As a linguist as well and a bit of a history buff, one of my favourite book genres has always been historical fiction, and the fact that I've lived in several countries and grew up abroad has also definitely contributed to this. I have a great appreciation for learning about different cultures whilst working my way through an engaging story, and often find that my favourite reads are ones from which I actually learn something about a different culture or an important historical era. Below I've listed some of my all time favourite books that focus on a particular culture/country/language outside of my own - the majority are fiction, but a few are non-fiction but have a storytelling format to them which makes them more interesting than your typical non-fiction 'textbook'.  

- Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) by Laura Esquivel
- The Poet's Wife by Rebecca Stonehill
- Ghosts of Spain: Travels through Spain and it's silent past by Giles Tremlett

- The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
- The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachniak
- The Russian Tapestry by Banafsheh Serov
- The Jewel of St Petersburg by Kate Furnivall

- Shanghai Girls and Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
- Nothing to Envy: Ordinary lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick
- Sister of My Heart by Chitra Divakaruni
- All Women and Springtime by Brandon Jones

Middle Eastern:
- Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez

I'd love to hear your thoughts on these books; have you read any of them or are you planning to? What are some of your favourite foreign/historical reads? 
I'm always looking for new books!

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