Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. I love setting a seasonal TBR even though my picks are hardly ever summery, wintery etc. My main focus at the moment is my Read the World Project as my self-imposed deadline is the end of September. I have 11 countries/books still to read so they are my priority. I have eight books on my TBR for my Read the World Project and two for the 12 Books from 12 Friends challenge. If you happen to know of any writers (whether their novelists, non-fiction writers, poets, or playwrights) from Monaco, Liechtenstein, or Tuvalu please let me know – they’re the last countries I need to find some sort of book for.

The Golden Horse: A Novel About Triumph and Tragedy Building the Panama Railroad by Juan David Morgan
My read for Panama is a saga of the events that transpired as a result of the rivalry between New York shipping magnates, William Aspinwall and Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the enormous personal cost that was borne by the people involved in the construction of the Panama Railroad built during the California Gold Rush.

A Spare Life by Lidija Dimkovska
My read for North Macedonia is set in 1984 and follows twins who are conjoined at the head, their life as they grow up considered freaks by even their family, and how they struggle to decide if they want to be surgically separated from one another. I have tried to read this once and couldn’t really get into it at the time because it’s more of a literary fiction style which I don’t read so often but hopefully second time’s a charm.

Beyond the Rice Fields by Naivo
My read for Madagascar is the first novel from Madagascar to ever be translated into English and it’s set in the nineteenth century and it’s about the relationship between a slave and his master’s daughter.

Ali and Nino by Kurban Said
My read for Azerbaijan is a novel about a romance between a Muslim Azerbaijani boy and Christian Georgian girl in Baku in the years 1918–1920. Had this one on my kindle for a while and I think a historical star-crossed romance will be a pretty quick read.

Armenian Golgotha by Grigoris Balakian
My read for Armenia is memoir about Grigoris Balakian’s eyewitness account of the Armenian Genocide which happened from 1915-1918. I have started this, as in I’ve read the introduction and background info as it is a chunky book about a heavy topic, and I think when I do read it properly I’ll read it in parts so I don’t get too overwhelmed by it.

I, the Supreme by Augusto Roa Bastos
My read for Paraguay is a fictionalised account of the nineteenth-century Paraguayan dictator José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia. Out of all the Read the World Project books I have left to read this is the one I know the least about.

Weeding the Flowerbeds by Sarah Mkhonza
My read for Eswatini is a memoir about Mkhonza’s childhood at a boarding school in the seventies where there’s a lot of strict rules. Another one I did start for a readathon but couldn’t get into at the time. It is a short book at less than 200 pages so if I just sat down and read it I could probably read it in a day.

The Fury and Cries of Women by Angèle Rawiri
My read for Gambon follows Emilienne’s life through her university studies, marriage, children, work, and how she tries to search for what feminism means to her while dealing with cultural expectations and the taboos of sex and motherhood.

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
This 12 Challenge book is one I don’t think I’d even heard of before it was recommended to me which is half the fun of the challenge. It looks to be a contemporary YA about a teen who’s struggling with his cultural identity and mental health. I don’t read contemporary YA that often so I’m looking forward to seeing what I make of it.

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos
One of the 12 Challenge books. This is one I’d definitely seen people talk about online. I know it’s the first book in a fantasy series translated from French and that’s about it to be honest. I don’t really have the time to start new series’ but I’ll give this a go and see if I want to continue with it.

What are you hoping to read over the next few months?


  1. Wow, these sound so interesting! I admire you for doing challenges that introduce you to new cultures and history that you aren’t familiar with, and it sounds like you’re making great progress with it.

    1. Thanks! Can’t say it was totally my idea as a friend first said they’d try to do it and I thought I’d have a go too. I’ve definitely read things and learnt about places I wouldn’t have otherwise.

    1. Thank you! 🙂 It’s been the focus of my reading for that five years nearly so I’m equally looking forward to finishing it for the sense of achievement and for being able to be more free with my reading choices.

  2. Ahhh I really really hope you enjoy all of these AND AM LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING ALL YOUR THOUGHTS!!! Also also I LOVE your blog design so much!!! It’s GORGEOUS 😭😍😍

  3. So many books set in so many different places! I have to confess that I don’t think I even knew there were countries called Eswatini and Tuvalu. I did just look them up and I see that Eswatini used to be named Swaziland. I am familiar with that name. And I may have known about Tuvalu since I did think about Pacific islands when I read it.

    I admire your project and hope you enjoy these when you read them!

    1. Thank you! Yes, I’ve certainly learnt about a lot of places, culture and history that I hadn’t heard of before – or had heard of but had no real idea where they were in the world.

  4. Oh I’m interested in seeing what you think of A Winter’s Promise. I really liked it.
    I do always like the country challenge but I never take it as I’m such a fantasy reader and there isn’t much translated fantasy out there from many countries. A real shame.

  5. You have SUCH interesting book choices – and I’ve never heard of them or the authors which is delightful! I’ve bookmarked your site to come back when I have time to explore your “Around the World” entries. I’m just impressed as hell at this project and really want to dig into how you accomplished it. Happy Reading!

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