Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books Set Outside The US

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is Ten Books Set Outside The US. Are there any? Of course there are. Some genres and age groups seem to be more heavily skewed toward the US, but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of great books out there that take place somewhere else. Here are some of my favourites:

Ten Books Set Outside The US:

The Book Thief
by Markus Zusak

Setting: Germany

Nazi Germany in World War II is a setting that's used a lot... but there are so many stories to tell within that setting.
Catherine, Called Birdy
by Karen Cushman

Setting: England

England might not seem like that exciting of a setting, but this is England in the 1290s! As such, it's barely recognizable... but it creates a great backdrop for the characters and their stories.
Daughter of Smoke & Bone
by Laini Taylor

Setting: Prague, Czech Republic

The setting is incidental to this intricate story, but it's still nice to see a place other than some random American city featured as the MC's home. Having her live in a European city adds a little more magic (at least, for those of us who don't live in Europe).
The Dust of 100 Dogs
by A. S. King

Setting: Ireland & Jamaica

This book is partly set in the US, but much of it (through flashbacks) is also set in Ireland. And then the MC jets off to Jamaica. So it's not exactly what I'd call an "American" book.
Free as a Bird
by Gina McMurchy-Barber

Setting: British Columbia, Canada

Like quite a few books on this list, this one is also historical, though it depicts a time in the fairly recent past. It's hard to believe that we treated people with disabilities is such horrible ways... and that we did it within the last century.
The Lake and the Library
by S. M. Beiko

Setting: Manitoba, Canada

Though this wasn't a perfect book by any means, I really enjoyed the story, which is a mix of contemporary and paranormal, set in a small town in Manitoba. I can probably count the number of books I've read that were set on the Canadian Prairies on one hand, so this was a nice find.
Listen, Slowly
by Thanhha Lai

Setting: Vietnam

When I realized this book wasn't a verse novel like the author's first book, I almost put it down. But I'm really glad I didn't because I thoroughly enjoyed this middle-grade story about a California girl who accompanies her grandmother back to Vietnam for the summer.
The Lost Crown
by Sarah Miller

Setting: Russia

I can't pass up a good Romanov book... and this is one of the better ones I've read, a purely historical tale with no added supernatural elements (which seem to be common in books featuring Anastasia).
by Lucy Christopher

Setting: Australia

Although I've seen some Australians complain about the way the Outback is portrayed in this book, to me it seemed very real and weirdly claustrophobic (which is what the story called for).
Tiger Moon
by Antonia Michaelis

Setting: India

This is probably the most fairytale-esque book on my list, with many fantasy elements. Heck, it has a telepathic talking tiger! But it is set in a real place, which appears to be India during British rule.

What are some of your favourite books set outside the USA?


  1. Ooh, I want to read The Lost Crown! Just because RUSSIA. (I have a weird obsession with it.) And haha I'm one of those ones kind of looking at Stolen skeptically with it's outback portrayal. It wasn't that the claustrophobia aspect was wrong, just how hot it was. Like it honestly wasn't portrayed as hot enough. *shrugs* I'm still glad you liked the story though!

    1. I'd highly recommend The Lost Crown. The setting and characters and everything were great... but the writing was just so well done. The author has at least one other novel out there, and I keep thinking I should check it out (it's about Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan).

  2. +JMJ+

    I love that you picked so many different countries--and none of them the UK! (Medieval England doesn't count, of course! =P) With respect to others, making modern-day UK synonymous to "outside of the US" isn't very adventurous. Then again, I shouldn't talk . . . All the books on my own Top 10 for the week are set in a single other country: the Philippines!

    1. Wow... I don't know if I could even come up with 10 books I liked that were set in one country other than the USA! Well, maybe books set in Canada...

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Love your top ten! Stolen also made my list! It's such a great read! My Top Ten Tuesday!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Giovanna! I'm off to check out your TTT...

  4. I really liked The Book Thief and there are SO many others on your list that I either hadn't heard of or want to read. Thanks for sharing! Here's mine: https://aubreysbooknook.wordpress.com/2016/07/19/books-set-outside-the-us/

    1. I really liked The Book Thief, too! I still haven't gotten around to watching the movie, though.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I think Stolen is the only book I've read where the setting actually has a huge impact on the story and the plot. It seemed so...alive? The Book Thief and Daughter of Smoke & Bone have pheonominal settings as well. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous choices! <3

    1. Yes... I really liked the setting in Stolen. Not that I'd want to go there or anything, but it was good for the story.

      Thanks for stopping by!