July 19: Top Ten Books Set Outside The USA
It truly surprised me upon looking at my Goodreads read list just how few books I have read that weren’t set in the USA. It’s even more surprising to me because I am not even based in North America, let alone the States – I guess it’s time to introduce more European and further afield literature into my reading.
1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
One of the things I love most about this series is that the wizarding world is located within the real world, albeit hidden, and takes place in various UK locations including Scotland (Hogwarts), London (Diagon Alley) and Surrey (Little Whinging).
2. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
I also adore this book and series: primarily based in London, it follows detective Strike and his friend/companion/colleague Robin on the trail of a murderer.
3. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
Set in and around London, it follows addict Rachel uncovering the mysterious circumstances surrounding the disappearance of an acquaintance.
4. Point Blanc by Anthony Horowitz
Largely occurring in France, the second novel in the Alex Rider series sees the hero uncover a mysterious plot at a school in the Alps.
5. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Despite a proportion of this novel being set in New York City, the majority takes place in Australia: it’s incredibly witty and charming.
6. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Set in rural England, this is a love story with a twist. I love the characters in this novel, as well as the message conveyed.
7. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
Whilst Robert Langdon’s tale begins in the USA, he finds himself in Europe (Switzerland and Italy) for the majority of the novel. And what a novel it is.
8. I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes
Largely set outside the USA, this monster of a novel follows several threads in many areas of the globe, including the Middle East, Turkey and Switzerland: a true globe-trotting book!
9. Gorsky by Vesna Goldsworthy
London is the new home for this Great Gatsby retelling: it features money, politics and intense relationships in the UK capital, amongst Russian oligarchs.
10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Set in Paris, this YA novel sees Anna adapt to a new life on a new continent, at an international school. It’s romantic and pure young adult contemporary cheese.
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