Readers' advisors will want to take a look at one of The Guardian's monthly features: book lists of various countries. This is an excellent resource to help readers find titles on specific countries, which is one of the most frequent ways in which readers of travel narratives look for books. The Guardian includes nonfiction and fiction titles in its lists and provides thorough annotations for the recommended titles, typically three for each country, and links to longer reviews of the titles.
Among the countries covered by The Guardian's lists are:
- Brazil. The list includes Peter Robb's engaging A Death in Brazil (2004), which combines a history of Brazil with an investigation into its food, and Jorge Amado's classic The Violent Land (1965), about the 1920s cacao wars in the northeastern part of the country.
- Egypt. The first novel is Naguib Mahfouz's wonderful Cairo trilogy, Palace Walk (1989), is recommended, as is Tarek Osman's informative book that looks at why so many people took to the streets to oust Hosni Mubarak in 2011, Egypt on the Brink: From Nasser to the Muslim Brotherhood (2010).
- Iran. Among the three titles listed is My Father's Notebook: A Novel of Iran by Kader Abdolah (2006), an autobiographical novel that looks at the recent history of Iran through the eyes of a father and his son, and Michael Axworthy's insightful Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic (2013), which follows Iran from the 1979 overthrow of the Shah through Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election in 2009.
- Philippines. The list includes F. Sionil José's vivid Dusk (1998), the first novel in that author's Rosales saga, and America's Boy: The Marcoses and the Philippines by James Hamilton-Paterson (1999), a nonfiction account of the corrupt post-independence Philippines.
- Somalia. The recommended titles include The World's Most Dangerous Place: Inside the Outlaw State of Somalia by James Fergusson (2013), which provides a good background on that country's problems, and Crossbones by Nuruddin Farah (2011), a gripping novel set in Somalia during the 2006 invasion by Ethiopia.
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