Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set Outside of the US

ten-books-set-outside-of-the-us

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the team over at The Broke and the Bookish. The theme for this week is books that are set outside of the US. The advantage of living outside of the US is that I have a lot of Aussie YA books (set in Australia) that I can use for this list. But I chose to go with a variety of different locations and settings for my TTT today. Be warned: I have a lot of WWII historical fiction novels on this list…

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Hehehe I’m so predictable. Of course, my favourite book of all time makes it on to this list. This WWII historical fiction masterpiece is set in France and Germany, as well as parts of Russia. READ IT!

2. Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Just One Year is the companion sequel to Just One Day. The reason why I’ve chosen to go with Just One Year is because it’s set completely outside of the US, whereas Just One Day was set partially in the US. In Just One Year, our protagonist, Willem, travels around Europe, India and Mexico and overall, it’s just a great time.

3. The Lake House by Kate Morton

This novel is set in Cornwall and was one of my favourite releases of 2015. It’s a historical fiction novel that’s set in the 1930s and has a great atmosphere and setting! The writing is absolutely beautiful too.

4. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Another WWII historical fiction novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North is set in Australia as well as Japanese POW camps in South East Asia. It was the Man Booker Prize winner of 2014.

5. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Wolf by Wolf is an alternate history WWII novel that’s set across multiple continents. The story begins in Germany (I believe?) and features a cross-continental motocross race. We follow the characters across the Middle East, through South East Asia and into Japan. It’s fast-paced and exciting and I can’t wait for the sequel!

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This novel isn’t my favourite of Stephanie Perkins companion series (I love Isla and the Happily Ever After the most) but I’m pretty sure that this one is set entirely outside of the US? I think it’s set entirely in France and I really enjoyed it when I read it.

7. Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali

And yet another WWII historical fiction novel, Max follows the story of a baby who was born as part of the Lebensborn program. We follow his journey from before birth, up until the end of the war. It’s a super interesting and eye-opening story and I highly recommend it. This one is set in Germany.

8. The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis

The Sidekicks is an Aussie YA novel that’s set in Australia. It’s a really short read but gives you a good kick in the feels. It’s about friendship and grief and is so, so good!

9. Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

This is my last WWII novel, I promise! In this novel, we follow Anna and a mysterious man known as the Swallow Man as they wander around Poland for years during the war. It’s a bit of a confusing book but it’s definitely worth the read.

10. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

And finally, I had to include an urban fantasy novel and I’ve chosen The Infernal Devices. This trilogy is set in the London Institute during the 19th century and I love this series so much!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Historical Fiction Novels

favourite-historical-fiction-novels

Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres and I’m so happy that this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) topic is past or future. I’m not a huge reader of sci-fi, so I thought I’d feature 10 of my favourite historical fiction novels this week. I haven’t included any historical fantasy novels. These are all purely historical fiction, though some do have some magical realism elements. And in case you couldn’t tell, I love WWII historical fiction!!!

1. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This one is a no-brainer. It’s my favourite book of all time so it has to appear on this list. This book is set in France and Germany during WWII.

2. Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali

This book is another WWII historical fiction novel but is one that is written from a very unique perspective. This book follows Max from his time as an unborn foetus inside his pregnant mother, until the war ends when he’s 10. Max is a Hitler youth whose conception and upbringing was heavily monitored in order to produce the perfect little soldier.

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Another one of my favourite WWII historical fiction novels – I’m sure you all know what this one’s about. This was the first required reading that I actually enjoyed and it sparked my love for WWII and historical fiction. This book is set in Germany.

4. The Lake House by Kate Morton

I thought I’d give you a break from the WWII fiction… The Lake House is a mystery novel about a child who disappeared in Cornwall in the 1930s. A detective from the present day hears about this mysterious disappearance and decides to uncover what really happened.

5. Goodnight, Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

This is a children’s book that I read when I was 12 and absolutely loved. I don’t remember too much of what happened but I was deeply affected by it and I remember begging my parents to buy me a copy of it. It still has a proud place on my shelves and I hope to reread it sometime this year. This book is set in Britain during WWII and is about a boy called Willie who is evacuated from London to the country. He is cared for by an elderly man, Mister Tom, and the bond between them grows.

6. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

This novel is set in Amsterdam in the 17th century. The descriptions in this book are so vivid and I really felt like I was there in 17th century Amsterdam. I’ve only read a handful of books set in the Netherlands and this one was truly unique.

7. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Another WWII historical fiction novel… The Narrow Road to the Deep North is the 2014 Man Booker Prize Winner. It’s a heartwrenching story about Australian soldiers in Japanese prisoner of war camps.

8. A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman

This novel is set in Cornwall during WWI and is about a friendship between a 90 year old woman and a young soldier who floats ashore near her home. This was beautifully written and made me realise that I love WWI fiction almost as much as I love WWII.

9. Madame Tussaud’s Apprentice by Kathleen Benner Duble

As you can probably tell from the title, this book is set in France during the French Revolution. While there were some aspects of the book that kept me from giving it more than 3.5 stars, I thoroughly enjoyed the setting of the novel and it was a time period that I’ve read very little about.

10. Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki

I couldn’t talk about historical fiction without mentioning my favourite manga, Rurouni Kenshin. This one is set in the Meiji era in Japan, which is a time period and setting that I love to read about. It’s definitely my favourite period of Japanese history, with Taisho as a close second. I love all mangas, animes, novels that are set during Meiji and Taisho.


Let me know what some of your historical fiction novels are. I’m always on the look out for more WWII fiction and other historical fiction in general! And if non-fantasy historical fiction isn’t your thing, let me know what historical fantasy novels you love! My favourite is probably The Infernal Devices ❤

 

My Life In Books Tag

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Hey all! I feel like I haven’t done a tag for a while so today I’ll be doing the My Life In Books Tag, which I thought was really interesting. I was tagged by Cristina @ My Tiny Obsessions. Go check out her post and her blog if you haven’t already!


1. FIND A BOOK FOR EACH OF YOUR INITIALS

justoneday landline zeroesJ: Just One Day
L: Landline
Z: Zeroes

I loved both Just One Day and Landline and hopefully I’ll love Zeroes just as much the others!


2. COUNT YOUR AGE ALONG YOUR BOOKSHELF – WHICH BOOK IS IT?

the-dream-thievesI have multiple shelves so I chose my hardcover YA shelf since it’s my favourite 🙂

The Dream Thieves is the second book in The Raven Cycle, which I have yet to read. But I own the three books that are currently out so I will be marathoning them in November, don’t you worry! I’ve heard amazing, amazing things about it, so I can’t wait to finally read them! And I’m weirdly excited for the last book to be released, even though I haven’t started the series yet…


3. PICK A BOOK SET IN YOUR CITY/STATE/COUNTRY.

theflywheel narrowroadThe Flywheel by Erin Gough is set in Sydney, which is where I was born and bred. I absolutely love this book!

My second pick is The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, which won the Man Booker Prize last year. It’s set partly in Australia and partly in Japanese Prisoner of War camps.


4. PICK A BOOK THAT REPRESENTS A DESTINATION YOU WOULD LOVE TO TRAVEL TO.

isla I could have chosen any of Stephanie Perkins’ books but I chose Isla and the Happily Ever After for this because this novel features so many different cities!

A lot of the book is set in Paris where Isla and Josh go to school but they’re also New Yorkers so parts of the book are set in New York City as well. I’ve been to New York before but I would totally love to go again! In the novel, Isla and Josh also take a trip to Barcelona (I think?) and that would be really awesome as well.


5. PICK A BOOK THAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR.

allthelight paperweightI don’t really have a favourite colour… but I love blues and greens. I particularly love forest green, mint, teal, aquamarine, navy (okay so any shade of blue or green).

I chose All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr because it’s got so many shades of blue. And I also really love the colour of Paperweight by Meg Haston!


6. WHICH BOOK DO YOU HAVE THE FONDEST MEMORIES OF?

harry-potter-and-the-prisoner-of-azkaban I had so many options for this question. My childhood was spent reading books by Enid Blyton – I loved the Adventures of the Wishing Chair and The Enchanted Forest. I also remember my Year 2 teacher reading Blinky Bill, and Snugglepot and Cuddlepie to us (I now own hardcover illustrated versions of those books).

