Top Ten Books Set In Another Country

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together.

This week’s list is all about books that are based in a different country. I’m from England, so I could totally pick loads of US books as most of the books I read are set in the US. However, I’ve decided to go for Europe! As ever, book images go to Goodreads!

Europe

Code Name Verity- Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity, #1)

This is an incredible read!

Love & Gelato- Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Gelato

A gorgeous book based in Italy.

The Nightingale- Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale

I recently read this book and thought it was fabulous!

Anna And The French Kiss- Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

Based in Paris, this is a cute contemporary read.

Chocolat- Joanne Harris

Chocolat (Chocolat, #1)

I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I did!

The Island- Victoria Hislop

The Island

I loved the moments in Crete!

The Diary Of A Young Girl- Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl

I’m pretty sure nearly everyone knows about this book, so I don’t have to explain!

Outlander- Diana Gabaldon

Outlander (Outlander, #1)

This book has become super popular since the TV show. It’s based in the beautiful Scotland!

Sarah’s Key- Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key

I simply adore this book! ❤

Girl With A Pearl Earring- Tracy Chevalier

Girl with a Pearl Earring

This book is about the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer.

What did you pick this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

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Round Up of British Books Challenge 2017

The British Books Challenge is hosted by Michelle at Tales of Yesterday. Find out more about it HERE.

The British Book Challenge was set up to show support for British Authors. By signing up I promised to read at least 12 books by British Authors. I smashed it once again this year by reading 63 books by British Authors.

Here are 2017’s efforts!

  1. The One Memory of Flora Banks– Emily Barr
  2. Paper Butterflies– Lisa Heathfield
  3. We Come Apart– Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan
  4. How Hard Can Love Be?– Holly Bourne
  5. Disclaimer– Renee Knight
  6. Margot & Me– Juno Dawson
  7. The Trouble With Goats and Sheep– Joanna Cannon
  8. The Witchfinder’s Sister– Beth Underdown
  9. London Belongs To Us– Sarra Manning
  10. The Cuckoo Sister– Vivian Alcock
  11. The Curious Incident of The Dog In The Night-Time– Mark Haddon
  12. The One– John Marrs
  13. Mad Girl– Bryony Gordon
  14. Lie With Me– Sabine Durrant
  15. Pilot Jane and The Runaway Plane– Caroline Baxter
  16. Fish Boy- Chloe Daykin
  17. Awful Auntie– David Walliams
  18. The Last Beginning- Lauren James
  19. Girlhood– Cat Clarke
  20. One Italian Summer- Keris Stainton
  21. Release- Patrick Ness
  22. Unboxed- Non Pratt
  23. Follow Me– Angela Clarke
  24. Watch Me– Angela Clarke
  25. Trust Me– Angela Clarke
  26. Truth Or Dare– Non Pratt
  27. I See You- Clare Mackintosh
  28. Blood Sisters– Jane Corry
  29. The Prime Minister’s Brain- Gillian Cross
  30. The Nearest Faraway Place– Hayley Long
  31. The Graces– Laure Eve
  32. Miss You– Kate Eberlen
  33. Damage– Eve Ainsworth
  34. Indigo Donut– Patrice Lawrence
  35. Gone Without A Trace– Mary Torjussen
  36. Her Husband’s Lover– Julia Crouch
  37. He Said/She Said– Erin Kelly
  38. Cartes Postales from Greece– Victoria Hislop
  39. Fortunately, The Milk– Neil Gaiman
  40. Good Me, Bad Me– Ali Land
  41. The Scarecrow Queen– Melinda Salisbury
  42. Charlotte Says– Alex Bell
  43. Close To Me– Amanda Reynolds
  44. Coraline- Neil Gaiman
  45. The House– Simon Lelic
  46. The Betrayals- Fiona Neill
  47. The Trophy Child– Paula Daly
  48. Saffy’s Angel– Hilary McKay
  49. Behind Closed Doors- B.A Paris
  50. No Virgin– Anne Cassidy
  51. No Shame– Anne Cassidy
  52. Then She Was Gone– Lisa Jewell
  53. The Treatment– C.L Taylor
  54. Letters From The Lighthouse– Emma Carroll
  55. Black Hearts In Battersea– Joan Aiken
  56. The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club- Alex Bell
  57. 13 Minutes– Sarah Pinborough
  58. The Hours Before Dawn– Celia Fremlin
  59. Noah Can’t Even– Simon James Green
  60. Witch Child- Celia Rees
  61. The Friend– Dorothy Koomson
  62. A Quiet Kind Of Thunder– Sara Barnard
  63. Finding Jennifer Jones– Anne Cassidy

Talking About ‘Cartes Postales From Greece’ with Bibliobeth

Cartes Postales from Greece

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

Week after week, the postcards arrive, addressed to a name Ellie does not know, with no return address, each signed with an initial: A.

