Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Settings

Over at The Broke and the Bookish, they do this fun little thing called Top Ten Tuesday. Silly me, I just found this out. 

SO, today I have decided to participate and do Top Ten Book Settings. Well, eight, because I'm lame and couldn't think of ten.

 1. IdahoTrout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan
“Yesterday afternoon we drove down the road from Wells Summit, then we ran into the sheep.They also were being moved on the road. A sheperd walked in front of the car, a leafy branch in his hand, sweeping the sheep aside. He looked like a young, skinny Adolf Hitler, but friendly. I guess there were a thousand sheep on the road. It was hot and dusty and noisy and took what seemed like a long time.” Brautigan captures Idaho (and Oregon for that matter) so beautifully in this book. He talks about visiting hot springs, and fishing along little streams, and camping, and loading the car full of firewood. And yes, I know that you could probably do a lot of that ANYWHERE, but he is writing about it in such an Idaho/Oregon way.

2. Hogwarts – Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
I don’t think I even have to quote anything from Harry Potter. If you’ve read the books, or even seen the movies, or been to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park (which, if you have, you’re too lucky), then you know how cool it would be to go to school at Hogwarts. Riding the Hogwarts Express, shopping in Diagon Alley, trips to Hogsmeade, watching a game of Quidditch, I mean c’mon! Probably one of the coolest made up places of all time.

3. American Frontier [Nebraska] - O Pioneers! by Willa Cather “There are few scenes more gratifying than a spring plowing in that country, where the furrows of a single field often lie a mile in length, and the brown earth, with such a strong, clean smell, and such a power of growth and fertility in it, yields itself eagerly to the plow; rolls away from the shear, not even dimming the brightness of the metal, with a soft, deep sigh of happiness.” Now, I’ve never been to Nebraska, but the way that Cather writes is out of control good. Her settings are so vivid that it make me feel like yes, I was there! And do I remember what it was like growing up in Nebraska in the 1880’s? Well, sure I do!

4. Wonderland - Alice in Wonderland (as well as Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There) by Lewis Carroll “The long grass rustled at her feet as the White Rabbit hurried by – the frightened Mouse splashed his way through the neighbouring pool – she could hear the rattle of the teacups as the March Hare and his friends shared their never-ending meal, and the shrill voice of the Queen ordering off her unfortunate guests to execution…” Another classic made up place. This one is tough though, because I partially believe that Wonderland wouldn’t be that wonderful if it weren’t for the characters that dwell in it (i.e. Cheshire Cat, White Rabbit, Queen of Hearts, etc.).

5. The City of LudThe Waste Lands (DT #3) by Stephen King
 “Now that they were this close, he could see holes in the city-scape where whole blocks of buildings appeared to have been either burned or blasted. The skyline reminded him of a diseased jaw from which many teeth have already fallen” Now let it be clear that I hate anything that has to do with the apocalypse or the end of the world (and would someone PLEASE tell my Netflix account that? Apparently it has created a genre for me entitled: End of the World Movies Featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. I blame this solely on my boyfriend), but I loved Stephen King’s Lud. It was just so creepy – syphilis infected, radiation sick inhabitants who fight each other every day to the drum beat from ZZ Top’s Velcro Fly? Heck yes. 

6. Marlow’s description of AfricaHeart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: “I assure you that never, never before, did this land, this river, this jungle, the very arch of this blazing sky, appear to me so hopeless and so dark, so impenetrable to human thought, so pitiless to human weakness.” I’ve read this book way too many times. Way too many. BUT, I have always loved the way that Conrad portrayed the mysteriousness of the African jungle, the darkness and the evil that resides within. It added such an extra sinister feel to the plot of the whole book.

7. Bill Bryson’s Europe Neither here nor There: Travels in Europe by Bill Bryson. “I have never seen anything half as beautiful – on one side the town of Capri spilling down the hillside, on the other the twinkling lights of the cove at Anacapri and the houses gathered around it, and in front of me a sheer drop of … three hundred feet, to a sea of the lushest aquamarine washing against outcrops of jagged rock… I would do anything to own that view, anything. I would sell my mother to Donald Trump.” Um, yes. This man is hilarious – which helps me like him THAT much more. But aside from that, he is also pretty good at describing his settings and making you want to see it for yourself.

8. Farm LifeHarris & Me by Gary Paulsen. I don’t have a quote from this book because, well, I read it when I was like 10. It was probably my favorite book growing up though, I can’t tell you how many times I read it. It’s about “Me” a kid who is never named and is forced to go live with his cousin on farm. I distinctly remember him sleeping on a cornhusk mattress, being kicked by a cow, wrestling pigs, and peeing on an electric fence.

Ugh, that’s it. I can’t think of any more – try as I might. I’m sure there are others that I will think of down the road, but for now, these 8 will have to do. And they are in no particular order either. I don’t think I could order them really. Are any of these settings that have spoken to you too? What other two settings can you think of that I couldn't?

On to reading!


  1. Bill Bryson ... I forgot all about his travel books! Okay, adding those to my list now, haha

  2. Bill Bryson is good, isn't he?! I love reading about his travels, although . . . I don't know if I could travel with him for real lol.

  3. Bill Bryson is pretty much awesome. I am looking forward to reading At Home by him, it looks so interesting... and I can only imagine, hilarious. I once read two of his books back to back though, and that was a little much... so I've learned to space him out, haha.

  4. Welcome to the meme! I didn't particularly enjoy the plot of Heart of Darkness, but the setting was incredibly well-described, and I could almost picture myself there, feeling the sweat and heat and insects and sickness.

    I've been to Europe twice, and those were some of the happiest moments of my life. Europe is simply so different from America, not in pace, but in temperature and looks. America is beautiful because it is untamed; Europe is beautiful because it is ancient. Lovely list, and happy reading!

  5. I haven't read The City of Lud but i'm going to now! That sounds awesome!

  6. Thanks for the welcome! I'm looking forward to more of these, they are fun and definitely get you thinking!
    I had to write so many papers on H of D that I almost went crazy in college. Well, not really, but I have a love/hate relationship with Conrad now. I still felt like it was important to put him into this because the way he writes the setting of Africa was so good.
    Europe is beautiful. I've been to a couple of countries, and all of the ones that Bryson wrote about in this book, I felt just about the same as him. Beautiful, sometimes too chaotic, sometimes too many tourists, but nonetheless, an AWESOME time!

  7. Oh, the City of Lud is awesome. You should read the whole Dark Tower series, I wrote about my thoughts on the last book here on my blog (so if you do plan on reading the whole thing... maybe don't read that review, haha). The Waste Lands and The Drawing of the Three were my two favorite books from the series [I think, it changes daily]. Lud was just so.... creepy good. Like a post apocalyptic New York. You should for sure check it out!

  8. The description in Heart of Darkness is pretty amazing, although it doesn't make me want to visit.

    Check out my list here

  9. haha, yes, agreed. I'm good without seeing Kurtz and a bunch of decapitated heads on sticks thankyaverymuch.