List of 192 best novels from LibraryThing

Around the world in 192 books

(LibraryThing is a cataloging and social networking site for book lovers).

I thought I would start a new thread for my reading globally challenge, as my last one was getting a bit lengthy. Also, in line with other literary travellers (biblionauts?) I will keep my map and my list at the top of this thread, and update regularly. Sorry for taking up even more room on these threads than I already have.I was asked about my criteria for choosing books recently. It is a mixture of gut feeling, author nationality, setting and subject, with the first two being the most important. There is a long discussion of this in the thread Deciding where a book is from‘.There are still only 192 on the list. Kosovo is not a UN member yet, despite declaring independence, and is unlikely to be for a while if Russia holds firm. There are many countries in this situation (Taiwan, Transnistria, Palestine, Northen Cyprus, Abkhazia, etc.) and I would love to read from them one day, but 192 is still the stated target. These non-UN nations are defined as nations under the ‘Montevideo Agreement’. Montenegro is the 192nd and newest UN member, joining a couple of years ago.

I have, however, started to list other nations (ones without UN membership or international recognition) as I read them. They are not included in my 192 challenge per se, but I have added them to the end of the list.

My map just shows ‘visited’ countries (updated to 142 at the moment). I only update this every 10 nations or so (or if I read from a really big one).

My list includes what I think is my favourite for each country or, where I had a few to choose from, something that I thought people may not be as familiar with as some of the others. Everything on the list is a novel (in the broad sense – including novellas and memoirs written as novels) except where I have indicated otherwise. I have also added star ratings. In general, I don’t like giving star ratings, but I wouldn’t want anyone to think that the list was exclusively recommendations. There are some real stinkers in there!
***** = superb, books will stay with me for a long time
**** = highly recommended
*** = enjoyable reads, but not especially memorable
** = flawed but interesting
* = really wish I hadn’t bothered

Southern Africa:
1.Angola: The Book of Chameleons by Jose Agualusa ****
2.Botswana: A Question of Power by Bessie Head ****
3.Lesotho: Chaka by Thomas Mofolo ****
4.Malawi: The Last of the Sweet Bananas by Jack Mapanje (poetry) ****
5.Mozambique: Sleepwalking Land by Mia Couto ****
6.Namibia: The Purple Violet of Oshaantu by Neshani Andreas **
7.South Africa: Too Late the Phalarope by Alan Paton *****
8.Swaziland: A Time of Bliss by Martha Mphahlele *
9.Zambia: Bitterness by Malama Katulwende **
10.Zimbabwe: Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga ***East Africa:
11.Djibouti:The Land Without Shadows by Abdourahaman Waberi (short stories)***
12.Eritrea: Riding the Whirlwind by Bereket Habte Selassie ***
13.Ethiopia: The Thirteenth Sun by Daniachew Worku ***
14.Kenya: The Wizard of the Crow by Ngugi wa Thiong�o *****
15.Somalia: From a Crooked Rib by Nurredin Farah ***
16.Tanzania: Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah ****
17.Uganda: Abyssinian Chronicles by Moses Isegawa **Indian Ocean:
18.Mauritius: Getting Rid of It by Lindsey Collen **

North Africa:
19.Algeria: Exile and the Kingdom by Albert Camus (short stories) *****
20.Egypt: Woman at Point Zero by Nawal el Saadawi***
21.Libya: Anubis: a desert novel by Ibrahim al-Koni **
22.Morocco: A Life Full of Holes by Driss ben Hamed Charadhi *****
23.Sudan: Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih ****
24.Tunisia: The Pillar of Salt by Albert Memmi ****

Central Africa:
25.Cameroon: Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono ****
26.Congo (Brazzaville): The Laughing Cry by Henri Lopes ***
27.Congo (Kinshasa): Full Circle by Frederick Yamusangie **
28.Gabon: Mema by Daniel Mengara ***
29.Nigeria: A Man of the People by Chinua Achebe ****

West Africa:
30.Benin: Snares Without End by Olympe Bhely-Quenum ***
31.Cote d�Ivoire: As the Crow Flies by Veronique Tadjo *****
32.Gambia: Reading the Ceiling by Dayo Forster **
33.Guinea: The Radiance of the King by Camara Laye***
34.Ghana: Our Sister Killjoy by Ama Ata Aidoo ***
35.Mali: Bound to Violence by Yambo Ouologuem *
36.Senegal: The Belly of the Atlantic by Fatou Diome ***
37.Sierra Leone: A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah (non-fiction) ***


North America
38.Canada: The Life of Pi by Yann Martel ***
39.Mexico: Tinisima by Elena Poniatowska ****
40.USA: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller *****

