Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Set Outside the US

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, so go see what other bloggers decided to write about for this week’s prompt – books set outside the US

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For my first ever foray into book memes, today’s theme is Top Ten Books Set Outside the US. I took this to mean books set in the real world, so not true fantasy, but not in the United States. I also chose not to use non-fiction for this. While I was trying to think of books to use for this, I tried not to repeat countries or authors, and I didn’t use any that spent any time in the US. This gave me some trouble. Most of these wound up being historical fiction, since I haven’t read a lot of contemporary fiction in the past. That’s something I’ve been working on, but in the meantime, here’s what I’ve got for you!

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See is set in France and Germany during World War II, and man was this book beautiful. I read it as an ARC and reviewed it on Goodreads. This book is long, sitting at about 530 pages, but in my opinion, it is well worth the time I spent reading it, and I rated it four out of five stars.

  • The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

The Winter Sea is another book that I absolutely adored. It’s the start of a series that I haven’t read any more of, but this is what my GR review said:

This book was not only exceedingly well-written, with fantastic parallels and stunning characters, it was absolutely moving to the last page. I absolutely could not put it down since I bought it this morning. It’s probably one of the best novels I’ve read all year.

  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables is one of my childhood favorite series’, thanks in part to the amazing miniseries that I grew up on. It’s set in Canada – Avonlea on Prince Edward Island, specifically. If I hadn’t grown up with Anne, I wouldn’t have so many of my favorite things. This series is light and hopeful, and I hope you’ll read it, or at least watch the miniseries.

  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale is a historical mystery set in England. This book had some great plot twists that even the most seasoned readers wouldn’t guess. I think you’ll all love it.

  • Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

You probably already know that Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is set in Sweden, since it became one of the hit books a few years ago. These books give me too much stress to read again, but I enjoyed them the first time I read them.

  • Children of the Jacaranda Tree by Sahar Delijani

Children of the Jacaranda Tree is set in Iran from 1983 to 2011, and I really loved how it told the stories of several generations of Iranian revolutionary families. The prose is beautiful, and it’s written by an Iranian woman.

  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

Good Omens is set in England, and it is silly and strange. This is fantastical as well, but in a real way. It’s full of British-style humor, so it may not be your thing, but I found the story immensely entertaining.

The Historian takes place all over Europe, but it’s mostly in Eastern Europe. It’s also a historical fantasy, full of vampires and actual research. This book is a brick, but I actually really enjoyed it.

  • The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

The Wild Rose is set in England and across the continent of Africa. It’s the third in the Rose series by Jennifer Donnelly, which I’ll be reviewing here on August 13!

  • Night by Elie Wiesel

I’m sure that many of you have read this heartbreaking classic, set in Germany in World War II. This book is a really important book to read, and I wish Elie Wiesel peaceful rest in his afterlife.

What are some of your favorite books set in other countries? I clearly need to read more of them!

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11 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Set Outside the US

  1. Such a great list! I’ve only read Night (which I loved) but need to read these others!! ? This was such a fun prompt and I’m loving reading everyone’s posts!

    1. It really was a fun prompt, and a good one for my first list! I’m actually in the middle of listening to Anne of Green Gables again. You should definitely read it!

  2. I’m the weirdo who loves Emily of New Moon more than Anne of Green Gables, but either one is such a good pick for this list. I instituted a new rule a few years back where 40% of the books I read have to be by non-American authors. It’s been awesome for making me read a wider variety of authors and books with many different settings. Like I read this excellent book called Mount Pleasant earlier this year — set in colonial/postcolonial Cameroon, and super interesting!

    1. I’ve never read Emily of New Moon, but I grew up on Anne. I’m actually watching the miniseries now! Thats a good rule – something I’ll have to look into adding

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