The Farm – Hector Abad (Colombia)

Have you ever wondered what the reason was behind all the violence in Colombia and how inhabitants lived through it? The farm provides a strong insight in some of the daily lives of Colombians who dealt with that violence. The book is accessible and easy readable story about a farm, told by three siblings who live totally different lives. Besides it includes, family drama, romance and abductions. I promise, no spoilers.

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The artist of disappearance – Anita Desai (India)

Anita Desai will take you to various parts of India. With this book you quickly end up for a couple of hours in the Himalaya.

The three short stories in this book all inspire and trigger to think. This is a hardly discovered little gem and a nice break from more mainstream books. The stories touch upon themes like poverty, deprivation, environmental pollution and women empowerment.

Ghana must go – Taiye Selasi (Ghana/Global)

“Kweku dies barefoot on a Sunday before sunrise”. His death brings about a reunion in Ghana of his abandoned and scattered family. The book contains a beautiful portrait by Taiye Selasi of a migrant family diffused across the world while slowly revealing their scars. The book does not only show different migrations in the courses of their lives, it also shows how families travel trough social classes.

Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria)

I read this book, or letter, in an hour. I loved it. It is simple, and clear and all of what she says is needed to be said. Ijeawele is very lucky to have Adichie as a friend.

The book writes about the basics of feminism every parent should know. Although she is writing the letter for her friend Ijeawele who just had a daughter and requested Adichie to explain her how she could raise her daughter as a feminist, the book might be (maybe even more) necessary for parents of boys.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane – Lisa See (China/US)

This books is worth cheating on my own rules. Lisa See did her research on this book so well, I felt like I could smell the tea trees in the Chinese rural mountainous areas of Yunnan. Besides that, it is a book filled with cultural, gender and developmental issues.

So the book was totally my cup of tea…  Let me elaborate on the aspects which makes it an unforgettable journey to China.