Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.
I’m assuming this is meant as countries that I am not from, and therefore I won’t be including anything that is set in America for that reason. I’ll be honest, I generally read a lot of fantasy, so it’s kind of interesting to go through my books and realize that they wouldn’t fit solely on account of that! And anyway, here are my top ten this week:
10. Heidi by Johanna Spyri
I haven’t read this in a long, long time. Heidi is set in Switzerland and I was always just a huge fan of the book and one of the movie renditions when I was a child. I admittedly don’t remember a whole lot about it, which I find kind of sad now that I’m actually thinking about this book for the first time in…what’s probably longer than a decade. I dunno, this was just such a wonderful book and it’s very heartwarming. I may have to re-read it sometime soon (after I get through my priority TBR, lol).
9. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
This is one of the few non-fiction books that I’ve occasionally re-read. Set in the Netherlands, this diary has been read by millions as it details the life of a young Jewish girl who was forced into hiding with her family because of the despicable beliefs and actions of Hitler. This is definitely a piece of history no one should ever forget.
8. Dracula by Bram Stoker
This one is set in Romania and it’s a pretty good book. I personally didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. It’s one of those books that sort of just sits in the middle for me. I’m much more in love with the later retellings and renditions made in other books and film and so I think my ultimate appreciation for Dracula comes from its impact on the literary world (insofar as epistolary novels go) and the fantasy that people have been able to build upon as a result of this very unique story Stoker has told us.
7. If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
I actually have a signed copy of this book! I met the author in Massachusetts a while back when I was still living there during the summers. Unfortunately, and devastatingly, the local bookstore where I met this author has since closed and it’s incredibly devastating. This book is set in Iran and tells a very poignant story about a young girl who has loved her best friend almost her whole life and the struggles centered around the rules of the country and one’s sexuality. It is an incredibly deep and moving novel with intensely emotional themes and definitely one worth reading.
6. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
I enjoyed this book, set in Russia, but I never really fell in love with it. I’m not sure what it was about the story that didn’t engage me as much as others, though if I had to guess I think I would pinpoint the pacing. I feel like it simply took too long, at the end of the day. But, even with that minor complaint, this book was amazing in its originality and intrigue. I can’t think of many books that gave me the feeling this one did, and for that, I have to give it a lot of credit. What this book does, it typically does really well.
5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Set in Germany, The Book Thief is one of the most brilliantly executed novels I’ve ever read. It was immeasurably clever, the characters were brilliant and lovable, and you just can never seem to put the book down while you’re reading it. I honestly couldn’t tell you a thing I disliked about this novel no matter how hard I think about it. It’s sad, certainly, but it’s also just fascinatingly wonderful. It’s definitely the sort of book I’d recommend to everyone. And, it’s even more wonderful because it’s a book that my boyfriend (who doesn’t read novels) recommended to me and actually enjoyed.
4. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Ah, the Cemetary of Forgotten Books. When will I ever not love this book? There’s so much to appreciate about The Shadow of the Wind, which is set in Barcelona, Spain. I should warn that this is a dark story at times, but that in no way ever really takes away from how truly wonderful and amazing it is. I’ve been in love with this book for years, entirely by accident as I bought it during one of my Mardens binges and I never really expect to love books I’ve gotten from Mardens. But this one is amazing, and if you haven’t read it yet, you should!
3. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
This book is set in France and it’s one of my all-time favorites. I think, ultimately, my preference for the movie has a lot to do with the length of time it takes to read this novel but also because the romance is better. My honest recommendation for this one is to watch the film first (the one with Richard Harris) and then to pick up the unabridged version of the book. I don’t really abide by abridged versions and ultimately there is so much wonderful storytelling in the unabridged version that it’s really a crime not to read the whole thing. And then, once you’ve finished that, go find yourself a copy of The Black Count because it details how this book was based on Dumas’ father’s life and it’s really quite fascinating.
2. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I’ve made no secret of my love for Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles during my time blogging and so it really shouldn’t be a surprise that this book made it here onto this list. What can I say? I’m obsessed. This series means a lot to me. I don’t think the books are ever once set in America, which is also kind of a plus in my opinion. Cinder is set entirely in what would be China, though in the book it is called the Eastern Commonwealth as it includes many of the countries in that part of the continent. I’ll admit, I’m not entirely sure of the exact list of them all. So, maybe it’s cheating a bit that this book is on here…but it is technically a different country.
1. The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown
I love, love, love this book. And it’s set in the United Kingdom, which I also happen to really love. The Wendy is the best Peter Pan retelling I’ve had the pleasure to read and it’s also April’s Readalong book! It’s very feminist focused and was handled perfectly. I don’t think I could really ever imagine a more amazing book at this point and I will always be so grateful that I managed to find this one.
That’s all for this week! Sorry the post was a bit late.