Books Around the World

We are going to places all over the world with this list of fiction books around the world.

Traveling is fun, but what do you do when it isn’t possible to travel? You travel the world in books.

A stack of books set around the world

The only place outside of the United States that I have traveled to is Canada. Sine I have not traveled the world, I love that I can travel through books.

Books take me to places that I probably will never visit. Places like China, Cuba, Ukraine, and so many other places around the globe.

Books help us experience life and history that we wouldn’t discover outside of reading.

This list of fiction books will help you travel around the world through books.

Many books could have been included on this list, but as always, these are all we have read and can recommend.

Fiction Books Around the World

Each book has a short description, but for more information, click on the book’s title and it will take you to a full review.

Fiction Books Set In Canada

Bluebird Book

Bluebird by Genevieve Graham. Did you know that Canada dealt with prohibition similar to the U.S.?

Bluebird is set in prohibition-era Canada. I knew very little about prohibition besides what I learned in history class and a few books written about that period. I had no idea Canada dealt with similar laws as the U.S. did.

This book has two timelines: the modern day and 1918. It deals with a mystery, life after WWII, Canada during prohibition, and more.

Mrs. Milk book review

Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. Published in 1947, this book takes you back to the Canadian frontier, when a girl from Boston is sent to live in Canada with her uncle. It is based on a real story and real people.

Many consider this book a classic. Although it reads like it was written in 1947, I still really enjoyed it.

At the Mountains Edge book review

The Mountains Edge by Genevieve Graham. Genevieve Graham is from Canada, and her historical fiction books are excellent.

The book is set in the Yukon during the gold rush in the late 1800s. T

The story is about a Northwest Mounted Police, a girl, and her family, tragedy, and, of course, a love story. 

Fiction Books Set In China

The Last Rose of Shanghai book review

The Last Rose of Shanghai by Weina Dai Randel. This book is set in China during WWII. I have read many books about WWII but did not know much about China during the war.

This is an unforgettable story of family, war, business, forbidden love, and more.

I will say that this one was a bit too PG-13 for what I normally like. I could have done without the descriptive scenes.

Fiction Books Set In Cuba

Next Year In Havana book review

Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton. After I had read this, I described it as historical fiction at its best. I still feel that way.

This book takes you to Havana, Cuba, during the 1950s. It is a story of family, the Cuban revolution, and the people of Cuba.  

When We Left Cuba book review

When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton. This book follows Next Year In Havana. You do not have to read them in order, but they will make more sense if you do.

This book follows Beatriz, who is caught between Cuban and American politics.

Fiction Books Set In England

The Last Dance of the Debutante

The Last Dance of the Debutante by Julia Kelly. This book takes you to 1950s England and the world of debutantes. In post-WWII England, the world was changing, and so were the lives of debutantes.

This was a fun read because I have read a lot of WWII fiction set in England, but I have not read many books set in post-WWII England.

The Shell Seekers book with the ocean in the background

The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher. I love Rosamund Pilchers writing. Her books are some of my favorite backlist books. Published in 1987, The Shell Seekers is still a favorite among readers.

This book alternates between the 1980s, Penelope’s childhood in England, and her early adult years during WWII.

The Coronation Year book review

The Coronation Year by Jennifer Robson. Jennifer Robson does a great job of writing about Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in a unique way. Although this book is about Queen Elizabeth she isn’t the star of the book.

This is a fun read that will teach you a great deal about life in England the year Queen Elizabeth became queen.

The Last Garden In England book

Last Garden In England by Julia Kelly. Instead of following people through history, this book follows a garden. But it doesn’t just follow the garden. It follows the people who help the garden stand the test of time.

The book is set in 1907, 1944, and the present day. This book makes a great summer read.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. This book was very popular about ten years ago. It became popular again a few years ago when Netflix made a movie based on it.

This book is set in the Channel Islands during WWII. I loved this book because it covered a part of WWII history that I had not read much about.

I also loved that it was set in England, but not part of England that a lot is written about.

The Gown Book Review

The Gown by Jennifer Robson. This is another book by Jennifer Robson that is about Queen Elizabeth, but she isn’t the star of the book.

Her wedding gown and the people that made it are the book’s main focus.

I love how this book took you to England during the time of Queen Elizabeth’s wedding.

