Hi all ! I’ve decided to write this post today because I wanted to share a piece of a challenge I’ve been working on this year. That challenge is to read books from around the world, trying to read from a wide range of countries outside of the traditional settings – The United States and England. I’ve decided today to share ten books from ten different countries that I really enjoyed and would recommend.
If you enjoy this post, let me know! I’d love to do follow-up posts as I read from more countries.
Australia – Taboo by Kim Scott
I decided to start with my own country, and once again push a book I love. I wrote a full review of Taboo last year on this blog. This book follows Aboriginal Australian’s living in the South-West of Western Australia. It discusses reconciliation, the impacts of settler-colonialism and has gothic elements which I LOVE. I wish more people both within and outside of Australia would read this book.
Canada – Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
One of my favourite books of all time, this is set in the Great Lakes region but large parts are on the Canadian side and the author is Canadian so I decided it counted. This is set in the future after a flu-like pandemic wipes out most of civilization and one of the groups left we follow is a Shakespeare troupe performing for towns where people are still living. I wrote a full review of this book when I read it.
France – The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
This is historical fantasy, not contemporary or straight historical fiction like my other picks. But I decided to include it anyway because I love it. This is such a fun, well written YA historical fantasy and has such a great cast. The second book is coming out later in the year and I CANNOT wait . I’ve actually read a few books set in France that are more strictly historical, or classics, but honestly this one just hit me with Paris vibes so strongly I love it.
Iran – Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
I read this book last year and I still think about it ALL the time. I cannot wait for the sequel. This is about Darius, whose family travel back to Iran, and his struggle as trying to understand his identity as an Iranian-American who feels he fits into neither culture. It also has themes around queerness, and family, and is just such a great YA contemporary that really hits so many of the points that I think make YA contemporary great.
The Republic of Ireland – Normal People by Sally Rooney
Yes, once again I am here to talk about Normal People. I LOVE this book so much, even more so for the fact it’s set largely in Dublin which is a city I ADORE. You can see how much Sally Rooney loves Ireland and Dublin in this novel. Normal People is such a wonderful exploration of the relationships between people and love in so many forms and I am so glad I read it this year.
Mexico – Amulet by Roberto Bolaño
I read this book a few years back but I still think about it all the time because I loved it so much. Told in memories while the main character hides from the army in a university toilet stall, this is about art, poetry and love and the connections between people. This book has stuck with me through all these years and I would love to reread it soon.
Nigeria – Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I read this earlier in the year and was so swept up into this story. This is set during the Biafran war, following characters who are part of both Biafra (at the time) and Nigeria. The way Adichie was able to weave politics and history into such a human story was impressive, and I felt really attached to the characters in this story and their lives. The ending of it BROKE ME, but it’s such a great book and really cemented to me why Adichie is so well praised and loved.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
I read this book this year, I think it’s the only book I’ve read set in Saudi Arabia and I really, really liked it. This is set in Jeddah, specifically, and discusses feminism and the expectations upon women in Saudi Arabia. It also discusses religion and culture in Saudi Arabia and how these interact. This is dark YA that really hits, but those are my favourite YA contemporaries and so I really liked this.
Scotland – Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins
I read this last year and I had so much fun with it because it’s so cute. It’s about a girl who goes to a Scottish boarding school and ends up rooming with a princess. It’s an enemies to lovers f/f romance that is super fluffy and sweet. It’s set in the highlands and I loved the atmosphere and descriptions of the area. This is a really quick read but I loved it so much.
Taiwan – WANT by Cindy Pon
Another book I reviewed a few years back and still adore. This is set in a future Taipei and follows a group of teen rebels who try to infiltrate a wealthy corporation that they learn is exacerbating a pollution problem in order to profit off the masks needed to survive inhaling the toxic air. I loved the politics of this book, especially the themes around environmentalism. I also loved the ragtag group and heist elements
That is my post for today, and ten books from ten countries I really recommend. I love reading books from around the world, and it’s something I wish more people would do, because there is so much out there. Again, if you’d like another post like this, let me know! I’ve got so many more countries and books to cover.
until next time!