Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Most Striking Book Settings

Hi, Smart Girls!  I wanted to try something a little different today.  I've mentioned before that I follow several other book blogs and The Broke and the Bookish is one of these.  They run a weekly feature known as Top Ten Tuesday.  They pose a topic and we list our top ten books in that category.  I haven't done it before, but I thought I would take a swing at it this week. 

Today's topic is top ten settings in books.  You know how it is, some books just sweep you off to another world and some even make it difficult to return to reality.  Here is a list of ten of my favorites:

  1. The world of Harry Potter.  I suspect that JK Rowling has actually been to Hogwarts because I just can't imagine being able to dream up such detail.  It is a true talent.  Of course now you can visit The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, an entire theme park developed from the details that Rowling created.  Someday I would love to make that trip.
  2. Philip Pullman's world in His Dark Materials.  I am halfway through the second book, but I am astonished at all the worlds he has created, complete with barely visible windows hanging mid-air that lead to still other worlds.
  3. Camp Green Lake in Holes may be a small world, but the dust, the dirt and the heat seemed to radiate from the pages of this wonderful little book. 
  4. In The Night Circus, I was fascinated by the magic, but also by the descriptions of each of the tents at the circus.  A scent memory tent where you open a small bottle and are transported to someone else's memory of a day at the beach?  A tent full of creatures made of paper that move and fly on their own?  Such vivid imagination!
  5. Scott Westerfeld's world in Uglies extends far beyond the Jetsons version of the future.  Hover boards and communicators that are embedded in one's body and surgery to make your body nearly invincible.  So interesting and at the same time frightening.
  6. The first half of Room: A Novel is set in just one small room, but the reader feels as though she is actually confined to that tiny cell.  It is so believable that the reader can forget this is fiction, especially considering the news stories of Jaycee Dugard. 
  7. I can't even walk by the cover of Winter Garden without feeling the cold and the desperation of this novel set in World War II era Russia. 
  8. Philippa Gregory is a fabulous writer of historical fiction.  You may have read The Other Boleyn Girl around the time the film was released (the film was a ginormous disappointment and I know people were put off from reading the book if they saw it).  The way she describes the goings on in the King's Court makes it so tangible.
  9. I am a huge fan of Amy Tan and reading The Joy Luck Club planted in me a real desire to visit China.  I feel like I've been there in my mind and now I want to see it and touch it.
  10. While I didn't actually enjoy reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire, the world was richly described.  He may have gotten his jumping off point from L. Frank Baum, but Maguire added to it in a way that was unexpected and vibrant.

So that's my first Top Ten Tuesday.  In what worlds have you lost yourself?  

1 comment:

April (BooksandWine) said...

I have had that same suspicion about JK Rowling going to Hogwarts. Maybe she isn't truly a muggle.

Oh man, the Night Circus definitely took vision, I think. I was amazed by the various tents Morgenstern came up with.