Read Your Way Around the World Book List

FICTION | NON-FICTION | GRAPHIC NOVELS | YOUNG ADULT | CHILDREN'S BOOKS

Fiction

Atlas of Unknowns
Atlas of Unknowns
By James, Tania
2010-04 - Vintage Books USA
9780307389015 Check Our Catalog

An utterly irresistible first novel: The story of two sisters, the yearning to disappear into another country, and the powerful desire to return to the known world. …More

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
By Dai, Sijie
Author Sijie, Dai
Translator Rilke, Ina
2002-10 - Anchor Books
9780385722209 Check Our Catalog

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is an enchanting tale that captures the magic of reading and the wonder of romantic awakening. An immediate international bestseller, it tells the story of two hapless city boys exiled to a remote mountain village for re-education during China's infamous Cultural Revolution. …More

Cry, the Beloved Country
Cry, the Beloved Country
By Paton, Alan
2003-09 - Scribner Book Company
9780743262170 Check Our Catalog

An Oprah's Book Club selection
Paton's deeply moving story of Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom, set against the backdrop of a land and people riven by racial inequality and injustice, remains the most famous and important novel in South Africa's history. …More

Cutting for Stone
Cutting for Stone
By Verghese, Abraham
Author Verghese, A.
2010-01 - Vintage Books
9780375714368 Check Our Catalog

A stunning debut novel from the author of "My Own Country, Cutting for Stone" offers an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, fathers and sons, doctors and patients, exile and home. …More

Day After Night
Day After Night
By Diamant, Anita
2010-08 - Scribner Book Company
9780743299855 Check Our Catalog

In a heart-wrenching new novel, bestselling author Diamant ("The Red Tent") tells the story of four women, refugees from Nazi Europe, who find friendship, love, and salvation in a postwar British camp in Palestine. …More

Digging to America
Digging to America
By Tyler, Anne
2007-08 - Ballantine Books
9780345492340 Check Our Catalog

In her richest, most deeply searching novel yet, Tyler pens a story about what it is to be an American, and about Iranian-born Maryam Yazdan, who, after 35 years in this country, must finally come to terms with her outsiderness. …More

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
By Barbery, Muriel
Translator Anderson, Alison
2008-09 - Europa Editions
9781933372600 Check Our Catalog

In this enthralling international bestseller, two girls live inconspicuous lives in the center of an elegant Paris apartment building. It is only when a stranger moves into their building--and sees through the girls' disguises--that Paloma and Rene discover their kindred spirits. …More

The House of the Spirits
The House of the Spirits
By Allende, Isabel
2005-08 - Dial Press
9780553383805 Check Our Catalog

"NEW YORK TIMES" BESTSELLER
In one of the most important and beloved Latin American works of the twentieth century, Isabel Allende weaves a luminous tapestry of three generations of the Trueba family, revealing both triumphs and tragedies. …More

In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd
In Cuba I Was a German Shepherd
By Menendez, Ana
2002-04 - Grove/Atlantic
9780802138873 Check Our Catalog

This Pushcart Prize-winning story--a masterpiece of humor and heartbreak--unfolds a series of family snapshots that illuminate the landscape of an exiled community rich in heritage, memory, and longing for the past. At once "tender and sharp-fanged" ("L.A. Weekly"). …More

Little Bee
Little Bee
By Cleave, Chris
2010-02 - Simon & Schuster
9781416589648 Check Our Catalog

BookPage Notable Title

The publishers of Cleave's new novel don't want to spoil the story by revealing too much about it. They will say that the beach scene is brutal, and that it braids the fates of a 16-year-old Nigerian orphan and a well-off British couple. …More

Love in the Time of Cholera
Love in the Time of Cholera
By Garcia Marquez, Gabriel
Translator Grossman, Edith
2007-10 - Vintage Books USA
9780307389732 Check Our Catalog

An Oprah's Book Club selection
a masterly evocation of an unrequited passion so strong that it binds three people's lives together for more than 50 years. …More

Memoirs of a Geisha
Memoirs of a Geisha
By Golden, Arthur
1999-01 - Vintage Books USA
9780679781585 Check Our Catalog

A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel tells with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha. …More

Midnight's Children
Midnight's Children
By Rushdie, Salman
2006-04 - Random House Trade
9780812976533 Check Our Catalog

Born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947, the very moment of India's independence, Saleem grows up to learn the ominous consequences of this coincidence. His every act is mirrored and magnified in events that sway the course of national affairs, and telepathic powers link him with the other children born in that initial hour and endowed with magical gifts. …More

