Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This week the topic at The Broke and the Bookish is unique. Literally! Officially listed as ‘Top Ten of the Most Unique Books I’ve Read’, I’ve decided to put a slightly different slant on the topic and share my ‘Top Ten Unique Settings I’ve Visited Through Books’.
Now, you’ll have to allow me a little licence here. It’s difficult to come up with settings that are totally unique to that book (as in, no one else has written about that setting). Except perhaps in the fantasy genre. So, in some cases, these are simply settings that it is rare to come across in novels (particularly Christian fiction), while in others, there is some aspect to the setting that gives it unique characteristics. Whatever the case, if you’re looking for somewhere different to travel to, try one of these literary vacations. 🙂
(All covers link to Amazon, and are affiliate links. It does not cost any extra for you to purchase through these links, but it does mean I get a teensy tiny commission on the sale, which helps to make this blog possible 🙂 )
Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis)
Is there any child who has read one of the books in this series without wanting to visit Narnia? Perhaps checking the occasional wardrobe, or gazing intently at a painting of a ship…? Narnia may share many similarities with our own world, but any child (or adult) who has read these novels will readily assure you that it is a unique world.
Middle Earth (The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien)
Wonderland (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)
Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl)
Now, I’m not a chocolate lover (yes, I know that makes me weird), but that didn’t stop me appreciating the magnificently creative chocolate factory owned by Willy Wonka! Mind you, a chocolate factory like this sounds like exactly the kind of thing a child would dream up. What I really want to know is what inspired Dahl to set an entire book on (and in) a peach!
Curio (Curio by Evangeline Denmark)
When I picked up this novel I was fascinated by the world of the porcies (porcelain figurines) and tocks (clockwork people). The main character, Grey Haward, enters their world one night when she enters her grandfather’s store to escape the Chemists and unlocks the curio cabinet…
Read my review.
Steam-powered Victorian England (Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina)
Okay, so I know there is a whole steampunk genre out there, so this book isn’t exactly unique in that respect, but it was my introduction to the steampunk genre, and I loved it! Although, considering my family’s love of our city’s annual Steamfest (just last weekend, as it happens) it probably isn’t that surprising. 🙂 This is set in Victorian England, where Charles Darwin’s son is prime minister, and steam is the power that runs the world.
Innisbraw (The Thistle Series by Dianne Price)
Innisbraw is a small (fictional) Scottish island in the Outer Hebrides. This series (which is now complete with 5 books) follows the story of Maggie (who grew up on Innisbraw) and Rob, the American pilot she falls in love with during WWII. The island itself, its community, and their way of life is vividly portrayed throughout the series.
10th Century North America (God’s Daughter by Heather Day Gilbert)
Christian Viking fiction is rare, to say the least, but Heather Day Gilbert has written the story of Gudrid, the daughter-in-law of Eric the Red, and Freydis, the illegitimate daughter of Eric the Red (in Forest Child). If you want to get a feel for this period in history from a Christian perspective, look no further.
ViCross (Titanis by Ronie Kendig)
*Ahem* You knew I had to fit one of Ronie’s books in here somewhere, didn’t you?! The ViCross is not just any old boat. It’s not even just your standard luxury yacht. It’s a luxurious yacht with a capital Y.A.C.H.T. Luxurious (did I mention that yet?) and isolated—just the way Eamon Straider likes it. As a bonus, you get to see some of Australia’s rugged top end—also a rare setting. What’s not to like? 😁
Lighthouses (Beacons of Hope series by Jody Hedlund)
I’m pretty certain I’m not cut out to be a lighthouse keeper, but there’s something romantic about them as a fictional setting, isn’t there? The books in Jody Hedlund’s Beacons of Hope series are set in lighthouses in Michigan, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
Ringling’s Circus (The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron)
The circus! And not just any old circus, but the Ringling’s Circus! And a beautiful story, too. 🙂 You can read my review here.
And just to finish off today’s list, here are two unique locations that are on my TBR pile, waiting to be explored:
20th Century Russia (The Heirs of Anton series by Susan May Warren)
Mars (Biome by Ryan Galloway)