The books I am going to list below will keep you reading all night long without stopping for a second. All the 5 books are very interesting and will give you more insight into countries that are not so popular among global trotters.
1.Issun-bōshi (In Japanese一寸法師 ) or “Little One-Inch” boy – a Japanese fairy tale.
Issun-bōshi is a Japanese folktale about an old childless couple who prayed to Sumiyoshi sanjin to have a child. Their prayers were heard and they were blessed with a boy. However, the child born was a little one-inch boy and that why was named Issun-bōshi. One day, Issun-bōshi decided to go to the capital. He found employment in a noble family. It happened that the girl of the family went on a journey and was kidnapped by an oni. Issun-bōshi fond the oni and pierced him with a needle in the stomach. Issun-bōshi picked up the magical hammer, that the oni always brought with him, and enlarged his body to a height of six shaku. He became a beautiful young man and married the girl as a reward.
I read Issun-bōshi when I was a child. Recently I re-read the book and was enchanted by the beautiful illustrations. Japan is a country everyone wants to visit and to dive deep in its unique culture at least once in a lifetime. Hope that my wish will come true as the prayers of Issun-bōshi ‘s parents.
2.To get lost on purpose by Kris Zahariev. Explore Bulgaria off the bitten path – literally!!!!
To get lost on purpose is a travel diary of three Bulgarian guys who decide to explore every corner of Bulgaria – literally!!!!. The sceneries and the experiences they encounter are mind-blowing. I didn’t know Bulgaria was so beautiful, even thought I am travelling a lot in my home country. There is a movie and a book about Kris’, Stas’ and Yasen’s unforgettable summer. I highly recommend you to read the book and to watch the movie as well.
3.In order to live by Yeon-mi Park. Be gratful for what you have and never complain.
I couldn’t leave the book all nights long before ending it. The book leaves you speechless and sleepless at the same time. Yeon-mi Park tells the sincere story of her journey from North Korea through the Mongolian desert to South Korea. It’s a revelation of the real-life of famine, cold, lack of information and electricity in North Korea. It’s a book about the real meaning of freedom and hunger. It contains meticulous details about the day-to-day struggles of North Korean citizens and vivid descriptions of what is to be born and raised there. I know that it’s almost impossible to get to North Korea, but at least you will learn more about the North Korean “lifestyle”. Well, there is a place at the South Korean border from where you can see through binocles North Korea and I hope to get there one day.
4.Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran. Colourful Iran is coming to you on a delicious plate….
I adore to travel through food and this book is about discovering Iran through its cuisine. The sisters Marjan, Bahar and Layla move from London to a remote village in Ireland called Ballinacroagh to open Babylon cafe. Between a painful past and an unknown future, the sisters find peace in cooking their favourite dishes that keep the memories of their homeland and family alive. Food is something that reminds us the best souvenirs of our childhood, the food is something that reunites us in the best moments of our lives and the food is something that keeps looking forward the three sisters Marjan, Bahar and Layla. Great book for everyone who plans to visit Iran one day.
5. Daring to Drive by Manal Al-Sharif. What does it cost to drive a car as a woman…in Saudi Arabia?
Daring to drive is an open window to Saudi Arabia. Personally, I know very little about Saudi Arabia and thanks to this book I learned so much!!!! It’s a challenging country for travelling and for living. Manal Al-Sharif gives many details about Saudi Arabian’s life and what does it mean to be a woman there. It’s a captivating book and I am sure you won’t regret reading it.
Hope you enjoyed my selection and can’t wait to dive deep in reading.
Thanks for reading!