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My favourite books set outside of the US.

This is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. You can find out more info here!

Like a lot of people I see online, I admit that a lot of the books I read are set in the United States. There is such a large number of publishers in and from the States that it’s almost impossible to try and read solely from other continents. Some people manage (participating in challenges like #ReadDiversely) but I really struggle to continually pick books set outside of North America. So today I’m going to talk about some of my favourite books outside of the US. Enjoy!


Title: Burial Rites
Author: Hannah Kent
Release Date: September 10th 2013

Set in: Iceland. This is a beautiful debut novel by Hannah Kent about a woman named Agnes who is charged with the murder of her former master and is sent to an isolated farm to await execution. Based on the true stories about the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829, Hannah Kent’s lyrical and moving writing was absolutely captivating and I 100% recommend it!


Title: Never Let Me Go
Author: Kazuo Ishiguro
Release Date: March 2nd 2006

Set in: English countryside. This one I had to pick up for my uni course back in 2015 and I doubt I would have otherwise. It is an absolutely moving story about a secluded boarding school in 1990’s English countryside and the lives and hardship that the students face growing up. I really loved this book. Ishiguro has a way of telling so much yet saying so little, and for that I highly recommend you check this one out.


Title: The Messenger
Author: Markus Zusak
Release Date: November 1st 2013

Set in: Australia. This one I was told to read time and time again before I finally gave it and picked it up. And I only wish I had sooner. After accidentally stopping a bank robber escaping, Ed Kennedy finds himself receiving cryptic messages written on playing cards in the mail. Each card gives hints to three people who’s life he must change in someway. This book was absolutely engrossing and fully lived up to the hype. I definitely suggest it!


Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Release Date: September 8th 2007

Set in: Germany. I have always loved books set during World War II – but The Book Thief was the first one I picked up that I absolutely adored. I read it almost 4 years ago now, but I still remember so many special things about this book and I am really tempted to re-read it soon! If you have somehow avoided spoilers for this one for the past something years, go and pick this one up blindly. Feel free to come and yell at me if you don’t enjoy!


Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Release Date: February 11th 2014

Set on: Mars. This one is a bit of a cheat. Some of this book does take place in the USA, but I loved this book so much I feel like I have to slip it onto every list I make. The Martian is a hilarious novel about astronaut Mark Watney who is mistakenly left behind on Mars, presumed dead, with zero hope of rescue. And that’s just the beginning! This is one of those books that you finish and immediately want to re-read, and since a majority of it is set on Mars, I thought I’d be sneaky and add it onto this list.

So there we have it! Do you agree with my picks for this weeks TTT? Do you have your own suggestions? Let me know in the comments below! ▲

1 Comment

  1. Some great choices here. I loved Burial Rites – read it this year and enjoyed so much reading a story from a different place. And The Book Thief is one of my all-time favorites. I enjoyed The Martian a lot, too and I’m getting ready to watch the movie. Happy reading!

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