Wish you were there?


Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is :

Books That Take Place In Another Country

As I read primarily speculative fiction I’ve used examples of books that take place in real places that we all know but are versions with fantasy elements, either living alongside regular humans, in hiding, beneath the city or making all out war or the like.  I’ve given a snippet of information from GR for each book:

SOUTH AFRICA – Zoo City by Lauren Beukes : ‘a standalone novel set in Johannesburg, South Africa. Zinzi has a Sloth on her back, a dirty 419 scam habit, and a talent for finding lost things. But when a little old lady turns up dead and the cops confiscate her last paycheck, she’s forced to take on her least favourite kind of job – missing persons.’


LONDON – Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman : ‘Under the streets of London there’s a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks.’

RUSSIA – Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden : ‘In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church.’

AMERICA – Mr Shivers by Robert Jackson Bennett : Set during the Great Depression ‘this is the story of an America haunted by murder and desperation. A world in which one man must face a dark truth and answer the question-how much is he willing to sacrifice for his satisfaction?’

MALAYSIA – The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo : ‘Yangsze Choo’s stunning debut, The Ghost Bride, is a startlingly original novel infused with Chinese folklore, romantic intrigue, and unexpected supernatural twists.’

ITALY – The Serpent of Venice by Christopher Moore : ‘Christopher Moore channels William Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe in this satiric Venetian gothic that brings back the Pocket of Dog Snogging, the eponymous hero of Fool, along with his sidekick, Drool, and pet monkey, Jeff’

FRANCE – The Undying by Ethan Reid : ‘In this riveting apocalyptic thriller for fans of The Passage and The Walking Dead, a mysterious event plunges Paris into darkness and a young American must lead her friends to safety—and escape the ravenous “undying” who now roam the crumbling city.’

SPAIN – The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo : ‘This tautly written and gripping psychological thriller forces a police inspector to reluctantly return to her hometown in Basque Country—a place engulfed in mythology and superstition—to solve a series of eerie murders.’

GREECE – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller : ‘Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper’


I’ve stopped at nine so you can share with me your own travel through books experience.

32 Responses to “Wish you were there?”

  1. Joey @ thoughts and afterthoughts

    Okay let’s be real 100/100 would travel to slothland and have a sloth on my back and do sloth things all day omg what a lifeeeeeeee

    • @lynnsbooks

      I actually think I could easily be a sloth – sleeping is my superpower.
      Lynn 😀

  2. proxyfish

    There are some fantastic sounding books here – I’ve heard of so few of them but I’d love to get my hands on the majority! Zoo City sounds particularly interesting as does The Serpent of Venice 😀 my poor TBR!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Both excellent books. I loved the humour in the Serpent of Venice.
      Lynn 😀

  3. anna912

    I’m dying to read Neverwhere and the ear and the nightingale! Both seem great for a rainy afternoon…which are plenty here in London :’)

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, they’re both perfect for a dark, rainy night, sat in on a comfy chair, absorbed in a good book.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Great variety. Mine seemed very one-sided 🙂

  5. Cholla

    You really circled the globe with this theme! 😀 Oh, and I love Neil Gaiman.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Neil Gaiman is so good – I wonder how many locations I could have come up with from his books – that’s one to think about.
      Lynn 😀

  6. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    Who says that we bookworms never go anyplace? If only they knew… 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      We’ve been everywhere haven’t we – into space, under the sea and to the Shire and back.
      Lynn 😀

  7. Louise

    The Serpent of Venice sounds absolutely brilliant!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I loved it – the sense of humour just really got me.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Lisa

    Nice spin on the topic! I meant to include The Bear & the Nightingale on my list this week, but by the time I finally got around to writing my post, I completely forgot. 🙂 I loved the Serpent of Venice, and Neverwhere as well. I’ll have to check out Zoo City — sounds right up my alley. Great list!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I’ve read a few Lauren Beukes books and I must say they’ve all been good.
      Lynn 😀

  9. Greg

    Ooh The Undying sounds fabulous, and I’ve never heard of it. Will be heading to Goodreads to check that one out! And the under- London of Neverwhere sounds so mysterious and atmospheric.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Neverwhere is amazing – I loved that book. I also really enjoyed The Undying. Lots of it is based in the catacombs which was fascinating and definitely inspired me to go and visit them when I was in Paris.
      Lynn 😀

  10. ChrissiReads

    Fab list Lynn! A lot of these books sound great.

  11. jessicabookworm

    Oh Lynn, I so want to read Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller!! And I think I would totally have to add Frankenstein to this list 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes, I should definitely have had Frankenstein – but I did leave a strategic space…

  12. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Wonderful a trip around the world with these excellent titles 😀

    • @lynnsbooks

      I quite enjoyed doing that list – I was going to go all fantasy countries but then I thought maybe not.
      Lynn 😀

  13. sjhigbee

    This list looks such fun to compile – you have some lovely choices here, Lynn. I LOVED Zoo City – I still think this is a masterpiece:))

    • @lynnsbooks

      I had a lot of fun with this. It makes me realise how far and wide books take me. Just a little imagination is needed.
      Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        I’ve been very impressed with reading this TTT with a number of book bloggers and the geographical range they cover.

      • @lynnsbooks

        Yes, we get about don’t we. I did think of using ten fantasy worlds but decided not to eventually.
        Lynn 😀

      • sjhigbee

        I’m sure you would have been able to – but if other authors aren’t fantasy readers, they could have been scratching their heads while trying to work out exactly where The Shires or Morodor are…

  14. Caitlin Stern

    The Bear & the Nightingale is a great one! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yep, and it was on a few lists for this topic which I expected really as it was so good.
      Lynn 😀

  15. flippingthruthepages

    I haven’t read any of these yet but The Bear and the Nightingale is so high on my list 😀 I really hope to read it soon 🙂

    My TTT: http://flippingthruthepages.com/2018/03/ten-books-that-take-place-in-another-country/

    • @lynnsbooks

      I hope you get a chance to pick it up – it’s so good, well, if you life folklore, fairytale, myth, etc. And the second book is even better, if that’s even possible.
      Lynn 😀

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