The Globalist Recommends: Grab a Book!

Too often we learn about the world from a linear perspective. The constant flow of statistics in our media and academic landscapes leaves little room for seeing the nuances of people and their stories. So below, we have compiled some of our favorite literary works to highlight the stories of the global human imagination. Our hope is not to blur the boundary between fact and fiction, truth and untruth, but simply to understand international affairs from a more human perspective—because perhaps something does unite us, despite the prevalent “us and them” rhetoric in our national politics, highlighting visible and arbitrary difference between people, alienating us from one another. Reading, therefore, is a step forward, opening us to each other’s lives and humanizing us in the process.


Norwegian Wood By Haruki Murakami

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Siddhartha By Herman Hesse

Leche by R. Zamora Linmark

The Beautiful thing that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu

1984 By George Orwell

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcίa Márquez

Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi

The Emigrants by W.G Sebald

A Journey Without Maps by Graham Greene

Green Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemingway

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Meghana recommends!)

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee

So Long, A Letter by Mariama Ba

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Cracking India by Bapsi Sidhwa

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, edited by Cherrίe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa

If Not, Winter by Sappho (Trans. Anne Carson)

The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud

Almost Invisible by Mark Strand

A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson

The Gurkha’s Daughter by Prajwal Parajuly

The Stones Cry Out by Hikaru Okuizumi

Running in the Family by Michael Ondaatje



Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with his mother by Sonia Nazario (Aastha recommends!)

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism by Ashis Nandy

Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

Altogether Elsewhere: Reflections on Exile by Marc Robinson

Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit Banerjee

High Stakes: Florida Seminole Gaming and Sovereignty by Jessica Cattelino

-Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

Born A Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah  

Privatizing Poland: Baby Food, Big Business, and the Remaking of Labor by Elizabeth Dunn

Dreams from my Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

Navigating Austerity: Currents of Debt along a South Asian River (Anthropology of Policy) by Laura Bear

Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Our Political Nature by Avi Tuschman

Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen


Aastha KC and Meghana Mysore are Editors-in-Chief of The Yale Globalist. Contact them at and