What Is Your Country’s Best Literature?

The Iliad, Greece
The Iliad, Greece

One of my challenges is to read a book from every country. But I have no idea where to start. What books are good to read? I’ve mostly read books from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and a handful from other countries like Japan and Greece. I want to know what is out there. It’s difficult to choose. So, I need your help. I need a lot of people’s help.

Here’s what I propose. It’s very simple. All you need to do is leave a comment stating which country you’re from and which book you’d recommend from your country. It could be a book that defines literature in your country, or it could be a book that’s your favourite. Anything is fine, as long as you’d recommend it.

Second, and this is important, I’m asking you to share this post with your friends and family. Do it on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Reddit, WordPress, StumbleUpon, anything. I want to see how far this goes. I want to see which countries this reaches, and what books everyone recommends. If you can do that, it would be wonderful, and I would appreciate it very much.

Once this is done, I’ll compile a reading list that I’ll attempt. I’m hoping to have a great list of books. Thank you very much. I’m excited to see where this goes.

Let the recommendations begin!

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37 thoughts on “What Is Your Country’s Best Literature?”

  1. Interesting question and a good quest Jay. I tend to only read the books I want and forget about which country the author is from.

    For what it is worth, I’m British and would recommend Sebastian Faulks. Specifically Bird Song. I heard an interview with him once where he was told by a woman she divorced her husband after reading that book. She wanted to experience love like he wrote, and she didn’t have it with her current husband.

  2. From Japan, Oshin by Sugako Hashida help us to see the character of Japanese and the reason why the Japanese economy developed rapidly after World War.

  3. From the US here. For truly American novelists, it’s hard beat anything by Mark Twain or Ernest Hemingway. If ones vision of America is of the Wild West, Louis L’Amore is probably best. In the modern era, I’ll take Stephen King. Good luck on your quest.

  4. Hello Jay,
    It’s Richard from Canada. We are friends on Goodreads. My two favorite authors are Robertson Davies (prolific but perhaps best known for Fifth Business), and Alice Munro (who is best known for several collections of fine short stories–I would recommend almost anything written by her).

  5. I’m from the Philippines and I highly recommend Without Seeing the Dawn by Stevan Javellana. It takes place during World War II when we were occupied by the Japanese. It’s a heart-wrenching story and I hope you get to read it soon.

    Also, our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was a prolific writer whose works have been translated into English. I recommend that you check them out: Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and El Filibusterismo (The Filibustering).

    On another note, do you know about Ann Morgan’s A Year of Reading the World? Back in 2012, she read a book from every country and compiled a list. Here’s a link to her site: http://ayearofreadingtheworld.com/

    Best of luck and I hope you get to “visit” the Philippines!

    1. Thanks for the recommendations!

      Yes, I’ve read some of her blog. She inspired me to read books from around the world. But I wanted to try gather some suggestions myself, especially since it has been four years, and there are new books that may be highly recommended.

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