Monkey Hunting
Monkey Hunting
By Garcia, Cristina
2004-04 - Ballantine Books
9780345466105 Check Our Catalog

"In this deeply stirring novel, acclaimed author Cristina Garcia follows one extraordinary family through four generations, from China to Cuba to America. Wonderfully evocative of time and place, rendered in the lyrical prose that is Garcia's hallmark, Monkey Hunting" is an emotionally resonant tale of immigration, assimilation, and the prevailing integrity of self. …More

The Namesake
The Namesake
By Lahiri, Jhumpa
2004-09 - Mariner Books
9780618485222 Check Our Catalog

A BookPage Notable Title
Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies established this young writer as one the most brilliant of her generation. Her stories are one of the very few debut works -- and only a handful of collections -- to have won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. …More

Palace Walk
Palace Walk
By Mahfouz, Naguib
Translator Hutchins, William M.
Translator Kenny, Olive E.
1990-01 - Doubleday Books
9780385264655 Check Our Catalog

Volume I of the masterful "Cairo Trilogy. A national best-seller in both hardcover and paperback, it introduces the engrossing saga of a Muslim family in Cairo during Egypt's occupation by British forces in the early 1900s. …More

The Poisonwood Bible
The Poisonwood Bible
By Kingsolver, Barbara
2005-07 - Harper Perennial
9780060786502 Check Our Catalog

Kingsolver's national bestseller paints an intimate portrait of a crisis-ridden family amid the larger backdrop of an African nation in chaos. Examine how the tragedy of the Price family mirrors the political unrest in the Congo, how the novel views religion and marriage, and how Kingsolver reconciles the demands of art with her belief that writing should support a political cause. …More

Shanghai Girls
Shanghai Girls
By See, Lisa
2010-02 - Random House Trade
9780812980530 Check Our Catalog

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From the author of the bestsellers "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" and "Peony in Love" comes a stunning novel about two sisters who leave Shanghai to find new lives in 1930s Los Angeles. …More

Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart
By Achebe, Chinua
1994-09 - Anchor Books
9780385474542 Check Our Catalog

This is Chinua Achebe's classic novel, with more than two million copies sold since its first U.S. publication in 1969. Combining a richly African story with the author's keen awareness of the qualities common to all humanity, Achebe here shows that he is "gloriously gifted, with the magic of an ebullient, generous, great talent." -- Nadine Gordimer …More

Non-Fiction

Are You Somebody?: The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman
Are You Somebody?: The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman
By O'Faolain, Nuala
Foreword by McCourt, Frank
2009-02 - Henry Holt & Company
9780805089875 Check Our Catalog

"You don't want the book to end; it glows with compassion and you want more, more because you know this is a fine wine of a life, richer as it ages."--Frank McCourt, author of "Angela's Ashes"

…More

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
By Beah, Ishmael
2008-08 - Sarah Crichton Books
9780374531263 Check Our Catalog

This absorbing account by a young man who, as a boy of 12, gets swept up in Sierra Leone's civil war, goes beyond even the best journalistic efforts in revealing the life and mind of a child abducted into the horrors of warfare. …More

Brother, I'm Dying
Brother, I'm Dying
By Danticat, Edwidge
2008-09 - Vintage Books USA
9781400034307 Check Our Catalog

From the award-winning author of "The Dew Breaker" comes her first work of nonfiction: a deeply affecting story of home and family, of two men's lives and deaths, and of a daughter's great love for them both. …More

Cleopatra: A Life
Cleopatra: A Life
By Schiff, Stacy
2010-11 - Little Brown and Company
9780316001922 Check Our Catalog

BookPage Notable Title

The Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer brings to life the most intriguing woman in the history of the world: Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. Though her life spanned fewer than 40 years, it reshaped the contours of the ancient world. …More

Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War
Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War
By Ciezadlo, Annia
2011-02 - Free Press
9781416583936 Check Our Catalog

BookPage Notable Title

"Day of Honey "is a beautifully written, fiercely intelligent memoir exploring the heightened meaning of cooking during wartime. …More

The Devil's Highway: A True Story
The Devil's Highway: A True Story
By Urrea, Luis Alberto
2005-09 - Back Bay Books
9780316010801 Check Our Catalog

