Ten Books Set Outside the US

A lot of the books I read set outside the US tend to be set in somewhere in the British Isles or a fantasy land. That made this week’s theme a tad bit difficult as I didn’t want to repeat locations. However, I managed to pick ten books that take place in ten different countries (or the rough equivalent.) I did this quickly and they aren’t necessarily favorites, but still books I enjoyed that brought me to different corners of the world.

  1. Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston
  2. And I Darken by Kiersten White
    Ottoman Empire
  3. When the Crow Sings by Jacqueline Wales
  4. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  5. My Brilliant Friend By Elena Ferrante
  6. Dublin Murder Squad series by Tana French
  7. I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister by Amélie Sarn
  8. Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup
  9. Saturday by Ian McEwan
  10. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

Looking forward to reading others’ lists for this week so I can challenge myself to read more books set around the world.

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books On My Spring TBR

Getting to sit outside and read is one of my favorite things about the warmer weather. I take my lunch breaks to read by the fountains at City Hall. So I’ve already been building a mental list of all the books I’d love to read out in the springtime weather. To narrow this down a little, I went with books that will be released between March 20-June 19 (so took Spring literally.)


The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
The first book in this duology, The Wrath & the Dawn, surprised me by how much I adored it. And the ending!!!!! I’m making grabby hands just looking at a photo of book two. Ahdieh’s writing is scrumptious and I’m dying to read more.


Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
A modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice? Yes, please, and thank you.




The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
This is inspired by Indian mythology and sounds amazing. Plus everyone I know who has read it has loved it. Hoping I love it as well!



Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
I can’t help but be intrigued by anything inspired by a classic I love. This book is inspired by Jane Eyre, and involves a murder.



If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
This is a book about a trans woman written by a trans woman, so points for that. I am already hearing great things about how well it captures being a teen in general and feeling out of place so definitely looking forward to it.



Double Down by Gwenda Bond
I thought the first Lois Lane book was fantastic. Teenage Lois being the hero is as wonderful as it sounds. Ready for the adventures of part two.



Tone Deaf by Olivia Rivers
Basic premise: A musician who loses her hearing because of a brain tumor winds up on tour with a band and rediscovers her love of music. Sold.



Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
I was definitely drawn to this by the cover and the description sounds amazing. Three character voices and one of them is lying. About what? I don’t know! Easy to grab me with a mystery. Especially when the mystery is a mystery.



Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick
I’ve only read two of Quick’s books (and own an additional two.) I unexpectedly loved one and the other… not so much. But I saw him talk somewhat recently and a lot of what he shared got me interested in reading this new YA book of his.



Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
I loved Lee’s debut and have high hopes for another historical fiction novel from her. This one is set in 1906 San Francisco after an earthquake and as Lee’s character development is fantastic, I can’t wait to meet Mercy Wong.


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

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Songs (Or Albums) I Wish Were Books

This Top Ten Tuesday combines both topics this blog centers on. There are a zillion songs and albums I’d love to see in book form so it was a bit of a struggle to pick ten. I tried not to overthink it and put down what jumped out at me as I quickly scrolled through iTunes.

  1. The Tide by The Spill Canvas
    This song is a complete story itself so I won’t spoil it if you haven’t listened before. It’s tragic and would probably make a good weepy book. There are four characters mentioned: a mom and her three children, so the book could have alternating chapters.
  2. Volcano by Gatsbys American Dream
    The main theme of this album is Pompeii and I am obsessed with Pompeii so I will take a fictional story about it. Something modern about archaeologists? Maybe some time travel? There are a lot of lyrics to work with here.
  3. Razia’s Shadow by Forgive Durden
    I’m really pulling from my teen years for this list. This album was written as a musical and is perfectly suited for a novel that delves more into the story. If you read the description it sounds like a basic dystopian-esque love-saves-all story. It’s already part of the way there.
  4. Lighthouse by The Hush Sound
    The Hush Sound’s lyrics are lush and many of their songs tell little stories. I want to know more about this one:

    There is a girl who haunts that lighthouse
    She saved me, I was swimming
    So young I almost drowned
    Under the water she sang a story
    Of losing her lover
    She calls a warning

