Inspired by Weekly Geeks 26, I went through the books I've read so far in 2009 to see what parts of the world I've been reading about. I was particularly interested in seeing whether the results would reflect my focus on diversifying my reading. I wondered if reading more authors of color had impacted the geography of my reading choices. I guess in order to answer that I'd have to compare 2009 with 2008, wouldn't I?
This is what I came up with, combining fiction and nonfiction:
North America: The United States, Canada, Mexico
Central America/Carribbean: The Dominican Republic (Never did finish Oscar Wao, but I'm still counting it), El Salvador, Puerto Rico
South America: Ecuador, Peru, Chile
Africa: Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Morocco, Uganda
Europe: France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and England
Middle East/Asia: Iraq, China, Japan, India, Vietnam
Australia and the Pacific is conspicuously missing from my list--I read an entire series by an Australian author (The Ranger's Apprentice), but I didn't count it because it doesn't take place there. I'm surprised that Asia and the Middle East are so under-represented, too. I'd like to read more from those regions, at some point.
The map doesn't show it, but the vast majority of books I read this year take place in the U.S.--most of the other countries have only one or two books on my have-read-in-09 list. I love learning about other cultures through reading, but I also love reading books that take place closer to home, especially those written by local authors. It's all about finding that balance, I guess!
What about you? Do you seek out books that take place in other places, or do you prefer to stick closer to home in your reading adventures?