"Superb . . . Nothing less than a saga on the scale of the Exodus and an ordeal as heartbreaking as the Passion . . . The book comes vividly alive with a richness of language and a mastery of narrative detail that only the most gifted of writers are able to achieve."--"Los Angeles Times Book Review." …More

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe
By Lemmon, Gayle Tzemach
Author Tzemach Lemmon, Gayle
2011-03 - Harper
9780061732379 Check Our Catalog

For fans of "Three Cups of Tea, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana," written by a former reporter for ABC News, tells the story of a fearless young entrepreneur who brought hope to the lives of dozens of women in war-torn Afghanistan. …More

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
By Kristof, Nicholas D.
Author WuDunn, Sheryl
2010-06 - Vintage Books USA
9780307387097 Check Our Catalog

Two Pulitzer Prize winners issue a call to arms against our era's most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women in the developing world. …More

Hiroshima
Hiroshima
By Hersey, John
1989-03 - Turtleback Books
9780881030259 Check Our Catalog

Almost four decades after the original publication of this celebrated book, John Hersey went back to Hiroshima in search of the people whose stories he had told. His account of what he discovered about them is now the eloquent and moving final chapter of Hiroshima. …More

Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil
Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil
By Rodriguez, Deborah
With Ohlson, Kristin
2007-12 - Random House Trade
9780812976731 Check Our Catalog

Rodriguez went to Afghanistan in 2002, just after the fall of the Taliban, volunteering as a nurse's aide, but soon found that her skills as a trained hairdresser were far more in demand. "Kabul Beauty School" is her witty and insightful memoir of friendship and perseverance. …More

At Home: A Short History of Private Life
At Home: A Short History of Private Life
By Bryson, Bill
2010-10 - Doubleday Books
9780767919388 Check Our Catalog

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From beloved author Bryson comes a fascinating excursion into the history behind the place people call home. …More

The Road from Coorain
The Road from Coorain
By Conway, Jill Ker
1990-08 - Vintage Books USA
9780679724360 Check Our Catalog

One women's journey from a childhood in Australia's outback to adulthood as a successful American career woman. The Road From Coorain is about Everywoman, for it is about childhood loneliness, anguished parent-child relationships, dawning sensibility, discovering a vocation, and finding one's own sense of self. …More

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures
By Fadiman, Anne
Preface by Fadiman, Anne
1998-09 - Noonday Press
9780374525644 Check Our Catalog

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, this brilliantly reported and beautifully crafted book explores the clash between a medical center in California and a Laotian refugee family over their care of a child--and the lack of understanding that led to tragedy. …More

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China
By Chang, Jung
2003-08 - Touchstone Books
9780743246989 Check Our Catalog

Chang recounts the evocative, unsettling, and insistently gripping story of how three generations of women in her family fared in the political maelstrom of China during the 20th century. …More

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century
By Friedman, Thomas L.
2007-07 - Picador USA
9780312425074 Check Our Catalog

The World Is Flat is a timely and essential update on globalization, its successes and discontents, powerfully illuminated by one of our most respected journalists. …More

You Have Given Me a Country
You Have Given Me a Country
By Vaswani, Neela
2010-08 - Sarabande Books
9781932511826 Check Our Catalog

A multi-genre memoir exploring the author's Irish-Catholic, Sindhi Indian, and American identities. …More

Graphic Novels

American Born Chinese
American Born Chinese
By Yang, Gene Luen
Illustrator Pien, Lark
2008-12 - Square Fish
9780312384487 Check Our Catalog

A tour-de-force by rising indie comics star Yang, "American Born Chinese" tells the story of three apparently unrelated characters whose lives and stories come together with an unexpected twist in this action-packed modern fable. …More

Deogratias, a Tale of Rwanda
Deogratias, a Tale of Rwanda
By Stassen, Jean-Philippe
Illustrator Stassen, Jean-Philippe
Translator Siegel, Alexis
2006-05 - First Second
9781596431034 Check Our Catalog

BookPage Notable Title
Winner of the prestigious Goscinny Prize for outstanding script. Set in Rwanda before and after the Tutsi genocide, and seen through the eyes of a young Hutu boy named Deogratias, Stassen probes man's inhumanity to man and reveals the grip of madness and horror on one young man and his country. …More

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
By Satrapi, Marjane
2004-06 - Pantheon Books
9780375714573 Check Our Catalog

A "Time Magazine "Best Comix of the Year"
Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, "Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi's memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. …More

Young Adult

The Book Thief
The Book Thief
By Zusak, Markus
2007-09 - Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
9780375842207 Check Our Catalog

