Advertising
Advertising

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.

            Advertising

            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”.

                          Advertising

                          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

                          13

                            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

                                      Advertising

                                      19

                                        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

                                                  Advertising

                                                  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

                                                            30

                                                              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

                                                              More by this author

                                                              Nabin Paudyal

                                                              Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

                                                              Benefits of Sauna: 8 Ways It Makes You Healthier and Happier 25 Websites Other Than Social Media To Upgrade Your Life Think That Positive Mantras Help a Lot? Try Value Affirmation Instead 6 Successful Entrepreneurs Who Struggle Through Dyslexia Every Family Has Its Problems, This Is How Some Stick Together No Matter What

                                                              Trending in Hobby

                                                              1 Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally 2 18 Things You Need To Know Before You Get Your First Tattoo 3 17 Free Websites That Will Improve the Quality of Your Life Today 4 Streaming or Downloading: Which Is the Best Use of Your Mobile Data? 5 7 Fun Things To Do When You’re Home Alone

                                                              Read Next

                                                              Advertising
                                                              Advertising
                                                              Advertising

                                                              Last Updated on February 21, 2019

                                                              12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

                                                              12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

                                                              Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                                                              But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                                                              I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                                                              Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

                                                              1. Nuts

                                                              The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                                                              Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                                                              Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                                                              Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

                                                              Advertising

                                                              2. Blueberries

                                                              Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                                                              When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                                                              3. Tomatoes

                                                              Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                                                              4. Broccoli

                                                              While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                                                              Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                                                              Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                                                              5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                                                              Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                                                              The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

                                                              Advertising

                                                              Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                                                              6. Soy

                                                              Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                                                              Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                                                              Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                                                              7. Dark chocolate

                                                              When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                                                              Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

                                                              15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                                                              8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                                                              Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                                                              Advertising

                                                              B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

                                                              Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                                                              Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                                                              To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                                                              9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                                                              Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                                                              Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                                                              Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                                                              10. Gingko biloba

                                                              This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                                                              Advertising

                                                              It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

                                                              However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                                                              11. Green and black tea

                                                              Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                                                              Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                                                              Find out more about green tea here:

                                                              11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                                                              12. Sage and Rosemary

                                                              Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                                                              Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                                                              When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                                                              More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                                                              Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                                              Reference

                                                              Read Next