Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books Set Outside the US

Hello! I’m posting a suuuuper last-minute TTT because I forgot to queue something up last night. The prompt this week, provided as always by The Broke and the Bookish, is to list our favorite books set outside of the US. On one hand, this was hard because I live in the US and the book landscape is here is definitely US-centric. On the other hand, this could have been easy because we also read a lot of books by English authors. I tried to avoid including too many books from the UK.


I would most like to highlight A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston and The Wrath and the Dawn duology by Renee Ahdieh. I’m not entirely sure in what current-day countries they take place (especially because they’re both fantasy, so they might not even be on “Earth,” in the strictest sense), but they’re both great takes on One Thousand and One Nights. Plus they’re the only books I’ve read recently that didn’t take place in a Western/English speaking setting (For the record, I also read Soundless, but I wasn’t crazy about it).

3. Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta: My queen is Australian. Saving Francesca is probably my favorite of her contemporary novels, but that statement makes me feel guilty. Everything Her Excellency writes is great and I have trouble choosing between her books.

4. Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K Johnston: This book takes place in Canada, which was cool because I don’t think I’ve read any YA that takes place in Canada. Or…anything, actually. I don’t think I’ve read anything Canadian at all. But anyways, I wanted to include this because I read it recently and really liked it.

5. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray: This book was so interesting! I loved how it jumped settings! I loved the alternate version of Russia! Everyone should read this! I want a print of the cover art!

6. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: I did cave and include two books that take place in London on this list, but I feel like I can justify them. They were both a fantastical take on London, and the city was central to the feel of both stories. Like A Thousand Pieces of You, this involved alternate versions of London/the world.

7. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman: This is obviously the other London book. I read this years ago, before I studied abroad in London, so I’ve been wanting to do a reread and see whether the story feels different now. In any case, I loved this when I read it in college.

8. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: I caved again. Here’s another book by Queen Marchetta, also set in Australia. Like all Marchetta, it makes me cry.

I feel like there were a lot of borderline books for this topic. I could have included Daughter of Smoke and Bone, which I love and takes place in Prague, but the series has another non-Earth setting that made me reluctant to include it.The biggest takeaway for me is that I need to read less US-centric/Western lit. I’ll definitely be checking other TTTs for recommendations this week.

Thanks for stopping by!

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