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Books Set in Eastern Europe & Russia

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Whether your found this list looking for Books Set in Russia or Eastern Europe, or as part of our Book Voyage reading challenge, we hope it includes the perfect book for you.

While many of the countries in the western half of Europe are very well known to Americans, as you journey further to the east the region holds more of an air of mystery. This is true in part because the western countries have historically been easier to visit, while many of the Eastern European countries were behind the “Iron Curtain” for much of the 20th century.

The fall of the USSR, in 1991, lead to the creation of more than a dozen new nation-states, and the names and borders of countries in this region have continued to shift and change over the past several decades. Although it’s easy to lump these countries together because of their shared history, the truth is that they are extremely diverse, and we are excited to explore their unique cultures through this month’s books.

Watching the news provides a big picture view of current events and conflicts around the world, but books can help us better understand the everyday citizens who are caught in the middle. Especially in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we hope that our list of books set in Ukraine will help you learn more about this country’s past and present.

Books Set in Eastern Europe & Russia

PS: You can read all about the Book Voyage challenge, find new book lists each month, and download your free printable map book tracker, with a color-coded map of each region here.

Depending on the context – geographical, political, cultural, or historical – you’ll find various answers as to which countries are classified as “Eastern Europe.” In this region, there are numerous countries, like Russia, that straddle the border between Europe and Asia. Additionally, there are numerous countries on the European continent that are considered part of the Middle East from a geo-political perspective. We will be reading books set in the Middle East another month for the Book Voyage Challenge, so we have not included those countries on this month’s list.

As always, you are welcome to choose any book set in this region that you’d like, but to help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of books set in more than 20 different countries, including many of the best Eastern European novels, some wonderful YA books set in Russia and Eastern Europe, and plenty of historical fiction, memoirs, and fascinating non-fiction reads. 

For purposes of this reading challenge, we consider Eastern Europe to include the following: Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Czechia (formerly known as the Czech Republic), Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Albania, North Macedonia, mainland Greece (the Greek Islands are included with our Island Books), Georgia, Chechnya, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.

We’ve worked hard to curate book recommendations that feature many Eastern European writers, and we’ve placed an emphasis on books that not only take place in Eastern Europe but also provide atmospheric descriptions that will really transport you to the country of your choice.

Throughout the list, we noted the books currently available as part of Kindle Unlimited Subscriptions.

Best Books About Eastern Europe

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Monday 7th of February 2022

There is also “A Night Divided” by Jennifer Nielsen.

Books Set in Western Europe - Book Girls' Guide

Saturday 20th of March 2021

[…] Next up, pick your book set in Eastern Europe or Russia! […]

Books Set in Asia: Northern Countries - Book Girls' Guide

Saturday 20th of March 2021

[…] “Northern Asia” for purposes of our Book Voyage. Since we grouped all of Russia in with Eastern Europe last month, we have not included Siberian Russia on our Asian list this month. In short, […]

2021 Reading Challenge - Read Around the World - Book Girls' Guide

Wednesday 10th of March 2021

[…] March: Eastern Europe & Russia […]

Mary Hazelton

Saturday 27th of February 2021

Would you please make a link to a printable short list for each month. I don't want to waste paper, but I like being able to look online to read more about each book!