I love to travel. I love visiting new places, seeing the landscape, experiencing the culture, eating the food, learning how other people live, and how we're really all the same--if we take the time to recognize each others' beautiful souls. I even love walking through the airport, and, yes, sitting on an airplane (12-hour flight? bring it on). I love the anticipation, the excitement, the realization that this pressing, rushing crowd is comprised of individuals from a thousand different places and experiences.
But I can't always be traveling! Someday, when I'm rich (ha), I'll pack a small bag of clothes and a suitcase full of books and explore the world. Until then? I can satisfy my immense wanderlust through books. And the beauty of it is, I don't have to limit myself to dry, dense, technical nonfiction--there are some great memoirs and biographies out there, yes, but fiction can also include vivid, beautiful descriptions of very real cultures and places. I can enjoy a made-up story about made-up people and still learn about the world I live in!
I also believe in the importance of reading diverse books--a variety of stories written by and about people of all backgrounds and experiences. My bookshelf is full of books written by white authors and based in American or western European settings, and I want to change that.
|Poland (I can't for the life of me remember which city this is. Krakow or Wroclaw, I think.)|
So. I'm going to begin documenting the places that I travel to through reading, and you can follow along by checking out that new link in the menu bar at the top of my blog that says "reading the world."
On that page, I've compiled a list of UN-recognized countries (plus a few others) that I can use to organize books by the country in which they are set, marking them with an * if the author has lived in that country and an ** if the author is from that country.
Because I read a lot of books set in the U.S., I won't be including all of them in this list. I'll list them on a case-by-case basis, so if you have any questions about why I included a specific book (U.S. or otherwise), please don't hesitate to contact me! Additionally, a lot of fantasy books are written in settings based on real places, and so those, too, will be included on a case-by-case basis.
You may notice that I listed "Romani people" among the European countries. Romani people do not "belong to" any one country or territory, but their culture is equally as important as anyone else's, and so, because they span an entire continent (and beyond!), I've chosen to list them separately rather than try to box them into a single country.
Want to travel the world with me? Feel free to copy the list of countries I've compiled and begin documenting your own journey. I'd love to see where you visit, so please share a link if you choose to join in the fun!
|Thailand (just outside Chiang Mai)|
Do you enjoy traveling? Which countries have you been to? And, tell me, what is your favorite book set outside your own country?