take everything in stride and kept moving forward. I thought it was an amazing story.


message 23: by Alice (last edited Jan 29, 2013 08:50AM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Europe - Switzerland 360 Degrees Longitude One Family's Journey Around the World--A Memoir by John Higham 360 Degrees Longitude: One Family's Journey Around the World--A Memoir by John Higham - I'm an engineer. Therefore, I'm straightforward and introverted. We (mostly) all are. The author is also an engineer. Unfortunately, I don't think this makes for the best travel writing. The trip they took with their children was exceptional and many of the anecdotes were funny. But, I read travelogues to get the perspective of someone who meets people all over the world and does things that I just can't, or stays long enough in a place to describe the cultures in a way that the short-term traveler can't. The author says that his wife talks to everyone, but he (at most) just gives their name, rank, and serial number, and they only stayed in each place a few days. It wasn't a bad book, but it just didn't provide any information that you couldn't get from any casual tourist.

Country 108


message 24: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Europe - Estonia Purge by Sofi Oksanen Purge by Sofi Oksanen - A slightly creepy look at national transitions in Estonia - from independence to absorption into the Soviet Union and back to independence. How to survive? How to choose sides? A woman takes a very different path from that of her sister, mostly because she's in love with her brother-in-law (this is discovered early in the book, so it's not a spoiler). Told through the eyes of both the woman and her sister's granddaughter, it's not a "nice" book but enlightening.

Country 109


message 25: by Alice (last edited Jun 03, 2013 11:51AM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Africa - Mauritania Confessions of an Eco-Sinner Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce - A good, balanced look at where our stuff (including food) comes from, where it goes, and the environmental & human impact it has. The author does not ignore the social good that sometimes comes with environmental bad, nor does he gloss over the horrors of international trade. The last few chapters are a little overly optimistic, as nothing has gotten better over the few years since this was written; but it does outline a potential path forward.

This book is set all over the place, but one section is in Mauritania - so it counts!

Country 110


message 26: by Alice (last edited Feb 03, 2013 10:02AM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Asia - Armenia The Crossing Place A Journey Among the Armenians by Philip Marsden The Crossing Place: A Journey Among the Armenians by Philip Marsden - The author starts his journey with the assumption that he knows the most important thing about Armenians - that they are exiles forever pining for their lost land. This assumption is his overwhelming obsession throughout the whole journey - more so than the Armenians he meets. But, he doesn't seem to really care about finding out anything else about the culture or history of the people

Country 111


message 27: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Europe - Vatican City When in Rome A Journal of Life in the Vatican City by Robert J. Hutchinson When in Rome: A Journal of Life in the Vatican City by Robert J. Hitchinson - A light, funny look at life in the Vatican and what it means to be Catholic today. Sometimes it was hard to believe the author is Catholic, but it seems that only a Catholic could really make fun of the inner workings of the church the way he does without it being offensive.

Country 112


message 28: by Alice (last edited Jul 21, 2013 09:54AM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Africa - Chad Angry Wind Through Muslim Black Africa by Truck, Bus, Boat, and Camel by Jeffrey Tayler Angry Wind: Through Muslim Black Africa by Truck, Bus, Boat, and Camel by Jeffrey Taylor - I was going through my "Read" list refiling stuff, and noticed this book (read in 2009) that I hadn't used for the Around-the-World challenge yet. I didn't have a review, but remember being impressed with the way the author got to know the people and explored a region that is not well known to Westerners.

Country 113


message 29: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Asia - Mongolia The Secret History of the Mongol Queens How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire by Jack Weatherford The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire by Jack Weatherford - A good examination of Mongol history and culture from Genghis Khan through Queen Manduhai. I really enjoyed the book, but in some ways, I found the author to be too honest in his admission that there is so much unknown and so many disconnected threads. There were too many people whose fathers/mothers were unknown - too many references to tribes and place I never heard of - too many names that sound similar. I'd love it if someone took this information as the basis of historical fiction. That way it wouldn't need to be historically accurate and could follow a clean thread while still keeping all the basics of the culture and history.

Country 114


message 30: by Alice (last edited Feb 15, 2013 06:01PM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Middle East - Oman Arabian Sands (Penguin Travel Library) by Wilfred Thesiger Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger - This book gives a good cultural history of the Bedu people of southern Arabia prior to the 20th century technological changes when they were living much as they had for thousands of years. The author is very much British from the 1940's, which is kind of funny at times, but he obviously had a real respect for his travelling companions and didn't look down on them like some others of the time. Really valuable for getting some understanding about the basic culture of Arabia.

Country 115


message 31: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Asia - Nepal Little Princes One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan - At the beginning of the book the author seems like any normal American male - likes beer, sports & girls - and like many he wants to travel. But, unlike many, he feels guilty for this self-indulgence and wants to atone by volunteering in an orphanage. This act changes his life. The book is very simple and straightforward, but the actions of the author are nothing short of extraordinary. He admits to "what's in it for him", and he doesn't decide to give up his whole life to the orphans, which makes it more inspirational for me. Probably a small impact in Nepal (except for the small group of kids he's able to help), but a good example of someone deciding that life isn't all about having the biggest house, best car, and most stuff.

