Posted by: biblioglobal | April 7, 2014

Books from 50 countries

I’m quite excited to have reached the totally arbitrary milestone of having read 50 books for my book-from-every-country project.  More accurately, I’ve written about 50 books. I’ve actually read a few more, but I’ve gotten behind in my blogging! Anyway, I’m a bit over a quarter of the way towards reading a book from all 193 UN member nations.  It’s taken about 2.5 years, so I’m more or less on track to finish in 10 years.

The List of Countries page is starting to look respectable.

Since posting a 40 books progress report, I’ve read books from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Portugal, Romania, Algeria, Malawi, North Korea, Netherlands, Nauru, and Papua New Guinea.  As always, there have been some great ones. My picks for most memorable:

The Country Under My Skin by Gioconda Belli


The Dinner by Herman KochThe Mountain by Drusilla Modjeska

As I’ve read, I’ve tried to spread my reading out geographically, but I haven’t kept specific track. Wondering if my attempts at evenness were successful, I decided to do an accounting by continent/region:

  • Africa- 11 of 53 read= 20%
  • Asia- 13 of 44 read=30%
  • Europe- 11 of 47 read= 23%
  • North America- 9 of 23 read= 39%
  • Oceania- 5 of 14 read= 36%
  • South America- 1 of 12= 8%

It looks pretty well balanced overall. The biggest outlier is clearly South America.  The good news is that there are so few countries in South America that I can be back on track with just two books.  Maybe its time to face that intimidating volume of Jorge Luis Borges that has been sitting on my shelf for over a year…

I’m surprised to see Africa as having relatively low completion because I feel like I’ve read more African books. I haven’t included books #51 or #52 in this list though which are from Uganda and Kenya respectively.

Here’s to the first 50 books and the next 50 books!


Hip, Hip, Hurrah! by Danish painter P.S. Krøyer, 1888


  1. Nicely done! Keep up the good work!!

  2. Congrats! Every book forward is a win 🙂 And I wouldn’t worry about your Africa totals as it has the most countries and I’m sure finding native literature/writing is difficult due to lack of translations, which I think you’ve mentioned before.

  3. Congrats! You have found such a variety of really interesting books for this project.

  4. Congrats on reaching this milestone (I know I’m a bit behind at this point but the sentiment is all the same 🙂 )!!! It looks to me like you’ve done a pretty good job of keeping a geographically-balanced reading list! Nothing to Envy has been on my TBR list for awhile, but have you read The Orphan Master’s Son yet? It’s fiction, but was also very moving.

    • Thanks! I haven’t made it to The Orphan Master’s Son yet, but it is certainly very much on my reading list. BiblioBoyfriend read it and he also thought it was excellent. So many good books to read!

  5. If you have read a book from one country, and then read another one (or more), do you then include them in your list too somehow, and do you write about them at all?

    • I generally only write about one, because I have a hard time keeping up with the blogging as it is! I’ve been thinking about having a way to list additional books that are ‘re-visits’ (I do have a list off-blog), but I haven’t decided how I want to do it.

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