A blog about books. Oh, and some other stuff too.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Vivid Settings/Places to Visit from Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers there at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. Are you a blogger as well? All that’s asked is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it!

The Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books

Oh, so many wonderful worlds to choose from… I lose myself in books all the time. You will notice, however, that Middle Earth is NOT on my list. Any place that has spiders that can wrap you up in your sleep and Orcs is not anywhere I wish to be!!

Here, instead, are just a few places where I love to go:

1870’s London as found in Gail Carriger’s “Parasol Protectorate” series

I love this world. Werewolves and vampires, who have entered into a delicately balanced agreement with the Queen in order to ration out sections of the city for each faction to manage, have it under control. The vampires through the best parties, while the werewolves keep law and order. There’s steampunk and fantasy and true-to-life historical detail, and it’s wonderfully vivid and just plain fun!


Hogwart’s, as found in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series

Why Hogwart’s? Really? You need to ask? It’s Hogwart’s – the ultimate boarding school. Where the halls are decked with magic for the holidays, the Headmaster has a phoenix as a pet, and you take classes in Potions and Defense Against the Dark Arts. You board with your best friends, and need a password to reach your common room. Really it’s the most (no pun intended) magical place. Who wouldn’t want to be here??


Stonehaven, as found in Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series

The home of the Pack, Stonehaven has a very strong image in my mind. Surrounded by wonderfully lush wooded lands, with small rivers and streams, and even a pond or two, this house is both the pack headquarters and a family home. Clay and Elena are raising their twins here, while Jeremy and Elena run the pack’s affairs from the side. Antonio, Nick and the boys may have their cool apartment in the city, while Hope and Karl live their own lives, but everyone is drawn back to the center that is Stonehaven. It’s a place of peace, of comfort and of security – heck, even Savannah considers it home, so it’s got to be a pretty amazing place to visit, and even better to call home.

Prague, as described in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone

There is much that I would like to say about this book, but I’ll save it for my book chat with Michele from Just a Lil’ Lost … suffice to say, the descriptions in this book make Prague an extra character in the story. I stumbled across this amazing site that takes you on a photographic journey to the various places mentioned. It comes pretty close to the vivid and detailed descriptions mentioned in the book – beautiful and vibrant and a joy to read.


Emerald City Books & Café, as described by Richelle Mead in the Georgina Kincaid Succubus series.

Okay, Georgina has a bit of a crazy life as an immortal succubus, but you have to admit, she has a GREAT place to work. Not only does she have access to hundreds upon thousands of books and all the white chocolate mochas she could want, but incredibly intelligent and sexy authors such as Seth Mortensen come by to work on a daily basis. What a great place! I’m in…


Earth, as described by Karen Thompson Walker in Age of Miracles

This is an odd choice, as the world is slowly coming to a stop, but it’s such a mesmerizing description that it stays with you for days. It’s heart-wrenching, but completely compelling. You can’t help but imagine a similar scenario in our lives today, and to wonder just how you might cope as the Earth ceases to rotate, slowly slowing and eventually coming to a stop. Shivers.


Paris, as described by Stephanie Perkins in Anna and the French Kiss

Another book where the city becomes a vibrant character in the story – Paris has an important role to play in this book. At first, it is the interloper, being the place where Anna doesn’t want to be, but eventually, Paris entices Anna and she begins to enjoy all that the city has to offer. A love letter of sorts, the city is lovely and enticing to the reader as well.


Le Cirque des Rêves, as found in Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus.

There is so much vivid imagery found in this book that it’s difficult not to include the Circus. When I met with the author last year at the IFOA, we excitedly talked about the then-recent announcement of the film option, but got into an intense discussion about what MUST be delivered correctly (for the record, our decision was the clock and the flaming arrows into the cauldron sequence). So much visual yummy-ness, so little time.


The Frankenstein Residence, as described by Kenneth Oppel’s This Dark Endeavor

Yes, Victor does make, as my friend @sakuralovestea noted, “bad life decisions”, and yes, there’s all kinds of creepy happening around this place, but let’s get real – it has secret passages! Underground tunnels! Mysterious rooms! This place is crazy and awesome and completely intriguing. I would want to explore every nook and cranny.



The worlds of Chris Van Allsburg, found in a variety of books

This man has an imagination like no other. He dreams of worlds where board games can transport you into space, or bring the jungle to your own back yard. In his mind, a mysterious stone (looking suspiciously like a television) can turn your crew into monkeys. Magic trains can take you to the North Pole to meet the most important man of Christmas, and magic brooms can become your best friend. Even in your dreams you can appear with your bed in a tree, or travel to the tip of Everest in your pajamas. It’s a pretty incredible world, and one that I love visiting.

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16 Responses »

  1. I have Hogwarts, Prague, and Le Cirque des Rêves on my list as well. I’m so glad to see The Night Circus on people’s lists because the atmosphere in that one was impeccable.


  2. Really, really great list. So great…that I am now following your blog through email! I hadn’t heard of the Otherworld series but it is now on my TBR pile and I am really excited to give it a try. Thanks!

    Here’s a link to mine!


  3. I think that the setting is the biggest reason why Anna and the French Kiss is on my to-read list. I love how different authors all manage to describe a city that’s so foreign and beautiful to me.

    Also, I’d love to be in Georgina’s bookstore. Seth being there is just an added bonus. The supernatural creatures and all the books – that’s the drawcard for me 😛


    • Isn’t it amazing how we can all visit the same city but have such very different views of the place? I felt like I was visiting Paris for the first time all over again when I read her book.
      Also – Georgina’s bookstore? With a coffee shop? I’m there. Absolutely there.


  4. The Night Circus has been sitting in my TBR pile for a while – must dig it out and read it.


  5. I almost added Prague to my list! It’s such a great setting and Laini describes it so vividly. I have The Night Circus on my list as well. Fabulous choices.
    My Top Ten


  6. Even more than Hogwarts, for me, would be Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade…especially after Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes went in!!


  7. YES! Carriger’s London made somebody’s list besides mine! It’s AWESOME!


  8. Emerald City Books and Cafe sounds divine! I must read more about it.


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