Welcome friends! I have started this entry in the global technosphere because I have been in love with books since the age of 2. Among the busy business of being a new teacher, this is my outlet for sharing thoughts on a love of reading a wide variety of books. My inspiration can be summed up with a yearbook quote from a teacher written when I was 8: "To the only girl at recess I see reading a book. Good for you!"
My blog title is quoted from a classmate who asked me this once. Believe it or not, I've also heard it as a teacher :D

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wonderful Wednesdays-- International Reading

A weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Tiny Library.

The theme this week is:
Novels set in another country

Sam touched on a brilliant novel:  The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, set in the Congo and also partially in Georgia, U.S.A.  I would have chosen this one instantly as well but for the sake of not repeating titles, I'll go with...

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the first book in the Millennium trilogy by the late Stieg Larsson is set in Sweden in the middle of a frigid winter.  Being from Canada, you would think I could relate to the sub-Arctic temperatures & massive snowstorms, but it's probably much worse in Sweden than it is here.  And despite our fabulous reputation for health care & education, Sweden is tops in both.  I'd love to visit the country sometime (in fact, all of Europe would be wonderful), but for now, I'll settle for finishing off the Millennium trilogy.

For interest's sake, I have read & reviewed at least 26 novels or nonfiction memoirs/autobiographies set in full or in part in another country outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Here's the breakdown of the ones I can spot from my list of book reviews sorted by continent:

Europe: (16--14 in England, 1 partially in France, 1 partially in Switzerland)
84 Charing Cross Road- Helene Hanff (England/U.S.)
Atonement- Ian McEwan (England)
Brighton Rock- Graham Greene (England)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time- Mark Haddon (England)
High Fidelity- Nick Hornby (England)
The Hours- Michael Cunningham (England/U.S.)
The Importance of Being Earnest- Oscar Wilde (England)
Julie & Julia- Julie Powell (France/U.S.)
My Autobiography- Charles Chaplin (England/U.S./Switzerland)
Pride & Prejudice- Jane Austen (England)
Regeneration- Pat Barker (England)
A Room of One's Own- Virginia Woolf (England)
A Room With a View- E.M. Forster (England)
Scenes From a Clerical Life- George Eliot (England)
A Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde- Robert Louis Stevenson (England)
What's It All About?- Michael Caine (England/U.S.)

Africa: (4--2 in Congo)
Heart of Darkness- Joseph Conrad (Congo)
Nervous Conditions- Tsitsi Dangaremba (Rhodesia)
The Poisonwood Bible- Barbara Kingsolver (Congo/U.S.)
Things Fall Apart- Chinua Achebe (Nigeria)

Asia: (4)
Balzac & the Little Chinese Seamstress- Dai Sijie (China/U.S.)
Funny Boy- Shyam Selvadurai (Sri Lanka)
The God of Small Things- Arundhati Roy (India)
Obasan- Joy Kogawa (Japan/U.S.)

South & Central America:  (1)
Autobiography of my Mother- Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua)

Australia & Antartica:  (0)
None :(


  1. I didn't care much for the Stieg Larsson books but, yes, Sweden sounds like a really fabulous place to visit.

  2. I really enjoyed the Millenium trilogy. I found them really absorbing, despite being quite graphic sometimes. And I loved the setting. Sweden sounds really amazing

  3. That is a nice tour of the world through literature. I've never tried looking through my reading to see where I've "been," but I imagine it would be pretty heavily concentrated in the US and France/England. I should broaden out more.

  4. I feel really tempted to categorise all of my books my continent now, that might be a little project for the next school holiday! I haven't read the Stiegg Larsson trilogy yet, although I did receive them all for Christmas.

    Sweden sounds like a lovely place to visit.

  5. I really enjoyed the Millenium trilogy, and never before have I wanted to visit Sweden as much as I do now, especially since so many locations in the books, down to restaurants and street addresses, actually exist. I'm trying to push myself to read more literature set outside of England and the US, because that's where my natural inclination takes me.