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11 Books For the Global Reader

July 18, 2014


Wouldn't it be great to have literary friends all over the world that could give you recommendations for great books to read to help you cultivate a more global perspective? As your friends at Room to Read, we've got you covered. 
Room to Read staff come from all different corners of the world, speak an amazing number of languages and represent an incredible diversity of cultures…but there’s one thing we all have in common: a love for reading.
 So enjoy reading these book recommendations (and books) in this list from fellow book lovers around the world.

A Summer Reading List




 Recommended by: Janelle Prescott 

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks 

“I was lent this book by a friend recently and once I picked it up I could not put it down – nearly missed my train stop twice! I now can’t wait to share this book with others. And yes the story, set during the Plague, will remain with me for a long time.” 





Recommended by Rishibha Gupta 

The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni 

“One of the greatest Indian epic, Mahabharata, retold from Draupadi’s (the central female character) perspective. It’s gripping to read about how the Queen of Pandavas’ viewed the men in her life, and the ultimate war she triggered."


Recommended by Deepak Dogra 

Everybody Loves a Good Drought by P. Sainath 

“This book was my introduction to the development world, along with the Unheard Voices. A journalistic work that has everything including research, satire, and harsh reality from the grassroots of India.” 





Recommended by Shanta Nepal 

Take the Lead- Nepal’s Future has Begun by Anil Chitrakar 

“I like the book because it infuses hope into Nepal’s negative public sphere, it brings positivity and inspires us to contribute. The language is very simple and the vivid examples shown in the book can be felt by everyone, as it is about the things happening around us.” 


Recommended by Rishi Amatya

Cairo by G. Willow Wilson 

“G. Willow Wilson takes us on a ride of a Cairo where Jinns still roam free and evil is trying hard to magic its way across the world. It tells a tale about a wonderful transformation of a Lebanese American boy with less than auspicious plan in his mind, a brave journalist who is determined that Cairo will read again and a horde of mystical creatures that populate this wonderful tale.” 





Recommended by Katharina Viana-Bachmann 

Dear Zari by Zarghuna Kargar 

"A powerful collection of testimonies that depict the struggles and hopes of Afghan women. An often emotional and at times painful read, this book is ultimately a poignant celebration of human resilience under unimaginable duress.”





Recommended by Clare Baker 

Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres 

"The stories of the life of people from a small village capture what it means to live and love while being swept along in the inexorable tide of conflict during the fall of the Ottoman empire. Louis de Bernieres is lyrical, almost poetic in his language – this is a beautiful, poignant story."





Recommended by Katherine Majchrzak

Hyperbole and a Half  by Allie Brosh

“This graphic-novel encapsulates a very dark sense of humor with the oddities of the human condition. It’s an excellent reminder that we don’t always need to take ourselves so seriously. I like to think this book promotes self-reflection while making you double-over in hysterical laughter.”


Recommended by (Room to Read Founder) John Wood

The Elephant’s Journey by Jose Saramago 

“A novel based upon a true story, told in only the loving and quirky ways Saramago can tell stories. This is also good ‘entry-level Saragmago’ for those reading him for the first time. Those who like him may want to move on to Blindness and Death with Interruptions." 





Recommended by Nhien Le

Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon 

“This is the kind of book for when your mood is down and you don’t know what to do with the life you want to live and the work you want to do. It’s small book with nice ideas told not by words but by sketches, so it’s very easy to understand. The writer has a good sense of humor as well.” 





Recommended by Precious Mumbi Habeenzu 

Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal 

“Our daughters are two of the most picky eaters we have ever loved, and this book has brought with it a new understanding of veggies and candy. What I love most about this book is the way it teaches basic physics/math while at the same time giving the opposite perspective of this baby pea struggling to eat his sweets in order to get his desert (spinach). In reality, children struggle to eat their veggies just to get some candy! My tots now have a special liking for peas and spinach, which is a plus for us as parents!”