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Why You Should Read Books From Every Country In The World (With 30 Books Recommended)

Why You Should Read Books From Every Country In The World (With 30 Books Recommended)

Books offer the privilege of travelling all around the globe without even having to leave one’s comfort zone. Reading also ignites the level of one’s imagination. However, it is equally true that books are reflections of the author’s mindset and their imaginative outburst.

And when diversity is considered to be an asset, it is certain that their works of art touch a flavor of how they own their diversity and it impacts what we receive by reading their works.

So rather than engaging in reading of only a singular culture and lifestyle, it is valuable to learn of the differences and avoid assumptions about others. Here in this article, we present to you a list of 30 books from 30 different countries that are not only significant in terms of literature but should also help you to understand the different settings in which they are set in a better way.

The list is inspired from author Ann Morgan’s TED Talk in which she shares her experiences of reading one book from each and every country in the world over the period of one year. You don’t need to worry about the language of these books though as these works have been translated into multiple languages.

1. France: The Little Prince

1

    The Little Prince, which was first published in 1943, is one of the finest masterpieces of all time written by French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It is the third most translated novel today with translations in more than 250 languages with hundreds of millions of copies sold worldwide.

    The novel is a soft tale of love, loneliness, friendship and loss in the form of a young alien Prince who falls to earth. The author is believed to have drawn on his earlier aviation experiences in the Sahara desert to create this novel.

    2. England: Emma

    2

      One of the best works of Jane Austen, Emma was first published in 1815. Several TV shows, films, and stage shows have been adapted from this novel. In the words of Austen herself, the novel is an attempt to create a heroine only for her to like.

      The book portrays a youthful, lively and beautiful Emma Woodhouse as the heroine of Jane Austen where Jane explores the concerns and difficulties of a well-mannered woman living in England.

      3. United States of America: The Scarlet Letter

      3

        The Scarlet Letter, published for the first time in 1850, is one of the finest works of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. According to D.H. Lawrence, this book is the most perfect work of American imagination. In this fiction story, Hawthorne sets the character Hester Prynne in the historical setting of 17th century Boston. Hester conceives a daughter after an affair and the novel revolves around her struggle for dignity and acceptance in the society.

        4. India: The God of Small Things

        4

          The God of Small Things is the debut novel of Indian writer Arundhati Roy, which was first published in 1997. Roy received the Booker Prize in 1998 for the novel, one of the most prestigious awards for English literature in the world.

          The book explores the life of two fraternal twins in a village in the Indian state of Kerala and beautifully portrays how small things change the behavior and life of people.

          5. Germany: Main Kampf

          5

            Mein Kampf is the autobiographical manifesto of Adolf Hitler published initially in 1925 and 1928 in two volumes. The book has been popularly read for its political theory and has been often criticized for its racial content.

            Literally meaning “My Struggle”, Hitler outlines his political ideology and plans for Germany. In the book, the narrator describes how he became increasingly anti-Semitic and militarist.

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            6. South Africa: Long Walk to Freedom

            6

              Long Walk to Freedom is an autobiographical book by Nelson Mandela that was published for the first time in 1995. The book has been a huge source of inspiration for many and reflects the struggle and determination of Mandela.

              The books explores his early life, his education, his political activities and his 27 years’ prison life in Robben Island under the apartheid government.

              7. Russia: Crime and Punishment

              7

                Crime and Punishment is a novel written by Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky, published first in a Russian Literature journal in series in the year 1866. The author explores the theme of redemption through suffering. This book, when it appeared brought Dostoyevsky at the forefront of Russian literature and since then, has remained one of the most influential novels in world literature.

                8. Italy: The Name of the Rose

                8

                  First published in 1880, The Name of the Rose is a fine work of Italian author Umberto Eco. The novel has been translated into several languages and in 1996, it was even adapted into a film starring Sean Connery and Christine Slater, directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud.

                  Set in Italy during the Middle Ages, the book explores a murder mystery in one Italian monastery in the year 1327.

                  9. China: The Garlic Ballads

                  9

                    The Garlic Ballads is written by 2012’s Nobel Prize winner for Literature Mo Yan. This book was first published in English in 1995 as Yan’s gateway book. Set in the 20th century in rural China, the farmers in the novel are asked by government officials to only grow garlic but which they refuse to buy later. The book is banned in Yan’s native China in the wake of the protests in Tiananmen Square.

                    10. Switzerland: Siddhartha

                    10

                      Published for the first time in 1922, Siddhartha is written by novelist Hermann Hesse. In 1960s when it was first published in USA, the book gained more popularity. With simple words but deep meaning, this book is a capsule to wisdom.

                      The novel is a spiritual journey of a man named Siddhartha who renounces all his princely life back in Kapilvastu, Nepal and decides to live an ascetic life in search of light.

                      11. Lebanon: The Prophet

                      11

                        The Prophet is a book of prose and poems, first published in 1923. Ever since its first publication, the book has never been out of print. This book is considered to be the best work of Kahlil Gibran and has been a best-seller for many years.