Central America:
41.Belize: Beka Lamb by Zee Edgell ***
42. Cost Rica: Years Like Brief Days by Fabian Dobles ***
43.El Salvador: Cuzcatlan, Where the Southern Sea Beats by Manlio Argueta ****
44.Guatemala: The Mulatta and Mister Fly by Miguel Angel Asturias **
45.Honduras: The Big Banana by Roberto Quesada ***
46.Nicaragua: The Country Under My Skin by Gioconda Belli (non-fiction) ***

47.Antigua and Barbuda: Mr Potter by Jamaica Kincaid **
48.Bahamas: God�s Angry Babies by Ian Gregory Strachan ****
49.Barbados: In the Castle of My Skin by George Lamming *****
50.Cuba: The Lost Steps by Alejo Carpentier *****
51.Dominica: The Orchid House by Phyllis Shand Allfrey ****
52.Grenada: Angel by Merle Collins ****
53.Haiti: Aunt Resia and the Spirits (short stories) ***
54.Jamaica: The Hills Were Joyful Together by Roger Mais ****
55.St Lucia: Omeros by Derek Walcott (poetry) ****
56.St Vincent and the Grenadines: Spirits in the Dark by H. Nigel Thomas ****
57.Trinidad and Tobago: A House for Mister Biswas by V.S. Naipaul ****

South America:
58.Argentina: Winter Quarters by Osvaldo Soriano ****
59.Bolivia: Juan de la Rosa by Nataniel Aguirre ***
60.Brazil: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho **
61.Chile: My House is On Fire by Ariel Dorfman (short stories) ****
62.Colombia: In Evil Hour by Gabriel Garcia Marquez ****
63.Ecuador: Huasipungo by Jorge Icaza ****
64.Guyana: Tide Runnings by Oonya Kempadoo *
65.Paraguay: I the Supreme by Augusto Roa Bastos***
66.Peru: Death in the Andes by Mario Vargas Llosa ****
67.Uruguay: Five Black Ships by Napoleon Baccino Ponce de Leon ****
68.Venezuela: Dona Ines Versus Oblivion by Ana Teresa Torres ****


Middle East:
69.Afghanistan: Earth and Ashes by Atiq Rahimi ***
70.Bahrain: QuixotiQ by Ali al Saeed **
71.Cyprus: Young Man Seeks Position: Good References by Loukis Akritas ****
72.Iran: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi *****
73.Iraq: Saddam City by Mahmoud Saeed ****
74.Israel: Two Tales by Shmuel Yosef Agnon (short stories) ***
75. Jordan: Inside the Night by Ibrahim Nasrallah ***
76.Lebanon: Women of Sand and Myrrh by Hanan al-Shayk ***
77.Saudi Arabia: Adama by Turki al-Hamad ***
78.Syria: Just Like a River by Mujammad Kamil al-Khatib **
79.Turkey: My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk ****

80.Armenia: Khent by Raffi ***
81.Azerbaijan: Ali and Nino by Kurban Said ***

South Central Asia:
82.Bangladesh: Lajja by Taslima Nasrin **
83.Bhutan: The Circle of karma by Kunzang Choden ****
84.India: All About H. Hatterr by G.V.Desani ****
85.Nepal: The Guru of Love by Samrat Upadhyay **
86.Pakistan: Trespassing by Uzma Aslam Khan ***
87.Sri Lanka: Reef by Romesh Gunesekera **

Central Asia:
88.China: Red Azalea by Anchee Min ***
89.Kazakhstan: Abai by Mukhtar Auezov ***
90.Kyrgyzstan: The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years by Chingiz Aitmatov ***
91.Mongolia: The Blue Sky by Galsan Tschinag **
92.Uzbekistan: The Railway by Hamid Ismailov ****

Far East:
93.Japan: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami ****
94.South Korea: The Reverse Side of Life by Lee Seung-U ****

South East Asia:
95.East Timor: The Crossing by Luis Cardoso ****
96.Indonesia: Footsteps by Pramoedya Ananta Toer ****
97.Laos: Mother’s Beloved by Outhine Bounyavong (short stories) ***
98.Malaysia: Srengenge by Shahnon Ahmad **
99.Philippines: Waywaya by F. Sionil Jose (short stories) ***
100.Singapore: The Bondmaid by Catherine Lim ***
101.Thailand: Mad Dogs & Co by Chart Korbjitti *
102.Vietnam: The Family Wound by Jade Ngoc Quang Huynh *


