Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top 10 Tueday: Favorite Book Settings

Top 10 Tuesday
Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books
(Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish)

1) Middle-Earth - Just talked to my brother about the genius of Mr. J.R.R. Tolkien.  I mean, the dude was literally a genius.  Not only did he create this beautiful story about courage, perseverance, and loyalty, but he created a world.  A whole entire world.  Complete with languages and histories and hobbits.  Thank goodness my brother made me read the trilogy before watching the movies.  Don't get me wrong, Peter Jackson is also a genius, but getting to read the books without someone putting images into my head first was truly a blessing.

2) Narnia - Whether you're walking past the lamppost through the snow with Lucy to Mr. Tumnus' house, chatting with the beavers in their cozy wooden home, or walking through the halls of the White Witch's ice palace, Narnia stays with you.

3) Hogwarts - I think I will forever be waiting for my Hogwarts letter.  Rowling so seamlessly mixed the world of human and magic together that you really do believe that somewhere in the rolling hills of the British Isles, a castle stands on the edge of a cliff filled with beautiful dining halls with floating candles and libraries with way-too-high shelving and fluttering books.

4) OASIS - I'm not a gamer, but Ernest Cline did an amazing job bringing me into the world of virtual reality.  The game was way more real then the true setting for the characters, and it was a world of endless possibilities.  Everything is a reality, whatever reality you choose.  You can change your appearance, fly a space ship, and explore worlds centered around the awesomeness that is The Goonies.
5) Panem - Definitely not somewhere I would ever want to visit, but definitely not somewhere I will ever forget.  I wouldn't really ever want to go to any post-apocalyptic world, but I think Panem in-particular.  Collins did an excellent job separating the disparity of the districts and the Capitol, really setting the scene for hopelessness and fear.  My imagination went in a different direction then the movie, but both developed a world of tyranny.

6) Le Cirque des RĂªves - The Circus of Dreams.  Erin Morgenstern's circus was another character in the book.  The passages preceding chapters, walking the reader through the tents, bringing them personally into the experience was breathtaking.  And that's exactly what it became, your own personal experience with the circus.  You could hear the sounds, see the spectacles, smell the candy.  It really was a circus of dreams.

7) Mortal Engines - Sometimes being vivid can mean just being different.  Philip Reeve did a wonderful job building a world in which traveling cities could actually exist.  The creaking and moaning of the cities traveling across the countryside was unique and incredible.  Can't wait to continue the series.

8) Camp Halfblood - I loved the Percy Jackson series.  Like Rowling, Riordan created a setting completely like our own and completely different all at the same time.  Using familiar elements and mixing them with the "unbelievable" made the story so much more real then creating a whole new setting.  Camp Halfblood was in a familiar location, just outside the city limits of New York City, but within it's magical boundaries were hundreds of demigods living in homes representative of their parents legacy.  It felt like a supped up summer camp with some dangerous beasts lurking in the woods.

9) Wonderland - Not surprising that Wonderland would make my list.  The crazy, off-kilter world of dreams and imagination, like Erin Morgenstern's circus, is a character all by its self.  While it might be a representation of Alice growing up and entering adulthood, it contains the frustrations and fears of childhood that stay with us no matter what age we are.

10) The Lands Beyond - From the Doldrums, to Dictionopolis and Digitopolis, The Phantom Tollbooth is filled with memorable settings.  And I'm just a sucker for stories where characters change and grow from beginning to end. 

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