Reading your way round the world

Ann Morgan is a published freelance writer and sub-editor. Among her works is a special project she carried out inspired by the 2012 London Olympics. In a nutshell, Ann set out to read one book from each of the 196 UN-recognized countries. Quite simple, right?

Photo credit: Ann Morgan A Year of Reading the World

Wrong! As Ann found out, some countries have a mostly oral storytelling tradition, others are not too keen to have their authors read by westerners, or there are languages that have very little –or almost nothing- translated into English. So Ann decided to set up a blog and invite readers to suggest what books she should read about each country. She also grappled with what constitutes a national literature: is it only written by someone born in that country? Or is it written only about that country?

The blog A Year of Reading the World is now closed but you can still visit it in search of inspiration to read new authors –at least, new for you. Ann Morgan made a list of recommendations for each country and read and reviewed one book from each. It’s an interesting read in itself and a great source for avid readers who would like to venture into unknown territories.

I’ve already jotted down the name of a few authors and titles I want to read -even from my own country.


Read more

100 websites to learn about the UK

My favourite book: an English book abut Italy

Marcel, writing and discovering his own heritage

About the author

Ana Astri-O'Reilly
Ana Astri-O’Reilly is from Argentina, where she lived until five years ago. She currently lives in Dallas, USA with her British husband, but they move a lot. Previously a translator and English and Spanish teacher, Ana first started writing to share her experiences and adventures with friends and family. She speaks Spanish, English and a smattering of Portuguese.
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  • simona

    So interesting! i am part of a bookclub and when i got asked to bring an italian book to the group, I had hard time to find something translated in english. Funnily enough, my final reco (pereira maintains) made it to Ana’s list as well for italy :)

  • That book has been sitting on my shelf for ages! I really want to read it but I set myself the challenge of reading it in Italian and for the past year I felt to lazy to start on it! Maybe over the summer. It’s a good one, right?

    I also just read Ten by Andrej Longo (this time in English version) which was really good if you need another :)

  • simona

    Lucy, I read it both in Italian and in English. I have to say that although the Italian version is still probably better, the English one is really great! it got overall great reviews from my international group as well- recommended! and also the movie, with Marcello Mastroianni.

    I will def add Ten to my list! thanks for the tip!!