Time for the next category in the  RWC 2017 Reading Challenge.

Category #9: A book set somewhere you’ve never been

According to some random sources, this past Sunday was National Tourism Day here in the US. In honor of this made-up holiday, let’s read a book set somewhere we’ve never visited.

There are many ways to satisfy this category. You can read nonfiction, a travel guide, or fiction. The setting may be a city, state, country, or I suppose even a planet you’re interested in reading more about.

While the focus doesn’t have to be geography and culture, the intent is that you learn at least a bit about somewhere you’ve never been and the people there.

Your choices will depend on your travel history, but here are some ideas that apply to me and might help you:

Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)

I missed the initial craze surrounding this book, but it’s been on my shelf for quite awhile. It was a best-selling novel when it was released in the late ’90s, and the ratings remain high. Despite being fiction, I expect to learn about Japan and the tradition of the geisha.

In the Garden of Beasts (Erik Larson)

Larson is probably best known for The Devil in the White City, which I read years ago. It’s set in Chicago around the World’s Fair, so if you haven’t been to Chicago, you might consider that book instead.

This book is set in 1933 Berlin and follows the life of America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany. I seem to read a lot of WWII stories, and it’s nice to balance the historical fiction with some factual accounts.

Carved in Bone (Jefferson Bass)

Here’s a mystery/crime story set at the body farm in Tennesee. The setting is real – a plot of earth where bodies are buried for scientific research about decay. The Bloggess (Jenny Lawson) recommended this work of fiction, apparently the first in a series.


The City of Falling Angels (John Berendt)

This nonfiction tale comes from Venice, Italy, and details the truth behind a fire in 1996 that destroyed a historic opera house.

Berendt is the author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which I enjoyed immensely, so I have high hopes for this story.

What will you read to complete this category? Leave a comment below with your thoughts about these or any I may have missed.

If you have suggestions for books that fit in future categories, let me know. I’ll include your name (and a link, if you like) when I share those suggestions.