Around the World in 80+ Books, Part 6

Good thing we waited until summer to head so far north. Luckily, this part of our journey will end in the Caribbean! Ready?

101. Norway. I love history, you may have noticed, and some years ago a friend lent a book to me that explored the history of the world where her family originated. I didn’t know until researching this list that the book I read was only part one of a series. Kristin Lavrandsdatter by Sigrid Undset qualifies as a Norse Saga, covering so many wonderful aspects of life both medieval (14th Century) and Norwegian. Of course it was written in the language of the author, so try to get the most recent translation by Tina Nunnally. Read the whole series, you will want to once you start.

102. Iceland. I discovered a special prize of a book. The author was the bass player in a group called The Sugarcubes. Bragi Olafsson writes a story called The Pets, which could easily be the script for a 60s madcap comedy film with a star-studded cast and lots of crazy stunts. Again, we are at the mercy of translators unless you happen to speak Icelandic, but the only real complaint from the reviews is that the book just ends. Maybe a sequel will show up someday?

103. Greenland. Not too many books take place in Greenland. I am making this a goal in my writing career, to go to the country and think of something to write that takes place there. However, there is one book with the intriguing title of An African in Greenland by Tété -Michel Kpomassie. This is not a work of fiction, actually. The book records the adventures of the author who as a young man is obsessed with Greenland, and eventually makes his way there. From Togo tribes to the Inuit is apparently not that much of a change. Most reviews are favorable, and the title alone gets my interest.

104. Canada. Not going to take the easy, Anne of Green Gables way out. Nope. Even though those books and the wonderful TV series are high on my list of great stories. Instead, I am going with a paranormal romance. Because Canada and weremounties and stuff. This is the first book in a series called Living in Eden, and the title is The Demon in Me. Michelle Rowen is the author. A little crime, a little possession by a sexy demon, and a lot of heat. I like the cover, too!

105. The United States of America, East Coast. Yeah, next summer I think I’ll do a fifty book tour of the US. But for now, heading down to the warm waters, just going to take a short stop in Upstate New York as long as we are doing urban fantasy, let’s step it up with a male/male romance. Handsome Beast by J.J. Cassidy grabbed my attention with the awesome cover, a red rose in the snow. And then I read the synopsis and reviews, and realized this was M/M. An original idea to me, so it’s on my list.

106. Mexico. Don’t believe that I think I can sum up one whole country in a book, especially fiction. Especially paranormal romances. Yep. Just seems like I found some of the most interesting books in that category. Accidentally Yours sounds like an awesome series, and the first one is Accidentally in Love with . . . a God? By Mimi Jean Pamfilofe. This god is the heroine’s secret friend, a voice only she can hear, but she does see him in her dreams. The reviews are mixed, but all agree that the heroine is someone you will love from the start. I’m in!

107. Cuba. Happens we be in pirate waters now, me hearties! Aye, and For Love of a Pirate by Anthony Esler gets the old timbers shivering, for sure! The daughter of the governor of Cuba is kidnapped by an English pirate. What could go wrong?

108. Dominican Republic. Unless you or your family lived on the beautiful island of Hispaniola, you probably know little about the history of this country. The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa lets the reader see the past and the present through the eyes of one woman who returns to the country of her birth. The Revolution that ended Rafael Trujillo’s tyranny began the struggle toward peace and prosperity, but those who lived through it were forever scarred.

109. Puerto Rico. Another beautiful island, and certainly lots of pirate history, but not everyone likes the same things. Not everyone wants the same kind of relationships. Some people want it all. Missing Linc by Kori Roberts looks at poly relationships, as in love not limited to a couple. Tomi and Mitch, still rebuilding their lives after being betrayed years ago by the third member of their life and love meet Linc, a man also rebuilding both his love life and his professional life. Don’t worry, it works out. Now, I know most of the hot, sexy romances and erotica don’t come with warnings, so I am a little miffed that this one has one: Publisher’s Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, exhibitionism, homoerotic sexual situations (m/m, f/f), menage (m/m/f), voyeurism. And if I read the set up of the book and liked it, wouldn’t I be expecting that? Go figure. Good reviews, so worth a look.

