Global Voices Book Challenge – Read Your Way Around the World!

Global Voices Book Challenge

April 23 is UNESCO World Book Day – and just because the Global Voices team loves blogs, doesn’t mean we have forgotten other forms of the written word! In fact, because we think reading literature is such an enjoyable way to learn about another culture, we have a fun challenge for all Global Voices contributors and readers, and bloggers everywhere.

The Global Voices Book Challenge is as follows:

1) Read a book during the next month from a country whose literature you have never read anything of before.

2) Write a blog post about it during the week of April 23.

UPDATE: Tag your posts with #gvbook09 so we can find your posts.

If you would like to know what you should be reading from Vietnam, Bolivia, Mozambique or New Zealand, or any other country, just ask in the comments below! Someone is sure to give you suggestions.

And if you have any recommendations for any must-read works from your own country, please leave a comment too.

Once you have read your book (and written a post!) let us know – we’d love to discover what you learned on your literary expedition.

Feel free to use the images above and below to spread the word of the Global Voices Book Challenge!

Global Voices Book Challenge Global Voices Book Challenge


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  • wonderful idea!! for people interested in Malagasy litterature, you can find free ebooks from some great writers here : (most are in French)

  • Hi all,

    I’m interested in Japanese books. If one could suggest me some :)


    • I really love Banana Yoshimoto’s books. “Kitchen” and “Lizard” are both great.

      • Kitchen is indeed great! I can only support this suggestion :)

        One of my favorite books from Japan is “Crystal Feeling” by Yasuo Tanaka, mostly for its really innovative style.

    • Hi Tahina

      I would suggest you Shun Medoruma, an Okinawan author, and Natsuki Ikezawa.

      They are not very famous abroad but, in my opinion, their books are very interesting. Both these writers in fact portray Japan from “unusual” perspectives.

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    […] To celebrate, Global Voices has issued a Book Challenge. […]

  • Tahina,

    If you like fiction then I strongly recommend reading ‘Kafka on the Shore’ and ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ by Haruki Murakami.

  • Hi,

    This is a really amazing idea…
    I wanted to read about modern day Pakistan.
    Could anyone suggest anything?

    • Urvashi
      I have enjoyed reading the stories of Saadat Hasan Manto; if you are looking for something more recent I have come across the names Kamila Shamsie, Moni Mohsin, and Bapsi Sidhwa.

  • From Egypt:
    I highly recommend reading Bahaa Taher’s novel “love in exile”. Taher was the Booker award winner for last year. Also his “Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery” is a masterpiece.

    As well as, you can try Yussif Zeidan’s novel “Azazil”, who is also this year’s Booker award winner :)

  • Stuart Denoon-Stevens


    Would love to read something about the more Asian areas of Russia, any one have any suggestions?


  • Any suggestions for great literature from Iraq (preferably slightly older, pre-US invasion) would be great!

    • One of the best known and greatest Iraqi, and Arab, authors:
      Munif, Abdul Rahman. 1987. Cities of Salt (Cities of Salt Trilogy, Vol 1), New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-394-75526-X

  • A few suggestions

    The Sole Spokesman (Ayesha Jalal’s seminal work on Pakistan’s founder Jinnah)
    Partisans of Allah (Ayesha Jalal)
    Breaking the Curfew by Emma Duncan
    Daughter of the East, autobiography of Benazir Bhutto – Pakistan’s first woman Prime Minister.
    Mary Anne Weaver’s Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan.
    The Idea of Pakistan by Stephen P. Cohen.
    The Dancing Girls of Lahore : Selling Love and Saving Dreams in Pakistan’s Ancient Pleasure District by Louise Brown
    O, City of Lights – translations of Faiz Ahmad Faiz (Khalid Hasan)

    Cracking India or Ice Candy man by Bapsi Sidhwa (set on the eve of Indian partition, is the fictional memoirs of a privileged Parsee child)
    The Moth Smoke (Mohsin Hamid)
    No Space for Further Burials (Feryal Ali Gauhar)
    The Case of Exploding Mangoes (Mohammad Hanif)
    Trespassing (Uzma Aslam Khan)
    The Wasted Vigil (by Nadeem Aslam)
    Maps For Lost Lovers (by Nadeem Aslam)
    Meatless Days (Sara Suleri) – semi-fictional

    • Is Daughter of Destiny the same as Daughter of the East? Both are labeled as autobiographies by Benazir Bhutto.

      Thanks for any clarification; sounds like a very interesting autobiography!

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