Fiction Books Set In France

The Queen's Fortune on Kindle book review

The Queen’s Fortune by Allison Pataki. This book was a little too PG-13 for me, but I enjoyed that it was set during the French Revolution. It focuses on Napoleon Bonaparte and those who might have known him. 

I have not read much about the French Revolution, so this book taught me a lot of history.

The Paris Daughter on white background

The Paris Daughter by Kristen Harmel. This book takes you to France during WWII. There are so many books about Paris and France during WWII that I could have added to this list, but this is one of my favorites.

This book is about light in darkness, hope during pain, family, survival, and so much more.

Fiction Books Set In Iran

The Stationery Shop

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali. This book is set in Iran in 1953. It follows the lives of Roya and Bahman during the political chaos of 1950s Iran.

I had not read much about Iran, so I loved that this book took me to a time and place that I had not known much about.

Fiction Books Set In Italy

Our Darkest Night

Our Darkest Night by Jennifer Robson. This book is set in Italy during WWII. It follows the lives of Antonina, the daughter of a well known Jewish doctor, who has to leave the life she knows in order to survive.

Niccolo rescues her, but their life is not an easy one as they struggle to survive the horrors of the war.

Fiction Books Set In Japan

The Turtle House book review

The Turtle House by Amanda Churchill. This book is set in Japan. It has two timelines: the 1940s and Texas in 1999. It is the story of a grandmother and granddaughter. 

The 1940s timeline is about WWII Japan, but it is different than other WWII books that I have read because it follows the life of a Japanese girl and how the war forever changed her life.

Fiction Books Set In Russia

A Shadow In Moscow

A Shadow In Moscow by Katherine Reay. Set in Cold War Russia, this book takes you on a wild ride of the KGB, CIA, and the spy world of The Cold War.

This book is part history and part mystery. This was a recent read for me, and I loved it.

A Gentleman In Moscow book

A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles. This book is one that you either seem to love or hate. I loved it.

It follows along as Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a famous hotel in Russia across the street from the Kremlin. 

The entire book takes place in the hotel, which is a unique setting for a book, and I think it works great.

Between Shades of Gray book review

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. Set in WWII Lithuania and Siberia, Between Shades of Gray is a tough book to read because it deals with tough topics like war, starvation, and abuse.

It follows Lina, whose life is changed forever when the Soviet Secret Police take her and her family from their home.

The Master Craftsman Book Review

The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart. I loved that this book is about Faberge’s eggs and life during the Romanovs in Russia. Not a lot has been written about that time and place.

This book gives you a fascinating look into Russia and the Romanovs.

A Train To Moscow Book Review

A Train To Moscow by Elena Gorokhova. The author, Elena Gorokhoava, grew up in Russia. Although this book is fiction because she knows Russia well, her writing and descriptions are excellent.

This book is about Russia in the years following WWII. If you grew up during the Cold War, you will enjoy it. It is a little PG-13 for me, but besides that, I enjoyed it.

Fiction Books Set In Spain

The Fountains of Silence book review

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys. This s a YA book, but adults will also enjoy it.

It is set in 1957 in Madrid, Spain, during the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

Fiction Books Set In Ukraine

The Last Green Valley book

The Last Green Valley by Mark Sullivan. This book is another tough, but a good read. It covers what life was like in Ukraine, before and during WWII, under Stalin.

People suffered unimaginable heartache and suffering during that time. It is worth reading if you enjoy WWII books and have not read this one.

The Diamond Eye book cover

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn. This is another WWII book that I loved. It is about a female sniper during the war who killed over three hundred people.

If you love unusual stories about WWII, this is a good one.

Fiction Books Set In Vietnam

The Mountains Sing Book cover

The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai. Nguyen Phan Que Mai is from Vietnam. The book is historical fiction, but it is based on the experiences of the author’s family and the people she knows. 

It alternates between the 1940s and 1970s Vietnam and gives you a look into life in Vietnam before and during the Vietnam War.

I loved this book and have her other book, Dust Child, in my TBR stack.

Do you have a book or two set around the world to recommend? I would love to hear some of your favorites.

2 thoughts on “Books Around the World”

  1. Have you read The Island of Sea Women: A Novel
    by Lisa See?
    It’s historical fiction on the island of Jeju in South Korea. The audio version is fantastic.

    • I have not read that one. I have heard of it, but not read it. I will add it to my tbr list. Thank you for the recommendation.


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