TOP FIVE WEDNESDAY: Top five books beyond the Western world

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(Top Five Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey. Find out more at the Goodreads group!)

It’s often difficult to find books that aren’t set in the Western world. Publishing houses primarily promote novels set in the UK and the US, so those books are the most talked about. Looking for books set outside the Western world takes time and effort… Sadly, a lot of people don’t bother to put that time and effort in.

I define these books as outside of the Western world. Some definitions place Australia under that umbrella, but as Australian novels are often under-represented I’ve decided to include those too.

5) ‘Snowdrops‘ by A.D. Miller

Snowdrops by A.D. Miller

Set in Russia, ‘Snowdrops’ is only slightly outside of the Western world (which includes most of Europe). This is an adult title, and the description of the barren, frozen location is startlingly beautiful.

4) ‘Tomorrow, When the War Began‘ by John Marsden

Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

‘Tomorrow, When the War Began’ – set in Australia – is a book which has worldwide appeal. The characters are all teenagers, but the plot grips people of all ages. The group of friends that we follow go camping, and when they return their country has been invaded, and they’re suddenly struggling to stay alive. This is the first book in a seven book series, and I really need to hurry up and read some of the other titles: I adored this one!

3) ‘The Dry‘ by Jane Harper

The Dry by Jane Harper

‘The Dry’ – also set in Australia – was only published at the start of this year, but it’s quickly becoming a household name. With a film adaptation in the works, it’s just going to get bigger from here. This was one of the first books I read this year, but the twists and turns of this thriller still play on my mind now. It’s definitely one of the best books I’ve ever read.

2) ‘Stolen‘ by Lucy Christopher

Stolen by Lucy Christopher

I read ‘Stolen’ many years ago, but I’ve only recently remembered how much I loved it. I’m planning on rereading it soon. It tells the story of a girl who gets kidnapped at an airport and whisked away to Australia, and how she falls in love with the man who took her.

1) ‘The Last Leaves Falling‘ by Fox (née Sarah) Benwell

The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell

‘The Last Leaves Falling’ was the first book I thought of for this topic. Set in Japan, it’s an absolutely heart-wrenching story which follows a teenage boy who’s suffering from ALS. Not only had I not read a book with a Japanese setting before, I’d never read one focusing on ALS, either. This is why I’m so excited for Fox’s second novel. She’s groundbreaking.

I hope you enjoyed this Top Five Wednesday, and discovered some books that are new to you. What’s your favourite book set outside of the Western world?