Read Around the World

As a Literature Graduate, I am obviously very passionate about books and reading. During my school years and my degree I was always reading some book or other, whether for pleasure or for educational purposes. At school I was fascinated by William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, whilst at college I loved studying Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Then at University I particularly enjoyed Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and fell in love with the works of Charles Dickens, who is now my favourite author. I have every one of his books, as well as many texts on his life and works. I love how very descriptive his works are and how he creates these fantastic, often slightly mad characters.  I also have always loved learning about the Victorian period, as I find it a particularly interesting era.  Dickens’ Victorian England fascinates me.


Inside an old school house, now transformed into a quirky second hand book shop in Whistleton, Suffolk! I visited this week for a browse!

I graduated with a joint Literature and Italian degree and whilst studying, often opted for the literature modules in Italian too. We studied Dante’s Divine Comedy and on my Erasmus year in Italy I also completed an Italian Literature module.  Furthermore, for my Literature dissertation I combined my love for Charles Dickens and my passion for Italy, by writing about his relationship with the country and support for the Italian Unification.

Unfortunately, since leaving University and moving to Milan, the amount of time I spend reading has definitely declined and it shamefully took me over a year to read Dickens’ Martin Chuzzlewit! However…through work I have read countless children’s books – The Gruffalo anyone?!  But this year I am determined to start reading more again and have already made my way through quite a few books!

I tend to read a lot of Classics, but my Dad has just given me My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.  Ferrante is an Italian novelist (under pseudonym) who was born in Naples and is the author of The Neopolitan Novels. I hadn’t heard of her before, until recently when my Dad mentioned an article he had read in The Guardian newspaper, listing authors and novels from ‘Around The World’ and this idea that we can read our way around the world! Anything he reads about Italy he usually tends to pass on to me and unbeknown to me, he had ordered me her fist Neopolitan Novel, My Brilliant Friend.

The World

With the arrival of the book, I decided to do a little research about this ‘Read Around the World’ idea and have found that it is quite a popular concept and some people even base their blogs around it!

So, I have decided to do my own version of reading around the world, starting with Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend, which is the story of two best friends growing up in 1950’s Naples. Where better to start my reading journey than Italy?? The book and author have received a lot of acclaim and I am excited to start reading it and then eventually to review it on here!

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My question to you all then is, can you recommend any books to me, for any country in the world? They must be written by a native to that country, but apart from that I am open to any suggestions! Then I will make a list and hopefully over time make my way through it, reviewing and keeping you up-to-date on here!

Is anyone completing this challenge at the moment? Do you have any recommendations? What do you all like to read? I would love to hear!

Happy weekend to you all!


12 thoughts on “Read Around the World

    • Hello Clare! Thank you so much for stopping by! I am going to start reading My Brilliant Friend this week…can’t wait! Thank you so much for the recommendations too…I will have a look out for these two and put them on my list. You have a lovely blog – you are one busy reader! 🙂


  1. We actually do a Read around the world for our blog too and picking out the book is always fun. I’m reading The Fisherman right now (good for a Nigeria option) although we already visited Nigeria with Half of a Yellow Sun. Not sure I could recommend books without knowing your reading tastes a little more so I’ll check out your blog first.


    • Hi Jen! Thank so much for commenting! Great to know other people who are reading around the world – I will definitely take a closer look at your list! I am pretty open to any genre…but I do love Victorian authors and literary fiction. Good luck with the 1001 book list, I will have to take a closer look at that too! You will be busy – happy reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Anna. Phil & I love the idea of reading your way round the world.
    Bear in mind we’ve just enjoyed a good bottle of french red, so off the top of 2 slightly fuzzy heads here are a couple of thoughts.
    France. Flaubert, Madame Bovary.
    “”””””” victor Hugo. Les miserable
    USA Steinbeck. Grapes of wrath.
    India. Vs Naipaul (?). Any of his.
    Israel. Leon Uris. Exodus(?)
    Spain. Don Quixote
    On a lighter note I’ve just read The Rosie project . Written by Graeme Simsion. (Australian) set in Melbourne about a handsome young Professor seeking a wife. Interesting read. 😀 xxx


    • Hi Irene and Phil! Hehe…sounds like an excellent evening! Thank you both very much for the suggestions, I will put them on my list and have a look at them all! Les Miserable is a good recommendation as I have never read it and I always enjoy comparing the screen/film version of books to the originals! I read Madame Bovary at college and really enjoyed it! The Rosie Project sounds fun! I’ll keep you posted on my choices! 🙂 xx


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  6. Ciao Anna
    ‘Read around the world’ sounds fun. I’ve heard ‘my brilliant friend’ or Mia amica geniale I think it’s called in Italiano is very good. There is also some big mystery surrounding the author. Elena Ferrante is not her/his real name. I recently finished reading Carlo Levi’s ‘Cristo Si è Fermato a Eboli’/Christ Stopped at Eboli for the 2nd time and it’s fabulous. I re read it after visiting Matera to help me with my blog post. Since I’m in Australia for another day I can also recommend Shantaram, a seemingly implausible but actually mostly true story. I just bought ‘Mezza Italiana’ here and will read it on the plane. Ciao, Cristina


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