  5. Wine Red by The Hush Sound
    I had to put The Hush Sound on here twice, but they could probably be the entire list and more. For this song I picture a novel about star crossed lovers with a little mythology mixed in. Perhaps they’re stuck in different time periods. Then there’s the music video that offers another story. Lots of inspiration here!
  6. A Woman, A Woman, A Century Of Sleep by Emmy the Great
    I like sad songs, okay? This one has such beautiful and haunting imagery of a women who takes care of her house and feels as if she’s treated like no more than an object, like she is the house itself. Essentially, the mistreatment many women have faced from their husbands. I can’t do it justice so listen.  But I’m picturing a fantasy set in the 1950s where a woman feels forced into a marriage and cares for this house that turns out to be enchanted. Or something.
  7. How to Be a Heartbreaker by Marina & the Diamonds
    Perfect inspiration for a YA. A teen girl’s instructional on the hearts she has broken, perhaps? Maybe for revenge?
  8. Between the Bars by Elliott Smith
    One of my favorite Elliott Smith songs. Also very sad because I am me. I am going with “bars” to mean both the place you get alcohol and prison. A tragic love story alternating between the past (bars and parties and love) to present (jail)? And you don’t know how one of them ended up behind bars until the end.
  9. Mr. C by Nina Nesbitt
    This song is about a girl not being very impressed by the town’s “it boy.” Instead of a YA story about boy and girl falling for each other, I’d like one where the girl takes down the rich boy at school.
  10. Hayley by Empires
    Guess what this is sad, too. Sorry. These lyrics have a plot of their own that can be expanded on. Fame and death and SADNESS. I’m looking for more books that make people cry.

Can someone start writing some of these? Maybe I need to start writing some of these.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Tuesday: YA and Children’s Lit to Adult Fiction

Top Ten Tuesday was started over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there’s a different theme, but today is a freebie week. Inspired by the latest book in the Mediator series, I’m doing top ten YA and Children books I’d like to see an adult follow up to. For a lot of these, I don’t think an adult fiction follow up would really work, but it’s fun imagining the futures of these young characters I love.

  1. 1-800-Where-R-You series by Meg Cabot
    Since this list was inspired by Meg Cabot, I’m going to start off with another Cabot series. Aside from the Mediator, she has also written more of The Princess Diaries (which I haven’t caught up on yet). Now I’d like to see what Jessica Mastriani is up to. I honestly don’t remember a ton about these books, but I know I devoured them as a bored teen on summer vacation.
  2. From the Files of Madison Finn series by Laura Dower
    I adored this middle grade series when I was a kid. It’s another one my memory is a little foggy on though and I grew out of the books before the series was over. But I loved them so much an adult Madison Finn is something I’d like to read about. Her orange Apple laptop was a feature of the series so I’m imagining adult Madison with a Macbook Pro and iPhone. Is she dominating in the tech industry? Where does she live? Which characters are still in her life? Madison feels like a long lost friend I’d want to reconnect with.
  3. Just One Day series by Gayle Forman
    Allyson and Willem, guys. ALLYSON AND WILLEM. I don’t know how Gayle Forman does it, but I fall in love with her characters falling in love and I always want more!!!
  4. If I Stay series by Gayle Forman
    I know Where She Went was already pretty much what this list is about, BUT again, I want more Forman forever and always. I love her characters so much that they could have the most boring futures and I’d still want to read about what they’re up to.
  5. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
    Aysel is really struggling in this book and the conclusion leaves her in a better place, but I’d love to see where she ends up and how she copes.
  6. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
    This is actually one of my least favorite Dessen books. It’s a heavy one and I think I just wasn’t prepared for it. Dessen also talks a lot about how she doesn’t write sequels to any of her books and I don’t think I’d actually want her to, but poor Caitlin! I worry for her. I want to see her happy. Similar to number 5, I want more happiness for characters who had a rough time in their teens.
  7. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
    This was a stressful read and the future I imagine for Naila would probably be mostly boring to read about. I want calm for her. I want to know about her career and how her family is.
  8. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
    Willowdean is wise as a teen so as an adult I imagine she’d be even wiser. I see her as a great mom or teacher or mentor in general.
  9. Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
    This book ends with … a lot. Maddy is so brilliant and lovable and there’d be so much to explore in a follow up.
  10. The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne
    I grew up reading these books and an adult book would be totally crazy and different. Is there still magic in Jack and Annie’s lives? Do they move on and have “normal” lives?

So a lot of these would be a stretch and likely not translate well into adult fiction, but who doesn’t like imagining where characters end up? Anyone have books they’d like to see get the adult fiction treatment?