IT’S EASY TO BE A READER and still coast through a life of literacy only having explored stories from a handful of countries. Personally, though I read almost constantly, the vast majority of my literary intake comes from the US and the UK. And while a person could easily get lost in the books of either one of these countries for several lifetimes, it does present a rather incomplete picture of the world: what about all of the other stories being told in the other countries?
When writer Ann Morgan realized that her bookshelves were filled with books from the English world, she decided to undertake a huge project: she decided to read a single book from all 196 countries of the world in the span of a single year. She posted about her plans on her blog, was flooded with suggestions as to which book she should read from each country. While her list of books is by no means representative of the best each country has to offer (or even always accurate: as her US selection she chose American Gods by Neil Gaiman, a British author who has lived in the US for a couple of decades), it is extremely diverse, and is a better representation of the cultural output of our world than what it would be if we confined ourselves to the English-speaking world. Check out the map below and see what she picked for each country.