Tuesday, July 19, 2016

TTT: Books Set Outside the US

Happy Top Ten Tuesday to you! Today we are discussing our top ten favorite books set outside the United States. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below!

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme started on the Broke and the Bookish blog.
They set the topic, we make the lists. Visit their site to see more on this topic

The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles – Bowles’ masterpiece, The Sheltering Sky tells the story of American travelers, Port and Kit Moresby a husband and wife who attempt to escape their lives by wandering aimlessly through North African cities and deserts.

The Mouse-Proof Kitchen by Saira Shah – After learning their newborn baby daughter has serious neurological disabilities; Anna and Tobias move to a crumbling farmhouse in Aix-en-Provence, France. They struggled to adapt to their new situation, but are supported by their eccentric neighbors who eventually become part of their family. (See my full review here.)

Love in Lowercase by Francesc Miralles – A short, quirky read about a Samuel, lonely linguistics professor living in Barcelona. The appearance of a stray cat leads Samuel to a series of unexpected interactions and a reunion with a mysterious woman from his past.

An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor – A charming tale of a young GP beginning work in the small country village of Ballybucklebo in Northern Ireland. Barry Laverty agrees to be the apprentice of Dr. Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly, an older man with a strange method of dealing with his patients. Barry has a lot to learn when it comes to dealing with the town’s colorful residents.

The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson – As a young college student, Wilson, eager to learn more about the Middle East, travels to Cairo. She attempts to submerge herself in the culture, eventually meeting a man who would become her husband and converting to Islam.

Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang – Two parallel stories set in China during the Boxer Rebellion; Yang untangles the conflict with vivid artistry in this graphic novel. Told through the eyes of a young Chinese peasant boy, Little Bao and Vibiana, an unwanted girl taken in by Christian missionaries, Boxers & Saints is a powerful work not soon forgotten.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami – Set in the Tokyo suburbs, a man searches for his lost cat. In doing so, he encounters a number of bizarre people and events. Both hilarious and strange, Murakami has crafted one of the finest modern novels.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro – Raised at the elite school of Hailsham, located in the English countryside, students Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy grow up knowing their lives have strange purpose. Years later as she is about to end one stage of her life, Kathy looks back on her youth and the bonds she had with Ruth and Tommy.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi – Growing up in Iran during the height of the Islamic Revolution, Satrapi chronicles the difficulties of living through a period of dramatic upheaval. Volume 1 spans her childhood, while volume 2 covers her time living in Vienna before eventually returning to her homeland.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri – A cheat for the last entry, Lahiri’s novel doesn’t really take place outside of the US, but she does weave a beautiful and profound story of clashing cultures. Lahiri captures the struggles of second generation immigrants as they attempt to balance the culture they were born into with the one their parents left behind.

~Meredith T.


  1. Great picks! I should have added Never Let Me Go to my list this week. :)

    Check out my TTT.

  2. Never Let Me Go was both a great book and movie! I also watched the movie for Persepolis, and really enjoyed it, but haven't had the chance to read the graphic novel as of yet. Maybe one day! Great Top Ten! :D
    My Top Ten Tuesday!