This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is about favorite books set in another country. I’ve been reading a lot of books set outside the U.S., so this was a perfect topic to think about. The books I’ve listed here are books that aren’t just set in another country but are really about the history and culture of that country.
- The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (England)
- The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (China)
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (Scotland)
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (Iceland)
- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Japan)
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (South Africa)
- The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman (Israel)
- The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Vietnam)
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (Ghana)
- The Settling Earth by Rebecca Burns (New Zealand)
- The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney (Ireland)
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (France)
- The Secret River by Kate Grenville (Australia)
- The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (Hungary)
It’s worth noting that some of these books, like Outlander and Burial Rites, aren’t by authors with direct ties to those countries. I do think it’s important to read books by residents or natives of those countries — although I still think an author can write an excellent book about a country if they do their research well and consider the perspectives of people from that country. What do you think?
I also realize this isn’t the most diverse mix of countries. I’ve definitely read more books set in the United Kingdom and Europe compared to other parts of the world. It’s something I’m working on. Still, I wanted this list to reflect my favorites even though it’s not as diverse as I might like.
Finally, some of my favorite books are about immigrants to the United States, like The Namesake, Behold the Dreamers, and Americanah. I didn’t include those books on this list, since they mostly take place here. But that would be another great top ten list.
There were a lot more I could have included on this list. What did I miss? What are your favorites?