Memes

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Take Place In Another Country

Hi all, I know I already did one post today, but I’ve wanted to join TTT for a while now, and this week’s topic sounds interesting! It’s about books that take place in another country, and since there are very few novels taking place in Serbia (even less that I’ve read), I have a huge choice here. Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by Β That Artsy Reader Girl, and every Tuesday there is a different themed post of top 10 things, and as we all know how much I love lists, well:

 

Sweden

Let the Right One in by John Ajvide Lindqvist

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Okay, this is one seriously messed-up book. It’s about pedophilia and vampires, so if you can handle that go on and read it, as it’s marvelous! There are no explicit scenes, as far as I remember, but there are some gory bits, but hey what do you expect with vampires. Besides all that, this is a lovely story about two kids, Eli and Oskar.

 

Germany

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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Another story about kids, but this time in the middle of WW2 (poor kids). Liesl, the main character is living with foster parents, as her own have been taken to a concentration camp. Liesl likes books, playing with her friend Rudy, and when her Papa plays an accordion. But this novel is narrated by death himself, so prepare handkerchiefs.

 

Scotland

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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Ahh my guilty pleasure series. I don’t usually (never) like romance in books, but Diana Gabaldon has won me over with her beautiful, adventurous, funny, and tumultuous novels about Claire Randall, who accidentally goes 200 years back in time when she touches a cairn stone on her second honeymoon in Scotland. On the other side/time, she meets Jamie Fraser, a Scottish highlander, which then sets in motion the creation of one of the most beautiful love stories after Arwen+Aragorn/Beren+LΓΊthien.

 

Norway

West of the Moon by Margi Preus

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West of the Moon is a beautiful children’s book about sisters Astri and Greta who go through an immense trouble and adventure to escape from a malevolent Goatman, and to eventually join their father in America. Even though this book is filled to the brim with Scandinavian folklore and myths, and is quite entertaining and gorgeous, I would rather say it’s aimed for the grown-up children. Right at the beginning, Astri is sold to the Goatman to be his bride, and the amount of abuse from his end is not suitable for young kids.

 

France

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick SΓΌskind

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Perfume is definitely my number 1 modern classic. I have read it countless times, and I sure will again, because the story of Grenouille and his peculiar gift of the absolute sense of smell, which turns him into a serial killer, is sensational, provocative and brilliant. Set in 18th century France, this short story is worthy of your attention of you like mysteries, thrillers and weirdness.

 

Netherlands

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

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Another book about the holocaust, this is a real journal of a young Jewish girl hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam with her family. I’m not sure how much is this book known outside Europe, but it’s a beautiful and sad account anyone should read.

 

England

Slade House by David Mitchell

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Ughh there are so many English authors I love, but in an effort to contain myself from throwing Agata Christie and J.K.Rowling into everything, I’ve opted for a no-less brilliant David Mitchell, whom you may know by Cloud Atlas. Slade House is equally weird and timeless, and even though quite short, this novel about a not-your-average haunted house is simply marvelous.

 

USA

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Same as the previous entry, very hard to choose, but I’ve decided this one takes the spot as I’ve only recently read it. As I’ve not read almost any American classics in high school, I have evaded this beautiful gem for far too long. You can read my review here.

 

Iceland

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

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A masterful debut by Hannah Kent, whom I plan to read more, set in early 19th century in gloomy Iceland. Burial Rites is a mysterious account of a woman sentenced to death for murdering her master, awaiting the execution on an isolated farm with a family who both hates her and fears her.

 

Russia

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

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When talking about Russian classics, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky are the first to come to one’s mind, but this novel, even though a modern classic, is one worthy of your attention. Bulgakov created a stunning but devastating satire of life under Stalin’s regime. Half of the novel is set in ancient Jerusalem, the other in contemporary Moscow, with the main characters being Satan and his black cat Behemoth, among the others. Magical realism at its best.

