France: Unconventional Friendships

At first I thought I haven’t read many French books, but when I started going through lists of popular/classic/must-read French books and authors I realized I have indeed read a lot of them. After figuring this out I decided I wanted to read something contemporary, something different; and that is how I ended up reading … Continue reading France: Unconventional Friendships

Central African Republic: Oral, Not Written 

It took me awhile to get this book from the Central African Republic, but now I’ve finally read it! African Tales: Folklore of the Central African Republic (by Rodney Wimer and Polly Strong) is definitely different from the books I’ve read this far, because this is the first book during this challenge of mine based … Continue reading Central African Republic: Oral, Not Written 

Finland: No Escape from Melancholy

Sometimes it is quite hard to find a single book from a country, but it is indeed satisfying when I finally hold that book in my hand. The other challenge is when there is simple too many books to choose from. That is why one of the hardest choices I have made this far is … Continue reading Finland: No Escape from Melancholy

Fiji: An Untouched Subject

I thought Fiji would be one of the countries I would not find  a book from, but it was in fact quite easy to find one. The selection was obviously not wide, and that is why I ended up reading something different from everything else I’ve ever read: Kisses in the Nederends by Epeli Hauʻofa. … Continue reading Fiji: An Untouched Subject

Ethiopia: Distant Stones

The big, beautiful, and colourful book, Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese tells the story of the members of the Stone family. Marion and Shiva, the twin brothers, were orphaned at birth, because their Indian nun mother died giving birth to her sons, and their father disappeared. The boys grew up during the turbulent times … Continue reading Ethiopia: Distant Stones

Estonia: An Ordinary Man’s Life in Tallinn

I have lived in Tallinn, the capital of  Estonia, where Treading Air by Jaan Kross is set. It was nice to walk the streets with the star in the book, Ullo Paerand, during several decades in the twentieth century. These years were filled with changes for both Ullo and Estonia. The well-remembered days living with … Continue reading Estonia: An Ordinary Man’s Life in Tallinn

Eritrea: An Unforgettable Childhood

Wars and child soldiers are unfortunately the first things that come to mind when I think of Eritrea. Both have a strong presence in Heart of Fire: One Girl's Extraordinary Journey from Child Soldier to Soul Singer by Senait Mehari. A book like this makes me feel like a grew up in a pink and … Continue reading Eritrea: An Unforgettable Childhood

Equatorial Guinea: To Be or Not to Be a Priest

Yet another country with not too many books to choose from, but then I found Shadows of Your Black Memory by Donato Ndongo, a coming of age novel set in the last years of Spanish ruling in Equatorial Guinea. This is the story of a man, a man whose name we never find out, who … Continue reading Equatorial Guinea: To Be or Not to Be a Priest

El Salvador: The Road To Civil War

There is just something about banned books, especially in a case like One Day of Life by Manlio Argueta; the government of El Salvador banned it, because it must have been too close to the truth… It is however fictitious, and if everything would be fine in the country, there wouldn’t be a need for … Continue reading El Salvador: The Road To Civil War

Egypt: Freedom of Thinking Back in the Days

I decided to dig into something different this time around. Naguib Mahfouz was a famous Egyptian author who won the Nobel prize in 1998. Mirrors is however not one of his famous books. To be honest, during his long writing career he produced many pieces, and not all of them can be as famous and … Continue reading Egypt: Freedom of Thinking Back in the Days