This week, The Broke and the Bookish have left the subject of Top Ten Tuesday up to us. I've chosen to list the top ten book locations that leave me aching to pack up my bags and board a plane/TARDIS/reality hopper.
Top Ten Book Settings I Want To Live In (or at least visit)
1. 19th Century Prince Edward Island - Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery.
2. Narnia, circa the time of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis. This seems to be the best time to be a Narnian, when the land is at peace and adventure is for adventure's own sake.
3. New Zealand - After The Fall by Charity Norman. Even if the story emphasises that you can't escape from your own life, it still makes me want to start a completely new life - and with such a background!
4. London Below - Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Complete with Croup and Vandemar and certain death around every corner? Perhaps not. Yet in many ways London Below seems more real, more alive, than the London I can visit on the train.
5. Middle Earth - The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. Yes, even with the deadly, hopeless quest. It would certainly show what a person is made of. I'd love to see the Elves in Rivendell and Lothlorien, and visit the human lands of Gondor and Rohan, but ultimately I would be most at home with the Hobbits in the comfort of the Shire.
6. Botswana - The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Mma Ramotswe has such a joyful approach to life, and such a love of her country.
7. 1920s Lake District - Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. Childhood seems so much freer in this era, with the children camping on a lake island, sailing, mountaineering and adventuring to their hearts' content. And ginger beer and corned beef sandwiches taste so much better when eaten outdoors and called "grog" and "pemmican."
8. Hogwarts - Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Of course. Who doesn't want to learn Transfiguration, Potions and Defence Against the Dark Arts instead of maths, science and geography?
9. Beszel/Ul Qomo - The City and the City by China Mieville. Two cities, that live on top of each other like two pictures on different sheets of tracing paper, where you may not even acknowledge something going on the other side of the street, if it is technically in the other city. Perhaps this would be a place to visit rather than to live in - but I'd like to see exactly how it works.
10. Australia - Down Under, by Bill Bryson.
And 5 settings I'm happy just reading about from the safety of my armchair:
1. Westeros - A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin.
2. High School - Every YA novel ever. Once was quite enough for me, thank you very much.
3. Panem - The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.
4. The Arctic Circle - Dark Matter by Michelle Paver. Brrrrr. I do not like the cold.
5. The Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer. I love the idea of this boarding school in the Alps, but I suspect it would not be as much fun as the stories lead you to believe, with the taboo on slang, having to be trilingual in English, French and German, and the earnestness of the Real Chalet Girls.