Ten Books for Readers who Like… The World

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and the Bookish is called Top Ten Books for Readers who Like ___________.

I know that with things like We Need Diverse Books a lot of people are trying to read beyond their own milieu. I think for me, the biggest problem as a youngster was that I was constantly reading narratives about young people in the USA or the UK, and so I was getting a very narrow view of the world and indeed of what I could be.

read the world

These are ten books that are NOT set in the USA or the UK. If you like it, I also have a similar list here.

1. Cinder by Marissa Meyer (YA, Sci-Fi)

Beijing! Or, well, New Beijing. Anycase, close enough.

2. The Body Electric by Beth Revis (YA, Sci-Fi)

Again a bit of a modified version of it, but: MALTA! I’ve actually never read a book set in Malta so this was fun.


3. Because We Are by Ted Oswald (young protagonists but not strictly YA, contemporary)

A pretty harrowing picture of Haiti.

4. The Last Song by Eva Wiseman (YA, Historical, Romance)

Spain during the fifteenth century’s inquisition

5. I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached (Graphic, Historical)

Beirut, Lebanon: before, during and after the war.

I Remember Beirut (c) Abirached
I Remember Beirut (c) Abirached

6. The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah (young protagonists but not strictly YA, Historical)

Mauritius, immediately after WWII.

7. We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (young protagonists but not strictly YA, Historical)

Childhood in Zimbabwe (click image for source)

8. Moxyland by Lauren Beukes (young adult protagonists but not strictly YA, Futuristic)

Techo-futuristic Cape Town, South Africa

9. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (YA, Fantasy)

Current-day Nigeria!

akata witch

10. Babyshoes by Dawn Garisch (YA, Contemporary)

Young adult about poverty, family problems and teen pregnancy set in picturesque Knysna, South Africa (I’m South African, therefore I will be biased and included two books from my own country. OKthanxbye. 😀 )



  1. cringing says:

    wow thanks for these recs! I’ll definitely check them out

  2. Laura S. (Borderline Med) says:

    Love this!

  3. Great list! I’m only familiar with Cinder (which I finally read, lol!) and The Body Electric 🙂

    My TTT

  4. Cait says:

    *adds all the books* I LOVE Cinder but that’s the only one I’ve read off this list! WHICH IS BAD. I wanted to read The Body Electric anyway, but I didn’t realise it was set in Malta. Instawin!! I love books sent in other countries, but mostly all I find is Historical Fiction (I grew up on HF, which was awesome) but I want to read some modern books (or fantasy!) in these countries! LOVE THIS LIST.
    Here’s my TTT!

    1. barefootmegz says:

      Yeah, I find myself not always wanting to read HF all the time anymore either even though I love it. I want to see how people around the world live NOW – even in their fictional worlds 😀

  5. readerbuzz says:

    Yes, we should all be reading more diversely. Thanks for these ideas.

    Here’s my Top Ten: Good Books for Old Broads (Like Me).

  6. ChrissiReads says:

    What an interesting list! 🙂 I loved Cinder, so will look at your other recommendations too!

  7. Nish says:

    I love your recommendations. I keep thinking I am reading diverse, but I haven’t read most of the books from your list. Great suggestions! and thanks for linking up to my review of We Need New Names. It’s an awesome book, and I recommend it highly.

    1. barefootmegz says:

      Oh, I definitely think you read diversely – don’t worry! And I loved your review for WNNN 🙂

  8. bftreviews says:

    Great list! I love Cinder! I never think of it set in China since it’s “New” Beijing. Kind of reminds me of the U.S a little.
    Check out my listhere!

    1. barefootmegz says:

      Oh, it definitely feels like China to me. A little. But a little different too, it being futuristic and all that. But the gritty markets? Very China (the cities, at least).

  9. Interesting list! I’m only familiar with Cinder (really enjoyed it), but I’m interested in reading about other parts of the world so I will definitely check out some of the others on your list.

    I would also suggest the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor – it is a YA fantasy series set in Prague (Czech Republic), Marrakesh (Morocco), and a fictional world.

    1. barefootmegz says:

      I loooooved DoSaB 😀 The only reason I didn’t include it was because I already had it on a previous similar travel-themed TTT. But it’s so vivid and wonderful, definitely one of my favourites 🙂

  10. kaynaychy says:

    Tnx for d list. We Need New Names is awesome. Hope to read Nnedi’s book too

  11. aidylewoh says:

    Oh, books that take place in other countries are pretty cool. I’m an author who gets to do a fair amount of traveling, so I look forward to having my books take place all over the world. 🙂 Aidyl @ Noveltea

    1. barefootmegz says:

      Traveling is the absolute best. I love it! Hopping over to your blog now to see more about your adventures 🙂

  12. Nice list of books for this week’s TTT post!! Here’s a link to my TTT post for this week: http://captivatedreader.blogspot.com/2015/03/top-ten-tuesday-ten-books-for-readers.html

  13. I love Cinder and appreciate seeing a more eclectic ensemble of characters in the Lunar Chronicles as well.

    1. barefootmegz says:

      Yes absolutely! I’ve only read up to and including Scarlet, so I can’t wait to meet the other characters!

  14. Lucy says:

    What an awesome topic idea! I want to read all of these! (OK I’ve read Cinder, but still) Bookmarking this one for future reference 🙂

    1. barefootmegz says:

      I’m glad you liked it! Happy reading!

  15. lil says:

    Hey thanks for this list. I had the same problem growing up, 90% of the books I read were set in the US or UK, which is kinda dangerous as I started to believe that their culture was “superior” somehow because it was one worth writing books about. Do you know more good books out there by South African writers? Particularly for young adults /teens. I also kinda want a post democracy story, without too much reference to the past, because as someone born post democracy, the many stories about South Africa ‘s past, although important and touching, are not exactly topics I relate to that well.

    1. barefootmegz says:

      You could certainly try the Deadlands series by Lily Herne, about zombies in Cape Town. Moxyland and Zoo City by Lauren Beukes are great books, set in Cape Town and JHB respectively, and then there’s Cat Hellisen who writes fantasy and sci-fi, but not specifically set in SA. Those are the ones I can think of off the bat, but you should check out Lauren Beukes’ blog, where she highlights African authors. I’m sure you can find some great recs there too! http://laurenbeukes.com/category/the-spark-2/

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s