🧳 Guest post | Traveling through Literature: An Interactive Worldly Map of Books

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Camdyn’s reading To Kill a Mockingbird in school. This, after a litany of less-than-stellar books that have dominated not only hers but also her sisters’ syllabi for semesters and semesters. Finally a good book!

Today’s guest post is unique.

It’s not a sponsored post, but it’s something I was approached with. After I took a look at this interactive book map, I was hooked. You will be too. Read on, and then discover how you can find relevant books for every nation on earth.

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Traveling through Literature: An Interactive Worldly Map of Books

Have you ever heard of the term “armchair travel”? You may have experienced it without even realizing at least once in your life! “Armchair travel” consists of cracking up a good book centered around the culture of another country, a way of immersing yourself in other traditions without leaving the comfort of your home. Literature is one of the best ways to learn about a destination before actually traveling. You may find yourself even more excited to visit a country after reading one of their books.

Exploring the world does not need to be complicated anymore since Carrentals has put together a comprehensive list of world travel through literature. If you are looking for a new booklist challenge, this compilation makes a great around the world reading challenge. Even if you decide not to do a reading challenge, keeping this interactive map bookmarked is a great reference to get an idea of each country that interests you.

The United States Booklist

The two books representing the United States are To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Many of us natives of the United States have most likely read both these books to gain a historical understanding of the US, and if you haven’t had the chance to crack open these books, we highly recommend doing so to understand the literary culture of this country.

A historical fiction by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird is comprised of Lee’s memories of her hometown during her childhood. The way Lee writes is warming and humorous, while also addressing serious matters in a fashionable way. This book has been controversial since many schools teach with this book, emphasizing the lessons learned of tolerance and decry prejudice. Harper Lee certainly has a talent for narrating this famous novel.

A classic novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was one of the best selling novels of the 19th century and is attributed to helping energize the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. The story follows the character Uncle Tom, a black slave, and the long-term troubles he suffers during his time as a slave. While the story runs over severe topics of slavery, Stowe is able to assert that Christianity can save all of humankind and lead to abolishing any form of slavery.

To find out which books represent other countries, follow this link to download a specific country’s list of books to start reading and overviewing. We hope this interactive map provokes you to do some world travel through literature or even learn a piece of culture from each book list.

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  1. Anne J. says:

    I love To Kill A Mockingbird. It was one of our books to read back in high school, in the 80s in a convent school in Zambia. When the “Watchman” book came out, I bought it. I started reading it. I haven’t finished. Instead, I got a new copy of Mockingbird and read it again. 😁

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Awesome book, Anne. Fascinating to know the context of you reading it. That’s a commentary on the book itself, that you passed on finishing “Watchman” for a new copy of Mockingbird! I’m glad my kids have read it. But they still haven’t been assigned Hemingway or Conrad or Jack London.

      1. Anne J. says:

        I once read that we don’t choose the books we read, that they choose us. I have believe it since then. I am sure that when the time is right, I will pick up “Watchman” again and finish it. At the same time, school-assigned or not, they will read the greats. I feel the need to re-read the classics. It’s like I fear the modern world will erase them. I know there are excellent contemporary authors but the majority of the world seems to favour the brief and instant. I feel like I should just Instagram and Tweet. Temptation. So cruel!

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        I thought that’s what they said about donuts! haha. I believe it, though. I think sometimes a book title speaks to us, or the synopsis, or maybe even the cover … and it winds up in our hands.

        I feel like every time I read Sun Also Rises it’s different for me, because I’m in a different station of life.

        The modern world might render the classics obsolete for now, or find modern standards to minimalize them, but they’ll never truly go away. They’ll simply outlive the generation that doesn’t understand them.

        That goes for the art of writing, too! Instagram and Tweet – do those, I do. But never give up the sustainable words, both in consumption and in creation!

      3. Anne J. says:

        Yet again, it’s proven that the universe listens and speaks, signs appear before me, at the right time. 😀 I had not been back here till now, seriously considering maybe taking a long break, and chilling over at the Instaplaces. Haha. Then, I read your comment. I shall persist. I might really have to teach myself to write shorter posts. I come up with something but I often want to make an elaborate post of it, but there’s not enough fuel within me to get going. Days pass… I will find my writing mojo. 😁

        Thank you so much, Eli! I’m keeping my faith in the classics and the awesomeness of artful written words!

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        The universe is good, isn’t it Anne? The Instaplaces are nice, but never a replacement for a well-written blog. Glad you happened back over. Love that you’ve decided to persist!

        Shorter posts might be a start, just to give yourself some momentum. Write a few from writing prompts. Try something new. I have tons of ideas. I’ve had to jumpstart myself over and over. Can’t wait to see what you do!

  2. ksbeth says:

    what an interesting concept –

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Isn’t this awesome?

  3. Beth says:

    To Kill a Mockingbird was one of my favorite reads in high school. I saw it performed as a play at a History Theatre too. This interactive book map is fascinating!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      This map – I wish I could tell the world about it. I feel like i know so many people who would love it but can get the word out only so much! I think what we see in To Kill a Mockingbird as a kid means something so much different than what modern-day administrators might see in it. Books are a sample straight from culture and time, and nothing’s more authentic than that.

  4. ladystubbington says:

    Thanks Eli, I’ve haven’t read either. At school I had to read Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry instead of To Kill a Mockingbird, and then cos I didn’t read it at school I just haven’t got around to it. I think I’ll add it to my list!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I’d actually like to read it again! I want to add reading into my life again somehow. Maybe that’s a post worth writing!

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