Book Blogger Hop: Books from Outside the US

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Billy of Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Reader that runs from Friday to Thursday in which bloggers answer a book-related prompt. It’s a great way to provide some insight into yourself and introduce yourself to some great new blogs.

Do you read books by authors from outside your country? Any book recommendations?

Yes, I have and I continue to!

While the majority of what I read is written by fellow Americans, I’ve been good about reading diversely. However, I haven’t been as good about reading books written by non-Americans. Which I realize contracts what I just said in the previous paragraph, so let me rephrase: I occasionally read books written by authors from outside the US.

Fortunately, I still have some great recommendations! I haven’t hit all seven continents yet, but here’s what I’ve read and enjoyed so far.


The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff

Author’s Country of Origin: Australia

Summary: In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic— the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?


Uzumaki by Junji Ito

Author’s Country of Origin: Japan

Summary: Shortly after Shuichi Saito’s father becomes obsessed with spirals snail shells, whirlpools, and man-made patterns— he dies mysteriously, his body positioned in the shape of a twisted coil. Soon, the entire town is afflicted with a snail-like disease.


Bear Town by Fredrik Backman

Author’s Country of Origin: Sweden

Summary: People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.


Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Author’s Country of Origin: Iran

Summary: Persepolis is the story of Satrapi’s unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming— both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.

Edgy, searingly observant, and candid, often heartbreaking but threaded throughout with raw humor and hard-earned wisdom— Persepolis is a stunning work from one of the most highly regarded, singularly talented graphic artists at work today.


The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Author’s Country of Origin: Spain

Summary: Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals from its war wounds, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julian Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets— an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.


If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho by Sappho

Author’s Country of Origin: Ancient Greece

Summary: From poet and classicist Anne Carson comes this translation of the work of Sappho, together with the original Greek. Carson presents all the extant fragments of Sappho’s verse, employing brackets and white space to denote missing text— allowing the reader to imagine the poems as they were written.


Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Author’s Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Summary: Under the streets of London lies a world most people could never dream of.

When Richard Mayhew helps a mysterious girl he finds bleeding on the pavement, his boring life changes in an instant. Her name is Door, she’s on the run from two assassins in black suits and she comes from London Below.

His act of kindness leads him to a place filled with monsters and angels, a Beast in a labyrinth, and an Earl who holds Court in a Tube train.

It is strangely familiar yet utterly bizarre.


What books have you read by authors from outside your country? Let me know in the comments!

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