Posted in Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Take Place In Another Country

March 27

I discovered this fun blog via Death By Tsundoku Top Ten Tuesday is a meme originated by The Broke and the Bookish now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is:

This week the theme is: Books That Take Place In Another Country

Please note I am having a ridiculously busy year and am now running really late on this meme but as I love it I want to catch up so you are all about to be spammed with multiple posts as I finish my back log 😉

As I live in New Zealand nearly all of them are set in another country so yay this one should be easy 🙂

1:  We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

I’m starting with the last book I finished, which I also loved.  Set in Vermont, the Blackwood family can only be describe as crackers.  After the mass murder by poisoning of the majority of the family, followed by the subsequent trial, Merricat (Mary Katherine), Constance and Uncle Julian become pretty much become recluses and rarely venture out although Merricat does the weekly trip into the village for necessities.  The thoughts that go through Merricat’s mind while on these trips pretty much tweeks your spidey senses from the first chapter.  Everything changes one day when cousin Charles makes a sudden unexpected visit . . .

2:  We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver      

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Well that was a disturbing yet amazing read (then watch).  Set in New York State its a story about a child who is, well, difficult.  He is not the average happy go lucky toddler by any means.  The story is told from the perspective of his mother and yea, she definitely makes some mistakes. What would you do if your child came out the womb unhappy, violent and perhaps born with a psychotic personality disorder?

3:  One for the Money by Janet Evanovich                     

If you are after a good girly crime read with loads of laughs, and a little romance, then I highly recommend diving into the Stephanie Plum series.  Set in New Jersey Stephanie finds herself becoming the worst bounty hunter in the world.  Every book has a new old car as she tends to blow them up as well as new crooks to catch.  From falling off a fire escape and landing in dog diarrhoea to befriending the worlds best plus sized former (eventually) prostitute you will find yourself laughing out loud A LOT 🙂

4:  Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt                                         

Angela's Ashes (Frank McCourt, #1)

I read this because it was recommended and fully expected to hate on it but, turns out, I loved it.  Set at first in Brooklyn, then later on in Limerick, its a true tale of one mans childhood journey through poverty and his dads alcoholism.  At times the story will make you cry and at others make you laugh.  Truly a beautiful story that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

5: Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Live with a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper                          

Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat

I love a good cat tale, and this was a good one 🙂 A true story about a New York City rescue kitty that’s blind as well.  A feel good book to make you smile and remember that not all humans are assholes 🙂

6:  Four Fires by Bryce Courtenay                                         

Four Fires

The Australian version of Angela’s Ashes except its not a true story.  Really really well written and really hard to put down. Set in small town Australia it follows the lives and hardships of the Maloney’s.  If you liked ‘Angela’ then rush out and get this one.

7:  The Help by Kathryn Stockett                                              

The Help

Growing up in New Zealand shields you from a lot of racism and bigotry.  Don’t get me wrong, it still exists here just like everywhere else in the world but we just don’t see it like they do in other places.  Therefore books like this one, set somewhere in Mississippi are always a bit of an eye opener to me because quite frankly, apart from overhearing the occasional nasty comment I have never been a part of a society where segregation or bigotry is even a thing.  We treat people with ginger hair worse than we treat people of different skin tones (Hug a ginger day is a real thing here that would cause both my brother and sister to refuse to leave the house for the day due to random hug bombs from strangers).  I have to say I love the women in this book although I am never eating chocolate pie again 🙂

8:  Angels and Demons by Dan Brown                             

Angels and Demons (Robert Langdon, #1)

I loved this book and could hardly put it down.  Set in most of Europe at some stage or another it was a fast paced mystery thriller that kept my attention from start to finish AND it had puzzles 😀 I am very pleased that I read it first because I really struggled with DaVinci Code as there was too much math in that one for me.  I loved this one so much that I made my non-reader husband read it (he loved it by the way), then passed it on to one of my besties who then passed it on to her husband who then passed it on to someone else and so on and so on 🙂 I love it when a book just keeps moving 😀

9:  One Rainy Night by Richard Laymon                              

One Rainy Night

This was the first Richard Laymon book I ever read.  Sadly I discovered him after he had passed but I have read everything since 🙂 Set in middle class America in a town called Bixby, one night someone is tied to the football goalposts and set fire to.  Not long after it starts to rain a strange black substance.  Anyone who is caught out in it is instantly turned into a homicidal manic and goes on a killing spree with a smile on their face.  Laymon was the master of sex, violence and bouncing boobs with a knack for crossing the line so nothing was sacred.  If you don’t like horror then this is definitely not for you 🙂

10:  Riders by Jilly Cooper                                                            

Riders (Rutshire Chronicles, #1)

Ahhhh my love of bawdy British novels began with this book 🙂 I was in my late teens when I read this and I spent the entire novel with either my eyes popping out of my head or laughing my ass off.  Jilly Cooper is the supreme queen of this genre and even though the books are starting to get a little tired I will still be reading the next one as soon as it hits the shelves.

So that’s my top for this catch up.  All cover shots are courtesy of Goodreads.

Ka Kete Ano xxx




Cross Stitcher, knitter, home cook, HVAC specialist, avid reader and mum. I work full time and I'm not very good at sitting still so I love to try all sorts of crafting things from scrap-booking to ceramic work, but mostly I stitch. Heaven & Earth designs would be my favourite but I'm open to anything a little quirky that needs stitching.

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