And the results are in…

 

Huechulafquen Lake Patagonia - Books set in Argentina

Huechulafquen Lake Patagonia – Image courtesy of Andres2190 via Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to one and all for your votes on which country, state and county we should be adding next to Packabook. And I’m pleased to say, the results are in… Here is the current tally following the latest voting.

COUNTRIES
Albania – 1
Argentina – 3
Austria – 1
Belize – 1
Canada – 1
Costa Rica – 1
Ethiopia – 1
Israel and Palestinian Territories – 1
Kenya – 1
Myanmar/Burma – 2
Scotland – 1
Seychelles – 1
Sri Lanka – 1
Qatar – 1
Vanuatu – 1 .


As you can see – our winning country is Argentina with three votes. A big thank you to Marla and South American Travel (who may be a little biased!) for their votes this time round, and Bea who put in a previous vote. I’m really looking forward to immersing myself in the land of the tango for a while and seeing what I can find.

US STATES
Alabama – 1
Arizona – 3
Delaware – 1
Florida – 2
Kansas – 1
Massachusetts – 1
New Hampshire – 1
New York – 1
New Mexico – 1
Ohio – 1
South Dakota – 1
Vermont – 1

.
For the USA – we are heading off into the desert to Arizona. I’ve already done a bit of investigating and have discovered a hefty haul of fiction for this one. I hope you all have your water bottles ready, we may need to spend some time there! Voting thanks to Vera, Jackie and MC… And how’s this for a co-incidence – there is a Colorado River in both Argentina and Arizona!

UK COUNTIES
Cambridgeshire – 1
Cornwall – 1
Devon – 1
Dorset – 2
Durham – 1
Kent – 2
West Midlands – 1


In the UK – it came down to a tie between Kent and Dorset…so it was time to get out the Nepalese hat and pick one out.

IMG_0737

IMG_0739

IMG_0741

And as you can see from the photos, Dorset got the nod. Kirsten and Deborah – this one is for you. Dorset is situated in the south-west of England, and it has some wonderful countryside. In fact, three quarters of its coastline is a World Heritage Site. And given it is the birthplace of the wonderful Thomas Hardy I think we have some treats in store. I do not believe Dorset possesses a Colorado River unfortunately, but it does have a River Piddle, which is infinitely more entertaining…

Piddle_passes_through_Athelhampton_-_geograph.org.uk_-_473364

The River Piddle in Dorset – Image courtesy of Chris Downer via Wikimedia Commons

Right – I’m off to explore…. See you on the other side with my discoveries. In the meantime – if you have any suggestions for any of these places, I’d love to hear about them in the comments…or feel free to drop an email to suzi@packabook.com.

Suzi

——————————————————————————

Disclosure Policy If you click on the links in the posts to buy books, then I will receive a tiny commission for referring you. This does not affect the price you pay for the books, and I am grateful for your support. Every little bit helps! Thank you. (Packabook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com)


2 Comments • Posted in General

January country – let’s have your votes!

Travel Novels

…and whatever happened to Laos, Oregon and Tyne and Wear?

Well, I have to apologise for being so late with our new additions to the Packabook site.  I have been doing a lot of traveling and had far less computer time than I was anticipating…but I’m pleased to say I’m on track to upload the pages for Laos, Oregon and Tyne and Wear by the end of the year!! So far I’ve come across around 50 novels set in Oregon, which I think is a pretty impressive starting score for the state. Though mostly it’s due to the work of two extremely prolific writers. I look forward to sharing them with you soon.

But now, let’s open the voting for our next round of additions. You are invited to vote for one country, one U.S. state and one English county from the list at the end of this post.

These votes will be added to you previous votes on the tally boards, which are here.

COUNTRIES
Albania – 1
Argentina – 1
Canada – 1
Israel and Palestinian Territories – 1
Kenya – 1
Myanmar/Burma – 1
Seychelles – 1
Sri Lanka – 1
Qatar – 1
Vanuatu – 1

US STATES
Alabama – 1
Arizona – 2
Florida – 1
Kansas – 1
New York City – 1
Ohio – 1
South Dakota – 1

UK COUNTIES
Kent – 1
Devon – 1
West Midlands – 1

If you are still keen on your previous choices, you can vote for them again, giving them a greater chance. But if you’d like to switch to a new destination, you can give those places your latest vote instead.

And if this is your first time voting, then welcome! I hope you will remain with us for a long time as I gradually build up this literary map of the world. If you are a first time voter, you might find it useful to read this previous post explaining what this is all about! But after that – make sure you pop back over here to put your vote in the comments…..

Here’s the full (long!) list of choices below – where will we head to next? Let me know your votes in the comments….Remember – one country, one U.S. State and one English county…voting closes December 21st!

