Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ttt: top ten settings i'd like to see more of

This week's Top Ten Tuesday on the Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Settings I'd Like to See More Of. And I've gotta say, it's one of my favorite topics in a while. I love historical settings, so I was very tempted to just name decades (1910s, 1930s, 1860s, etc.), but really, I love any historical setting. I'm not that picky as long as it's pre-1950. So I started thinking of places instead and before I knew it, I had a huge list on my hands. And I'm really excited about them too! Both as settings to look for when I'm trying to find new reads and as inspiration for my own stories.

Top Ten Settings I'd Like to See More Of

1. A Cruise Boat (Think Titanic). Preferably a boat between 1900 and 1940. Not required to sink, but I wouldn't mind if it did. Definitely must include some "fancy dress" scenes in the dining room. 

2. Olympic Village. I'm not interested in an autobiography of an Olympian. I want a fictional, behind-the-scenes, action-packed look at the athletes. Big rivalries and drama required. Maybe something mysterious, an act of sabotage . . . 

3. Versailles in the Reign of Marie Antoinette (Think Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette). Drama, romance, extravagant wealth. A ball with lots of dancing required. Preferably, there would be lots of watercolors inside to help you imagine the elaborate fashion, food, and decor.

4. A Train (Think Harry Potter's Hogwarts Express and Murder on the Orient Express). Again, preferably pre-1950. Must include carriages, fancy dining cars, and interesting scenery out the windows. 

5. Boarding School (Think Never Let Me Go, Old School, Prep, Madeline, A Little Princess, Harry Potter, etc.) From what I've seen so far, this is a very popular choice. As it should be! Boarding schools are so fascinating. The rules, the enclosure, the lack of parents (but the prominence of teachers). 

6. Airports (Think of the movie The Terminal). I've spent quite a lot of time in airports in the past couple years. Slept overnight a few times in the Athens Airport and once in Paris-Orly. I was sick of them after that, but I'll always be fascinated and excited by the idea of an airport. So many different people heading different ways, for tons of different reasons. All the busyness and the strange, exhausted people (I saw a lady freak out and start screaming in the Paris-Orly airport about how the French were pigs). Why has there not been a book about the world of an airport?

7. An Asylum (Think Fingersmith, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest). Preferably, the narrator would not in fact be crazy (or would be a strange kind of crazy . . . ). I'd love to see more books about those evil men who committed their wives because of "hysteria." Or about the homosexuals committed purely because of their sexual orientation. Such strange, awful periods in human history.

8. A Ski Lodge (Think Bloomability). I've never been to a ski lodge (nor have I been skiing), but I'd love to go someday, and I think it'd make the perfect setting for a story. The cold, the beautiful snow, sitting by the fire, the wilderness, accidents on the big slopes . . .

9. Summer Camp (Think The Parent Trap). I've also never been to a real summer camp. We went for a week in 5th grade (the best week of elementary school ever!) and I went to a daily Girl Scout camp several summers in my childhood, but I'm talking about the all summer long summer camps. Lakes, swimming, rowboats, campfires, archery, cabins. Perfect setting for some drama.

10. Christmastime in London (Think Bridget Jones's Diary, Love Actually, A Christmas Carol). I was going to go with just Christmas, but I really prefer to see Christmas scenes in big, urban settings. So New York would be great too (or Paris!), but London just seems like the perfect match for Christmas. 

PLEASE let me know, readers, if you know of any great books that fit my dream settings. I'm sure there are more out there than I know.


  1. I think trains are woefully underused, especially in historicals when train travel was a big deal.

  2. Ah! I'd love to read some books set in boarding schools (or even snobby private schools), asylums, and Versailles. What wonderful, fascinating worlds.

  3. What a cool way to find new books to read! Just seeing the different locations and reading about them makes my imagination go wild with possibilities. I can't think of any books off the top of my head, but I'll keep my eyes open for any that may fit your specifications. I just adore your blog. I hope you're doing well - we should catch up some time, I would love to hear what you're up to post-Drury. :)
    PS. Thanks for stopping by my blog - I'll def check out the documentary you recommneded. It sounds intriguing.


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