BookPage Notable Title
Set during World War II in Germany, Zusak's groundbreaking novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing, encounters something she cant resist: books. …More

Finding Miracles
Finding Miracles
By Alvarez, Julia
2006-05 - Laurel Leaf Library
9780553494068 Check Our Catalog

Beautifully written by reknowned author Julia Alvarez, "Finding Miracles" examines the emotional complexity of familial relationships and the miracles of everyday life. …More

The Little Prince
The Little Prince
By Saint-Exupery, Antoine de
Translator Howard, Richard
Illustrator Saint-Exupery, Antoine de
2000-06 - Harvest Books
9780156012195 Check Our Catalog

An aviator whose plane is forced down in the Sahara Desert encounters a little prince from a small planet who relates his adventures in seeking the secret of what is important in life. Color and b&w illustrations. …More

A Long Walk to Water
A Long Walk to Water
By Park, Linda Sue
2010-11 - Clarion Books
9780547251271 Check Our Catalog

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From a Newbery Medalist comes a mesmerizing novel based on a true story. "A Long Walk to Water" begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985. …More

No Safe Place
No Safe Place
By Ellis, Deborah
2010-08 - Groundwood Books
9780888999733 Check Our Catalog

"No Safe Place" is a novel of high adventure and heart-stopping suspense by a writer at the height of her powers. …More

Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind
Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind
By Staples, Suzanne Fisher
2003-08 - Laurel Leaf Library
9780440238560 Check Our Catalog

Life is both sweet and cruel to strong-willed young Shabanu, whose home is the windswept Cholistan Desert of Pakistan. The second daughter in a family with no sons, she's been allowed freedoms forbidden to most Muslim girls. But when a tragic encounter with a wealthy and powerful landowner ruins the marriage plans of her older sister, Shabanu is called upon to sacrifice everything she's dreamed of. …More

A Single Shard
A Single Shard
By Park, Linda Sue
2003-02 - Yearling Books
9780440418511 Check Our Catalog

Tree-ear is an orphan boy in a 12th-century Korean potters' village. For a long time he is content living with Crane-man under a bridge barely surviving on scraps of food. All that changes when he sees master potter Min making his beautiful pottery. …More

Trash
Trash
By Mulligan, Andy
2010-10 - David Fickling Books
9780385752145 Check Our Catalog

Fourteen-year-olds Raphael and Gardo team up with a younger boy, Rat, to figure out the mysteries surrounding a bag Raphael finds during their daily life of sorting through trash in a third-world country's dump. …More

Children's Books

How My Parents Learned to Eat
How My Parents Learned to Eat
By Friedman, Ina R.
Illustrator Say, Allen
1984-09 - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
9780395353790 Check Our Catalog

An American sailor courts a Japanese girl and each tries, in secret, to learn the other's way of eating. …More

Grandfather's Journey
Grandfather's Journey
By Say, Allen
Illustrator Say, Allen
2008-10 - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
9780547076805 Check Our Catalog

Through compelling reminiscences of his grandfather's life in America and Japan, Caldecott Medalist Allen Say gives us a poignant account of his family's unique cross-cultural experience. Illustrated with memorable full-color paintings, this is Say's most personal and remarkable picture yet of the bridging of the two cultures. Full color. 1994 Caldecott Medal. …More

Esperanza Rising
Esperanza Rising
By Ryan, Pam Munoz
2002-06 - Scholastic
9780439120425 Check Our Catalog

Winner - 2002 Pura Belpré Award - Narrative
When tragedy shatters her privileged life in Mexico, Esperanza and Mama flee to California and settle in a farm labor camp. There, Esperanza must confront the challenges of hard labor and find acceptance among her people. …More

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
By Lin, Grace
2011-04 - Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
9780316038638 Check Our Catalog

In this Newbery Honor book, a fantasy with elements of "The Wizard of Oz" and Chinese folklore, a young girl named Minli embarks on an epic journey to find the mythical Old Man of the Moon. Full color. …More

Wishing Moon
Wishing Moon
By Tunnell, Michael O.
2011-03 - Createspace
9781460939192 Check Our Catalog

Aminah is an orphan living on the streets of Al Kal'as. Desperate, she appeals to Princess Badr for work. The princess responds by throwing her husband, Aladdin's, seemingly worthless lamp at her. But to Aminah's surprise, the lamp is magic. …More

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Last Updated: 7/21/11