books by country

I enjoy reading books set in locales all around the world. I love reading about other cultures and getting a feeling for the landscape and/or architecture. If you're interested in reading a book set in a particular country or city, here's my effort to corral all those books I've read and place them in the appropriate place in the world. When a book is particularly evocative of its location, I'll be sure to point that out. The simplest way to organize the list seems to be alphabetical by continent, then by country.  I've read all these books and ones reviewed on the blog will be bold and in blue.

Let's travel the world, one book at a time.

   africa

(54 countries)

morocco

who is maud dixon

Who Is Maud Dixon? by Alexandra Andrews, 324 pages

Starting in NYC, the book has a slow burn start. But stick with it because the twisty action in Morocco is totally worth it.    My rating: 4

NIGERIA

nigeria

nepal

paths of glory

Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer, 418 pages

Based on true, the story of George Mallory who, after several tries, was the first man to reach the top of Mt Everest; or was he? After the fact I discovered that apparently there was much liberty taken with some facts of the climb, but if you read it as the fiction it is, it's gripping. It can be found on the blog's 12 Adventure List post.

My rating: 4

      asia

(48 countries)

china

india

storytellers secret

The Storyteller's Secret by Sejal Badani, 412 pages

A woman travels to India to learn about her mother's past and her family history. Told in 2 timelines, I particularly enjoyed the past. Very evocative of India and their culture.      My rating: 4

trail of broken wings

Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani, 377 pages

Three sisters return to India when their father is ill to discover buried secrets, abuse, cruelty and aggression. A dark story on the way to the truth.     My rating: 3.5

japan

saudi arabia

girls of riyadh

Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea (translated), 286 pages

A story of love and 4 young women trying to find their way in restrictive Arabic culture. A standard love story with not enough Arabic culture included.   My rating: 3

thailand

1288770.jpg

Meeting Faith: The Forest Journals of a Black Buddhist Nun by Faith Adiele, 288 pages

Memoir of a black woman trying to 'find herself' and on a trip to Thailand is given the opportunity to become a nun; journal entries about her personal journey and what she learns along the way.    My rating: 4

 australia

(14 countries)

   europe

(44 countries)

austria

stolen beauty

Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese, 320 pages

Well researched story about artist Klimt and his Jewish lover. Told in two timelines with two strong female characters.   My rating: 4

England

case histories

Case Histories #1 Brodie by Margaret Atkinson, 434 pages

 A quiet PI (Brodie) pulls together 3 disparate murders and finds the connection.  My rating: 4

case histories

Case Histories #1 Brodie by Margaret Atkinson, 434 pages

 A quiet PI (Brodie) pulls together 3 disparate murders and finds the connection.  My rating: 4

london

reading list

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams, 384 pages

A teen working at a library in the summer finds a list tucked into a book she's shelving. She begins to read and make connections with library patrons. A story of the power of books, about found family, loss and connections.   My rating: 5

france

paris

germany

ireland

russia

bear & nightingale

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, 319 pages

A debut novel, this is a retelling of the Russian folktale Baba Yaga (filled with lots of Russian names but not particularly evocative of place). A young girl's nurse tells stories of spirits that come to life when the girl is a young woman and she has to save her village.    My rating: 4

scotland

sweden

a man called ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, 337 pages

As with most Backman books, there's a quirky character, Ove, a cantankerous old man who wants to commit suicide but his interfering neighbors keep interrupting and needing his attention and then he gets drawn into their lives.    My rating: 3.5

bear town

Bear Town #1 by Fredrik Backman, 337 pages

This book breaks the quirky mold and instead is about societal issues using a small town hockey team as the pivot point to illustrate many issues. I love the almost abrupt writing style which seemed to fit the serious nature of the story.    My rating: 5

  north america 

       (23 countries)

(separate page for USA)

canada

city of the lost

City of the Lost #1 by Kelley Armstrong, 471 pages

Set in remote Yukon of Canada, Rockton is a small town that is off-the-grid for people who need to escape their lives. The small sheriff department gains a new female detective when she and her sister have to escape drug dealers and "disappear". A strong detective story in an unusual setting.   My rating: 4.5   (if you like the first one, you'll like the series - it's one I binged!)

blind assassin

The Blind Assassin #1 by Margaret Atkinson, 522 pages

A story within a story, a woman's sister dies in 1945, then a sci-fi novel is introduced separately but Atwood brilliantly weaves the stories together.   My rating: 4.5  

boat people

The Boat People by Sharon Bala, 352 pages

Based on true events, a boat filled with Sri Lanka war refugees lands in Vancouver, Canada, looking for a new home. The story covers the perspective of the refugees, the lawyers and judge as emotions run high and people try to figure out what to do.    My rating: 4.5  

dominican republic

how the garcia girls lost accent

How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez, 336 pages

Told in reverse chronology, it's the story of 4 sisters who immigrated from the Dominican Republic to NY in the 60s. While the parents try to hold onto the old customs and traditions, the girls are inexorably drawn to be more Americanized.    My rating: 3

central america

mexico

south america

    (12 countries)

chile

house of spirits

House of Spirits by Isabel Allende, 433 pages

Perhaps her most famous book, a tale of magical realism and richly symbolic family saga spanning three generations.    My rating: 3