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Take a Trip Around the World With These Five Books

Around the world in 5 books

Around the world in 5 books| Graphic by Grace Merkle | The Wright State Guardian


Reading is a great way to become exposed to different cultures and broaden one’s knowledge of others. Below are five books that take place around the world and explore different cultures. 

“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini 

Taking place mostly in Afghanistan, “The Kite Runner” follows Amir as he grows up and learns life lessons. The primary theme for this novel is redemption, as Amir tries to find redemption for an event that took place during his childhood. 

This novel also explores family relationships, primarily between Amir, his father, and friendship. Students should look up trigger warnings for this novel before reading. 

“Funny Boy” by Shyam Selvadurai

“Funny Boy” is a coming-of-age novel that follows Arjie as he grows up in Sri Lanka and comes to terms with his sexuality, which makes others label him as “funny.” This novel explores sexual identity and also the Tamil-Sinhalese conflict that took place at the time in Sri Lanka. 

“White Teeth” by Zadie Smith 

Published in 2000, “White Teeth” takes place in London and follows Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal and their families. This novel spans generations and explores what nationality really means. 

Samad is from Bangladesh and must make the decision to send one of his sons there. Englishman Archie marries Clara, a Jamaican woman, and suddenly learns about London’s attitudes toward immigrants at the time. 

“Kim Ji-young, Born 1982” by Cho Nam-ju 

Taking place in South Korea, this novel follows Kim Ji-young throughout the majority of her life. Kim is an ordinary woman with an ordinary life and this novel explores what it is like for women living in South Korea today.

While Kim is the main character, the novel explores the lives of other women as well. Students should look up trigger warnings before reading. 

“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

Following two storylines that ultimately come together, “All the Light We Cannot See” takes place in both France and Germany during World War II. 

One storyline follows Marie-Laure Leblanc, a blind girl who joins the French resistance. The other follows Werner Pfenning, a German boy who is orphaned and ultimately joins the Nazi army. 

While the primary theme of this novel is war, knowledge plays a huge part as the characters slowly unravel the truth around them. 


Alexis Wisler

Managing Editor