From The Bahamas to Burundi: Traveling the literary world, 17 more stops
I did not realise there were so many countries starting with the letter B, but I guess you never stop learning. I started reading in July 2019 with a book from The Bahamas (now, during corona lockdown, just writing about The Bahamas makes me long for sandy beaches and crystal clear oceans…) and I finished my trip in Burundi in March 2020. I read quite a few books in between though because not all of my reading can be themed and educational.
The B-countries exposed me to a lot of different topics, styles, and authors – I enjoyed some of the books very much and others not so much (or not at all) but that’s how life is. Here’s a unordered list of three favourites (that doesn’t mean that other books weren’t good!):
But now, on to the complete list. Links go to my original blog entries.
The Bahamas: Jumping Into Island Life
Title: Life On A Rock Author: K.A. Albury First published: 2009
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to give up your sheltered urban existence to move to remote island and work as island managers? Well, that’s exactly what K.A. Albury and her husband did (spoiler: includes a lot of distress calls).
Title: Schlusslichter (OT: Feux Rouges) Author: Georges Simenon First published: 1953
Maybe not the best choice for Belgium, since it is set entirely in the U.S. (and most of it on a highway) but quite entertaining nonetheless. A lot of focus on whisky and cars, but yes, those were the 50s… I guess.
Title: Beka Lamb Author: Zee Edgell First published: 1982
In this book, Beka, a young girl, and her home country of Belize go through their formative years together. I recommend reading a bit about Belize’s history before starting the book (I did so about half-way through and wish I had done so earlier).
Title: The Circle of Karma Author: Kunzang Choden First published: 2005
Tsomo grows up in a small Bhutanese village, not being allowed to learn how to read and write. She embarks on a journey to find happiness and learn how to make her own decisions. I really liked this book and I’m hoping for a movie!
I started reading a little collection of (children’s) tales called Folktales from the Moose of Burkina Faso but didn’t finish it because none of them made sense. Couldn’t find anything else.
Burundi: Civil War From A Child’s Perspective
Title: Kleines Land (OT: Petit Pays) Author: Gaël Faye First published: 2016
After three disappointments in my chosen books, I was so happy to find this little gem about Gabriel, whose life changes drastically when civil war breaks out in Burundi. It has all the difficult topics you would expect but also true literary beauty.