Top Ten Tuesdays – Books That Take Place In Other Countries

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week there is a new topic for bloggers to choose and list their top ten. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books Taking Place in Another Country.

I have chosen a mixture of fictional and non-fiction (memoirs) for my top ten this week. I love to travel to new countries and explore different cultures but when you work all the time it’s difficult to travel to the other side of the world on a whim. The next best thing is reading it in a book and being immersed in that country through the power of your imagination!

1. JAPAN
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
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I adore this book everything about it is beautiful and everything felt so read! Such a gripping and authentic story about how Geisha’s live, entertain, learn and love. I have been to Japan and went to see a show with a few Geisha women in, their make up and clothing is beautiful, the way they move and dance, make tea it’s all an art and this is what Arthur Golden perfects in this novel

2. MEXICO
Umami by Laia Jufresa
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This is actually my current read, I will review it next week. So all I will say for now is I love the cover design and the book is based around the character Ana who is trying to come to terms with the mysterious death of her little sister.

3. THAILAND
The Beach by Alex Garland
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I love this book, I remember reading the entire novel in one day when I was on holiday a few years ago. Beautiful scenery, crazy people and a fast paced twisted thriller what more can you ask for, other than a free ticket to an exotic island in Thailand (minus the weirdos)

4. NORTH KOREA  
In Order To Live by Yeonmi Park
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My favourite memoir I have ever read, about the struggles of Yeonmi and her family living in the communist country of North Korea and her harrowing escape into China and eventually South Korea. Her escape finally brings her freedom but the journey along the way is incredible, heartbreaking, inspiring and scary. What I also loved about this book was reading about her life in North Korea, you don’t really hear many first hand accounts of what it is actually like over there and I found this fascinating. It’s a remarkable story told by a brave and remarkable woman.

5. POLAND 
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
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I recently finished reading this amazing novel that is based on a true story, you can read my review here. I highly recommend this book it is a powerful read.

6. SWEDEN
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
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I read the whole series whilst at university. I really enjoyed the first book and love the character Lisbeth. But the rest of the novels just didn’t seem to match up and I felt really bored reading the The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest. They just seemed to go on and on and I don’t remember any action like in the first novel. I don’t think I would re-read the series, but glad that I read it through the once.

7. RUSSIA
The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden
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Only two books of the series have been released so far, I absolutely adored both of them the cold Russian landscape is prevalent in both novels but the magic, violence and dark fairytale theme are also what makes these books so good! I can’t wait for the third part to come out, love love love this series!

8. GERMANY 
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
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If I’ve said this one on the blog I will say if again… this is one of my favourite books it gave me such a book hangover! Set in Germany during World War 2, death tells the story of Liesel a young girl who is taken to a foster family where she learns to read. Her love for reading sends her down a path of stealing books, she also befriends a Jewish man  who they are hiding from the Nazis.

9. ARGENTINA 
The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell
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Another memoir I really enjoyed. Tom Michell is a carefree spirited twenty year old, days before he starts his teaching placement in a prestigious school he saves a penguin from an oil spillage in Uraguay, cleans him up, decides to keep him, smuggles him across the border into Argentina and names him Juan Salvador. This is a true story of love and friendship and its really heartwarming. Juan Salvador transforms so many people’s lives, including Tom’s, a unique and moving story…. and who doesn’t love a story about a cute penguin?! (crazy people that’s who)

10. INDIA
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
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I read this quite a while ago, I remember enjoying it and I also like the film. The bright colours, animals and beautiful landscapes really shine out in this book for me plus I love animals and a survival story! Pi survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a small boat in the Pacific Ocean with sparse supplies, a zebra a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

Have you read any of these novels? Any suggestions to other books set in foreign countries that I should be reading? Let me know Katie x

4 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesdays – Books That Take Place In Other Countries

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