5 reasons to become a global bookworm

Although there might be many more advantages, here is a quick list of ‘wins’ for those who start reading global. 


Little fires everywhere – Celeste Ng (US)

Although in general I try to resist writing about the most popular books, I couldn’t resist writing about this one. Simply because it was so good. And while most of you are probably reading this from the US (at least that is where 1/3 of my views come from). For me this book is still in many ways a small trip to the US, a culture which somehow looks familiar due to the high exposure through the media and internet, in reality it is still very strange to me.

Why do I blog?: a reflection on 2018

I started the global bookworm because I wanted to connect with people globally, to share my love for international books and to find inspiration for new readings. So far I feel like this has been a success. I have been able to cover books from 10 different countries, and been able to grow my audience a little. 

The Vegetarian – Han Kang (South Korea)

In August I found a great review while randomly strolling through the Wordpress reader by Ninth Melody. What triggered me into reading The Vegetarian by Han Kang was the weirdness and originality of the story. Or maybe the title strongly appealed to me as a vegetarian. It is not one of my favorite books, but the uniqueness of the story made me happy I read it and I strongly recommend it to all of you.

I took my time to write this post because I wanted to take some time and reflect on the book. I noticed once I finished the book, my perception changed over time in a positive way. In general I think Han Kang has put a very critical note to society.

Honour – Elif Shafak (Turkey/UK)

I really enjoyed reading Honor by Elif Shafak. It is an elegantly written book which combines big themes without feeling too heavy. Over two generations the book builds to a family tragedy which can only be understood and judged when one knows the context and family history.

What I loved in the book is the split between the setting in Turkey and in the UK and the attention for the challenges of immigrants.

What and where to read in Berlin?

Berlin is an amazing city. Marked with history worth to understand but also full of energy and very open minded. I am not going to fully report on my Interrail trip, but I like to share some of my favorite spots, which I think are worth to pay a visit if you are nearby.

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.

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.

Which book made you feel like you traveled to another country?

For The Global Bookworm I am looking for inspiration myself and hopefully a possibility for people to inspire each other. 

Why? Because people experience the world differently. By reading from authors who have grown up and lived in another culture enables them to share a perspective you cannot understand unless you interact, read and discuss.