Books From Every Continent to Spice Up Your World Book Day by Dominique Vincent

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World Book Day is one of my favourite days of the year because literature has been such a big part of my life. I believe that Literature and storytelling are an integral part of society in communicating important values and also as a form of comfort and escapism.

The World is full of such interesting literature, though previous stages like GCSEs were very limited in what they explored. Diversifying your literature is something that’s easy to do once you invest some time into researching. Here are a few fiction books from each continent that I recommend you find the time to read.


Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi (Translated by Geoffrey Trousselot)

Content Warning (CW): Death, Terminal Illness

A beautiful short novel that explores a little cafe in Tokyo that grants you the chance to travel back in time. However, there are a few rules you must obey. There is a particular seat you must be in, and you cannot leave the seat while in the past. You cannot leave the cafe and you must say what need go until the coffee gets cold. This is a moving text that explores love, grief and regret with a magical realism that entrances.


Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson

CW: Depression, racism

Open Water is a lyrical exploration of South East London and a young man’s attempts to understand love and deal with becoming an adult. Utilising music, the love affair between the narrator who is a photographer, and a dancer is entrancing. The second person perspective is one that also provides an interesting insight into the character and how they view the world. This is a book that I discovered during lockdown and fell completely in love with.


The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

CW: Sexual assault, Suicidal thoughts, Transphobia, Homophobia, Murder, Incest, Infidelity, Death, Alcohol

The aim of the book is a look at who Vivek Oji, his struggles with mental health, gender and sexuality and the mystery that surrounds his death. There is a focus on spirituality and reincarnation that explores how their expression can affect the relationships around you. Emezi’s writing is fantastic in the way that they are able to entrance the reader and help them navigate through the world they created. Moreover, the importance of community is highlighted as something that can make or break a person.

North America

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

CW: Abortion, Domestic Abuse, Infertility, Rape, Suicide

In this novel we see the effect of time on secrets. The way that it can entangle itself in various relationships and how they can loom over you. Bennett writes characters that are complex and you can’t help but feel empathy. The effects of death particularly a suicide are also somethings which are explored both on the personal level but on a community scale. A loved one’s death stays with you but how can one process those feelings when they feel watched by those around them?

South America

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica (Translated by Sarah Moses)

Cw: Animal cruelty/death, Cannibalism, Death, Gore, Human trafficking (discussed), Illness, Rape (discussed), Violence.

When all animal meat becomes poisonous due to a virus, cannibalism becomes legal. The aim is to keep them at a distance; however, Marcos starts to bond with one of the women brought in. His job as a human meat provider, provides him with constant internal conflict. Despite its dark premise, this is a novel that makes you question how far society can fall and the extents that people will go to survive.


The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Nix and her father are time travellers who can go anywhere they want, real or fictional, as long as they have a map for it. Her father is obsessive with one thing, being reunited with his lost love, Nix’s mother, in 1800s Honolulu. The only problem is, going there could possibly erase Nix’s existence.

If you would like to explore more World Literature, Bad Form Review is a great platform. They regularly release diverse reading lists and literature-based essays. Before you read a book, you should check this site for any triggers before you read:

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