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Novels to Read When Travelling

I often get asked what book people should read when travelling. My first question is 'What country?' as I love finding a book set in their destination. Many people love to read a book steeped in the culture of whatever country or region they are travelling around. You can often get so much more out of the book and your experience if you sink into the country on more than one level.

When I travelled around India I read The White Tiger by Adiga, and there was so much particular to certain walks of life so alien to my own, that I often had to ask our guide what certain words meant or exactly what that item was when used in the book. It opened my eyes to a part of the Indian culture I possibly wouldn't have noticed otherwise had I just been on the tourist trail as usual.

When I get put on the spot though, sometimes all my good ideas go flying out the window. So with that in mind this is my cheat sheet for books set around the world. I've read most of them and feel that these are some of the best that portray the culture, either modern or historical in such a way that as Australians, we can start to understand another way of life.

Afghanistan - Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez

Alaska - The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

America - Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Austria - A Death in Vienna by Daniel Silva

Cambodia - A Deadly Cambodian Spree by Shamini Flint

Canada - Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Chile - House of Spirits by Isabelle Allende

China - The Firemaker by Peter May

Columbia - One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Cuba - Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene

Egypt - River God by Wilbur Smith

England - London by Edward Rutherfurd

France - Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Germany - All that I am by Anna Funder

Greece - Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Iceland - Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

India - White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

Iraq - Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers

Ireland - In the Cold Cold Ground by Adrian Mckinty

Israel - Exodus by Leon Uris

Italy - Conclave by Robert Harris

Japan - Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell

Lithuania - Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Mexico - Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Mongolia - Wolf of the Plains by Conn Iggulden

Netherlands - On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

New Zealand - The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

North Korea - The Orphanmaster’s Son by

Norway - The Snowman by Jo Nesbo

Russia - Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Scotland - Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

South Africa - The Power of One by Bryce Courtney

South Korea - The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Spain - Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Sri Lanka - Anil’s Ghost by Michael Ondaatje

Sweden - Man Called Ove by Frederick Backman

Switzerland - Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner

Thailand - The Beach by Alex Garland

Tibet - Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer

Turkey - Birds without Wings by Louis de Bernieres

Ukraine - A Short history of Tractors in the Ukraine by Marina Lewycka

Yemen - Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday

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