Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Book Settings

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Welcome back to Tuesday! I hope you're having a nice week. I wound up with two appointments yesterday that I wasn't expecting. It is always a great day to show a house. 

I have such high hopes for this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic. Book settings are often part of the reason I buy a book. Favorite historical periods and favorite places call to me. Is it the same for you? 

Here are my...

Top Ten Favorite Book Settings

Prince Edward Island is home to everyone's favorite red-headed orphan, Anne "with an E" Shirley. Though the movies captured this beautiful countryside well, it was Lucy Maud Montgomery's descriptions throughout the Anne series that tempts me to visit--which I hope I will do one day. This lovely setting is one of the reasons I continued to read more of Montgomery's work after I finished the Anne series.

No matter the subgenre of the story, Colonial America remains one of my favorite settings. I've always been fascinated with American history--its founding and the country's early years when citizens were trying to figure out how to create a new country and what form of government would work best. The daily life of citizens also intrigues me, so whether historical romance or historical mystery, their daily lives come into play. 

America's Civil War has been the setting of too many novels to count. Some of my favorite historical romances have been set during the conflict--Shades of Gray by Jessica James and Corrigan's Pool by Dot Ryan. I still haven't read Gone with the Wind. Gasp! How is that possible? Michael and Jeff Shaara's trilogy--Gods and Generals, The Killer Angels, and The Last Full Measure--brought readers from the beginning to the end of the War. John Jakes also dedicated a trilogy to the North and South conflict. Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez, one of my favorite books, is set right before the Civil War starts, so I include it in this group.

The story of the pioneers first came to my attention thanks to Laura Ingalls Wilder. The western migration of American settlers was made possible by several political and social events. The darker side to that history is the breaking of treaties with Native Americans, the formation of American Indian Residential Schools, and senseless tragedies like the Battle of Washita. While Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote stories of family working together and battling against the odds with faith and optimism, Rose Wilder Lane's books ended up with more grit and tragedy. Into the West by Max McCoy (novelized after the popularity of the mini-series of the same name) told the story of western expansion as seen through two families--one white and one Lakota. The American Pioneer lives in a place where great stories are told.

The Outer Banks of North Carolina, also called the OBX, is the setting for all kinds of stories. Whether they be true stories of the Lost Colony or Blackbeard, historical novels, or mysteries, this beautiful eastern coast area is so enchanting that it is no wonder so many authors set their stories there. Maybe one day I will write a story set there. 

Christmas has to be my favorite holiday setting for a story. Not a surprise to anyone who knows how much I love celebrating it. Christmas romances are usually my favorite, but great family dramas like The Santa Letters by Stacy Gooch-Anderson and Santa legend stories like The Christmas Chronicles by Tim Slover will also make me happy. I pretty much think any story is better if it is set during the Christmas holiday. 

What is it about small towns that readers find so attractive? Is it how quaint they are or how all the people seem to know each other? I love them too, especially if they are a setting for a cozy mystery. I am a huge Murder, She Wrote fan. Duffy Brown's Cycle Path Mysteries are set on Mackinac Island. Debbie Macomber created the fictional town of Cedar Cove for her characters. Selling Christmas by Angelina Goode was a small town romance set during Christmas. Can't get much better than that in my book.

Though I am not really a huge fan of fantasy, I enjoyed Harry Potter so much I would say that magical schools are a favorite setting. Can you imagine the untold Hogwarts stories there are? Though I haven't read Princess Academy or the Finishing School series, both sound intriguing. 

I would put boarding schools right there alongside magical schools for favorite settings. Though I did not read A Little Princess, I did listen to its sequel, Wishing for Tomorrow by Hilary McKay. The girls living at Miss Minchin's Seminary for Girls helped me perform some research for a middle grade novel I'm working on. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro is on my wish list.

A farm or ranch is a neat setting for romance novels. I tend to like cowboy romances, even though I don't often read them. I think romance novels are just lower on my list than mysteries or thrillers. Love on the Menu by Ellen March and The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle by RaeAnne Thayne are both great books. 

So, what do you think of my list? Do we share some of the same favorites? If you could only read books set in one place or time period, what would it be?


TheMoonPhoenix said...

Prince Edward Island is my childhood dream, still is

My post: https://themoonphoenix788811600.wordpress.com/2021/10/11/favorite-book-settings-top-ten-tuesday-12-october-2021/

Anne@HeadFullofBooks said...

I agreed with you on Hogwarts and should have remembered Prince Edward Island. My TTT vivid settings

Astilbe said...

Small towns were on our list, too!

Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

Lydia said...

Prince Edward Island is a wonderful choice! I want to visit that island someday.

Pam said...

PEI is a place I would love to see. The same with Hogwarts.

Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

iloveheartlandX said...

I had boarding schools on my list this week too!
My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2021/10/12/top-ten-tuesday-337/

Cheryl said...

Just caught up on visiting your blogs. Seems there are a lot of PEI lovers in my midst. I truly hope we all get there one day. Boarding schools and magical schools can be so much fun as a setting.

Thanks to all for visiting.

Lectrice Vorace said...

There's something about small towns. They make for great stories.

Cheryl said...

I agree, Lectrice.