Suzi

Countries

To Do: (177)
Albania
Algeria
Andorra
Angola
Antarctica
Arctic
Argentina
Armenia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin (Dahomey)
Bhutan
Bolivia
Botswana
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso (Burkina, Upper Volta)
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central Africa Republic
Chad
Channel Islands
Chile
Colombia
Comoros
Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominican Republic
DR Congo (Congo-Kinshasa, Belgian Congo, Zaire)
East Timor
Ecuador
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Falkland Islands
Fiji
Finland
Gabon
The Gambia
Georgia
Ghana
Gibraltar
Guatemala
Guinea (French Guinea, Gineau-Conakry)
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Iceland
Indonesia
Isle of Man
Israel & the Palestinian Territories
Ivory Coast  (Côte d’Ivoire)
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kiribati
Kosovo
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Laos – in progress, don’t vote for this one, it will be a wasted vote!!
Latvia
Lebanon
Leeward Antilles
Leeward Islands
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritania
Mauritius
Micronesia
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Nagorno-Karabakh
Namibia
Nauru
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Niue
North Korea
Northern Ireland
Norway
Oman
Palau (Pelew, Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Philippines
Pitcairn Islands
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Rwanda
Samoan Islands
San Marino
São Tomé and Príncipe
Saudi Arabia
Scotland
Senegal
Serbia
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Korea
South Sudan
Sri Lanka
Sudan (North Sudan)
Suriname (Dutch Guiana)
Swaziland (Ngwane, Swatini)
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Taiwan
Togo
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkmenistan
Turks and Caicos Islands
Tuvalu (Ellice Islands)
Uganda
Ukraine
UAE
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Vatican City
Venezuela
Wales
Western Sahara
Windward Islands
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Done (30)
Afghanistan
Australia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
China
Croatia
Cuba
Egypt
England
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
India
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Mexico
Pakistan
Peru
Poland
Russia
South Africa
Spain
Thailand
Turkey
Vietnam

American States + Washington D.C.

To Do: (51)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon – in progress, don’t vote for this one, it will be a wasted vote!!
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington D.C.
Wisconsin
West Virginia
Wyoming

Done: (0)

 

English Counties – with some adaption for practical purposes, making places easier to find for those from other countries!

To Do: (43)
Bedfordshire
Berkshire
Bristol
Buckinghamshire
Cambridgeshire
Cheshire
Cornwall
Cumbria
Derbyshire
Devon
Dorset
Durham
Essex
Gloucestershire
Hampshire
Herefordshire
Hertfordshire
Isle of White
Kent
Lancashire
Leicestershire
Lincolnshire
London
Manchester
Merseyside
Norfolk
Northamptonshire
Northumberland
Nottinghamshire
Oxfordshire
Rutland
Shropshire
Somerset
Staffordshire
Suffolk
Surrey
Tyne and Wear – in progress, don’t vote for this one, it will be a wasted vote!!
Warwickshire
West Midlands
West Sussex
Wiltshire
Worcestershire
Yorkshire

Done: (0)


Disclosure Policy If you click on the links in the posts to buy books, then I will receive a tiny commission for referring you. This does not affect the price you pay for the books, and I am grateful for your support. Every little bit helps! Thank you. (Packabook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com)


6 Comments • Posted in General

And the results are in….

Just a quick note to let you know the results of the voting for our next country, U.S. state and English county to add to Packabook.

If you are wondering what on earth I’m talking about, here’s the link to the post which explains!

As we had lots of countries getting one vote each, and no clear winner, everyone’s vote went into a hat and I drew out a winner. We had two states at the top of the table, so they too went into a hat, but we had one clear winner for our English county, so no need to do a draw for that one.

You can watch the video below to see who won….

If you have any book suggestions for the winning places, I’d love to hear them (I’m afraid I can’t include self-published novels at this stage); you can either add them in the comments below or head over to the Packabook Facebook Page where the discussion is already underway.

And the good news is – all the votes already received will remain on the tally board, so next month, when you vote again, your old votes remain. So that means that if you vote for the same country next time as this time, then both your votes will be counted. If you continue voting for the same place, it is sure to win eventually!

Thanks to everyone who took part – it’s just fabulous having you all involved!

Suzi

Disclosure Policy If you click on the links in the posts to buy books, then I will receive a tiny commission for referring you. This does not affect the price you pay for the books, and I am grateful for your support. Every little bit helps! Thank you. (Packabook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com)


No Comments • Posted in General

I need your help! Where should we go next with Packabook?

Travel Novels

I need help!!

When I dreamed up the idea for Packabook I decided to start with around 20 countries, and then add more as and when I could. But a couple of years later, I am a little disappointed with how few new countries I have added between now and then. Currently I am sitting on about 30, and there are just SO many more places in the world which are not yet represented.

