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GEEO Book Club

GEEO's book club is a way for our participants to learn through literature about the places they will be traveling. For each trip we have selected four books we suggest each participant read. It is completely up to the participant whether they choose to read them as the GEEO book club is not required for our participants. We hope they will enjoy the books we have selected and they will enhance their experience.

For your convenience we have a hot-linked each of the selected books to amazon.com. If you purchase this book through the link, Amazon will share some of the proceeds from the sale with GEEO, helping to fund our operations. You should hopefully be able to find most of our selections through your library system as well. We also have an open discussion of these books on Goodreads.com which can find by clicking here. This is a great place to give us feedback on our selections so we can develop and improve the list for the following summer

For New Zealand we have selected the following books:

Fiction:

The Bone People: A Novel (Penguin Ink) (The Penguin Ink Series) by Keri Hulme

The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera

Non-Fiction:

The Penguin History of New Zealand by Michael King

Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All: A New Zealand Story by Christina Thompson

For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

  • Mister Pip by Lloyd James
  • Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff
  • In My Father's Den by Maurice Gee
  • To the Is-land: Autobiography of Janet Frame by Janet Frame
  • The Piano by Jane Campion

    For the Uzbekistan / Silk Road program we have selected the following books:

    Children’s Fiction:

    Chengli and the Silk Road Caravan by Hildi Kang

    We're Riding on a Caravan by Laurie Krebs

    Stories From The Silk Road by Cherry Gilchrist

    Stranger on the Silk Road: A Story of Ancient China (Read-It! Chapter Books: Historical Tales) by Jessica Gunderson

    Children’s Non-Fiction:

    The Silk Road: 20 Projects Explore the World's Most Famous Trade Route (Build It Yourself series) by Kathryn Ceceri

    The Silk Route: 7,000 Miles of History by John S. Major

    Adult Non-Fiction:

    A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Seven Years on the Silk Road by Christopher Aslan Alexander

    The Silk Road: A New History by Valerie Hansen

    Life along the Silk Road by Susan Whitfield

    The Lost Heart of Asia by Colin Thubron

    Shadow of the Silk Road (P.S.) by Colin Thubron

    For Spain/Portugal we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    Baltasar and Blimunda by Jose Saramago

    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

    Non Fiction:

    The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain by Maria Rosa Menocal

    The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 by Nicholas Shrady

    For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

    Non Fiction:

  • Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past by Giles Tremlett
  • Imperial Spain by J.H. Elliott
  • Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition and the Defeat of the Moors by James Reston, Jr.
  • Prince Henry “the Navigator”: A Life by Sir Peter Russell
  • Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945 by Neill Lochery
  • The Portuguese: A Modern History by Barry Hatton
  • Wrath of God: The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 by Edward Paice
  • Journey to Portugal: In Pursuit of Portugal’s History and Culture by Jose Saramago
  • Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe by Laurence Bergreen

    Fiction:

  • For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernst Hemingway
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saaverda
  • La Catedral del Mar by Ildefonso Falcones
  • Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom
  • By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan
  • The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner
  • The Queen’s Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile by C.W. Gortner
  • The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
  • The Year of the Death of Recardo Reis by Jose Saramago

    For Greece we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    Corelli's Mandolin: A Novel by Louis de Bernieres

    D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri D’Aulaires

    Non-Fiction:

    The Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan

    Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times (Yale Nota Bene) by Thomas R. Martin

    For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

  • The Iliad by Homer
  • The Green Shore by Natalie Bakopoulus
  • The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood
  • Black Ships before Troy: The Story of the Iliad by Rosemary Sutcliff
  • Troy by Adele Geras

    For Turkey we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk

    Memed, My Hawk by Yashar Kemal

    Non-Fiction:

    Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds by Stephen Kinzer

    Lords of the Horizons A History of the Ottoman Empire by Jason Goodwin

    For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

    Turkish Writers:

  • Snow by Orhan Pamuk
  • Songs My Mother Never Taught Me by Selçuk Altun, first published in 2008
  • A Mind at Peace by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar, first published in 2007
  • Novels by Elif Shafak

    Novels set in Turkey:

  • Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres, first published in 2004
  • The Towers of Trebizond by Rose MacAulay

    Non-Fiction:

  • Ottoman Empire and Islamic Tradition by Norman Itzkowitz
  • Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire By Judith Herrin
  • Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk

