Pinterest Hidden Image

Join the around the world reading challenge and read books set in each country. It’s the perfect free reading challenge idea for avid readers looking to expand their horizons and track the countries about which they read at the same time. You’ll also get a printable PDF checklist to take away with you. Let’s get literary!

world reading challenge on computer with a globe and stack of books.

Why You Should Take the Around the World Reading Challenge

Reading books set in a variety of countries expands your worldview, knowledge, and empathy. Within the pages of a book, you can walk a mile in someone else’s shoes somewhere else. It can also provide a great escape or teach you about a place you are visiting.

As a reader of 100-150 books per year myself, I was disappointed in how few countries I have read books about to date (and also how many countries I never even heard of — yes, really!) If you’re in the same boat as me, this is all the more reason to challenge yourself to read at least one book set in each country.

Note: This is the type of reading challenge for adults that you can easily do concurrently with another one. For example, I am hosting a Reading Challenge for the Rory Gilmore book list, in which you can participate! And I also have a 50 States of America Reading Challenge and recommend books for POPSUGAR’s reading challenge.

Free Printable PDF Book Challenge Tracker

If you’re ready to get started, simply download, print, and fill in the free reading tracker below with the books you read set in each country around the world. Take this challenge on your own and at your own pace.

world reading challenge printable pdf tracker.

WORLD READING CHALLENGE PRINTABLE

Get instant access to this free printable when you subscribe to The Literary Lifestyle’s free email newsletter community.

Around the World Reading Challenge Ideas

Below is a full list of countries in the world and the books I recommend for the countries about which I have read.

It is not complete, as I have not yet read a book in every country of the world that I can now personally recommend to you. It’s meant as a starting point, and I will continue to update this list as I read about more countries over time, so you may want to bookmark it.

Afghanistan

Albania

Algeria

Andorra

Angola

Antigua and Barbuda

Argentina

Armenia

Australia: The Dry by Jane Harper

Austria

Azerbaijan

The Bahamas: The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams

Bahrain

Bangladesh

Barbados

Belarus

Belgium

Belize

Benin

Bhutan

Bolivia

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Botswana: Spare by Prince Harry

Brazil

Brunei

Bulgaria

Burkina Faso

Burundi

Cambodia

Cameroon: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

Canada: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Cape Verde

Central African Republic

Chad

Chile: Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende

China: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Colombia: Infinite Country

Comoros

Congo, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the

Costa Rica

Cote d’Ivoire

Croatia

Cuba: When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleton

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark: The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

Djibouti

Dominica

Dominican Republic: Dominicana by Angie Cruz

East Timor (Timor-Leste)

Ecuador

Egypt

El Salvador

Equatorial Guinea

Eritrea

Estonia

Ethiopia

Fiji

Finland

France: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Gabon

The Gambia

Georgia

Germany: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Ghana: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Greece: The Odyssey by Homer

Grenada

Guatemala

Guinea

Guinea-Bissau

Guyana

Haiti

Honduras

Hungary

Iceland

India: A Burning by Megha Majumdar

Indonesia

Iran

Iraq

Ireland: The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne (Related Post: Best Irish Authors)

Israel: A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum

Italy: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (Related Posts: Books Set in Florence | Books Set in Italy)

Jamaica: Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn

Japan: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Kenya

Kiribati

Korea, North

Korea, South

Kosovo

Kuwait

Kyrgyzstan

Laos

Latvia

Lebanon

Lesotho

Liberia

Libya

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macedonia

Madagascar

Malawi

Malaysia

Maldives

Mali

Malta

Marshall Islands

Mauritania

Mauritius

Mexico: Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

Micronesia, Federated States of

Moldova

Monaco: The Girl in White Gloves by Kerri Maher

Mongolia

Montenegro

Morocco

Mozambique

Myanmar (Burma)

Namibia

Nauru

Nepal

Netherlands: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

New Zealand

Nicaragua

Niger

Nigeria: The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare

Norway: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Oman

Pakistan: I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Palau

Panama

Papua New Guinea

Paraguay

Peru: Secret of the Andes by All Nolan Clark

Philippines

Poland: Night by Elie Wiesel

Portugal

Qatar

Romania

Russia: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Rwanda

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Samoa

San Marino

Sao Tome and Principe

Saudi Arabia

Senegal

Serbia

Seychelles

Sierra Leone

Singapore: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwon

Slovakia

Slovenia

Solomon Islands

Somalia

South Africa: Hum If You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais

South Sudan

Spain: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Sri Lanka

Sudan

Suriname

Swaziland

Sweden: Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Switzerland: The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

Syria

Taiwan

Tajikistan

Tanzania: The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway

Thailand

Togo

Tonga

Trinidad and Tobago

Tunisia

Turkey

Turkmenistan

Tuvalu

Uganda

Ukraine

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

United States of America: Check out my United States of America reading challenge for recommendations by state.

Uruguay

Uzbekistan

Vanuatu

Vatican City (Holy See)

Venezuela

Vietnam: The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Yemen

Zambia

Zimbabwe

Conclusion

This around the world reading challenge helps you expand your horizons and track the countries about which you read at the same time. Use our free printable PDF to track your books as you walk a literary mile in someone else’s shoes.

Save This Post Form

Save This Post!

Email yourself a link to this post so you can come back to it later.

By saving, you agree to receive email updates. Unsubscribe at any time.

Leave a Comment or Question

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 Comments

  1. Nice challenge, I’m making it too.
    Just a small tip, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are two different countries.

  2. I like your idea of reading around the world and I realised I have actually already read a lot of books that are set in other countries. I made my own list and I have some suggestion for you:
    Afghanistan Khaled Hosseni The kite runner, a thousand splendid suns, and the mountains echoed
    Australia Lucinda Riley The pearl sister
    Diney Costeloe The Throwaway Children
    Brazil Lucinda Riley The seven sisters
    Cuba Amando Lucas Correa The German girl
    France Anthony Doerr All the light we cannot see
    Sarah Jio All the flowers in Paris
    Germany Anna Ellory The Rabbit Grils
    India Per J Andersson Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love
    Iran Marjan Kamali The Stationary shop of Teheran
    Ireland Lucinda Riley The missing sister
    Italy Elena Ferrante The Lying Life of Adults
    Paolo Cognetti The eight mountains
    Kenya Lucinda Riley The sun sister
    Lebanon Pierre Jarawan The Storyteller
    Mexico Jeanine Cummins American Dirt
    Norway Lucinda Riley The storm sister
    Spain Lucinda Riley the moon sister
    Syria Christy Lefteri The Beekeeper of Aleppo
    United Kingdom Lucinda Riley the Shadow sister
    Jennifer Donnelly the tea rose
    United States of America Beck Dorey-Stein From the corner of the oval
    I like historical fiction and Lucinda Riley’s seven sisters series. The Storyteller, the tea rose, American Dirt and the Rabbit Girl are my favorites.
    I hope to add more book to my list in the future. I have found many books on your list that I would like to read too.