With their bright skies, blue seas and alluring images of Greece, these cartes postales brighten her life. After six months, to her disappointment, they cease. But the montage she has created on the wall of her flat has cast a spell. She must see this country for herself.

On the morning Ellie leaves for Athens, a notebook arrives. Its pages tell the story of a man’s odyssey through Greece. Moving, surprising and sometimes dark, A’s tale unfolds with the discovery not only of a culture but also of a desire to live life to the full once more.

CHRISSI: Discuss the structure that Victoria Hislop uses to tell her story.

BETH: I loved the way in which this story was structured. First of all, the author uses photographs of places/people in Greece to illustrate a particular point in the narrative (and I always enjoy seeing something a bit different in a book – illustrations/photographs/emails/letters always welcome!). Not only this but as our male character A is travelling through Greece he comes across a host of different people along the way, all of whom tell him a little story as he passes through. Each of these stories is reproduced like a short story through the novel. This was a great reading experience as you could read it as a whole or read it in little portions i.e. one short story at a time.

BETH: Do you think the inclusion of photographs in a work of fiction changes your reading experience?

CHRISSI: I think the inclusion of photographs does change your reading experience. Having a photograph or a picture of some sort gives you an exact picture of what the author is portraying. Without photographs, it’s left to your imagination which can be very different. Photographs are specific and allow the author to show the reader what they really want them to see.

CHRISSI: How do we learn about A’s character through the notebook?

BETH: To be honest, I don’t think we got to learn a huge amount about A’s character through the novel. We do see the growth he goes through as a person after experiencing heart-break but I think we learn more about Greece as a country and the people that live there rather than about A directly. That was just my personal opinion of it and I felt a bit detached from him as a character because of this.

BETH: How do you think Ellie changed as a person through reading A’s postcards/journal?

CHRISSI: I think Ellie really changed as a person throughout her experience of A’s postcards/journal. She is inspired by his postcards to travel to Greece on her own. The postcards encouraged Ellie to travel and become independent. I believe they changed the direction her life was going and gave her confidence to change her path in life!

CHRISSI: You enjoy reading short stories. What did you make of Victoria Hislop’s inclusion of short stories within this book?
BETH: I certainly do and I loved the addition of short stories in this novel. It made it something quite unique and enjoyable and I loved how each short story stood on its own. Some were a little darker than others, some had a moral tale to tell but I thought it gave a beautiful picture of what Greece was like and it really made me want to visit!

BETH: Which short story stood out the most for you in this novel and why?

CHRISSI: I can’t say one in particular stood out for me. I liked how all of the stories had a message they brought with them. I read them as individual stories and appreciated them for what they were. I’m not the biggest fan of short stories, but I enjoyed these because I felt they let me get to know Greece a little bit more as someone who has never visited (but wants to!) I enjoyed reading about Greek culture, religion and lots more besides through the stories.

CHRISSI: We’ve both read a few of Victoria Hislop’s books now. Was this book what you expected from Victoria?

BETH: Yes, I think so! If I had to compare it with one of my favourite books of hers, The Thread (which I read in my pre blogging days) I have to say I think I prefer The Thread but I still think that its a quick and enjoyable read. I’m still thinking about a couple of the short stories today so they must have had an effect on me! My only criticism is that I don’t think the characters were as well developed as I would have liked. Saying this though, the short stories were brilliant and they made up for any flaws or lack of connection I felt with the characters

BETH: Would you read another book by this author?

CHRISSI: I would. I enjoy Victoria Hislop’s writing when I read it but sometimes I find her books a little heavy going.

Would we recommend it?:

BETH: Of course!

CHRISSI: Yes!

This Week In Books #74

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

The Scarecrow Queen (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #3) Cartes Postales from GreeceClose To Me

NOWThe Scarecrow QueenMelinda Salisbury– I’m about a quarter of the way through this book which is the last in the Sin Eater’s Daughter trilogy. It’s a YA fantasy.

THEN Cartes Postales From GreeceVictoria Hislop– I recently finished this book which is for Beth and I’s ‘Talking About’ feature. Look out for our feature next week!