    For Italy we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

    Tomato Rhapsody: A Fable of Love, Lust & Forbidden Fruit by Adam Schell

    Non Fiction:

    Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of An Empire by Simon Baker

    Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling by Ross King

    For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

    Fiction:

  • I, Claudius by Robert Graves
  • Italian Folktales by Italo Calvino
  • Follow Your Heart by Susanna Tamaro
  • The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi’s Venice by Laurel Corona
  • Ocean Sea by Alessandro Baricco
  • If on A Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino

    Non Fiction:

  • La Bella Lingua: My Love Affair with Italian, the World’s Most Enchanting Language by Dianne Hales
  • The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt
  • A History of Venice by John Julius Norwich
  • Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter’s by R. A. Scotti
  • Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love by Dava Sobel
  • Brunelleschi’s Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by Ross King
  • Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland
  • Mussolini’s Italy: Life Under the Fascist Dictatorship, 1915-1945 by R. J. B. Bosworth

    For China we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    To Live: A Novel by Yu Hua

    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

    Non-Fiction:

    China: A History by John Keay

    Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China by Peter Hessler

    For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

    Fiction:

  • Empress Orchid by Anchee Min
  • The Flowers of War by Geling Yan
  • Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  • The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

    Non-Fiction:

  • When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs and Money in the Age of Sail by Eric Jay Dolin
  • Search for Modern China by Jonathan Spence
  • Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang
  • Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
  • The Good Women of China: Hidden Voices by Xinran
  • Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory by Peter Hessler
  • Yin-Yang American Perspectives on Living in China Edited by Alice Renouf and Mary Beth Ryan-Maher

    For Costa Rica we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    Costa Rica, A Literary Companion edited by Oscar Arias (short stories by Costa Rican writers)

    Non Fiction:

    The Ticos: Culture and Social Change in Costa Rica by Mavis Hiltunen Biesanz

    Monkeys are Made of Chocolate: Exotic and Unseen Costa Rica by Jack Ewing

    The Costa Rica Reader: History, Culture, Politics Edited by Steven Palmer and Iván Molina

    For Galapagos we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut

    Non Fiction:

    Galapagos at the Crossroads: Pirates, Biologists, Tourists, and Creationists battle for Darwin’s Cradle of Creation by Carol Ann Bassett

    Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World by Paul D. Stewart

    The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner

    For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider: The Origin of Species and the Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin Darwin's Ghosts: The Secret History of Evolution by Rebecca Stott

    For India/Nepal we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

    Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayan

    Non-Fiction:

    India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha

    A History of Nepal by John Whelpton

    For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

    INDIA

  • The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy
  • The Space Between Us, by Thrity Umrigar
  • The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  • A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  • Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
  • India: A Portrait by Patrick French
  • Darsan: Seeing the Divine Image in India by Diana Eck
  • The Wonder That Was India: A Survey of the History and Culture of the Indian Sub-Continent before the coming of the Muslims by A.L. Basham
  • India: A Million Mutinies Now by V.S. Naipaul
  • Holy Cow by Sarah Mcdonald
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  • A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
  • The White Tigerby Aravind Adiga
  • Chasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater

    NEPAL

  • The Snow Leopard, by Peter Matthiessen, first published in 1978
  • Touching My Father’s Soul: A Sherpa’s Journey to the top of Mt Everest by Jamling Tenzing Norgay
  • Traveler’s Tales Nepal by Rajendra S. Khadka
  • Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Connor Grennan
  • Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's Children by John Wood
  • Bones of the Tiger by Hemanta Mishra

    For Morocco we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami

    A Spider’s House by Paul Bowles

    Non-Fiction

    The Road from Morocco by Waffa Faith Hallam

    Dreams of Tresspass: Tales of A Harem Girlhood by Fatema Mernissi

    You may also want to consider reading another Paul Bowles novel, The Sheltering Sky and The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca by Tahir Shah

    For Peru we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    Conversation in the Cathedral by Mario Vargas Llosa

    Death in the Andes by Mario Vargas Llosa

    Non Fiction:

    The Last Days of the Incas by Kim MacQuarrie

    Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams

    For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

    Fiction:

  • Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcon
  • War by Candlelight by Daniel Alarcon
  • The Dancer Upstairs by Nicholas Shakespeare
  • Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • The War of the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • Yawar Fiesta by Jose Maria Arguedas
  • Deep Rivers by Jose Maria Arguedas
  • A World for Julius by Alfredo Bryce Echenique
  • Red April by Santiago Roncagliolo
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • Tonight is Carnaval by Arthur Dorros (Children’s book)

