Diversity Challenge – Reading Around the World

Reading diversely is very important to me – there are so many people with awesome stories to tell that don’t get as much exposure as they should because they aren’t white and straight. And sometimes white people think they are the best placed to be telling stories of people who aren’t white even though they don’t have those lived experiences.

I try hard to read people who aren’t straight white and male, and sometimes I succeed at that better than others. 

A lovely person who I follow on Litsy posted a link to this amazing story about Ann Morgan, who decided to read a book from every country in the world. In the article there is a link to her world map, where she has linked to the book she has read for that country.

What a great idea!!

I’ve decided to follow in Ann’s footsteps and try to take a similar journey. I’m going to start in 2017, which will give me time to get my Netgalley queue under control and to do some planning and gather resources. It will be a interesting challenge – especially trying to find translations from some smaller countries into English – but I’m going to give it a red hot crack.

I feel like this is a great opportunity to be exposed to new authors and cultures and learn a lot about the world – which is why I’ve always loved reading in the first place. 

I had considered using books I’ve read previously to get a bit of a head start, but on further contemplation I’ve decided to start afresh on January 1 and try to read modern fiction and non fiction preferably on this journey. (For example, I’ve read Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, but nothing modern from Russia.)

I’m also not going to give myself a time limit – my TBR is pretty big and I’ll still be reading new releases so this will be an ongoing challenge, probably covering at least a couple of years.

So, dear reader, I have two things to ask.

Does anyone want to join me?

Do you have suggestions or recommendations? I known there are a bunch of you who are not situated in the west, and I’d be very interest to hear from you!


  1. This is such a great idea. I will take the challenge someday when the TBR pile is a bit more under control. I am Kenyan and if you are looking for books in Kenya then I suggest that you check out books by Ng’ugi Wa Thiongo, Kinyanjui Kombani or Yvonne Awuor. Any of their books would do. I read a lot of books from Nigeria so I would recommend Chimamanda Ngozi, Chinua Achebe or Chigozie Obioma. From Afghanistan, I recommend, Khaled Hosseini books.

    Please do another post of the books that you decide to read. I would love to see the recommendations from the other countries.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Diana, I was hoping to hear from you! I appreciate your suggestions. I’ve set up a new shelf on Goodreads so I can keep a track of suggestions, but I’ll certainly continue to post on this topic. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! This is a lovely challenge! Kudos to you! I hope it’s successful. I love reading books that take place from all over the world because I love learning about different cultures. I also love learning about diverse characters because it’s interesting to read about different walks of life. A book rec that I love and adore is called The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell. It’s not necessary a book written in Japan; however, it’s about a Japanese boy who got diagnosed with ALS and takes place in Japan so you learn a lot about the disease as well as the Japanese culture! I can’t wait to follow your journey next year with your challenge! πŸ˜€


    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a brilliant idea! I must join you when my schedule clears up a little! I need diversity. I have only started widening my horizons with a Nordic crime novel. I admit I usually only read books set or written by British or American authors. I read a few Japanese novels when I was living there but the style is not for me. I hope you have lots of fun with this project!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve thought a lot about doing this challenge myself, after seeing Ann Morgan’s TED Talk. It intimidates me, though! I am a reader of passion– and if I’m not in the mood for a book, I’ll never really make progress. I look forward to following your journey. Perhaps you’ll inspire me to take this on in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think this is a great idea, and maybe you should make a weekly post about it? Spread the word about books you’re adding to your January book Playlist? It might encourage others to do the same. Hell, I’m tempted, and I don’t know if I even can do it! But I might try!
    I applaud you! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yay, welcome!! I’ve set up a seperate page where I’m starting to research my list.

      Thanks to a lovely friend on Litsy I have a list of books by Indigenous Australians put together by Anita Heiss – I’ll be posting that or a link to it soon.

      Let me know how you will track yours so I can follow along 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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