Are you a global reader? How many countries have you “visited” in your reading? What are your favorite places or cultures to read about? Can you recommend particularly good books about certain regions, countries or continents? How do you find out about books from other countries? What countries would you like to read that you haven’t yet?
This week’s Weekly Geeks question was posed by Terri:
– via books, of course, whether written about a country or by a native or resident of the country!
Although many authors write about their native countries, I don’t always know that bit of biography when I choose a book to read, so I considered where a book takes place rather than where its writer came from in answering this question. I’m not surprised to see this, but I am mildly embarrassed to report it – I’m not particularly well-traveled. I checked off only 48 countries on the list used to produce this map:
Some of my favorite places to visit in books aren’t reflected on the map, though, because they’re not quite real. Harry Potter’s United Kingdom isn’t the everyday version, for example. I tend to prefer fantasy that takes place somewhere that’s not completely unfamiliar.
As for the real world, it’s really not that I’m not interested in other countries and cultures! However, I tend to be drawn to stories that I think I’ll be able to relate to, and it seems that many of those stories are by English-speaking authors and take place in the US, Canada, or western Europe. I feel like such a politically-incorrect elitist now that I’m confronted with the evidence, but at this point in my reading life, it looks like I’m a mostly- (not quite all-)American girl. And in my real-life travels, it’s much the same; I’ve been to quite a few of the fifty states, but my only trips outside my home country have been to Canada and the eastern Caribbean (including the U.S. Virgin Islands, which I’m not sure about counting separately).
Having said that, though, I enjoy reading travel memoirs set almost anywhere – again, as long as the story grabs me. As for fiction, I have long been intrigued by novels set in pre-Communist China and modern Europe – but don’t forget, there’s certainly enough variety of regions and cultures in the good ol’ U.S. of A. to keep a reader exploring on the home front for years.
Where in the world have you been – and where would you like to go?