Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books Set Outside the USA

Top Ten Tuesday is a book-related feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and this week’s topic is “Ten Books Set Outside the US”. This title got me thinking, hard. How often do you pick up a book thinking about where it is set? Most often I end up reading a book based on its plot (sometimes not even that – just recommendations from people who know my reading preferences). Yet, the place where the book you read is set, makes a whole world of difference! So, after much thought and consideration I decided to list the ten books that I have read or reread in the past two years that are not set in the US. Here goes:

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern:

A grand saga of love, magic, and dreams. The Night Circus is set in different places across the world. Yet, it mostly springs up in Victorian London. I’ve shared my thoughts on this book here.

night circus

2. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery:

A heart-warming must must must-read for everyone. Anne of Green Gables, a great for children and just what the imagination needs once you cross the threshold to adulthood, is set on Prince Edward Island in Canada. And my review of it is here.

green gables

3. Mayada: Daughter of Iraq by Jean Sasson:

This is definitely not an easy read. But if you do read this book, it will touch you. A retelling of women’s experiences in the Baladiyat Prison. I read this book several years ago and my views on it in retrospect are here.


4. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien:

Set in Middle-Earth, The Lord of the Rings is an epic fantasy novel that takes you on a journey to destroy the “one ring to rule them all”.


5. The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly:

I’ve loved all the books I’ve read by Matthew Reilly, except for this one. My review of this book, set in China (no big surprise there) is here!

china zoo

6. A Man of the People by Chinua Achebe:

Odili’s tryst with politics in West Africa was definitely not what I thought it would be – it was so much more. And I really enjoyed the book, which I have reviewed here.


7. Ladies Coupe by Anita Nair:

If I remember correctly, this was the first Indian novel I read completely (not considering the short stories and poems that were part of our curriculum) – when I was about 15 or 16 years and I fell in love with it. Set on a train in India, the book is a feast for the soul set of relatable stories of six women travelling together.

ladies coupe

8. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga:

What can you do when a feeling of oppression takes over? This book narrates the story of a taxi driver in India, with big dreams, guts and gumption, and a confidence that can either make you uncomfortable with his story or admire him. My review of the book is here.

white tiger

9. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton:

This is yet another book that I read over 7 years ago, and don’t remember much of the plot, but do remember that even after finishing it I thought quite fondly about it. Shifting between Australia and England, this book was a good read – I may revisit it sometime soon.

forgotten garden

10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I doubt there will ever come a time when I see the title Pride and Prejudice with a laptop in front of me and I don’t write a full-blown essay romanticizing, criticizing, breaking down and analysing the novel. Except for now – let me practice some restraint.


Happy reading! Cheers!


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