What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty is a modern day read, that I hear rumblings of being made into a movie as well. Set in Sydney, Australia, it's premise is simple, Alice wonks her head at spin class and wakes up thinking she's still twenty-nine, deeply in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. When really she's thirty-nine and she's getting a divorce. What do you do when you wake up one day and realize you don't like the person you've become?
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is a great literary story set in an alternate England where dodos are still alive and where Jane Eyre goes to India to help her cousin St. John Rivers with his missionary work! Great if you love books and have a quirky sense of humor.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman takes place in a fictional English town and also has as very strong fantasy land aspect to it. This is a great book for adults who still like fairy tales.
Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay takes place in France in the 1940s. It's a heartbreaker. I'm just warning you upfront. I didn't really know much about Vichy France prior to reading this book, and wasn't very impressed with it after finishing this book.
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell takes place in Italy, Puerto Rico, and Chicago, but most of the action happens on the planet of Rakhat. It's not a happy go luck book, but will definitely stick with you. What does it mean when you feel like you're destined to do something, so you do it, and it ends in the death of everyone you love?
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien set in the fictional land of Middle-earth. No other has made me ache to be able to write quite like Tolkien. He weaves these complex histories, cultures, and characters in a way that just immerses you in the action.
So there you have it. My ten picks for books that take place outside of the United States!