NEXTClose To MeAmanda Reynolds– I think I’m going to read this psychological thriller next. We’ll see. I’m not going to have a lot of reading time within the next week!

What are you reading this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post or let me know in the comments below!

The Return

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How did I get it?:
Borrowed from my sister!

Synopsis:

Sonia knows nothing of Granada’s shocking past, but ordering a simple cup of coffee in a quiet café will lead her into the extraordinary tale of a family’s fight to survive the horror of the Spanish Civil War.

Seventy years earlier, in the Ramirez family’s café, Concha and Pablo’s children relish an atmosphere of hope. Antonio is a serious young teacher, Ignacio a flamboyant matador, and Emilio a skilled musician. Their sister, Mercedes, is a spirited girl whose sole passion is dancing, until she meets Javier and an obsessive love affair begins. But Spain is a country in turmoil. In the heat of civil war, everyone must take a side and choose whether to submit, to fight, or to attempt escape.

Thoughts:

I’ve really enjoyed Victoria Hislop’s previous books, so I was looking forward to getting stuck into this book. Don’t be fooled by the cover, I don’t think it’s a particularly ‘beachy’ read. It’s certainly not got that chick lit feel, which I’m sure my sister (who is yet to read it) will be happy to hear. I thought The Return was a really solid piece of historical fiction.

I was really surprised by the first 150 or so pages of the book. It didn’t feel very Victoria Hislop-esque. It starts with two friends, Sonia and Maggie going to Granada for a dancing course. It was definitely interesting to read, it felt quite light compared to the other books I’ve read of Victoria’s. Maggie meets a Spanish lover and Sonia befriends an elderly waiter who starts to tell her about the Spanish Civil War. This is where it becomes a Victoria Hislop book. It’s what she’s brilliant at writing, recalling historical events in a way that’s interesting, but also in a way that doesn’t make the reader feel bogged down with information.

When we move into the narration about the Spanish Civil War and the effects it had on the people our narrator knew, the book does become much heavier. It’s told in an informative way though. It may not be a page turner in my eyes, but it’s certainly interesting. You can really tell how much work Victoria Hislop has put into researching this book. Everything is told in such a descriptive manner, that the reader can really imagine what it was like.

I think the reason why I didn’t give this book four stars, was that it felt a bit disjointed. I would’ve liked the stories together more seamlessly. That’s being incredibly picky though. I still think it’s worth checking out. Victoria Hislop’s writing is beautiful and she truly knows her stuff.

Would I recommend it?
Yes! I think fans of historical fiction would really enjoy this book.

Reading next:
Saving Wishes- G.J Walker Smith

WWW Wednesday #39

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday post!

To join in with WWW Wednesday you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book cover to get to the Goodreads page for the book!

What are you currently reading?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00007]I’m just about to begin Saving Wishes. I’ve heard mixed opinions about this book, so I’m looking forward to seeing what I think of the book!

What did you recently finish reading?

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I’ve just finished this book. It took me a while to get through, not because it was bad, but because it’s quite heavy going compared to the usual stuff I read. It’s historical, so if you’re interested in the historical fiction genre that I’d definitely recommend it. My review should be up tomorrow, if you’re interested.

What do you think you’ll read next?

3591262I have wanted to read this book for a while. It has finally come up the TBR list. It’s described as ‘an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home.’

 

October Challenge: Read more books on my Kindle

I have an alarming amount of books on my Kindle left unread. I really need to start getting through them, so in the month of October, I have decided to ONLY read books on my Kindle. This is a big thing for me to do, as I love my ‘real’ books so much. However, I figure that if I dedicate a month to my e-reader, I’ll start to slowly get through the overwhelming amount of books on there.

I picked ten books to start with out of my TBR box.

Here are the first ten books I aim to read-

  1. The Return- Victoria Hislop
  2. Cutting For Stone- Abraham Verghese
  3. The Mystery Death of Miss Austen- Lindsay Ashford
  4. Code Name Verity- Elizabeth Wein
  5. Courtiers: The Secret History of Kensington Palace- Lucy Worsley
  6. The Apple: Crimson Petal Stories- Michel Faber
  7. Corrag- Susan Fletcher
  8. Dollhouse- Anya Allyn
  9. The Personal History of Rachel Dupree- Ann Weisgarber
  10. In Search Of Adam- Caroline Smailes

I shall round up how many books I managed to read at the end of October. With a week off work, I’m pretty hopeful that I’ll have lots of reading time.