books | international a-z |

As a connoisseur of books, I traipse through a destination, before embarking on my journey, by way of literary fiction, travel stories, or memoirs. Sometimes, though not often, I read historical accounts. I enjoy the process of immersing myself in a place before I go, getting a feel for the culture, the people, and what defines a place. Reading ignites my imagination about a place and its inhabitants. It also extends my travel time. 🙂

The following list of books, set in countries all over the world, is a work in process.  I invite readers to suggest additional books set in these locales in the comments below. I’m most interested in including memoir, literary fiction, historical accounts or essays, not guidebooks.  Links to Goodreads are provided for books I’ve read; if you click on them you may be able to read my review (if I wrote one!).



  1. Afghanistan
    1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
    2. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
    3. The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
    4. An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan by Jason Elliott
  2. Albania
    1. Agamemnon’s Daughter: A Novella and Stories by Ismail Kadare
    2. Broken April by Ismail Kadare
    3. Chronicle in Stone by Ismail Kadare
    4. The Accursed Mountains: Journeys in Albania by Robert Carver
  3. Algeria
    1. The Sexual Life of an Islamist in Paris by Leïla Marouane
    2. Nedjma by Yacine Kateb
    3. The Lovers of Algeria by Anouar Benmalek
    4. The Last Life by Claire Messud
    5. The Star of Algiers by Aziz Chouaki
    6. Women of Algiers in their Apartment by Assia Djebar
    7. The Stranger by Albert Camus
    8. Century of Locusts by Malika Mokeddem
  4. Andorra
  5. Angola
    1. Blue Dahlia, Black Gold: A Journey Into Angola by Daniel Metcalfe
    2. A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa
  6. Antigua and Barbuda
    1. Mr. Potter by Jamaica Kincaid
    2. A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid
    3. Dancing Nude in the Moonlight by Joanne C. Hillhouse
  7. Argentina
  8. Armenia
    1. Orhan’s Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian
  9. Australia
    1. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
    2. A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
  10. Austria
  11. Azerbaijan
  12. Bahamas
  13. Bahrain
  14. Bangladesh
  15. Barbados
  16. Belarus
  17. Belgium
    1. The Bridge of Years: A Novel by May Sarton
    2. The Lady and the Unicorn by Tracy Chevalier
    3. A Tall Man in a Low Land by Harry Pearson
  18. Belize
  19. Benin
  20. Bhutan
  21. Bolivia
  22. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  23. Botswana
  24. Brazil
    1. Amazon Rainforest (Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, etc.)
      1. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
  25. Brunei
  26. Bulgaria
  27. Burkina Faso
  28. Burundi
  29. Cabo Verde
  30. Cambodia
    1. The Disappeared by Kim Echlin
    2. The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine by Somaly Mam
    3. First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (Daughter of Cambodia #1) by Loung Ung
    4. When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge by Chanrithy Him
  31. Cameroon
  32. Canada
    1. British Columbia
      1. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
    2. Ontario
      1. China Dog: And Other Tales from a Chinese Laundry by Judy Fong Bates
  33. Central African Republic
  34. Chad
  35. Chile
    1. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
  36. China
    1. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
    2. Waiting by Ha Jin
    3. The Crazed by Ha Jin
    4. Red Azalea by Anchee Min
    5. The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan
    6. The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
    7. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Saijie
    8. China Dog: And Other Tales from a Chinese Laundry by Judy Fong Bates
    9. China Dolls by Lisa See
    10. River Town: Two Years on the Yangtzee by Peter Hessler
    11. Cries in the Drizzle by Yu Hua
    12. A Cup of Light by Nicole Mones
    13. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
    14. Peony in Love by Lisa See
    15. Frontiers of Heaven: A Journey to the End of China by Stanley Stewart
    16. Hong Kong
      1. The Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee
    17. Shanghai
      1. The Binding Chair or, a Visit from the Foot Emancipation Society by Kathryn Harrison
  37. Colombia
    1. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
  38. Comoros