    Non-Fiction:

  • The Ancient Kingdoms of Peru by Nigel Davies
  • Running the Amazon by Joe Kane
  • The Conquest of the Incas by John Hemming

    For Southern Africa we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

    Coconut by Kopano Matlwa

    Non-Fiction:

    TBA

    TBA

    For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

    BOTSWANA

  • Twenty Chickens for A Saddle by Robyn Scott
  • Saturday is for Funerals by Unity Dow

    Namibia

  • TBA

    SOUTH AFRICA

  • Tsotsi by Athol Fugard (made into a movie)
  • Selected Stories by Nadine Gordimer
  • Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela
  • Life and Times of Michael K by J.M. Coetzee
  • An Act of Terror by Andre Brink
  • Boyhood by J. M. Coetzee
  • Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton
  • Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog

    For the Bangkok to Hanoi program we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain: Stories by Robert Olen Butler

    The River's Tale: A Year on the Mekong by Edward Gargan

    Non-Fiction:

    The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir by Kao Kalia Yang

    Buddhadasa: Theravada Buddhism and Modernist Reform in Thailand by Peter Jackson

    For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

    Thailand:

  • Buddhism in Thailand by Frances Hawker (K-3 book)
  • The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej by Paul M. Handley
  • Bangkok 8 by John Burdett
  • The Beach by Alex Garland
  • Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski
  • Killed At The Whim of A Hat by Colin Cotterill
  • A History of Thailand by Chris Baker
  • Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Ho Minfong
  • Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon
  • Silk Umbrellas by Carolyn Marsden
  • Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap

    Laos:

  • Traditional Recipes of Laos by Phia Sing
  • Cooking from the Heart: the Hmong Kitchen in America by Sami Scripter
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman
  • Bamboo Palace: Discovering the Lost Dynasty of Laos by Christopher Kremmer
  • Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos by Brett Dakin
  • Ant Egg Soup: The Adventures of a Food Tourist in Laos by Natacha Du Pont De Bie
  • The Honourable Schoolboy by John le Carre
  • Lao Folktales by Steven Jay Epstein
  • The Coroner’s Lunch (Dr. Siri Paiboun, #1) by Colin Cotterill

    Viet Nam:

  • The Headmaster’s Wager by Vincent Lam
  • My Vietnam: Stories and Recipes by Luke Nguyen
  • The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Le Thi Diem Thuy
  • The Ugly American by William J. Lederer
  • Shadows and Wind: A View of Modern Vietnam by Robert Templer
  • The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood by Kien Nguyen
  • Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam by Frances FitzGerald
  • Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam by Andrew X. Pham
  • When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman’s Journey from War to Peace by Le Ly Hayslip
  • Vietnam: A History by Stanley Karnow
  • The Quiet American by Graham Greene

    For the Vietnam/Cambodia program we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    In the Shadow of the Banyan: A Novel by Vaddey Ratner

    The Beach by Alex Garland

    Non-Fiction:

    When The War Was Over: Cambodia And The Khmer Rouge Revolution, Revised Edition by Elizabeth Becker

    Shadows and Wind: A View of Modern Vietnam by Robert Templer

    For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

    Thailand:

  • Buddhism in Thailand by Frances Hawker (K-3 book)
  • The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej by Paul M. Handley
  • Bangkok 8 by John Burdett
  • The Beach by Alex Garland
  • Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski
  • Killed At The Whim of A Hat by Colin Cotterill
  • A History of Thailand by Chris Baker
  • Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Ho Minfong
  • Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon
  • Silk Umbrellas by Carolyn Marsden
  • Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap

    Cambodia:

  • The River’s Tale: A Year on the Mekong by Edward Gargan
  • Pol Pot: An Anatomy of a Nightmare by Philip Short
  • Children of Cambodia’s Killing Fields: Memoirs by Survivors by Dith Pran
  • Cambodia’s Curse: The Modern history of a Troubled Land by Joel Brinkley
  • The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine by Somaly Mam
  • The Disappeared by Kim Echlin
  • Lightning on the Sun: A Novel by Robert Bingham
  • The Stone goddess by Mingfong Ho
  • First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung
  • A Song for Cambodia by Michelle Lord
  • The Stones Cry Out: A Cambodia Childhood, 1975-1980 by Molyda Szymusiak
  • When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge by Chanrithy Him
  • The Kings Last Song by Geoff Ryman

