2012 Books


After having finished the maximum number of books I’ve ever read in one year in 2011, I am all excited to see what 2012 will bring in. So this GoodReads challenge piqued my interest and opened up a world of books for me.

These are the books I plan to read in 2012, as a part of this challenge. The hope is that they will also broaden my view on these countries and teach me a thing or two about their histories. So what if I cannot visit them, I can atleast be there in spirit! :)

1. Afghanistan:In the Sea there are Crocodiles

2. Albania:The Palace of Dreams

3. Algeria:The Lovers of Algeria

4. Argentina:Kiss of the Spider Woman

The Aleph and Other Stories

5. Belize:Wanderlove

6. Bhutan:Married to Bhutan

7. Bosnia:Twice Born

8. Bostwana:Whatever You Do, Don't Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide

9. Brazil:Gabriela Clove and Cinnamon

10. Bulgaria:The Making of June

11. Chile:Of Love and Shadows

12. China:The Good Earth

Ten Green Bottles

13. Colombia:Of Love and other Demons

14. Cuba:The Island of Eternal Love

15. Czech Republic:How I came to know fish

The Metamorphosis

16. Egypt:Woman At Point Zero

17. England:The Tea Rose

The Remains of the Day

18. Ethiopia:Sweetness in the Belly

19. France:A Very Long Engagement

You Deserve Nothing

Lunch in Paris

20. Germany:Floating in my Mother's Palm

Every man dies alone

21. Greece:Zorba the Greek

22. Hungary:Fatelessness


23. India:Secret Daughter

Sister of My Heart

24. Iran:Samarkand

25. Iraq:Scattered Crumbs

26. Ireland:The Picture of Dorian Grey

Two Lives

27. Israel:If You Awaken Love

The Lemon Tree

Someone to run with

28. Italy:The Enchanted April

The Name of the Rose

29. Jamaica:The Book of Night Women

30. Japan:1Q84

Kafka on the shore

31. Jordan:The Language of Baklava

32. Kiribati:The Sex Lives of Cannibals

33. Kosovo:The Road to Kosovo

34. Lebanon:Sabra Zoo

35. Mexico:Like Water for Chocolate

36. Morocco:Let it come down

37. Norway:Sophie's World

38. Palestine:I saw Ramallah

39. Peru:Aunt Julia and the scriptwriter

40. Poland:The Girl in the Red Coat

41. Puerto Rico:The Rum Diary

42. Saudi Arabia:Princess

43. Serbia:Encyclopedia of the Dead

The Tiger's Wife

44. Spain:The Shadow of the wind

45. Sudan:They Poured Fire on Us from the sky

46. Sweden:Popular Music from Vittula

47. Switzerland:A Jew must die

48. Turkey:The New Life

49. Tibet:Seven Years in Tibet

50. United States of America:The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

51. Venezuela:The Sickness

52. Vietnam:The Things they carried

After having spent around 3 hours in making this list, the theme I’ve noticed in all these books is -

1. I am still as interested in reading about the Holocaust as I was before. No amount of reading about it has satiated the appetite, in fact it was whetting it! And there is a lot of interest in stories with war as a backdrop.

2. Most of these books are still love stories, but with war as a background.

3. The thought process behind selecting every book was – Will this tell me anything about this country?

4. Another important parameter I considered was – How good are the ratings for this book? And how many pages does it have ? Anything beyond 400 pages gets too big to read and will take a lot of time to finish, thus hindering the overall progress of the book. So only those long books which I absolutely want to read are included in this list.

5. Another best practice I followed is to add books from my own To-Read list into this list, that way I can get the number reduced by a fraction, atleast. As you can see, this list is currently ~260 books strong with atleast 10 new additions every week into it. Basically, the outflow from this list is not as good as the inflow… :)

6. I’ve read a lot of Indian authors so far, but I realized I haven’t read a single book by Amitav Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth and Salman Rushdie. In fact the the thought of reading a book by any of these is making me yawn. I must atleast read Seth’s Suitable Boy, may be in 2013

7. I’ve always wanted to read Borges. Marquez is a forever favourite. Murakami had to be on this list(I’ve practically been hounding FlipKart for the 1Q84 copy from the time it was released in US)

8. I’ve never realized it, but I have a great amount of interest in reading about the cultures of Middle Eastern and European countries. Must be the need to know how people survived in these stress-filled lands.

Basically, any book which talks about the country’s culture or food or political situation has caught my eye, and has made it into this list. And yet there are a zillion more books to be read. Some of them are here.

I can only say one thing now – So many books, so little time!


  1. Don't shortchange yourself and skip Rushdie; he's amazing. Just don't do Satanic Verses. It's not his best. If you like Marquez, you are more likely to be able to deal with some of the magical realism aspects of Rushdie. And Borges is a fun ride. I like some stories more than others, but I was SO glad to have read him this year. I plan to read Labyrinths this year. I'll look forward to seeing you on the world tour!!!

  2. Oh, and if you need a copy of Sex Lives of Cannibals, get in touch. It is the book I'm starting with in Jan, so it will be available really soon.


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