Top Ten Books Set Outside the USA

There are so many great books set outside the US that I had a hard time picking a top ten! I mostly tried to avoid European settings as well, because they are also super common. I also limited this to classics, nonfiction, and near-classics. That helped me to narrow the list to the following ten, and even that was difficult to cull to ten!

  1. We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (Russia)
  2. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria)
  3. The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck (China)
  4. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (Cuba)
  5. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton (South Africa)
  6. Germinal by Emile Zola (France)
  7. The Painted Veil by William Somerset Maugham (Britain, China)
  8. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi (Iran)
  9. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Jamaica, Dominica, Britain)
  10. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (Mexico)

Have you read any of these? Did you like them? What are some of your favorites off this list?


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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8 Responses to Top Ten Books Set Outside the USA

  1. imyril says:

    I loved Reading Lolita in Tehran – it was both inspiring and fascinating as a glimpse into the regime. It became one of those books I regularly loaned out and never got back (I’m currently without a copy for precisely this reason!). My TTT.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ardene says:

    Good list! I’m not familiar with all of them, but I have read Things fall apart, Old man and the sea, Cry the beloved country, Wide Saragosso Sea, and Reading Lolita in Tehran. All good books! I really ought to try The Good Earth and Lolita one of these days.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Trish says:

    Cry, The Beloved Country! I didn’t even think about that one when I was making my list. It’s one I’d love to read again. I still have Wide Saragosso Sea to read…and The Good Earth. Our lists only share Like Water for Chocolate. 🙂 Love seeing so many titles for this prompt!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read all but 3, 8, and 10. Loved them all. An excellent reading list.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve never read Germinal but I did enjoy the film adaptation.

    Check out my TTT.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kailana says:

    I still have not read Reading Lolita in Tehran but it is on my TBR and has been for ages!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Michelle says:

    I love that you pulled some classics into your list! Sometimes, we don’t need to read the latest and greatest to get a sense of a culture or geographical region.


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