    Vietnam:

  • The Headmaster’s Wager by Vincent Lam
  • My Vietnam: Stories and Recipes by Luke Nguyen
  • The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Le Thi Diem Thuy
  • The Ugly American by William J. Lederer
  • Shadows and Wind: A View of Modern Vietnam by Robert Templer
  • The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood by Kien Nguyen
  • Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam by Frances FitzGerald
  • Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam by Andrew X. Pham
  • When Heaven and Earth Changed Places: A Vietnamese Woman’s Journey from War to Peace by Le Ly Hayslip
  • Vietnam: A History by Stanley Karnow
  • The Quiet American by Graham Greene

    For our Eastern Europe program we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    The Radetzky March (Works of Joseph Roth) by Joseph Roth

    The War With The Newts (Illustrated Edition) by Karel Capek

    Non Fiction:

    The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism by Tina Rosenberg

    Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi

    For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

    Germany:

  • In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson
  • My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes) by Luisa Weiss
  • Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann
  • Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
  • All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  • The Invention of Curried Sausage by Timm Uwe
  • Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
  • The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
  • The Fairy Tales of Hermann Hesse by Hermann Hesse
  • Mephisto by Klaus Mann
  • Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada
  • The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
  • Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945 by Max Hastings

    Poland:

  • Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi
  • The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War by Halik Kochanski
  • The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
  • The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz
  • The Pianist by Wladyslaw Szpilman
  • A Long, Long time Ago and Essentially True by Brigid Pasulka
  • In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Rescuer by Irene Gut Opdyke
  • The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust’s Shadow by Krystyna Chiger
  • The Violin of Auschwitz by Maria Angels Anglada

    Czech Republic:

  • The Trial by Franz Kafka
  • The Cowards by Josef Skvorecky
  • The Engineer of Human Souls by Josef Skvorecky
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

    Austria:

  • The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig
  • The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig
  • Thunder At Twilight: Vienna 1913/1914 by Frederic Morton
  • A Nervous Splendor: Vienna 1888/1889 by Frederic Morton
  • The Little Book by Selden Edwards
  • Vienna 1814: How the Conquerors of Napolean Made War, Peace and Love at the Congress of Vienna by David King

    Slovakia:

  • Siren of the Waters by Michael Genelin
  • Zoli by Colum McCann

    Hungary:

  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • Celestial Harmonies by Peter Esterhazy
  • I Have Lived A Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust by Livia Bitton-Jackson
  • The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
  • A Guest in My Own Country by George Konrad

    For those looking for general books on Europe’s history:

  • Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder
  • The Hidden Europe: What Europeans can Teach US by Francis Tapon
  • Extreme Politics: Nationalism, Violence, and the End of Eastern Europe by Charles King

    For Spain/Portugal we have selected the following books:

    Fiction:

    Baltasar and Blimunda by Jose Saramago

    The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

    Non Fiction:

    The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain by Maria Rosa Menocal

    The Last Day: Wrath, Ruin, and Reason in the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 by Nicholas Shrady

    For those looking for more suggestions, here are some other books you may want to consider:

    Non Fiction:

  • Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through Spain and Its Silent Past by Giles Tremlett
  • Imperial Spain by J.H. Elliott
  • Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition and the Defeat of the Moors by James Reston, Jr.
  • Prince Henry “the Navigator”: A Life by Sir Peter Russell
  • Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945 by Neill Lochery
  • The Portuguese: A Modern History by Barry Hatton
  • Wrath of God: The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 by Edward Paice
  • Journey to Portugal: In Pursuit of Portugal’s History and Culture by Jose Saramago
  • Over the Edge of the World: Magellan’s Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe by Laurence Bergreen

    Fiction:

  • For Whom The Bell Tolls by Ernst Hemingway
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saaverda
  • La Catedral del Mar by Ildefonso Falcones
  • Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom
  • By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan
  • The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner
  • The Queen’s Vow: A Novel of Isabella of Castile by C.W. Gortner
  • The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa
  • The Year of the Death of Recardo Reis by Jose Saramago

    The following programs will have a book club list by January:

  • Sri Lanka
  • Peruvian Amazon
  • Bali and Lombok
  • Guatemala and Tikal
  • Eastern Turkey
  • Baltics and St Petersburg