Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Top Thirteen Books Set Outside the UK and the US

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  I am modifying the topic of "books set outside the US" to "books set outside the UK and the US," because a lot of what I read is set in the UK.  Anyhow, I love this theme because a strong sense of place in a book is something that really appeals to me and I have always enjoyed exploring other countries, cultures, and time periods through books!  I was not able to narrow my list down to ten books, so I have twelve this week.

1.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

One of my absolute favorites!  It has some Gothic elements, along with mystery, romance, and even humor.  It is certainly a book lover's book, set in enchanting Barcelona.  

2.
The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

Another Spanish author whose work I really enjoy.  His books are mysteries, cerebral and exciting.  Like The Shadow of the Wind above, this is another book perfect for those who love books.  The Ninth Gate, an excellent movie which stars Johnny Depp as a cutthroat antiquarian bookseller who must acquire a book so rare that only three copies have ever been in existence, is based on this novel.  

3.
Henrik Ibsen's plays

The Norwegian Ibsen is my favorite playwright after Shakespeare.  Some of his best plays are Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, An Enemy of the People, and A Doll's House.

4.
The Poetic Edda by Anonymous 

Not a difficult read, and fun and informative for those like me who are obsessed with Norse mythology.

5.
The Iliad by Homer

6.
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Some of the stories in this brilliant collection are set in India, others in the United States with Indian-American characters.

7.
If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho (trans. by Anne Carson)

Beautiful translations of what remains of Sappho's poetry.  Called the tenth muse, she was highly praised by later Greek writers, but very few of her poems have survived intact.  Anne Carson's translations are haunting and eloquent.

8.
The Language of Baklava by Diana Abu-Jaber

Parts of this memoir take place in New York and other parts in Abu-Jaber's family homeland of Jordan.  I'm not a foodie, but I enjoyed this book (which includes lots of recipes) anyway.  If you are a foodie, then you would probably really enjoy it.

9.
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Set in Australia.  This is an older YA novel that I absolutely adore.

10.
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

To my shame, this is the only Dumas book I have read!  I found it compulsively readable, funny, and completely deserving of its status as a classic.

11.
A Bride's Story by Kaoru Mori

A gorgeously illustrated manga series set in Central Asia, written by a highly accomplished Japanese manga-ka who excels in the genre of historical manga.  Twenty-year-old Amir marries a husband eight years her junior.  Can she learn to get along with her husband and her new family, and become accustomed to their unfamiliar traditions?

12.
Candide by Voltaire

The ultimate world travel adventure story!  Candide would rank high on a list of my top ten favorite books.


Thanks for stopping by this Tuesday!  Leave a link to your top ten list in the comments, and I'll be sure to return the visit!


14 comments:

Emily Alfano said...

are these all classics? I hate to say this, but I am NOT a classics fan but I am trying so hard to be! my best friend bought me a copy of Pride and Prejudice from Shakespeare and Company when she was in France last year so I might start there!
Great TTT post!
Emily @ www.rabbitholereviews.com

Giovanna said...

I haven't heard about many of these books, but I will be sure to check them out. One I have heard many great things about is Jellicoe Road. I need to pick that up ASAP! Great Top Ten! :D
My Top Ten Tuesday!

Helia D said...

From Ibsen's plays I've only read A Doll's House and Ghosts and I thought they were great! I love the themes he focuses on :)

Rachel said...

I've actually not read any of these books, and haven't heard of quite a few of them - I will have to look into some of them :)

Kat said...

@Helia D-- Yes, I love Ibsen's themes, many of which were considered quite radical at the time. Ghosts is one of my favorites. :)

@Giovanna-- Jellicoe Road is excellent, and one I decided to read after reading very positive reviews on blogs.

Kat said...

@Emily-- Yes, I guess about half of these might be considered classics. Luckily, "classics" are written in a ton of different styles (not just the Scarlet Letter-esque prose many people were tortured with in high school) and genres, and there are classics out there for everyone. Pride & Prejudice is just about a sure bet, though--hope you enjoy it!

Lauren Stoolfire said...

I like the variety of your list! :)

Check out my TTT.

Debbie Rodgers said...

You read a LOT more classics than I do. LOL.

I read a lot set in Canada since I live here, but I thought that most people hadn't read the books in my list: http://www.exurbanis.com/archives/11101

Stephanie Shepherd said...

I read something by Perz-Reverte (Captain Alatriste I think it was called or something like that?) a long time ago and loved it though I had apparently forgotten all about him. Thanks for the reminder! I'll add The Club Dumas to my TBR.

Erin of TexErin-in-SydneyLand said...

Jellicoe Road is a fantastic book! I recommend Melina Marchetta as well.
I have The Shadow of the Wind on my to read list, and I notice several have listed it on this link-up.

Kat said...

@Erin-- I have also read Melina Marchetta's Saving Francesca and The Piper's Son, and loved them as well. She is one of my favorite Aussie authors! And yes, I totally recommend The Shadow of the Wind. :)

Debbie Rodgers said...

I've had Jellicoe Road on my TBR list forever. I guess it's time to find a copy and actually read it! Great list :-)

Maria Behar said...

KAT!!!! OMG!!! You're BACK!!! I had NO idea! I'm SO happy you've started blogging again!! How's college going? I need to catch up on your posts now!! So WELCOME BACK, GIRL!!!

This is a GREAT list you've got here! Sadly, I haven't read most of these books.... Gotta do something about that! (I've only read "The Three Musketters", which, of course, was AMAZING.)

Hope you're having an AWESOME week!!! HUGS!!!! <3 :)

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