Country 116


message 32: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Europe - Poland Marie Curie A Life by Susan Quinn Marie Curie: A Life by Susan Quinn - A fascinating, intelligent, and humanly flawed woman who was a product of her time, and yet also very ahead of her time. This biography does a good job of showing everything that could be found out about her character, actions, and personality while also giving a layperson's summary of her research. I also appreciated the explanations about the societies she lived in - first in Russian occupied Poland and then in Belle Epoque France.

Country 117


message 33: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Europe - Moldova Playing the Moldovans at Tennis by Tony Hawks Playing the Moldovans at Tennis by Tony Hawks - Funny book, the premise wasn't really believable, I think he did it all in order to be able to write a book. But, since I'm not a 30-something Englishman, maybe I just don't understand what some people will do for a bet. Poor Moldova doesn't come across seeming like such a great place, but it did make for some entertaining stories.

Country 118


message 34: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Asia - Sri Lanka Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser - The author explores all types of travel in this novel, voluntary and involuntary - fleeting and permanent. Both of the main characters, and many of the side characters, travel for different reasons. In the end, the author seems to decide that home is really the place to be, but those in the novel who stay home aren't really satisfied with their lives either. So, I'm not sure what she was really trying to say?

Still, it's beautifully written and enjoyable to read.

Country 119


message 35: by Alice (last edited Apr 12, 2013 06:28PM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Africa - Western Sahara Glory in a Camel's Eye A Perilous Trek Through the Greatest African Desert by Jeffrey Tayler Glory in a Camel's Eye: A Perilous Trek Through the Greatest African Desert by Jeffrey Tayler - What is it with men who decide they want to do something epic and dangerous, then write a book to complain about it? The author complains about his companions "traditional" habits: talking about God/Islam, washing with sand/water (not soap), and then he complains because they're too western: watch too much TV, live in concrete houses (not tents). Sorry, but your noble savage doesn't exist - just because you read Thesiger's book about Arabia doesn't entitle you to find the perfect, unspoiled native. Poor, spoiled American wants to be a big, admired explorer. Oh well, you were just born too late, too bad for you. But, it was fairly well written - and other than annoying me, a good read.

But, the author talks about Western Sahara throughout the book, and actually goes there in the Epilogue. Yippee! It's so hard to find a Western Sahara book.

Country 120


message 36: by Alice (last edited Apr 27, 2013 09:01PM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Africa - Mali Monique and the Mango Rains Two Years with a Midwife in Mali by Kris Holloway Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years with a Midwife in Mali by Kris Holloway - I really enjoyed this memoir of a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali and her experiences with a young midwife. Life there is never exoticized, but rather seems very real and normal. A great way to get a glimpse of life in Mali.

Country 121


message 37: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Asia - Kazakhstan Apples Are from Kazakhstan The Land that Disappeared by Christopher Robbins Apples Are from Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared by Christopher Robbins - Good look at modern Kazakhstan. The author knew nothing about the country when he decided to write the book, so the reader gets to journey with him in discovering the history, culture, politics, etc. Well written, it felt more like hearing about a friend's travels than reading a history book.

Country 122


message 38: by Alice (last edited May 04, 2013 01:50PM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments I won this book on Goodreads Giveaways - I can't count it since it's set in England, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil (and I already have all of them). But, for those of you looking for a book from one of those countries - here's my review:

The Travel Auction by Mark Green The Travel Auction by Mark Green

This feels like a book written by your lovely, nice next-door neighbor, and it's actually quite enjoyable to read. The travel descriptions are the best part - and they don't detract from the story since there's a plausible reason to include them. The plot itself is fairly typical romance-with-a-twist, but the sex scene at the end is short enough to be bearable for those (like me) who really detest "that type" of romance novel. The characters grow and learn over the course of the novel, but it's certainly not philosophical. A good beach read, keeps your attention without being taxing on the brain.


message 39: by Alice (last edited Jun 03, 2013 11:49AM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Another book I can't add to my list, because I already have books from all the countries. But, it includes stories primarily from India & Vietnam.
Toothbrush People by Don Gogniat and Valerie White - This book was compiled by one of my professors on Semester at Sea and is a collection of short essays written by students about someone they met during the voyage. It really took me back and reminded me of the important lessons we can, and should, learn when we travel. There is so much we can gain when we really interact with the world around us - especially with people who are very different than us.


message 40: by Alice (last edited May 20, 2013 10:59AM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Europe - Romania Bury Me Standing The Gypsies and Their Journey by Isabel Fonseca Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey by Isabel Fonseca - I really didn't know anything about Gypsies before reading this book: except that when I was in Finland in the 1980's I was told by my host family to stay away from the Gypsies in the supermarket because they always steal things. (yikes!) So . . . this book was very enlightening. It seems the attitude shown by my Finnish friends is pretty universal in Europe. They're the ultimate outsiders - considered to be dirty, ignorent, thieves, etc. Everything bad. Along with Jews, the ultimate scapegoat. Except it's now considered unacceptable to publically say bad things about Jews; not so with Gypsies. Their presence in European society is still considered to be a "problem" without a good solution. The interesting thing, according to the author of this book, is that the Gypsies themselves want to remain separate from the large society - and don't want a homeland. Unlike other ethnic groups in Europe, there's no desire for their own patch of ground. I wonder if the world is ready for a people who by design want to remain a minority - and for us to fully accept that's OK and establish a system where all human rights are protected outside the confines of a national identity. Seems that the European Union should be able to accommodate this, but so far hasn't really tried to.

