Tuesday 8 February 2011

Wonderful Wednesdays #3 (Novels Set in Another Country)

Welcome to edition two of Wonderful Wednesdays!

Wonderful Wednesdays is a meme about spotlighting and recommending some of our most loved books, even if we haven't read them recently.  Each week will have a different theme or genre of book to focus on.

This week's theme is novels set in another country.

I want to hear about the novels that have inspired you and made you want to travel to an exotic location. 

My own pick is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.  It's a story about a missionary and his four daughters as they move to the Congo just before independence.  The novel has lots of themes, religion, colonialism and family amongst them, but as I read it I just loved the lush descriptions of the Congo.  The scene with the swarm of ants really stood out for me - I would hate to be there myself for something like that but it was fascinating reading about it.

The Poisonwood Bible inspired me to read lots of other books set in the Congo, and in Africa in general.  I moved on to The Heart of Darkness by Jospeh Conrad, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and I'm currently reading Half of a Yellow Sun.  One day I will get around to finishing off The Famished Road by Ben Okri.  I doubt I will ever visit Africa, but I love travelling there through books.

How about you?
I want to hear all about your favourite novels set in another country!  If you want to take part, grab the button above and make a post in your blog.  Then link up your blog below, so I can come, read and comment on all of your entries.


  1. I've heard great things about Poisonwood Bible but I haven't yet read it.

    I really like Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series which is set in Botswana. I doubt I'll ever travel there but he does a great job of bringing the characters, culture, and scenery to life!

  2. Not sure if I'll be able to participate this week as i'm sooooooo backlogged with stuff I need to post! I'll do my best though,as this is (as usual) a great subject and there are loads I can think of!i loved Things Fall Apart and Heart of Darkness too, and remember reading the Poisonwood Bible a while ago and enjoying it.

  3. Lisa, I keep thinking that I'd like to read the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series but my mum hated it which put me off a bit. I think I will give it a go. You should read Poisonwood Bible, it's amazing.

    Bex, don't worry about not participating :)
    I thought Things Fall Apart was better than Heart of Darkness, which was a bit too pretentious for me.

  4. I recommend this fascinating book, Channeling The Vampire, because it has a very fresh new age appeal (written by an author from Toronto) http://tinyurl.com/4shwf6q.

  5. Poisonwood Bible was indeed a fabulous book! Yes, I remember the ants *shudder* I don't think I'd ever want to go to Africa, though. I'd rather read about it ;)

  6. oh i can't wait to do this on thursday! i'm not a fan of The Poisonwood Bible, though. It makes me a little upset.

  7. Have you read Kingsolver's Lacuna? You will definitely want to go to Mexico after reading that one!

  8. Love the Poisonwood Bible. I like to travel by book quite a bit. I am definitely interested in reading more Asian and Southeast Asian lit myself. I like Garland's, The Beach, set in Thailand. I also like Passage to India and Murakami's Japan.

  9. Sam - unrelated, but to make up for not participating this week, I'm passing on an award to you! :-)

  10. I've never read any Kingsolver but I know I should. I've heard so many positive things about her books. I need more vacation time!

  11. I haven't read the Poisonwood Bible, but it's definitely on my list now. Thanks for the recommendation.

    I like Cry the Beloved Country, another great book set in Africa. I'm writing from Hong Kong, and The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee is a good book that takes place here.

    I'm a new reader of your blog, by the way, and I like it very much!


  12. I read Half of The Yellow Sun a few years ago and enjoyed it. Haven't read Things Fall Apart, though.

    My Wonderful Wednesday entry comes from The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It's set in Barcelona.


  13. I love reading books set in places that I probably will never visit -- and there are alot of them, because I am a terrible flier, and pretty much of a homebody :)

    I have not read The Poisonwood Bible, but I did read a fantastic memoir last year written by a man who escaped from the Congo during their Civil War...It's called In the Shadow of Freedom.

  14. I have just got the Lacuna on my mid week Mailbox - Kingsolver is also on my TBR. My list will be always set in another country!!!