Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bestest Literary Settings I've Ever "Visited"

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

Each week they post a new Top Ten list complete with one of their bloggers answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND sign Mister Linky at the bottom to share with all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Don't worry if you can't come up with ten every time...just post what you can!



1.  South Carolina - from various of Pat Conroy's books.  I have read numerous books set in the South, and some of the most memorable of them have had South Carolina settings.  In fact, South Carolina is so much a part of the fabric of some of Conroy's novels that it almost becomes an additional character.  I love how intimately intertwined Conroy's stories are with their setting, such that they would never work in any other place.

2.  Hogwarts - from Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling.  What better school / castle setting is there in all of literature?
3.  London - I love London settings, from historical to present day.  I loved how J. K. Rowling made London a functioning city for both muggles and magicians.  I loved how Jack London showed an otherwise ignored part in People of the Abyss. I love how Monica McInerney sets some of her novels in both Australia & London, building on the already existing relationship between the two places.  I love how London has become such a presence in literature, and how it is a viable setting no matter the subject, time period, or style.

4.  Practically anywhere in Australia - This is my number one dream vacation destination, so I always love any Australian setting.  Tim Winton, Kate Grenville, Monica McInerney, and others hold a special interest for me because of their Australian heritage.

5.  Florida - I love books that have that have familiar settings to me, and there is none so familiar as Florida, particularly Central Florida.  When small towns, roads, landmarks, parks, beaches, etc. are mentioned that are a part of my own personal history, I am able to visualize a much more precise and concrete picture of the story as it plays out in my head.

6.  New Iberia LA (and various other bayou settings) - I love James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux detective series set in the Louisiana bayou, and how the different areas of southern Louisiana - including New Orleans - play such a big part in Burke's books.  But even more, I love and how he creates such an authentic contextual ambience for a thrilling detective series.

7.  Post-Apocalypse Settings - i.e. The Stand by Stephen King, Swan Song by Robert McCammon or The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  I like that there is a sense of purpose in the isolation, and that the purpose is not divulged all at once, but seems to become clearer throughout the course of the novel.  In the case of The Road, the seemingly hopeless desolation is more difficult to digest than in either King's or McCammon's books, primarily because the evil, dangerous marauders seem to outnumber the good guys in such numbers as to create a sense of hopelessness that the father & son will ever find others like them.  Conversely, both King & McCammon create stories with a definite sense of hope that gains momentum as the book draws closer to it's conclusion.

8.  India - I pretty much love any Indian setting that is replete with authentic customs, culture, architecture, class structure, clothing, food, etc. etc.

9.  Island settings - Guernsey Island (of the Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society), Hedeby Island (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), Nantucket Island (Elin Hilderbrand novels), any number of islands - beachy or otherwise - along the east coast of Canada & the US from New England down to the Florida Keys, through the Gulf of Mexico and down into the Caribbean.

That's all I can come up with right now.  I'm sure I'll edit this in a day or two as more favorites come to mind.


  1. I agree with your comments about Pat Conroy and South Carolina...it is obvious he knows it deeply...I've only read one of his but need to pick up more :)

  2. Good list. I almost put Swamplandia on my list, which is set in Florida. Have you read that one yet?

    Check out my list here

  3. I covered almost every place, I think!

    Here is my Top Ten post!

  4. great list there Laura. I love your graphics too.