Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday: top settings

 Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

1. The island in Lord of the Flies by William Golding
I personally am in no hurry to book a ticket to this little island and I imagine paradise is a word very rarely used to describe it, at least by those who've inhabited it, but it is one of the most vivid and crucial setting used in a novel. It provided the perfect wild, savage backdrop for their descent into animalistic madness.

2. Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, Hogwarts, The Ministry of Magic etc etc in Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
I couldn't pick just one location and they could have all to easily taken up this entire post! So instead I've jumbled them all up into this one entry but please don't take that to mean that they are in any way less special! The world Rowling creates is so amazing I don't even know where to start! From the moving staircases to the room of requirement to the maze-like tunnels below Gringotts to the charming and slightly bizarre entrance methods into the Ministry. They're magical, I suppose, that's the simple crux of it. They're amazing.

3. Edinburgh in Trainspotting and Porno by Irvine Welsh
In Trainspotting and Porno Edinburgh is depicted almost as another character, just as sick and confused and unwell as the characters who make up the story.

4.Rivendell in Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
I love many of the settings in LOTR but I don't think any (save perhaps for Lothlórien) come close to the beauty and Majesty of Rivendell.

5.Wonderland in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
This was my first adventure into a surreal and nonsensical world (outside of the Dr Seuss books I read as a child perhaps) and it still remains one of my favourites. I used to own an annotated version of this book and it was amazing to read all the tiny, itty bitty references to maths, literature, the real Alice and members of the university Carroll worked with that I never would have imagined picking up on. The detail and complexity of this world is so extraordinary it's difficult not to fall head over heels right down the rabbit hole after Alice.

6. The Tardis in Doctor Who
Ok so this is a bit of a cheat, it's a TV show not a book but it is still one of my all time favourite settings. Bigger on the inside and capable of taking people to any time and any location in all of history and space. Plus it's such a cute little blue policeman's box inhabited by the most wonderful, caring, intelligent and hot (especially in the case of a certain David Tennant *ahem*) timelord in existence.

7. Post-Captain Trips America in The Stand by Stephen King
To be honest this could be the empty city location demonstrated in a number of dystopian novels, but I chose The Stand because I loved it and will promote it whenever I can! This style of setting, whether it's in the city or in a smaller town, has such a pervasive feeling of...I don't know really, unease? When this sort of setting is put in the hands of a talented author like King it can be incredibly powerful and evocative and damn frightening.

8.Gilead in The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
The oppressive style of life fostered in the Handmaid's Tale is beautifully and tragically backdropped by one of the most formidable and haunting settings I've read in recent years. Gilead is everything I never want to experience first hand.

9. Ingary in Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
This is a marvelous world where magic is a reality, seven league boots can be bought, fire demons lurk in fireplaces and castles roam the country side. The things I love though is how all the magic is fitted alongside beautiful natural environments. Fields of flowers, mountainsides and sprawling hills created the most beautiful and natural depiction of magic I think I've ever read.

10. America in Watchmen by Alan Moore
The idea that a simple change in history, in this case America winning the Vietnam War, could change the world almost beyond recognition is a fascinating premise and the America depicted in Watchmen is gritty, and dark and full of life.

What do you guys have on your lists?


  1. I thought the island was beautiful at first, but it got so scary later!! Totally agree with you about the Wizarding World - you really can't choose one place!! I love Howl's Moving Castle, the castle that is - with all it's fake doors and Calcifer of course :) Made it to my list too!!


  2. Your list includes lots of dystopias. Interesting. Is a dystopia a more powerful setting than a utopia? Curious.

    Here's my list of Top Ten Settings in Books. I hope you will stop by and visit!

  3. I picked Rivendell too, great list!

  4. Thanks for visiting guys!

    @Deb, I don't think a dystopia is more powerful a setting than a utopia or even a real setting but they do make up a large chunk of my reading and they tend to be pretty powerful books that don't leave me, at least not quickly.

  5. I love the Tardis!! It's definitly a fantastic setting.

  6. I love Hogsmeade as well! It would be so much fun to live in a complete wizarding community if they only existed.

  7. The island in Lord of The Flies does sound kind of cool in a dangerous way. I had a similar pick: Castaway by Lucy Irvine is about a woman who spent a year on an uninhabited tropical island.

  8. The picture for Howl's Moving Castle is fantastic. I've officially added the book to my TBR. I think my nerves would be shot after a trip to Wonderland...

  9. I LOVED Edinburgh when I went - I would love to see more things set here. It's a great place! And Rivendell. I freaking love Lord of the Rings. Not to mention all the Harry Potter places!

    Here's my list this week :)

  10. You get +1000 awesomeness points for including the Tardis! It's all you really need, right? I'd also love to see Rivendell and the worlds of Howl's Moving Castle or Watchmen.

  11. I love your list. I definitely agree with you about empty cities/towns in dystopian novels. When done properly it can be extremely terrifying. The Stand is one of my favourite King novels.

    I am also 100% behind you on The Tardis. I would happily get lost in there (especially if David Tennant is there, preferably not when overtaken by evil).

  12. Thanks for visiting guys!

    Karen, Dani and Loni, I'm glad I'm not the only one who appreciates the awesomeness of the TARDIS!

    @Twobibliomaniacs, Definitely add it, it's amazing. The film is wonderful as well. I completely agree with you about Wonderland, but I wonder if heading down there voluntarily and being in no rush to find a way out would make any difference?!

    @Trish, I haven't read Castaway but it sounds interesting. Those sort of desolate spaces make such a great setting, especially when they're beautiful but the characters begin to crack

  13. Post-apocalyptic novels do have good settings. I almost put Gilead on my list. Edinburgh is an interesting choice. I've only read part of Trainspotting, but I've always wanted to visit there in real life.

    Check out my list here



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...