Top 10 Tuesday: Books Set Outside the US

Another week, another Top Ten Tuesday!

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Follow the link to find out more/how to take part.

This week’s topic is Books Set Outside The USA – which is a super easy topic for me, because that includes the majority of my bookshelf! I don’t know why, it’s not like I have an aversion to the US being a book setting – maybe it’s because I live in Britain? Or because my favourite genre is Fantasy?

So to narrow down my selection range I’m keeping this list within the known world – no fantasy lands, unless they are based in reality, e.g. Harry Potter is fantasy that happens in Britain whereas The Hobbit is fantasy that happens in Middle Earth (which is unfortunately absent from actual Earth). But I’m also excluding Harry Potter anyway because basically everyone’s read that/will pick it for list.

Anyways, here’s my list:

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  Set: Germany, WW2.

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  • The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. Set: Amsterdam, Holland, 1600s.

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  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Set: France/Germany, WW2. Mostly St. Malo on the North coast of France – which is a beautiful place to visit.

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  • Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. Set: Lithuania, Soviet Union (WW2 Europe).

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  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Set: London/London Below.14497

 

  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Set: Britain (mostly – also spends time in France, Spain, Italy). 1800s.

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  • The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson. Set: South Africa, Sweden.

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  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Set: England, Victorian era.

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  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. Set: England, Victorian era.

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  • Animal Farm by George Orwell. Set: Britain – although based on communist Russia.

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  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Set: England, Victorian era.9780141199085

 

People who have counted might have noticed that this list contains not ten books, but eleven. *shocked gasp*. I know, I’m such a rebel.

Has anyone else read any of these? Liked them? Hated them? Please let me know!

lizard

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Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag!

Hey guys! So I was tagged by the delightful icebreaker694 to do the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag, which freaks me out itself because where is this year going? Icebreaker694’s blog exists here and you should go check it out, it’s really good. 🙂

Best Book You’ve Read Yet in 2016:

Just one? Well, I recently did a post about my Favourite Books of 2016 So Far, but I guess that if I absolutely had to pick one…. Nope. Still stuck. I’m just going to make this jointly between The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

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Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2016:

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray. This was well worth the long wait and even better than it’s predecessor, The Diviners. Can’t wait to see where this series goes next. For those of you who are interested, it’s a paranormal/historical set in 1920s New York.

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New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To:

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab. I loved the first book and I keep seeing really positive reviews about the sequel, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Can’t wait!

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Most Anticipated Release fro the Second Half of the Year:

CROOKED KINGDOM BY LEIGH BARDUGO. I NEED THIS MORE THAN OXYGEN.

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Biggest Disappointment of 2016 So Far:

Emma by Jane Austen. Sorry Austen fans, but I shall hang my head in shame. I just wasn’t feeling it. It’s not put me off though – I’m going to leave it a while but I definitely want to get around to reading another of Austen’s works.

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Biggest Surprise:

The Chimes by Anna Smaill. Honestly, this was an impulse buy based on an interesting synopsis and lovely cover. No regrets! Quirkiest dystopian I’ve ever read.

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Favourite New Author:

Virginia Woolf. Who technically isn’t new – quite the opposite in fact – but who was new to me this year. I’m definitely going to read more of her work.

 

Newest Fictional Crush:

So I finally got around to reading Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo this year. I read Smoke and Bone a long time ago and whilst I didn’t dislike it I wasn’t exactly wowed either, so I thought I wouldn’t continue with the series. Then Six of Crows happened. One of my favourite premises for a book is: fantasy thieves. Honestly, write that on a book and I’ll buy it. Which is what happened with Six of Crows, which is now sitting on my favourites shelf because it is that brilliant.17415685-_uy200_

So after reading Six of Crows I thought I’d give the Grisha trilogy another go, picking up Siege and Storm. It’s still not amazing, but not bad either – I liked it more than book one. But you know what I loved about it? (*insert dreamy sigh*) Nikolai Lantsov. He gets all the best quotes in this book:

“When people say impossible, they usually mean improbable.”

“Anything worth doing starts as a bad idea.”

 

Newest Favourite Character:

Ling Chan from Lair of Dreams. Such a bad-ass. Such a genius. Such a lovable character.

 

Book That Made You Cry:

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. To be honest every time I read a book by this genius I end up sobbing at one point. Also, a perfect excuse to use my favourite gif!

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Favourite Book to Film Adaptation:

Room. This film hit me with the feels, I was crying. Again.

