A reddit user, backforward24, took the first stab at compiling the most beloved/popular novels for every country in the world, creating a world map that features the cover of each book on top of each country. He crowdsourced it through reddit because, as he noted, “I’m struggling to find great books for over 150 locations! The criteria a book needs to meet is that it must be high resolution, and preferably written by an author of that country, about that country.”
The map, shown here (you can click on it to enlarge it), is a bit hard to read for many of the countries, but someone, through reddit, was kind enough to create an alphabetical list, by country of each of the books.
Of course, the first thing I did was to take a look at what book was chosen for the U.S., and I was quite pleased to see To Kill a Mockingbird, certainly one of my top five novels of all time (as well as being one of my favorite movies).
I then assumed that I probably had not heard of, let alone read any other books on the map, but as it turned out there were a few.
- United Kingdom – Great Expectations (finished)
- Spain – Don Quixote (finished)
- Afghanistan – Kite Runner (finished)
- France – The Count of Monte Cristo
- Ireland – Ulysses (started, did not finish)
- Russia – War and Peace (started, did no finish)
- Greece – Iliad (started, did not finish)
- Italy – The Divine Comedy (heard of, never read)
- Colombia – One Hundred Years of Solitude (heard of, never read)
- Botswana – The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency
- Canada – Anne of Green Gables
- France (some discrepancy in the lists) – Les Miserables (never read, but saw the play)
One of the things I found interesting about the choice of books is that while it is rare for me to not finish a book, three such books are on this list. I may have to give those books a second chance.
And in addition to those books, it looks like I have a lot of good reading to pick from, books that will not only entertain me, but inform me as well.
Sounds like the perfect book.