Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books for Readers Who Like Strong Settings

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme brought to you by the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish (the button also belongs to them).  This week’s theme is the Top Ten Books for Readers who Like X.  I have decided to make a list of books with strong settings/sense of place.  I enjoy vivid settings and it’s not something I get to talk about all that often, so here are some of the books that stick out in my mind for their settings…



1. Plainsong by Kent Haruf– This one is set in eastern Colorado in the Plains part of the state.  Haruf’s sparse language really reflects the plain, unadorned small town he sets his book in.

2. Sea Creatures by Susanna Daniel– Set in Florida, this book takes place in part in Stiltsville, a group of houses built on stilts in the middle of a bay in South Florida.  The isolation of the homes and the healing and destructive power of the ocean looms large in this one.

3. The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey– This retelling of Jane Eyre makes Gemma (the Jane Eyre of the book) from Iceland and puts her to work on the remote Orkney Islands.  I read it a while ago, but still think of Iceland and caves/volcanoes when I see it.


4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz– This one is set in El Paso and, being a bit of a desert girl, the setting really resonated with me.

5. Simply from Scratch by Alicia BessetteThis book takes place in New England in the winter.  There are all sorts of snow-related activities in it and scene where they get caught in a blizzard.

6. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by emily m. danforth– The Montana setting loomed large in this story, from the dusty eastern part of the state to the striking mountains and lakes of the west.  Also, Quake Lake, named for the earthquake which created it, plays an important part in Cameron’s family history.


7. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery– I’m pretty sure everyone who reads these books dreams of going to Prince Edward Island.  Anne knows how to sell the natural beauty of a place, that’s for sure.

8. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier– I have to throw in some great fantasy world-building, too.  I loved the Irish setting here and that the supernatural lives very close to the surface in the world Marillier creates.

9. Shades of Earth by Beth Revis– I loved the setting of all three of the books in this sci-fi trilogy, but was particularly enamored with Centauri Earth and its weird terrain, plants, and creatures.


Do you have a favorite book with a strong setting?  As always, link me up to your posts in the comments!

8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books for Readers Who Like Strong Settings

  1. Ohh, Simply From Scratch looks like a good read. And I would agree, books that make me feel calm and happy and cozy are wonderful. 🙂

    Aidyl’s TTT

  2. I love the direction you took with your post! I also love a story that creates a strong sense of place. Anne of Green Gables is an all-time favorite of mine. The Flight of Gemma Hardy sounds so intriguing. And houses on stilts?! Totally adding that to my TBR list!
    Lauren @ Lauren Hearts Books

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