 

Have you read any of these? Can you recommend me some good novels set in Japan, Netherlands, Scotland/Ireland, or South America? Happy reading! πŸ™‚

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36 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Take Place In Another Country

  1. Let The Right One In was awesome! I love books set in Sweden ❀
    I think the movie versions (both Swedish and American) were missing some of the creepiness and atmosphere. Although the Swedish one was closer to the book.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Cool, that sounds great, as I just bought the first one recently, and I know it’s set in Australia, I was afraid it will ruin the feeling I had with Snowman πŸ™‚ The atmosphere in that one is just…brutal. I’m not easily scared, but reading that in the dead of winter was terrifying :S

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m in love with all things fairytales and I live in Norway, so how was West of the Moon not on my tbr already? Oh well, it’s there now! My favorite novel set in South America is The Invisible Mountain by Carolina De Robertis, it set in Uruguay and follows three generations of women in one family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Which version did you see? I saw the Swedish one, and it’s true to the book, but a lot was left out and it’s a bit boring :/ It’s a good book, I love Scandinavian authors, there’s nothing like mystery and horror in so much snow and darkness πŸ™‚

      Perfume is THE book, I don’t really know how to describe it except with the word phantasmagorical. I loved every sentence of it, I have to reread soon haha πŸ˜€ That one is also a movie but it’s trash if you ask me πŸ˜€

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      1. I didn’t know there were other versions! I think that’s the one I saw. It’s been a while since I’ve seen it. Ooh, so the book’s better? I’ll have to check it out!

        Oh, nice! I feel like I’ve been adding to many books to my “I gotta read this” list cause of you! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I need to finish my neverending ARCs so I can start on the pile I bought and then move on to the million recommendations I’ve got recently! :S πŸ˜€ Also – I just requested another arc, what is wrong with meee?

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  3. The Master and Margarita’s cover is soo pretty. From Russia, I’ve only read Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky.
    From Japan, I will CONSTANTLY recommend Haruki Murakami. His writing is magical. His first stories Wind/Pinball are great, and I’d highly recommend.
    Book Thief is classic, of course. Though I haven’t read it in actual years.
    I checked Slade House out of the library a while back, and then never got around to reading it. Is it anything like House of Leaves?? The cover gives me that vibe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh yes, I’ve wanted to read Murakami for ages, I’ll have to start soon!

      Haha, I’ve wanted to read House of Leaves for a long time now, we don’t have it here so I’ll have to order sometime from BD, I’ve heard mixed opinions, is it really good? You’re getting that vibe from the cover probably, but I don’t know since I haven’t read both. Slade House is basically about disappearances of people around a manor in London every nine years on the same day. It starts off as a mystery and ends as metaphysical horror, and each disappearance is a separate story. I really liked it, it’s a really unique and cool mix of genres πŸ™‚ And it’s quite unsettling, which is the true horror if you ask me πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Murakami is great, but I will warn you, his books tend to be thick and a little long-winded. BUT HIS WRITING!! HIS PROSE!!!! To die for, I swear.

        I really liked House of Leaves because it kept my attention, but that is another pretty long winded book. It wasn’t so SCARY, but more like.. spooky, and interesting? You know? I also really love books in weird formats. Like, House of Leaves is a manuscript that was found, and passed around and there’s all these footnotes from all sorts of people, and its an essay on a cult documentary sortof, but there’s more to it?? and.. its just really interesting. I’ve never read a book like it.

        Ooooohhh, it’s been a while since I’ve read a truly unsettling book, so maybe I’ll have to re-check Slade House out of the library. ;o

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No problem as I’m reading books like that more and more now, plus my mom is constantly nagging me about Murakami since he is her favorite writer haha πŸ˜€

          Hmm that sounds really interesting, I’ll give it a go then and order House of Leaves when I get the chance! πŸ™‚

          Hope you like Slade House then! Mitchell is truly a brilliant writer, plus the novel is short, I read it in one sitting πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Your mom has great taste!!!

          Give it a go and let me know what you think, for sure (:

          And i will let you know what i think of Slade House. Ill nab it at the library soon!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. So many wonderful (and really different!) picks on this list! Master and Margarita is one of my hands down all time favorite books. To Kill a Mockingbird is up there too. As an American, I can definitely confirm that Diary of a Young Girl is extremely well known in the US, at least. I think it’s required reading in many schools curriculums, even. I read Let the Right One In years ago and remember that I really liked it, but I can remember next to nothing else about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! πŸ™‚ Mine too, although I last read it way back in high school, so I want to buy that gorgeous anniversary edition from the image, since our editions are really ugly. We had some really good required reads in high school but much more British than American literature :/ I love British classics but obviously I’ve missed some good American ones πŸ™‚ That’s great to hear, for Anne Frank, such a sad story. Let the right one in is really good but I’ve recently read it so I remember it well πŸ™‚

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