Ten Books Set Outside the United States

books outside usa

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt was an easy one for me… well, except for having to narrow down the choices to only ten books! Here are ten of my favorite novels set outside the United States. These books give readers a strong sense of their country’s setting, culture, politics and history, and/or societal norms. [Clicking a title will take you to my review of the book.]

Italy: Swimming to Elba by Silvia Avallone

Portugal: Eléctrico W by Hervé Le Tellier

England: The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths

Soviet Russia: Laika by Nick Abadzis

Japan: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

South Korea: The Vegetarian by Han Kang

North Korea & Brazil: Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon

Brazil: Perfect Days by Raphael Montes

Haiti: God Loves Haiti by Dimitry Elias Léger

Mexico: Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel


I’m looking forward to seeing what’s on everyone else’s lists! If you’re not participating in this prompt, leave me a comment with one or two of your favorite books set outside the United States.

  • Several that I can add to my list! Our only overlap is Like Water for Chocolate. I have 1Q84 on the shelf but I’m a bit intimidated by the length.

  • 1Q84 made my list too! And I still really want to read The Vegetarian…it’s been on my TBR for months now.