On top of that, there are places which you just cannot really put on as one single country, because there are far too many books to group together – yes USA, I am talking about you! The United States absolutely must be divided into states from the beginning, and so too England should have been divided into counties from the start…

So – this is the plan…and I’m going to need your help.

Each month I’d love  you to nominate a world country, an English county and an American state. And over the next month, those are the ones I will add. It makes sense that with so many places to choose from, I work on those you most want to see. So for those who have emailed me in the past asking about particular countries – here’s a chance for you to put in a vote for the ones you desire!

Below, I have made a list of the possible countries and territories etc (177), English counties (43) and American states (51). A girl should always have a list to work from, and I’m going to enjoy moving them from the ‘To Do’ list to the ‘Done’ list, even if it takes nearly 15 years to do them all, which it will if I stick to the planned rate. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of these countries may not actually exist by the time I get to them!

Which brings us to the real challenge of doing this.

It’s hard to avoid a political quagmire when making a list of countries. While it may seem straight forward – colonisation, conflict and calls for independence result in constantly changing borders and disagreement over where those borders actually are. I am avoiding the political game as much as possible and categorising places in the way that makes the most sense to me. I started with a list of United Nations’ sovereign states, and then adapted it from there. Some of those sovereign states I have broken up into their respective countries and territories (i.e. UK into England, Scotland etc), some I am grouping together by geographic region (many of the Caribbean countries). Some have their own listing because they are disputed territories (Western Sahara), others because they are geographically so far away from their ‘Mother Country’  it makes no sense from a traveler’s point of view to list them as part of that country (Pitcairn Islands), and some because they are a combination of the two (Falkland Islands). There are even some tiny (or uninhabited) places I have missed altogether for now, knowing that I’ll deal with where best to put them, if and when I find books set there. And finally —  please understand that this is no way a definitive list. I will be adjusting it, changing the categories and making additions as I dig a little deeper and make new discoveries about countries, their borders and their history. After all – that’s partly what Packabook is all about.

It’s been a fun process putting this together and I’m looking forward to you joining me for the next bit. It is amazing how many countries there are in the world and I’m delighted to say I discovered some I didn’t even know existed in parts of the world where I should have known better – Andorra for example! How did I not know there was a separate microcountry squeezed in between France and Spain? I had always mistakingly believed Andorra belonged to one or the other.

So – will you join me in the challenge of making Packabook a truly valuable resource so that one day, wherever you go, you will be able to find the ideal novel to take with you? Even if it is in Andorra? Help me set our travel itinerary by choosing one country, one English county and one American state for me to work on in October…and if you have a favorite novel for any of the places you choose, I’d love to hear about that as well. (No self-published books at this stage please, with so many traditionally published novels to deal with first, the huge number of self-published novels will have to wait!) Once you’ve made your choices, please use the comment section below  — preferably using the Facebook comments so we can widen the discussion beyond the blog itself — to let me know what they are. You’ll have to go all the way down past the looooong lists of places to get there!

This is very exciting. You are all steering the ship….where will we go next??

Countries

To Do: (177)
Albania
Algeria
Andorra
Angola
Antarctica
Arctic
Argentina
Armenia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Belize
Benin (Dahomey)
Bhutan
Bolivia
Botswana
Brunei
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso (Burkina, Upper Volta)
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon
Canada
Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central Africa Republic
Chad
Channel Islands
Chile
Colombia
Comoros
Congo (Congo-Brazzaville)
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominican Republic
DR Congo (Congo-Kinshasa, Belgian Congo, Zaire)
East Timor
Ecuador
El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Estonia
Ethiopia
Falkland Islands
Fiji
Finland
Gabon
The Gambia
Georgia
Ghana
Gibraltar
Guatemala
Guinea (French Guinea, Gineau-Conakry)
Guinea-Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Iceland
Indonesia
Isle of Man
Israel & the Palestinian Territories
Ivory Coast  (Côte d’Ivoire)
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kiribati
Kosovo
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Latvia
Lebanon
Leeward Antilles
Leeward Islands
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Marshall Islands
Mauritania
Mauritius
Micronesia
Moldova
Monaco
Mongolia
Montenegro
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar (Burma)
Nagorno-Karabakh
Namibia
Nauru
Nepal
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Niger
Nigeria
Niue
North Korea
Northern Ireland
Norway
Oman
Palau (Pelew, Belau)
Panama
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Philippines
Pitcairn Islands
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
Rwanda
Samoan Islands
San Marino
São Tomé and Príncipe
Saudi Arabia
Scotland
Senegal
Serbia
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Korea
South Sudan
Sri Lanka
Sudan (North Sudan)
Suriname (Dutch Guiana)
Swaziland (Ngwane, Swatini)
Sweden
Switzerland
Syria
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Taiwan
Togo
Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkmenistan
Turks and Caicos Islands
Tuvalu (Ellice Islands)
Uganda
Ukraine
UAE
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Vatican City
Venezuela
Wales
Western Sahara
Windward Islands
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Done (30)
Afghanistan
Australia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
China
Croatia
Cuba
Egypt
England
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
India
Iran
Iraq
Ireland
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Mexico
Pakistan
Peru
Poland
Russia
South Africa
Spain
Thailand
Turkey
Vietnam

English Counties – with some adaption for practical purposes, making places easier to find for those from other countries!