  39. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  40. Republic of the Congo
    1. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  41. Costa Rica
  42. Cote d’Ivoire
  43. Croatia
    1. The Sound of Blue by Holly Payne
  44. Cuba
    1. In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd by Ana Menéndez
    2. Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
  45. Cyprus
  46. Czech Republic
    1. Prague
      1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
  47. Denmark
  48. Djibouti
  49. Dominica
  50. Dominican Republic
    1. Let it Rain Coffee by Angie Cruz
    2. In the Name of Salome by Julia Alvarez
  51. Ecuador
    1. The Queen of Water by Laura Resau
    2. Plundering Paradise: The Hand of Man on the Galápagos Islands by Michael D’Orso
    3. The Panama Hat Trail by Tom Miller
  52. Egypt
    1. The Teacher of Cheops by Albert Salvadó
    2. Lifting the Veil: Two Centuries of Travelers, Traders and Tourists in Egypt by Anthony Sattin
  53. El Salvador
  54. Equatorial Guinea
  55. Eritrea
  56. Estonia
  57. Ethiopia
    1. Chameleon Days: An American Boyhood in Ethiopia by Tim Bascom
    2. Addis Ababa
      1. Beneath the Lion’s Gaze by Maaza Mengiste
  58. Fiji
  59. Finland
  60. France
    1. Losing Julia by Jonathan Hull
    2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
    3. The Olive Farm: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Olive Oil in the South of France by Carol Drinkwater
    4. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
    5. A Walk Across France by Miles Morland
    6. Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
    7. The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier by Thad Carhart
    8. Pancakes in Paris: Living the American Dream in France by Craig Carlson
    9. On Pilgrimage by Jennifer Lash (also Spain)
  61. Gabon
  62. Gambia
  63. Georgia
  64. Germany
    1. The German Girl by Armando Lucas Correa
  65. Ghana
  66. Greece
    1. Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
    2. Eleni by Nicholas Gage
    3. Eurydice Street: A Place in Athens by Sofka Zinovieff
    4. When the Cypress Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon
    5. The Summer of My Greek Taverna: A Memoir by Tom Stone
    6. It’s All Greek to Me!: A Tale of a Mad Dog and an Englishman, Ruins, Retsina — and Real Greeks by John Mole
    7. Little Infamies: Stories by Panos Karnezis
    8. Odyssey with the Goddess: A Spiritual Quest in Crete by Carol P. Christ
  67. Grenada
  68. Guatemala
    1. Hummingbird House by Patricia Henley
  69. Guinea
  70. Guinea-Bissau
  71. Guyana
  72. Haiti
  73. Honduras
  74. Hungary
    1. Budapest
      1. Prague by Arthur Phillips
  75. Iceland
    1. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  76. India
    1. The God of Small Things by  Arundhati Roy
    2. Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
    3. The Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
    4. The Romantics by Pankaj Mishra
    5. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
    6. The Color of Our Sky: A Novel by Amita Trasi
    7. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
    8. Gandhi’s Passion: The Life and Legacy of Mahatma Gandhi by Stanley Wolpert
    9. A State of Freedom by Neel Mukherjee
    10. Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
    11. Varanasi
      1. Sister India by Peggy Payne
  77. Indonesia
    1. The Year of Living Dangerously by Christopher J. Koch
  78. Iran
    1. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
  79. Iraq
    1. Love in a Torn Land: Joanna of Kurdistan: The True Story of a Freedom Fighter’s Escape from Iraqi Vengeance by Jean Sasson
  80. Ireland
    1. In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1) by Tana French
    2. The Likeness (Dublin Murder Squad #2) by Tana French
    3. The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad #5) by Tana French
    4. the all of it by Jeannette Haien
    5. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt #1) by Frank McCourt
    6. Tara Road by Maeve Binchy
    7. Evening Class by Maeve Binchy
    8. Dubliners by James Joyce
    9. Ulysses by James Joyce
    10. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
    11. Are You Somebody?: The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman by Nuala O’Faolain
  81. Israel
  82. Italy
    1. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
    2. The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner
    3. The Miracles of Santo Fico by D.L. Smith
    4. The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
    5. The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman
    6. Christ Stopped at Eboli: The Story of a Year by Carlo Levi
    7. Sicily
      1. Siracusa by Delia Ephron
      2. The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano, #1) by Andrea Camilleri
      3. A House in Sicily by Daphne Phelps
    8. Tuscany
      1. The Tuscan Child by Rhys Bowen
      2. Vanilla Beans & Brodo: Real Life in the Hills of Tuscany by Isabella Dusi
    9. Venice
      1. The City of Fallen Angels by John Berendt
      2. Venice by Jan Morris
      3. Venice: Pure City by Peter Ackroyd
  83. Jamaica
    1. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  84. Japan
    1. Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
    2. The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd
    3. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
    4. Hiroshima by John Hersey
    5. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
    6. Rainbirds by Clarissa Goenawan
    7. Kyoto
      1. The Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto by Pico Iyer
    8. Tokyo
      1. Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
      2. Yoshi Yoshi by Banana Yoshimoto
  85. Jordan
  86. Kazakhstan
  87. Kenya
    1. Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
    2. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
    3. I Dreamed of Africa by Kuki Gallmann
  88. Kiribati
  89. Kosovo
  90. Kuwait
  91. Kyrgyzstan
  92. Laos
  93. Latvia
  94. Lebanon
  95. Lesotho
  96. Liberia
  97. Libya
  98. Liechtenstein
  99. Lithuania
  100. Luxembourg
  101. Macedonia
  102. Madagascar
  103. Malawi
  104. Malaysia
  105. Maldives
  106. Mali
  107. Malta
  108. Marshall Islands
  109. Mauritania
  110. Mauritius
  111. Mexico
    1. All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy #1) by Cormac McCarthy
  112. Micronesia
  113. Moldova
  114. Monaco
  115. Mongolia
  116. Montenegro
  117. Morocco
    1. The Tattooed Map by Barbara Hodgson
    2. Tangerine by Christine Mangan
  118. Mozambique
  119. Myanmar (Burma)
    1. The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker
  120. Namibia
  121. Nauru
  122. Nepal
    1. The Guru of Love by Samrat Upadhyay
    2. Arresting God in Kathmandu by Samrat Upadhyay
  123. Netherlands
  124. New Zealand
  125. Nicaragua
  126. Niger
  127. Nigeria
  128. North Korea
    1. The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story by Hyeonseo Lee
  129. Norway
  130. Oman
    1. My Year in Oman: An American Experience in Arabia During the War on Terror by Matthew D. Heines
  131. Pakistan
  132. Palau
  133. Palestine
    1. The Blue Between Sky and Water by Susan Abulhawa
  134. Panama
  135. Papua New Guinea
  136. Paraguay
  137. Peru
    1. When Mountains Walked by Kate Wheeler
    2. The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
  138. Philippines
  139. Poland
  140. Portugal
    1. The Painter of Birds by Lidia Jorge
    2. 300 Days of Sun by Deborah Lawrenson ****
    3. Alentejo Blue by Monica Ali (on my Kindle but haven’t started)
    4. Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier (saw the movie) ***
    5. The Implacable Order of Things by José Luís Peixoto
    6. A God Strolling in the Cool of the Evening by Mário de Carvalho
    7. Journey to Portugal: In Pursuit of Portugal’s History and Culture by José Saramago
    8. Blindness by José Saramago
    9. All the Names by José Saramago
  141. Qatar
  142. Romania
  143. Russia
    1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    2. Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey Into the Heart of Russia by David Greene
    3. The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander
  144. Rwanda
  145. Saint Kitts and Nevis
  146. Saint Lucia
  147. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  148. Samoa
    1. The Girl in the Moon Circle by Sia Figiel
  149. San Marino
  150. Sao Tome and Principe
  151. Saudi Arabia
    1. Finding Nouf (Nayir Sharqi & Katya Hijazi #1) by Zoë Ferraris
    2. City of Veils (Nayir Sharqi & Katya Hijazi #2) by Zoë Ferraris
  152. Senegal
  153. Serbia
  154. Seychelles
  155. Sierra Leone
  156. Singapore
  157. Slovakia
  158. Slovenia
  159. Solomon Islands
  160. Somalia
  161. South Africa
    1. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
  162. South Korea
    1. One Thousand Chestnut Trees: A Novel of Korea by Mira Stout
    2. How to be an American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway
    3. The Surrendered by Chang-rae Lee
    4. White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht
  163. South Sudan
  164. Spain
    1. Duende: A Journey into the Heart of Flamenco by Jason Webster
    2. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway *****
