Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.
In today’s Top Ten Tuesday post, I am featuring my top ten places in books I’d love to live. I really liked the idea of this topic – which is why I’m taking part in it! Having said that, I did struggle to come up with ten. It’s not that I have a lack of books to choose from, but rather the events that take place in the book are more often than not unpleasant and consequently I wouldn’t want to live there!
For example, Westeros and Essos, the two main landmasses famous in the Game of Thrones series are notably not on here. If any of you follow the series I’m sure it’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to wonder why…
But, alas, I did come up with ten in the end. Some of them still have caveats that I wouldn’t want to live that in the circumstances of the book necessarily, but they are all lovely places but I think I could live in in more pleasant climes.
So, shall we jump into the list?
The Shire: Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J. R. R. Tolkien
The Shire has to be the top entry on today’s Top Ten Tuesday list. Maybe it is because of Tolkien’s beautiful descriptions, or perhaps it has more to do with the fact that The Shire is similar enough to where I actually live. I live in probably one of the smaller villages on the island. Whilst I certainly don’t live in a hobbit-hole, I do have the benefit of a small community and country views, just as hobbits do. For context as to just how small the villages, we have one convenience shop and one pub – you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve at least got our priorities right!
Prague: Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor
It would be a very far cry to describe myself as a city girl. In fact, the thought is ridiculous – I just not a fan of being around people! However, the descriptions of the city of Prague are absolutely beautiful in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. So, I concede that I would be willing to give it a go. Even if I only survived living there a day, it still counts, right?
Deserted Island: Circe – Madeline Miller
This may seem like a strange addition, but I have my reasons. In Circe, the title character is banished to a deserted island. No spoilers as to why, but sometimes there is a great appeal to just have my own space. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete social recluse, but on a Friday evening after a full week at work, there is nothing I love more than locking my front door and just shutting the world out! I’m a very independent person and I benefit from being by myself to recharge my batteries. So, perhaps you can see the appeal of being left to one’s own devices sometimes!
The Labyrinth: The Relic Guild – Edward Cox
I can’t wholly put my finger on it, but there is something about the Labyrinth that appeals to me. Aside from the danger of magic and the quest of a small guild to save the inhabitants, there is something I like about the idea of living in a secluded area (as we’ve already covered!). For context, there is only one gateway into the Labyrinth; none who live there can leave. I hear you ask – why does that appeal? Well I suppose it’s again much like where I live. Obviously I can leave… unless you lived on the Isle of Man you won’t understand. The island is very static; the town that I grew up in hasn’t changed since my mum was a child. In some aspects I suppose there is a reassuring element to that which does not change, however equally progressive change is also somewhat lacking. Swings and roundabouts, but the concept of the Labyrinth does remind me of home. There may be a boat in the morning here yessir, but that entirely depends on the weather.
Weep: Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor
Weep is a legendary city in Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer duology. For this particular entry, my preference would be to visit the city before the events of the books. Cataclysmic events render the city of Weep destroyed before the books begin. However, the descriptions of its beauty even afterwards are in themselves legendary and on those alone, I would like to live in and admire the fabled city before its disaster.
The Misery: The Raven’s Mark Trilogy – Ed Macdonald
Of all the places to appeal to me in the Raven’s Mark series, it is the wasted, warping desert known as the Misery that strangely appeals. It goes to show that a fantastic description of a setting can go along way to influencing your perception. In the books it is an awful place; it is ravaged by monsters and there are no fixed landmarks as magic warps the landscape constantly. It is easy to get lost. If I remember rightly there is just one location/residence in the Misery that remains a fixed point. I’d have to make my base there… but at least I would wake up to new scenery every day!
London: Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch
I don’t profess to be an expert on modern-day London; the fact is I’ve only visited twice in my life. I visited once with my grandparents as a child and once again more recently, albeit for the more mundane reason of a training exercise for work. Still, there is a sense of excitement and appeal to the idea of there being more behind a modern-day setting. The unknown and the magical living on your doorstep is utterly fantastical and yet my whimsical brain loves the idea! If it could happen in London it could happen anywhere. I suppose we have our kind of ‘magical inhabitants‘ here on Island if you want to call them that. If you don’t say good morning or good afternoon to the fairies when you go over the Fairy Bridge, you can expect to be asking for trouble!
If anybody reading this thinks that the last sentence was a joke… It wasn’t entirely. It is tradition to bid the fairies good day when crossing the bridge. As to whether any ill-fortune becomes of you if you don’t is entirely speculative… But who wants to be taking that chance?
Elendel: Alloy of Law – Brandon Sanderson
The Alloy of Law is a rather steampunk setting and so living in this book would be a step backwards technologically. That would be a huge adjustment, however, the industrial revolution-esque advancements the city is gradually undergoing means that it wouldn’t be uninhabitable. And as a bonus, the city has its magical protector by the name of Waxillium – I can think of far worse choices for places to live!
The Emporium: The Toymakers – Robert Dinsdale
Do I even have to elaborate on this one much? Who wouldn’t want to live and work in a magical toy shop… especially when it only opens its doors for the festive season? It’s all the fun and none of the customer service lark for most of the year. Where do I sign up?
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling
Living at a school teaching magic is a huge appeal, ignoring the whole ‘he who must not be named‘ situation. Obviously I wouldn’t particularly want to live there during the event of the series, however as a lover of learning and magic in books this is definitely one of my top places to live on this Top Ten Tuesday list.
So, there you have it! Here are my top ten places in books I would love to live in! Do you agree with any of my choices? Or, do you have any alternative destinations? Let me know in the comments!