Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books

This week's top ten Tuesday topic is near and dear to my heart. My favorite books are those that take you to a different place. As a child growing up in the ghetto (for reals) the only way out was through books. It was my only escape from the world. It was (as cliche as it sounds) what allowed me to dream of a better life. My favorite books today are the ones who made me feel lost in another time and place. So without further ado, here are my...

Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds (or Settings) in Books

  1. The Other Realm in A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. The book's setting of Victorian England makes an interesting juxtaposition with the fantasy fairy realm that the girl's visit. The book managed to make the idea of another realm accessible only through magic believable and yet fantastical at the same time. This book makes it onto almost all of my book lists because it is just wonderful. 
  2. I'm sure most people who do this topic will have this answer. The Wizarding World of the Harry Potter series of course! JK Rowling completely brought this world to life. Even before the movies, it was easy to imagine things like Quidditch, Hogwarts, and Voldemort. 
  3. No list of vivid settings would be complete without a nod to the master, JRR Tolkien. He was the king of creating complete worlds. Before he even started writing the Lord of the Rings, he spent years making up maps, languages, lands, and different races of beings to populate Middle Earth. I honestly believe that any fantasy writer worth his salt has to study Tolkien.
  4. My current favorite is of course The Seven Kingdoms from George RR Martin's Song of Fire and Ice/ Game of Thrones series. Like Tolkien, he's invented new languages, races, and maps. He isn't yet to Tolkien levels, but I think he will be someday. 
  5. Geatland from Beowulf. Technically this is an actual place, since it believed to be set in Denmark. Whoever the person is who first put down the story into writing managed to bring it vividly to life. If you've never read it, I highly recommend it. It is a lot more than just a horrible CGI movie.
  6. Ben Hur by Lew Wallace is an amazing look at the time period when Jesus Christ was born and lived. Ben Hur is a rich Jewish man who is born about the same time as Jesus. Their lives keep crossing but Ben Hur doesn't become a believer until he is a poor man and he finally meets Jesus.
  7. You knew it was going to be on the list people. Let's be real. I love me some Gone with the Wind. No one can bring the American South before, during, and after the Civil War like Margaret Mitchell did in this book. 
  8. Afghanistan in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This book is not for the faint of heart folks. It not only shows life before and after the Taliban takeover, but it shows some real portrayals of war. It has one of the most vivid portrayals of human evil that I've ever read. Like I said, not for the faint of heart, but an amazing book.
  9. Lisa See is a wonderful storyteller. She is absolutely one of my favorite contemporary authors. Her focus is mainly China. Her historical fiction books like Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, and Shanghai Girls are so good. So good. Peony in Love had me in tears for almost the entire duration. Her description of foot binding in Snow Flower almost made me sick. Extremely vivid and beautiful descriptive writing. 
  10. You all know I love me some Neverland. I've been dreaming of running away with Peter Pan for as long as I can remember. Well, admittedly, I want to run away with Captain Hook. "All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust."
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  1. Hi, I'm coming over from Gentri's blog hop. Thank you for this list. I actually have not heard of the Other Realm so thanks for pointing that out. I love the Harry Potter series, Tolkein, Gone with the wind. I loved the descriptive writing of the Kite Runner but it was a very painful book to go through otherwise!
    I am now a follower. Please do visit my blog when you can.

  2. I would love to visit or live in Middle Earth or Harry Potter's Wizardly world! Great list.

  3. Awesome list. Each one is incredibly unique in it's own right. Who could forget middle earth in LOTR?


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