But ultimately I have to go with a Harry Potter book because that series was my childhood. I chose my favourite, which is The Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s also my favourite of the movies!


7. WHICH BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE MOST DIFFICULTY READING?

ulysses This has to go to Ulysses by James Joyce. I read this back in June in celebration of Bloomsday (which is the day that Ulysses is set in – yes this massive book takes place within 24 hours).

This beast of a book took me 2 whole weeks to get through and I wanted to quit so many times during my reading of it. The writing was super hard to understand and my edition had almost 700 pages, even with the tiny text that it was printed in. The stream of consciousness sections just made me go “WTF?!” so many times!


8. WHICH BOOK IN YOUR TBR PILE WILL GIVE YOU THE BIGGEST SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT WHEN YOU FINISH IT?

the-complete-works-of-oscar-wilde I am a huge fan of Oscar Wilde. My favourite classic of all time is The Picture of Dorian Gray (though To Kill A Mockingbird is a very close second).

I’ve loved everything of his that I’ve ever read, especially his short stories for children. I ended up buying this Complete Works of Oscar Wilde in my last year of high school because I wanted to read some of his lesser known works. It’ll probably take me forever to get through but I’ll feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I do!


That is all for today! Can anyone guess my middle name? 😀

I’m going to tag a couple of people:

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books To Read If You Like…

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the team over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is a ‘if you like this, read this’ list. Instead of choosing one book/author and giving ten recommendations based on that one book/author, I decided to do ten separate ones instead.


1. IF YOU LIKE SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA…

simon-vs-the-homo-sapiens-agendaYou might like The Flywheel by Erin Gough.

The Flywheel is an Australian YA novel that has very similar themes to Simon vs by Becky Albertalli. These both contain LGBTQ+ characters and love interests who are hesitant about coming out to their family and friends. The Flywheel is about a lesbian relationship and is set in Sydney, Australia! They’re both light and fun reads!


2. IF YOU LIKE TWILIGHT…

twilightYou might like The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is, in my opinion, a far superior book to Twilight. Don’t get me wrong, my teenage self loved Twilight, but I just think that The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a much better vampire story. It’s also a standalone so you don’t need to push through 4 long books. And there’s also no love triangle!


3. IF YOU LIKE THE FAULT IN OUR STARS…

the-fault-in-our-starsYou might like Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider.

The Fault In Our Stars is about two teenagers battling cancer and Extraordinary Means centres on two teenagers who are battling a new strand of tuberculosis. Both novels have really cute romances and are filled with fun and adventure. Also, both of these books made me cry like a baby… for hours and hours.


4. IF YOU LIKE HARRY POTTER…

harry-potter-and-the-philosophers-stoneYou might like The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare.

Harry Potter is a really well-loved series and I don’t think anything can compare to it. But The Iron Trial is a middle-grade series that features a magic school, magic system, and a trio of friends who remind me of Harry, Ron and Hermione. It’s fun and it’s fast-paced and if you try not to compare it to Harry Potter, it’s actually really good!


5. IF YOU LIKE FANGIRL…

fangirlYou might like My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

I think I like My Life Next Door more than I like Fangirl (sorry!). Both books have adorable romances and explore family dynamics. These books both kept me up all night reading, and they left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. The male love interests in these books are some of my favourite contemporary guys ❤


6. IF YOU LIKE ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS…

anna-and-the-french-kissYou might like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith.

These are both really light and fluffy contemporary romances. They’re both set in European countries and feature an American female protagonist and a cute male love interest with a British accent. I love both Etienne and Oliver so, so much!


7. IF YOU LIKE TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE…

to-all-the-boys-ive-loved-beforeYou might like The Distance Between Us by Kasie West.

Again, these are both cute and fluffy contemporary romances. Both of these novels are page-turners and feature some really cute guys ❤ If you were frustrated by the love triangle in To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, you’ll be pleased to hear that The Distance Between Us does not have multiple love interests!