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Favourite Post I’ve Done This Year:

The Bookish Time Travel Tag. My first Tag! If you want to take part, feel free!

 

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought This Year:

The Muse by Jessie Burton, literally three days ago. I got the hardcover. It’s stunning. The pages are red. I think this is what love feels like.

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What Book Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year:

Besides all of them…? Probably Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. It’s been on my TBR shelf for ages and I know I’m probably going to really love it, but I keep putting it off. It’s on this month’s TBR though, so hopefully.

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I Tag:

Readilyambitions

AJ @ Rather Quite Lovely

Av8tor1988 @ Inside My Minds

imyril @ x + 1

The Fourth Month

If you’ve already done this tag – sorry! If I haven’t tagged you and you want to take part just imagine that your blog appeared on the list above and go for it anyway. Thanks again to icebreaker694 for tagging me!

So what about you guys? Has anyone read any of these books? Anyone want to read any of these? Thoughts? Please let me know!

lizard

 

Favourite Books of 2016 So Far

Hello fellow bookworms! Where is the year going? I want a do over!

I’ve not read that many books this year – 27 out of 55 on my Goodreads challenge, but I have read a lot of books this year that I’ve really loved. Quality over quantity I guess? Anyways, here are my favourite reads of 2016 so far:

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (review here – my first for this blog!).

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare.

The Chimes by Anna Smaill (review here).

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (review here).

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Blue seems to be this year’s cover colour for me… 🙂

How is everyone else’s year in reading going? Has any else read any of these? Please let me know!

lizard

 

Wuthering Heights Book Review

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Author: Emily Bronte

Read: June, 2016

Genre: Romance, Gothic

 

 

Review:

“Wuthering Heights tells the story of a romance between two youngsters: Catherine Earnshaw and an orphan boy, Heathcliff. After she rejects him for a suitor from a better background, he develops a lost for revenge that takes over his life. Attempting to win her back, and then to destroy all whom he considers responsible for his loss, Heathcliff creates a living hell for those who inhabit his intimidating residence, Wuthering Heights. This tale of hauntings, passion and greed remains unsurpassed in its depiction of the dark side of love.” (Summary from Goodreads)

I loved this book – it’s quickly earned its place on my favourites shelf. Wuthering Heights is a haunting tale about darker aspects of love, not once shying away from its depictions of cruelty and obsession.

The novel unfolds as a narrative tale told by the servant Ellen Dean. Ellen has been employed by the families concerned in the novel throughout Heathcliff’s life and, after the tenant Mr Lockwood has an unpleasant encounter at Wuthering Heights with Heathcliff, she recounts the tale to him. This interesting narrative grants added perspective to the story whilst still managing to pull in the reader – like Mr Lockwood, we grow strangely involved in the story of Heathcliff and Catherine, and the misery their doomed love inflicts upon those in their circle. By starting the story near its end, with Heathcliff alone and Catherine dead, their respective spouses gone also, Bronte creates the scene of a car crash and invites readers to replay the events which caused it. It’s horrible, and we know it is fated to end tragically, yet we can’t look away as we become sucked into the story.

Besides the narrative, Bronte also expertly manipulates the setting; Wuthering Heights is cold and gothic, stranded in the bitter climate of rural moorland. The weather is generally bleak, the winters cold and uncompromising. The isolation the location imposes adds a sense of claustrophobia to the novel, further emphasising the idea that the characters are trapped in their poisonous relationships and that the dark nature of love is inescapable for them.

And it is the novels dedication to this theme, the dark qualities of love, that renders the story so haunting. Every ghastly deed Heathcliff does, he does out of a twisted sense of love for Catherine. It’s a warning about letting love corrupt you, or, less dramatic sounding, impede your judgement. For though none of the other character relationships quite reach the intensity of that of Heathcliff and Catherine, there are also many examples of characters making less than sensible decisions out of feelings of love – take for instance when Cathy (Catherine’s daughter) sneaks out of the Grange to visit her ailing cousin Linton at Wuthering Heights, despite her father expressly forbidding and Ellen also warning against it. She has been told to avoid that place in order to avoid Heathcliff, who is as wicked as she has been told, and yet Cathy goes anyway out of love and worry for her cousin.

 Wuthering Heights is a warning about love, illustrating its unnerving and potentially corruptible power over people, the story haunting its readers long after its close. I thoroughly recommend it for everyone.

 

Favourite Quote:

“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

If you like this try:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

The Night is darkening round me by Emily Bronte.

lizard