                        The book is divided in chapters that talk about marriage, love, children, drinking, eating and many other aspects of life. Lines from this book have influenced many political speeches, songs and other artistic works worldwide.

                        12. Spain: Don Quixote

                        12

                          Don Quixote is one of the most influential works from the Spanish Golden Age. Published first in two volumes in 1605 and 1615, the full title of this novel, written by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, in English is “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha”.

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                          It tells the story of Alonso Quijano, a Hidalgo, living near La Mancha region of Spain around the beginning of 17th century. He reads the tales about knights, princesses and enchanted castles extensively without even sleeping properly that he goes out of his mind.

                          13. Japan: Almost Transparent Blue

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                            First published in 1976, Almost Transparent Blue is written by prominent Japanese novelist Ryu Murakami. Murakami won several awards for this novel including the prestigious Akutagawa Prize. The book portrays life around the US Base Camp near Kanagawa in the 1970s. The near-plotless story chronicles an intense journey through rough drug addiction, group sex, and other violent acts.

                            14. Norway: A Doll’s House

                            14

                              A Doll’s House is a three-act play in prose that was initially published in 1879, written by Norwegian author Henrik Ibsen. The play was considered significant for it challenged the dogmas of 19th century marriage norms.

                              The play was based on the real life of Ibsen’s close friend Laura Kieler. It describes the events that unfold on the lives of Nora Helmer and her husband Torvald when Nora secretly burrows large sums of money to cure her husband’s illness.

                              15. Portugal: Blindness

                              15

                                Published for the first time in 1995, Blindness is a novel by Nobel Prize winning Portuguese author Jose Saramago.

                                The novel is a magnificent, mesmerizing parable of loss by Saramago. The story is of a city that is hit by an epidemic of “white blindness” that spares no one. The book is a folly and heroism of ordinary lives.

                                16. Turkey: My Name is Red

                                16

                                  My Name is Red is written by Orhan Pamuk who won 2006’s Nobel Prize in Literature. It appeared in its Turkish version first in 1998. It is the recipient of 2003 International IMPAC Dublin Award. Set in Istanbul in the late 1590s, the book is a philosophical thriller about a stirring murder mystery. The other themes of the novel are love, artistic devotion and tensions between the East and the West.

                                  17. Egypt: Children of Gebelawi

                                  17

                                    Published originally in 1959, Children of the Gebelawi is a novel written by Egyptian Nobel Laureate writer Naguib Mahfaouz. The book was opposed by religious authorities in Egypt, which even resulted in him being stabbed by religious extremists and he nearly died in the incident.

                                    The novel reconstructs the interwoven account of the past of the three Abrahamic religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. It is set on an imaginary Cairene alley of the 19th century.

                                    18. Brazil: The Devil to Pay in the Backlands

                                    18

                                      The Devil to Pay in the Backlands, written by Brazilian writer Joao Guimaraes Rosa, was first published in 1956. The book is now considered to be among the greatest works of Brazilian literature and one of the important works in Latin American Literature.

                                      In this book, Riobaldo, a bandit who has been long travelling Brazil’s interior, tells the story of his life to an unknown listener. The story initially begins in ordinary manner but soon it tells about the life of a man struggling with life, love, friendship, devil and trust.

                                      19. Ireland: Gulliver’s Travels

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                                        Gulliver’s Travel is the most popular and classic work of Jonathan Swift, that was published for the first time in 1726. This satire of travel narratives and human behaviors became a bestseller soon after its publication.

                                        It is the story of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon from Nottinghamshire who loves traveling. On a fateful voyage to the South Seas, he is caught up in a storm and washed up on Lilliput, an island of tiny people who are about 6 inches tall. He then runs into several other types of people in different places as well.

                                        20. Iceland: The Independent People

                                        20

                                          Originally published in two volumes in 1934 and 1935, The Independent People is an epic novel written by Nobel Laureate Halldor Laxness. This book, along with others helped Laxness win the Nobel Prize in 1955 crediting his vivid epic power that has renewed the great narrative art of Iceland.

                                          The book is the story of an Irish sheep farmer Guobjartur Jonsson and his battle for independence. After working for others for many years, Jonsson saves enough to lease a sheep farm of his own. However, it is in a valley believed to be haunted.

                                          21. Iran: The Blind Owl

                                          21

                                            The Blind Owl is a book by Iranian writer Sadegh Hedayat. It was published first as a limited edition in Bombay in 1937. It later appeared in Tehran in 1941. Written during the final years of Reza Shah’s rule, it’s considered a major literary work of Iran from the 20th century.

                                            Regarded among the finest works in modern Iranian literature, Hedayat’s masterpiece is a moving tale of loss and spiritual ruin that tells the story of a young man’s anguish after the loss of his enigmatic lover.

                                            22. Mexico: Pedro Paramo

                                            22

                                              Published originally in 1955, Pedro Paramo is a novel written by Mexican author Juan Rulfo. The book has been a source of inspiration for many Latin American writers including Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

                                              This novel is about a man named Juan Preciado who after the demise of his mother, travels to her hometown of Comala to find his father and happens to come across a ghost town populated by haunted figures.

