Non-American books that every American should read

Books - either written by or featuring cultures/protagonists of other countries - that you feel is very important for every American should read.

If possible, particularly try to share any lesser known books of what is often deemed the countries of the 'third world' that you feel deserve more attention!
1

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20

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22

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23

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24

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25

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26

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27

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28

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29

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30

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31

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32

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33

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34

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35

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36

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37

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38

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4.33 avg rating — 263,461 ratings
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39

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40

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41

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4.13 avg rating — 969,788 ratings
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41

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43

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4.34 avg rating — 136,646 ratings
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44

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4.13 avg rating — 282,148 ratings
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45

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46

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4.29 avg rating — 77,043 ratings
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47

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48

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49

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50

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51

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52

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53

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54

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55

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56

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57

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58

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59

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60

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61

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62

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63

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4.36 avg rating — 60,160 ratings
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64

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65

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66

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67

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68

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69

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69

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71

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72

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3.96 avg rating — 255,571 ratings
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73

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3.82 avg rating — 331 ratings
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74

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75

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3.71 avg rating — 231,648 ratings
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76

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4.29 avg rating — 349,725 ratings
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77

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4.14 avg rating — 89,554 ratings
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78

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79

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4.15 avg rating — 594,047 ratings
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80

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3.83 avg rating — 172,662 ratings
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81

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3.81 avg rating — 67,426 ratings
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82

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3.69 avg rating — 18,968 ratings
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83

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4.06 avg rating — 75,566 ratings
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83

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4.16 avg rating — 32,721 ratings
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85

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4.07 avg rating — 352,515 ratings
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86

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4.37 avg rating — 506,360 ratings
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87

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3.44 avg rating — 48,989 ratings
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88

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3.97 avg rating — 71,728 ratings
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89

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3.58 avg rating — 1,499 ratings
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90

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3.70 avg rating — 59,216 ratings
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91

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3.91 avg rating — 39,760 ratings
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92

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3.69 avg rating — 274,412 ratings
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93

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3.65 avg rating — 339,373 ratings
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94

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4.17 avg rating — 4,083 ratings
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95

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4.02 avg rating — 94,974 ratings
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96

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3.89 avg rating — 149,098 ratings
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96

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3.86 avg rating — 134,249 ratings
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98

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3.95 avg rating — 20 ratings
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99

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3.92 avg rating — 223,447 ratings
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100

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flag this list (?)
662 books · 502 voters · list created June 2nd, 2010 by Dream (votes) .
199 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Dream 1510 books
169 friends
Sue 1916 books
50 friends
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads 3263 books
861 friends
Brad 2476 books
648 friends
Ted 967 books
12 friends
Angel 2470 books
95 friends
Gillian 477 books
58 friends
Audrey 272 books
7 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Sorry but Tracey Kidder is American, from Long Island.


message 2: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Jhumpa Lahiri is American, she shouldn't be on a list of Non-American books.


message 3: by Dream (new)

Dream I left the list description wide open - do either of you think it should only be limited to non-American authors? If so, what's your technical definition (birth place, current place of residence, etc.)?

"Books - either written by or featuring cultures/protagonists of other countries - that you feel is very important for every American should read.

If possible, particularly try to share any lesser known books of what is often deemed the countries of the 'third world' that you feel deserve more attention!"


message 4: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Well I think it should be whatever you want it to be. As far as definitions go, I would describe someone as an American author as someone who holds American citizenship, whether by birth or naturalization and a non-American as someone, who, living here or abroad, someone who does not hold American citizenship.

You also say the book's subject matter may feature non-American cultures/protagonists, which is fine to include (though I would not necessarily describe a book written by American about another country, etc. as non-American), especially considering authors who grew up abroad and write mainly about their homeland but who have come here and are now Americans.

I understand Jhumpa Lahiri was born in the UK and her parents from India but she came to the US as a toddler and grew up here and is an American citizen. Interpreter of Maladies features 12(?) stories and only 2 take place solely in India (and one is about Indian-Americans visiting India) and the rest in the US.

If you were to include a writer like Luana Monteiro, a Brazilian-American who was born and raised in Brazil, came here as a young adult, and writes (at least in Little Star of Bela Lua) about Brazilians in Brazil, than you could take that as having non-American subject matter.


message 5: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen you missed 2 key books: A Fine Balance and The Gift of Rain. I am sure there are many more that could be added.


message 6: by Dream (new)

Dream Kathleen wrote: "you missed 2 key books: A Fine Balance and The Gift of Rain. I am sure there are many more that could be added."

Great Kathleen! Feel free to add whatever books you think are qualified.


message 7: by Sujeetha (new)

Sujeetha Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol is book that may be featured here.


message 8: by Dream (new)

Dream Sujeetha wrote: "Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol is book that may be featured here."

Sure, Sujeetha! Go ahead and add it.


message 9: by Nicola (last edited Nov 11, 2014 03:55AM) (new)

Nicola The Good Earth is written by an American! And so is Memoirs of a Geisha

Guess authorship is less important than setting here.


message 10: by Dream (new)

Dream Nicola wrote: "The Good Earth is written by an American! And so is Memoirs of a Geisha

Guess authorship is less important than setting here."


Nicola, here's the criteria for the list. Feel free to vote for books that you feel should be on this list:

"Books - either written by or featuring cultures/protagonists of other countries - that you feel is very important for every American should read.

If possible, particularly try to share any lesser known books of what is often deemed the countries of the 'third world' that you feel deserve more attention!"


message 11: by Anna (new)

Anna Leah wrote: "I left the list description wide open - do either of you think it should only be limited to non-American authors? If so, what's your technical definition (birth place, current place of residence, e..."

Jeffrey wrote: "Well I think it should be whatever you want it to be. As far as definitions go, I would describe someone as an American author as someone who holds American citizenship, whether by birth or natural..."

I agree it could really be anything, but with a title that says "non-American" I would think authors and novels that are just that: not american. However, that could leave some very nice works from people of various heritages in America that are quite wonderful. The "American" title could also cut out good authors that have gained citizenship, but keep ties with their culture and have different ideas or perceptions and beliefs. I think authors that are not American or Novels that are by (this may be the wrong term in context - perhaps non-Caucasian or non-Traditional may be better?) minorities would be good for this list. I know this is an old comment but I thought I would add my thoughts...


message 12: by Anna (new)

Anna Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata, Thousand Cranes By Kawabata, and Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
by Eleanor Coerr would be good for this list. I didn't see them on here, but I may have missed them. I'm having problems putting them on.


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