8. IF YOU LIKE CINDER…

cinderYou might like Wonderland by Robert McKay.

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourite series and what I love most about it is that each book is a sci-fi fairytale retelling. Wonderland is a sci-fi Alice in Wonderland retelling and I was surprised by how interesting the characters were, and how exciting and different the plot was to the original Lewis Carroll story.


9. IF YOU LIKE THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER…

the-perks-of-being-a-wallflowerYou might like The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is written in epistolary form, and I almost felt like Charlie was directly telling me his story. I had the same feeling when I read The Shock of the Fall. Both books are so honest and moving. They also both tackle some mental health issues if you’re into that sort of thing.


10. IF YOU LIKE ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE…

all-the-light-we-cannot-seeYou might like The Narrow Road To The Deep North by Richard Flanagan.

I had to include All The Light We Cannot See in this post! Both of these books are prize winners. The Narrow Road To The Deep North won the 2014 Man Booker Prize 2014. Both are WWII historical fiction novels, one set in France and Germany and the other in Japanese Prisoner of War camps.


Do you guys have any recommendations based on the 10 books that I’ve featured today? I’m always looking for new books to read (even though my TBR pile is massive) so let me know your thoughts and opinions!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters I Just Didn’t Click With

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is characters that I did not click with. I don’t really have many main characters that I don’t click with, but I’m the type of reader that finds it hard to connect to a story if I don’t like the characters. So a lot of the titles mentioned below are ones that I gave relatively low ratings to (though there are some that had such impactful stories that I fell in love with them anyway).

These are in no particular order:

America Singer (The Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass):
I don’t think I need to elaborate on this choice. America is just the most frustrating main character, who seems to just have everything work out in her favour even though she’s not really anything special.

Dorrigo Evans (The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan):
The Narrow Road to the Deep North was the Man Booker Prize winner of 2014, and this is a book that I actually did enjoy despite not really connecting with the main character. I gave this 4/5 stars. I thought the side characters were all so strong in this book and I preferred to read about them over Dorrigo.

Molly Barlow (99 Days by Katie Cotugno):
There was little to no character development in this book and I just didn’t like Molly at all. She never learnt from the mistakes she had made in the past and I didn’t feel sorry for her at all. I found her to be frustrating, annoying and just dislikeable.

Margo Roth Spiegelman (Paper Towns by John Green):
Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Enough said.

Greg Gaines (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews):
This was a book that I could not connect to at all (I gave it a 1 star rating) and I think it’s mostly due to the fact that I couldn’t connect with Greg’s character. I didn’t find his voice to be that funny – in fact, in my Goodreads review I wrote “I found Greg to be a little bit boring, wimpy and emotionless“.

Taylor Gray (Risk by Fleur Ferris):
I didn’t click with Taylor at all, probably because she’s a 15 year old narrator with a very juvenile voice. This is definitely a book aimed at a younger audience, and as a 20-something year old it just didn’t click with me.

Cadence Sinclair Eastman (We Were Liars by E. Lockhart):
An unreliable narrator, with kind of an annoying and slightly juvenile voice. While I liked the concept of the book, I didn’t enjoy the characters at all.

Aaron Soto (More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera):
I gave this book a high 4.5 – 5 star rating because it gave me all the feels. But I didn’t really click with Aaron, the MC. He was a little bit boring and I couldn’t really relate to him at all in the first 100 pages of the book. I started to like him a little bit more after the first 100 pages, but he left a bad first impression.

Lief (The Sin-Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury):
Lief is one of the love interests in this new trilogy (series?)…and let’s just say, he’s not a part of the pairing that I like in this trilogy. First, his name is part of a plant; his name is foliage… But that aside, his character is very mysterious. He was very eager and persistent from the first time we meet him and I found myself thinking “what’s with this guy?” so many times throughout the book.

Charlie (Even When You Lie To Me by Jessica Alcott):
I could not stand Charlie, the MC, in this book at all. She was very broody, immature and self-deprecating. I thought she was a very pathetic character and there wasn’t any character development at all. I didn’t understand the point of the book and I gave it 1 star.