Country 123


message 41: by Alice (last edited Jun 01, 2013 08:26AM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Africa - Guinea Bissau The Ringtone and the Drum Travels in the World's Poorest Countries by Mark Weston The Ringtone and the Drum: Travels in the World's Poorest Countries by Mark Weston - This author writes with knowledge and sympathy about a part of the world that is largely unknown and widely feared. He spends enough time in all three countries (Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Burkina Faso) to get to know some of the people and write about everyday life for the inhabitants. A great read if you want to learn more about the really poor countries of West Africa. I had hoped for an analysis of how foreign aid could be improved (given the author's background), but that wasn't included.

Country 124


message 42: by Alice (last edited Jun 01, 2013 08:26AM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Europe - Croatia How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed by Slavenka Drakulić How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed by Slavenka Drakulic - I somehow missed the "laughed" part of this book - written just after eastern Europe's revolutions threw out communism, the descriptions of life in the eastern bloc are dismal, poor, and without hope. Somehow people plodded through, but everyone's spirit was crushed.

Country 125


message 43: by Alice (last edited Jun 05, 2013 09:36AM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Europe - Ukraine Visit Sunny Chernobyl And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places by Andrew Blackwell Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places by Andrew Blackwell - I really liked the humor in the book and the fact that the author was able to find some fun, cool, beautiful things and people in every area he visited - without downplaying the environmental destruction that had occurred.

But, it's only 3 stars because this book epitomizes the problem I have with many journalist's books lately - the trend of talking more about themselves and their personal lives. Maybe editors/publishers are making them do this because there have been a few successful examples, and everyone has to jump on the bandwagon? But, in this case it really detracts from the book. Honestly, I don't care about your breakup with "the doctor", it doesn't add anything to the story about polluted places.

(Note: book also set in Canada, USA, Brasil, China, India, and the Pacific Ocean)

Country 126


message 44: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) | 55 comments Alice wrote: "Europe - Croatia How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed by Slavenka Drakulić How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed by Slavenka Drakulic - I somehow missed the "laughed" part of this book -..."

Sounds depressing. Maybe something got lost in translation.


message 45: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Latin America - Belize The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw One Woman's Fight to Save the World's Most Beautiful Bird by Bruce Barcott The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw: One Woman's Fight to Save the World's Most Beautiful Bird by Bruce Barcott - I almost hate to say I "liked" this book because it was so frustrating and maddening! After all we've learned in the past several decades about the harm of dams, and about how incorrect it is to argue "nature vs. economy", these things still happen! Ugh! This book lays it all right out there - the stupidity and greed of humans.

Country 127


message 46: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Europe - Belarus Burning Lights by Bella Chagall Burning Lights by Bella Chagall - Cute, sweet - as though written by a child who doesn't fully understand what's happening around her: life as an Eastern European jew at the very beginning of the 20th century.

Country 128


message 47: by Alice (last edited Jul 21, 2013 09:40AM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Africa - Liberia This Child Will Be Great Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - In her first run for President her opponent's slogan was "He killed my ma, he killed my pa, so I will vote for him". Yikes! She lost that election (through fraud and intimidation) - but the courage to run in such an atmosphere is amazing! The book is a summary of her life - not particularly warm and full of personal details, but an overview of Liberia before, during, and after some of the worst dictators and warmongerers in world history. She never shrinks from her mistakes (at first she supported Charles Taylor because the dictator at the time was also bad for the country), but tells things the way she saw them at the time. A remarkable person.

Country 129


message 48: by Alice (last edited Jul 27, 2013 09:36PM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Africa - Ivory Coast Aya Life in Yop City (Aya #1-3) by Marguerite Abouet Aya: Life in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet - I love the drawings and portrayal of daily life among the middle-class of west Africa. It feels like you've dropped in to a neighborhood; hearing the gossip, seeing what happens on the street, going out for drinks and dancing at night. But, I didn't think the story was all that compelling, it was too much like a soap opera.

Country 130


message 49: by Alice (new)

Alice | 462 comments Middle East - Kuwait A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar - A girl growing up in exile - first in Kuwait (she's half Egyptian/half Palestinian), then in Alexandria, then in Texas. But while craving a steady home, she also wants to escape her parents. The book wasn't bad, but I never felt a connection to any of the characters.

Country 131


message 50: by Alice (last edited Aug 29, 2013 03:54PM) (new)

Alice | 462 comments Latin America - Ecuador The Queen of Water by Laura Resau The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango - I had to keep reminding myself that this had a true story at its heart. It seems so strange to think one person could exist in so many different worlds before turning 16!

Country 132


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