The Two "Countries" We'll Be Reading Next

Did you know that there is no true count of how many countries exist? This is because there is no universally agreed upon definition of "country" & there is no single international body which decides the country count. Instead, it is left to entities (e.g., individual countries, Interpol, the United Nations, etc.) to declare which locations are member states/countries & which are not. In many cases, the idea of whether a place is a country is clear since there is full international recognition & everyone agrees on the answer.

The United States? A country.

France? A country.

But then it's starts to get messy.

Is South Korea a country? Everyone thinks so...except North Korea. What about Armenia? Pakistan doesn't consider it a country.  Then, there are other situations which become tangled or confusing. For instance, England, Scotland & Wales are considered individual countries, but the United Nations only officially recognizes the United Kingdom as a member state. 

This leads us to the selections for January & December.

With recent news events, Mia & I thought it would be interesting to choose a duo of "countries" which are highly contested & controversial. While our book club is apolitical, we thought exploring the background & relationship between these two areas would be eye-opening regardless of how you view these places. To that end, the book club will be reading Palestine for January & Israel for February.  (As always, there's no pressure to read every book though we'd love you to join us.)


We want to hear your suggestions for books! Just let us know your Palestinian suggestions by Fri., Dec. 15 11PM ET. (That's NYC time. See this converted to your local time below & send in your Israeli suggestions by mid-January.)

Time converter at

We'll use 2 suggestions from book club members, 2 suggestions from Mia (the book club moderator) & 2 of my suggestions to compile a list of 6 books on which book club members will vote. The most popular book from the list will then be read.

Please note - We're specific in our books, they must: 

  • Largely occur in the location specified unless the world described is an alternate universe
  • Be written by an author born there who has spent a good portion of their life there
  • Exist in paperback & ebook available on both Amazon & Kindle at least in the US & hopefully elsewhere