Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books set outside the USA

OK, so I went a little overboard on this one. I'm looking forward to what others post for this meme, since I'm always looking for international reads. If you want to see what other bloggers posted, check out this link.

The first three on my list came to mind easily, I had to look up the rest on my Library Thing account to jog my memory. Except for as noted, the author is from the country the book is set in.


Golden Scales by Parker Bilal
Genre: mystery (first in a series)
Setting: Egypt; author is of British & Sudanese descent

Genre: historical fiction
Setting: East Pakistan/Bangladesh during & after war for independence

The hired man by Aminatta Forna 
Genre: historical fiction
Setting: Eastern Europe; author is Scottish & Sierra Leone ish?

Dust by Yvonne A. Owuor
Genre: historical fiction
Setting: Kenya

The garden of evening mists by Tan Twan  Eng
Genre: historical fiction
Setting: Malaysia

Anything by Amitav Ghosh, an  Indian writer,
especially Hungry Tide, Sea of Poppies & River of Smoke
Genre: historical fiction 
Setting: India, China

A Persian Requiem by Simin Daneshvar, translated by Roxane Zand
Genre: historical fiction
Setting: Iran

God's of tango (Argentina) &
The invisible mountain (Uruguay)
by Carolina de Robertis
Genre: historical fiction 
Author is of Uruguayan descent.

The three body problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (first in a trilogy)
Genre: science fiction
(set during the cultural revolution, this novel won the Hugo for best novel in 2015.)
Setting: China

Non fiction

Genre: narrative nonfiction
Setting: India; follows several families in a slum near the Mumbai airport.

The author is an investigative reporter who writes on poverty in the US. 
Born & raised in the US, Boo is a Pulitzer winner & this book reads easily.

Story of the Qu'ran: it's place in Muslim life by Ingrid Mattson
Genre: non fiction
I found this a fascinating description of the history of the Qu'ran & it's interpretation from an academic believer's perspective. I include it since the Qu'ran originated in what we now know as Saudi Arabia, and the academic study of this scripture was pioneered and continues to be taught more outside the US than in.

If the oceans were ink: an unlikely friendship and a journey to the heart of the Koran by Caria Power
Genre: memoir
Setting: England & India
The author is a US citizen; her parents were Quaker & Jewish. She met Sheikhh Mohammad Akram Nadwi, an Indian imam living in England while they were both at Oxford University. This book chronicles her study of the Koran over one year with Nadwi, as well as her description of his training & activities as an imam.

The butterfly mosque by Willow Wilson
Genre: memoir
Setting: Egypt
The author is a US citizen. The book describes meeting her husband and converting to Islam while living in Egypt.


  1. Seriously great list! I want to just like transfer all of these titles into one big book order and read them all! Story of the Qu'ran, A Persian Requiem, and A Golden Age sound particularly intriguing!
    I read Amitav Ghosh's The Hungry Tide a few years back and was quite captivated by his writing style; it felt subtle, but powerful. I should definitely check out some of his other books.

    1. I like Ghosh's writing a lot. He's trained as an anthropolgist, and I think that helps add some depth and texture to his writing. Or maybe he's just a good writer period!

  2. What a wonderfully broad and eclectic list! I may look into a few of these.

    (Just a note: I think The Three-Body Problem won the 2015 Hugo, not the 1915!)

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  4. Seriously awesome list! I've only read A Golden Age. I love how you include multiple books for several of these authors. I haven't been great about reading international books lately, so this is a great jumping off point.

  5. A fellow LibraryThinger! Excellent list - I nearly included Amitav Ghosh; I loved The Hungry Tide, although I've not got round to more recent books (clearly I should remedy this).

    1. There are always more books than there is time . . . Happy reading!

  6. Sadly, I haven't read anything on your list. But yours is one of the few I've seen that include nonfiction, pretty cool. :)

    1. I read more fiction than non fiction, but I usually have at least one non fiction book going.