To be honest, this week’s topic made me smile a little. The theme is Ten Books Set Outside the US, and I realised how very few US-centric books I read. I guess my books either take place in an imaginary (future or fantasy) world, in Europe, or in Japan. The books that take place in the US are definitely the minority! So it wasn’t very hard to create this list. I picked my most recent 5 star reads that were not located in the US. Among my 5 star reads, I literally only had to skip one book that was set in the US, The Color Purple by Alice Walker haha.
Ten Books Set Outside the US that I Enjoyed
- Moxyland by Lauren Beukes
I got this book from one of my fellow book club friends quite a while ago, and I couldn’t be happier. It was clear a lot of thought went into this dystopian masterpiece, that takes place in South Africa in the near future (2017). Highly recommended.
- Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood
I think it is quite clear from the title where this book takes place. Isherwood had been on my TBR for a long time and I finally picked up his books (also Mr. Norris Changes Trains, another recommendation!) in preparation for a short trip to Berlin. I am completely mesmerized by Isherwood, his writing style is beautiful and his descriptions of 1930’s Berlin are so vivid!
- Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood and The Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi
I picked this one up for Our Shared Shelf. What a great read! It takes place in Iran and Austria.
- Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
LGBT+ classic, takes place in the UK. Worth a read!
- The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt
This knight’s tale, a Dutch children’s/YA classic, is set in an imaginary world of three kingdoms. One of my favourite children’s books.
- Twinkle Twinkle by Kaori Ekuni
Also see my review here! This book takes place in modern-day Japan.
- The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1) by Patrick Ness
Another imaginary+future world, New World. Loved this series!
- Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee—A Look Inside North Korea by Jang Jin-Sung
This non-fiction memoir takes place in North Korea, China and South Korea.
- A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
A heartbreaking story set in present-day UK.
- Slade House by David Mitchell
Aaaand another amazing book taking place in the UK over a few decades.