Western Europe:
103.Andorra: All Andorra by Richard Fiter I Vilajoana (non-fiction) *
104.Austria: Extinction by Thomas Bernhard *****
105.Belgium: Hygeine and the Assassin by Amelie Nothomb ****
106.France: Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre ****
107.Germany: The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse *****
108.Ireland: Ulysses by James Joyce *****
109.Italy: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco *****
110.Malta: Tony the Sailor’s Song by Anton Buttigieg (non-fiction) *
111.Netherlands: In the Dutch Mountains by Cees Nooteboom ****
112.Portugal: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by Jose Saramago ****
113.Spain: Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes ***
114.Switzerland: Moravagine by Blaise Cendrars **
115.UK: The Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg *****

Northern Europe:
116.Denmark: Under the Sun by Hanne Marie Svendsen ****
117.Estonia: Things in the Night by Mati Unt ***
118.Finland: A Fool�s Paradise by Anita Konkka ****
119.Iceland: The Atom Station by Halldor Laxness ***
120.Lithuania: City of Ash by Eugenijus Alisanka (poetry) ***
121.Norway: Sophie�s World by Jostein Gaarder ***
122.Sweden: Martin Birck�s Youth by Hjalmar Soderberg *****

Eastern Europe:
123.Belarus: The Punitive Squads by Ales Adamovich *****
124.Czech Republic: Europeana by Patrick Ourednik (non-fiction) *****
125.Hungary: Battlefields and Playgrounds by Janos Nyiri ****
126.Poland: This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski (short stories)****
127.Romania: The Royal Hunt by D.R. Popescu **
128.Russia: The Burn by Vassily Aksyonov *****
129.Slovakia: The Year of the Frog by Martin Simecka ****
130.Ukraine: Perverzion by Yuri Andrukhovych ****

South Eastern Europe:
131.Albania: Broken April by Ismael Kadare ****
132.Bosnia and Herzegovina: Sarajevo Marlboro by Miljenko Jergovic (short stories) ****
133.Bulgaria: Natural Novel by Georgi Gospodinov ****
134.Croatia: The Banquet at Blitva by Miroslav Krleza ***
135.Greece: The Odyssey by Homer ***
136.Serbia: Hourglass by Danilo Kis ****
137.Slovenia: Joyce�s Pupil by Drago Jancar (short stories) **
138.Montenegro: The Red Cockerel by Miodrag Bulatovic ***
139.Macedonia: Conversation with Spinoza: a cobweb novel by Goce Smilevski ****

140.Australia: The True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey ***
141.New Zealand: Potiki by Patricia Grace *****
142.Samoa: Pouliuli by Albert Wendt **
143.Tonga: Tales from the Tikongs by Epeli Hau�Ofa (short stories) **

144.Rwanda: Scalpels of Memory by Raymond Ntilindwa (poetry) ***
145.Niger: In-sign-E by Oumarou Watta (poetry) *
146.Chad: Told By Starlight in Chad by Joseph Brahim Seid (short stories) **
147.Burkina Faso: Parachute Drop by Norbert Zongo ****
148.Seychelles: Reflections and Echoes from Seychelles by James Mancham (poetry)**
149.Kuwait: The Al-Hamlet Summit by Sulayman Al-Bassam (drama) ****

1.Abkhazia: The Thirteenth Labour of Hercules by Fazil Iskander (short stories) ***
2.Palestine: Qissat:Short Stories by Palestinian Women (short stories) ***
3.Martinique: Solibo Magnificent by Patrick Chamoiseau ****
4.Guadeloupe: Crossing the Mangrove by Maryse Conde ****


About mahmoudsaeediraq

I am an Iraqi writer. I came to the USA in 1999, and I got politic asylum. Since that time I am living in Chicago, Illinois. I have written more than 20 novels and short story collections and hundreds of articles. Some of my novels were destroyed by Iraqi regimes. I have won awards in Iraq, Egypt and the United States. I also have won awards for short stories, one in Iraq and the second in UAE. I worked in Iraq as a high school teacher teaching Arabic literature. I was imprisoned six times between 1959 and 1980. I was dismissed from my job for three years, so I went to Morocco and I worked there as a high school teacher. I wrote about last time in prison as novel titled, "I am the one who saw." This novel was translated to English by Dr. Sadri (a professor of Lake Frost University) and published in Al Saqi house publishing company in London by the name of "Saddam City." The New York Public Libraries listed my novel as one of the best novels of the last century. Amnesty international chose 37 writers from all over the world, including me, to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We wrote short stories, and the collection was published in London, USA, Canada, Spain, and Turkey. It was translated in more than 20 languages. MAHMOUD SAEED, Chicago, Illinois
This entry was posted in مقالات نقدية بالإنكليزية عن أعمال محمود سعيد - Reviews in English About Mahmoud's Works. Bookmark the permalink.

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