    3. Iberia by James Michener
    4. The Vineyard by María Dueñas
    5. Travelers’ Tales Spain: True Stories, Ed. Lucy McCauley
    6. Camino de Santiago
      1. Guidebooks:
        1. A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean * Roncesvalles * Santiago by John Brierley
        2. Camino de Santiago: The ancient Way of St. James pilgrimage route from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela by Sergi Ramis
      2. Personal accounts:
        1. In Movement There is Peace (Anxiety Treatment Alternatives) by Elaine Orabona Foster (Kindle) ****
        2. The Road to Santiago by Kathryn Harrison *****
        3. Sunrises to Santiago: Searching for Purpose on the Camino de Santiago by Gabriel Schirm ****
        4. Steps Out of Time: One Woman’s Journey on the Camino by Katherine B. Soper (Kindle) ****
        5. On Pilgrimage by Jennifer Lash (mostly in France, but ends in Santiago de Compostela) *****
        6. The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit by Shirley MacLaine
        7. I’m Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago by Hape Kerkeling
        8. The Way, My Way by Bill Bennett (Kindle)
        9. Off the Road: A Modern-Day Walk Down the Pilgrim’s Route Into Spain by Jack Hitt (Kindle)
        10. The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along the Camino de Santiago by Arthur Paul Boers
      3. Packing advice:
        1. To Walk Far, Carry Less by Jean-Christie Ashmore ****
        2. Pilgrim Tips & Packing List Camino de Santiago by S. Yates
      4. History & Culture
        1. The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook by David M. Gitllitz and Linda Kay Davidson
    7. Andalucía
      1. Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucía (Driving Over Lemons Trilogy #1) by Chris Stewart
    8. Barcelona
      1. The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafó
    9. Madrid
      1. The Seamstress by María Dueñas (also called The Time In Between) – also takes place in Morocco *****
  165. Sri Lanka
  166. Sudan
  167. Suriname
  168. Swaziland
  169. Sweden
    1. A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman
    2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium #1) by Stieg Larsson
  170. Switzerland
  171. Syria
    1. The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian
    2. The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf
  172. Taiwan
    1. The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
  173. Tajikistan
  174. Tanzania
  175. Thailand
    1. The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej by Paul M. Handley
  176. Timor-Leste
  177. Togo
  178. Tonga
  179. Trinidad and Tobago
    1. The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey
  180. Tunisia
  181. Turkey
    1. The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk
  182. Turkmenistan
  183. Tuvalu
  184. Uganda
  185. Ukraine
  186. United Arab Emirates (UAE)
    1. Water from Heaven: An American woman’s life as an Arab wife by Anne Schreiber Thomas
  187. United Kingdom (UK)
    1. England
      1. Missing, Presumed (D.S. Manon #1) by Susie Steiner
      2. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
      3. Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
      4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
      5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
      6. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
      7. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
      8. London
        1. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
        2. Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
    2. Scotland
    3. Wales
  188. United States of America (USA)
    1. See books | u.s.a. |
  189. Uruguay
  190. Uzbekistan
    1. A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Seven Years on the Silk Road by Christopher Aslan Alexander
  191. Vanuatu
  192. Vatican City (Holy See)
  193. Venezuela
  194. Vietnam
    1. American Romantic by Ward Just (Indochina)
    2. The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars by Andrew X. Pham
    3. Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam by Andrew X. Pham
    4. Daughters of the River Huong by Uyen Nicole Duong
    5. Paradise of the Blind by Dương Thu Hương
    6. The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood by Kien Nguyen
  195. Yemen
    1. The Ambassador’s Wife by Jennifer Steil (actually it’s an unknown Middle Eastern country that sounds like Yemen)
    2. The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Jennifer Steil (non-fiction)
    3. The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers
  196. Zambia
  197. Zimbabwe