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My Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge Goals and Books Read

Reading challenges are a fantastic way to broaden your reading horizons, learn and read more than you do now. I have lots of reading challenge ideas but the Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge is the one I created to explore new cultures and countries from the comfort of some amazing books.

Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge. Explore new countries and cultures and broaden your reading horizons. It's my goal to read 50 books from different countries in 5 years. You choose your own travel adventure in this challenge, where will your travel around the world in books take you?


I started the  Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge where you choose your own reading and travel adventure! I’m teaming up with Fictional 100 and Guiltless Reading to bring you this reading challenge where you set your own goals and rules for where you’d like your reading journey to take you. Finally, a no-stress, no-worries, kind of challenge that helps you expand your reading and cultural horizons.


I think it’s important to learn about different cultures and countries so that we can develop an empathy and understanding for others, what they experience and how it shapes their life perspective. I wish I could travel the world in person but with a family of 5 and a chronic illness, it’s just not possible in this season of life. So what better way to travel the world than through the pages of a book? I can get lost in new places and adventures I may not be able to see otherwise.


Traveling the world in books has also been great learning opportunity for my kids to learn about other cultures too. I am often bringing home library books so they can learn about the world around them. We talk about what it must be like to live in another place, maybe in one that is different in climate, or one that is different politically or economically. It helps them understand what others go through and gives them a sense of appreciation for the life they have.  


Whether you travel the world in books on your own or with your kids, won’t you join me to travel the world in books? You can sign up for the challenge here or get recommendations from other book lovers here.

Note: This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you. 


My Goals


Read 50 books in 5 years (7/1/2014 – 6/30/2019) that take place in countries other than the US (where I reside), both fiction and nonfiction. I will track the books I read on this page and on my Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge Google Map



My Books Read:


1. Paris, Rue des Martyrs by Adria Cimino – France – Review
2. Waiting for Snow in Havana* by Carlos Eire – Cuba
3. The Forgotten Daughter by Renita d’Silva – India – Review
4. The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar – India & US – Review and Book Club Discussion Questions
5. Seven Letters from Paris by Samantha Verant – Review
6. Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson – England – Review



7. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver – Congo/Zaire – Review and Book Club Discussion Questions
8. Bombay Bhel* by Ken Doyle – India
9. Love, Lies and Lemon Cake* by Sue Watson – England & Greece
10.The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – set in Spain (Spanish author) – ALL-TIME FAVORITE!
11. Mademoiselle Chanel by C.W. Gortner – France – FAVORITE!
12. The Silkworm* by Robert Galbraith – set in England (English author)
13. Diamond Head by Cecily Wong – set in China and Hawaii (Chinese-American author)
14. Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling – her background set in England (English author)
15. An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd – set in England
16. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton – set in England and Australia (Australian author) – FAVORITE!
17. Hello from the Gillespies* by Monica McInerney – set in Australia
18. Flask of the Drunken Master by Susan Spann – set in Japan
19. A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd – set in England
20. House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende – set in South America, a country resembling Chile, buy it here*
21. A Sister’s Promise* by Renita d’Silva – set in England and India
22. The Determined Heart* by Antoinette May – set in England, France, Switzerland
23. Daughter of Sand and Stone by Libbie Hawker – set in ancient Syria



24. Come Away with Me* by Karma Brown – set in Thailand, Italy, US – FAVORITE!
25. In Another Life by Julie Christine Johnson – set in France
26. And the Mountains Echoed*by Khaled Hosseini – set in Afghanistan, Greece, US – FAVORITE!
27. The Girl from the Paradise Ballroom by Alison Love – set in England, Italy
28. A House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi – set in India, US
29. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society* by Mary Ann Shaffer – set in Guernsey
30. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up* by Marie Kondo (Japanese author)
31. The Yard* by Aliyyah Enliath – set in Trinidad about a Muslim family



32. The Winter Garden* by Kristin Hannah – set in US and Russia – FAVORITE!
33. Burial Rites* by Hannah Kent – set in Iceland
34. The Christmas Cake Cafe* by Sue Watson – set in Switzerland, UK
35. A Study in Scarlet* by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – set in England
36. & 37. Saving Abby and Abby’s Journey by Steena Holmes – set in Canada, Belgium, Germany, Italy
37. The Pearl* by John Steinbeck – set in Mexico
38. A Bridge Across the Ocean* by Susan Meissner – set in Belgium and France during WW2 (FREE with Audible Trial)
39. The Nightingale* by Kristin Hannah (FREE with Audible Trial) – France, Spain
40. Whispering in French* by Sophia Nash
41. Murder on the Orient Express* by Agatha Christie – mostly takes place on the train but it travels through Croatia, Serbia and Syria 🙂
42. The Deal of a Lifetime* by Fredrik Backman – set in Sweden



43. I Was Anastasia* by Ariel Lawhon – set in Russia – FAVORITE!
44. The Hound of the Baskervilles* by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – set in England
45. Big Little Lies* by Liane Moriarity – set in Australia – FAVORITE!
46. The Count of Monte Cristo* by Alexandre Dumas – set mostly in France (there are lots of versions but the link is the one I have and I loved this edition) – FAVORITE! 
47. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo* by Stieg Larsson – set in Sweden 
48. Girls Night Out* by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke – set in Mexico
49. The Death of Mrs. Westaway* by Ruth Ware – set in England
50. Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie – set in England



Total Different Countries Visited in Books: 19


Ready to join us? Stop by and read the goals and “rules” for this challenge and link up your sign up post. We also have a group Pinterest board and Goodreads group where we share and map books read and discuss and vote on monthly group reads/readalongs. Be sure to join us there too! 


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I hope you will join me on a reading adventure to travel the world in books! My Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge is designed to be no stress and all fun so you can choose your own adventure as you explore new countries and cultures in the world’s best books! 

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  1. Hi! I want to join you for this challenge. Very excited to see the books you will read. I’ve mentioned this challenge on my blog. Goodluck and thanks for making the challenge, the Google Travel Maps is a really good idea! 🙂

    1. I am so glad you will be joining us as we travel the world in books Deshana. I’ve read Winter Garden and Burial Rites for this challenge so far this month. Both were excellent if you like drama and historical fiction.

    1. So glad you will be joining us Aloi! I like flexible challenges, I am more likely to travel the world if I have 5 years to do it! 🙂 The shorter challenges, I am more likely to not do as well since I am easily distracted by a book cover or book blogger events.

      I look forward to seeing what your goals are and where your book travels take you!

    1. Thanks April, would love to have you join us. Another participant, Diary of an Urban Housewife, said she was going to track hers on a pinterest map. I decided to do that too and make it a group board so participants can link up the reviews and pin them on the map 🙂

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