                                              23. Austria: The Man without Qualities

                                              23

                                                The Man without Qualities is an unfinished novel published first as three books from 1930 to 1943, written by Austrian novelist Robert Musil. This unfinished novel took Musil more than twenty years and was halted by his death.

                                                Set in Vienna on the eve of World War I around the time of Austro-Hungarian monarchy’s last days, this novel is now considered to be one of the most important modernist novels. It dissects various human themes and feelings.

                                                24. Sweden: Pippi Longstocking

                                                24

                                                  Pippi Longstocking is a series of children books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. The name Pippi was given by Lindgren’s then nine year old daughter. Different volumes of the book were published at various times between 1945 and 2000.

                                                  Story set in a Swedish village, it tells the story of Pippi who lives in her madcap house “Villa Villekulla” with a monkey. Her exuberant ways cause as much trouble as fun but she remains irrepressible and irrefutably charming at all times.

                                                  25. Peru: The Time of the Hero

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                                                  25

                                                    Published for the first time in 1963, The Time of the Hero is a novel written by Nobel Prize Winner Mario Vergas Llosa. The novel has been adapted into a film by Peruvian film director Francisco Lombardi.

                                                    The story of the novel is set up among a community of cadets in a military school in Lima. Llosa was so accurate in portraying the academy with the powerful social satire that it outraged the authorities of Peru, where thousands of copies of the novel were burnt publicly.

                                                    26. Argentina: The Motorcycle Diaries

                                                    26

                                                      The Motorcycle Diaries is the memoir of Marxist revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara from his early motorcycle journey across Latin America, when motorcycling didn’t involve modern gadgets. The book has been a New York Times bestseller for a long time.

                                                      It tells the real story of a young Argentine man who went on to become such a huge icon and a major threat to global capitalism. The experience in the travel that transforms Che has been described by many as a coming-of-age story of adventure and self-discovery.

                                                      27. Colombia: One Hundred Years of Solitude

                                                      27

                                                        Published originally in 1967, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a masterpiece from Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s one of the representative novels from the literary Latin American Boom.

                                                        The multi-generational story of the Buendian family is a brilliant amalgamation of elements from all Marquez’s previous short stories. It tells the captivating story of the rise and fall of a mythical Macando town through the family’s history.

                                                        28. Chile: The House of the Spirits

                                                        28

                                                          Published for the first time in 1982, The House of the Spirits is a masterpiece bestseller of Isabel Allende. The novel was declared as the best novel in 1982 in Chile where Allende also received the country’s prestigious Panorama Literary award.

                                                          Allende constructs a spirit ridden world that turns out to be a symbolic family saga and story of the turbulent history of an unnamed Latin American country. Incorporating the elements from magical realism, it tells the story of Trueba family spanning across four generations.

                                                          29. Nigeria: Things Fall Apart

                                                          29

                                                            Published originally in 1958, Things Fall Apart is a post-colonial novel written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe which is probably the first to receive global critical acclaim. It was also the first work to be published in Heimann’s African Writers Series.

                                                            The novel is an intertwining of two stories both centered on the protagonist Okonkwo, who is an Igbo leader and local wrestling champion in the fictional Umuofia village of Nigeria.

                                                            30. Pakistan: I am Malala

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                                                              I am Malala is Malala Yusufzai’s fearless memoir, co-written by journalist Christina Lamb that was published for the first time in 2013. This book is inspirational and depicts the dire necessity of change in the life of women in Pakistan.

                                                              The youngest Nobel Laureate, Malala explains the life under Taliban rule in her home district, Swat Valley in Pakistan. Already an activist for girl’s education in the Swat Valley since 2012, Malala explains the situation of women in Pakistan.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Girl Reading a Book via pixabay.com

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                                                              Last Updated on August 15, 2018

                                                              7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                                              7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

                                                              Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

                                                              Video Summary

                                                              Why is it important to train up our core strength?

                                                              There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

                                                              This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

                                                              Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

                                                              In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

                                                              One Exercise, multiple benefits

                                                              There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

                                                              By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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                                                              When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

                                                              Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

                                                              In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

                                                              What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

                                                              What will happen when you start doing planks every day

                                                                1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

                                                                Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

                                                                • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
                                                                • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
                                                                • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
                                                                • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

                                                                2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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                                                                  Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

                                                                  Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

                                                                  3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

                                                                    Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

                                                                    4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

                                                                      Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

                                                                      A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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                                                                      A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

                                                                      On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

                                                                      5. You’ll improve overall balance

                                                                        Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                                                                        6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                                                                          Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                                                                          7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                                                                            Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                                                                            How to hold a plank position

                                                                            1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                                                                            2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                                                                            3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                                                                            4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                                                                            5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                                                                            6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                                                                            7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                                                                            Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                                                                            Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                                                                              How to improve your plank time gradually

                                                                              1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                                                                              2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                                                                              3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                                                                              Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                                                                              Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                                                                              You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                                                                              • Prolapse
                                                                              • After prolapse surgery
                                                                              • Pelvic pain conditions
                                                                              • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                                                                              • Previous childbirth
                                                                              • Overweight

                                                                              Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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