110. Guatemala. No doubt, when you think of Central America, you think of magic sex witches. The Bruja’s Tale by Timothy A. Madden explores the hold magic and superstition has on the people of Guatemala. Take someone whose life is nearly perfect, get them involved with solving a murder and having to avoid being murdered as well, and you have a pretty good suspense novel.

111. Honduras. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch brought destruction to the Central American country. This is a chillingly real story of a young boy’s sudden role as a grown up, helping his family survive. A short novel with a powerful punch, Jose Cruz discovers there’s more important things than getting away to play soccer.

112. Nicaragua. Now and then, a children’s book can bring gifts to adults. Trisba & Sula: A Miskitu Folktale from Nicaragua/Una Leyenda de Los Miskitos de Nicaragua by Joan Maccracken delivers a lesson from the forest in both Spanish and English. Beautifully illustrated by Agusto Silva, the story brings lessons in language, art, and environmental ethics to the reader.

113. Costa Rica. I like to recommend a book that gets an abundance of 5-star reviews. If that includes a good story, all the better. Anarcho Grow: Pura Vida in Costa Rica by T. A. Sedlak is another beautifully illustrated books, but not a children’s story. This is a marijuana adventure story. One of the reviews in the summary is from Steve Bloom, one-time editor of High Times Magazine.

114. Panama. A man, a plan, a canal. Panama. I love stories about tribes and their various cultures and beliefs. More often than not, the story is about a boy or young man, because so many societies subjugate women. So Panama Girl by Ida Freer is a delight. Through the eyes of Surni, a young girl of the Embera tribe. Her people have survived through their ability to adapt. But how much adaptaion is too much? Will there be anything left of their culture if they go too far?

115. Haiti. Race, class, and colonialism. That about categorizes what this country came from. In All Souls’ Rising, the first of a trilogy on the changes brought about through revolution, Madison Smartt Bell portrays the love of liberty and the hope of equality behind the violence and terror. To bring about a change, one may need to risk all that has meaning.

116. Bahamas. Is it a sell-out to go with an obvious book? Triangle, the third book in the Seeds of Civilization trilogy by R.J. Archer, might be okay as a stand-alone. I Have not read it, but based on the mystery/suspense with a sci-fi twist description, I got the first book for my eReader. I’m hesitant to trust the reviews as two of them are from the author, and one is from someone with the same last name. But what the heck, Bermuda and the Caribbean never get old.

117. Virgin Islands. Due to the split personality of these islands, I have two books to recommend. For the British side, we have an entertaining romp via a television reality show. Really Dead by J.E.Foreman is a Ria Butler murder mystery. It’s the first one in a hopefully long series, and involves finding a tattooed foot. For the US side, Timothy of the Cay by Theodore Taylor is my pick. I don’t often have psychic experiences, except with my husband, but just as I was searching Goodreads for books set in the Virgin Islands, I remembered the TV movie, The Cay, and how much I loved it. Well, this book is the same characters, and was a natural. The reviews are mixed, I guess depending on how much you liked the first book. Give it a go.

118. Caribbean Islands. Yeah, just an excuse to suggest more pirate books. Well, one of my all time favorite romance writers is Linda Lael Miller. And she has written a book involving pirates and time travel. Need I say more? The title? Yeah, that would be helpful. Pirates.

119. Curaçao . Truly, there is little to choose from about this island country. And I really wanted a book that takes place there. But I settled for The House of Six Doors by Patricia Selbert, and I expect it to be an enjoyable read. I especially like the review which says, “If you feel as though the circumstances of your life are against you and you wonder whether this will ever change, this is a story that will fill you with hope.” –David Robert Ord. And it’s never too late for hope.

120. Aruba. Again, a lovely place that few people have written novels set there. So to wrap up this ear lobe of our journey, I give you a light read, a young teen romance with an irritating heroine. Tropical Kiss by Jan Coffey sounds perfect for a day of relaxing at the beach.

And if you finish it too quickly, here’s a non-fiction that sounds like a charming and funny book. Does This Island Go To the Bottom? By Eric H. Pasley, retired SCUBA diving instructor.

We’ll wait here until next Sunday, when we meet up with Errol Flynn in Jamaica. And on Wednesday, we have a musical interlude planned. See you then.


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