To Do: (43)
Bedfordshire
Berkshire
Bristol
Buckinghamshire
Cambridgeshire
Cheshire
Cornwall
Cumbria
Derbyshire
Devon
Dorset
Durham
Essex
Gloucestershire
Hampshire
Herefordshire
Hertfordshire
Isle of White
Kent
Lancashire
Leicestershire
Lincolnshire
London
Manchester
Merseyside
Norfolk
Northamptonshire
Northumberland
Nottinghamshire
Oxfordshire
Rutland
Shropshire
Somerset
Staffordshire
Suffolk
Surrey
Tyne and Wear
Warwickshire
West Midlands
West Sussex
Wiltshire
Worcestershire
Yorkshire

Done: (0)

American States + Washington D.C.

To Do: (51)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington D.C.
Wisconsin
West Virginia
Wyoming

Done: (0)

OK – now it’s over to you. Which country, county and state would you like to see next on Packabook? Scroll down to the bottom of the page and let me know in the comments…

And thanks for helping out…

Suzi

 

Disclosure Policy If you click on the links in the posts to buy books, then I will receive a tiny commission for referring you. This does not affect the price you pay for the books, and I am grateful for your support. Every little bit helps! Thank you. (Packabook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com)


5 Comments • Posted in General

Steal President Obama’s vacation reading list


Image courtesy of the White House via Wikimedia Commons
In his article at The Daily Beast  Michael Medved gives us a glimpse of what U.S. President Barack Obama is believed to be reading on his summer vacation.

Medved points out that despite all the information Obama is expected to consume, he is taking the time to indulge in some fiction. And having had a look at the president’s choices – I am convinced he is a closet Packabooker. Mr Obama knows how to choose fiction with a strong sense of place.

If you’d like to join Obama in his summer reading – this is what he is believed to have with him in his Martha’s Vineyard Book Bag.

In The Bayou Trilogy by Daniel Woodrell Obama is off to Louisiana (or somewhere very nearby). Chief protagonist of these three novels is Detective Rene Shade who takes us deep into the criminal underworld along the steamy shores of a bayou. From the murder of a city councilman to a poker game which goes horribly wrong, Shade walks both sides of the law as he attempts to get to the truth. Filled with authentic dialogue and characters, this is a fine choice for someone wanting to explore America’s deep south with a bit of ‘country noir’. If you saw last year’s Oscar-nominated film Winter’s Bone it is based on another of Woodrell’s novels.

Chicago is Obama’s next stop with Ward Just’s novel Rodin’s Debutante. The story of Lee Goodell who grows up in the 50’s in a town on the outskirts of Chicago. Intending to become a sculptor he rents a basement studio on Chicago’s South Side where he is exposed to crime, violence and death. Chicago itself is one of the characters of this coming-of-age novel, but larger issues around the differences between rural and urban America are among its themes.

The president then travels much further afield with his next choice – Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. Ethiopia’s internal coups and conflicts in the 50’s and 60’s are the backdrop to this novel in which twin boys are abandoned by their surgeon father after their mother dies in childbirth. They grow up in a missionary hospital in Addis Adaba, until political events eventually force the narrator, one of the twins, to flee. This novel has overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon, with many describing it as unputdownable and others saying it is the best book they have ever read. Obama seems to be on a winner with this one!

Obama’s final choice takes him to the complex world of the Middle East. To the End of the Land by David Grossman tells of an Israeli mother suffering under the strain of her son’s army conscription. Fearing a knock on her door telling her that her son has been killed, she sets out to walk from the north of Israel to Jerusalem.

Mr President – we salute your decision to include a range of fiction in your holiday reading. As Packabookers well know – while there is much to learn from histories and political biographies, sometimes the most important stories only come to us in a novel.

Happy Reading…

Suzi

Disclosure Policy If you click on the links in the posts to buy books, then I will receive a tiny commission for referring you. This does not affect the price you pay for the books, and I am grateful for your support. Every little bit helps! Thank you. (Packabook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com)


No Comments • Posted in General
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Please note - if you read our reviews and click on our links to buy books, we will receive a tiny commission for referring you. This does not affect the price you pay for the books, and we thank you for your support! Packabook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com