There are some books out there that just would not be the same if they didn’t include a certain setting. A good setting can become an entire character in a very descriptive book. I chose my list of favorite book settings based on how much this place contributes to the plot, how much I wish these places could be real, and how badly I would like to visit them.
- The Wizarding World (Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling) – It was such a toss-up between picking Hogwarts or the Burrow that I ultimately just needed to go with this entire universe. There would be so much to explore and, in a sense, visiting it would feel like returning to my childhood home. Jo Rowling created an amazingly detailed world for readers to enjoy and she still left so much up to the imagination. Living as a magical person in wizards’ territory is just one of those dreams that I bet many people in the world share.
- Welcome Stairways Diner (Hope Was Here, by Joan Bauer) – This restaurant is the main setting in a book very close to my heart. This diner is owned by the cancer-stricken G.T. who has chosen to make the most of his life rather than worry about dying. Hope, a new waitress who is not used to such positivity, is soon swept up in G.T.’s zest for life and his love for the people that his attitude attracts. I’d love to go to the diner to see G.T. thrive in his comfort zone and to try some of Hope’s aunt Addie’s legendary food. The place really comes across as one of those cozy, community diners where all of the patrons know each other, and I love it.
- Panem (The Hunger Games series, by Suzanne Collins) – Now, Panem would be a horrible place to actually live. I’d spend those crazy teenage years worrying about the reaping and then probably refuse to have kids in fear of them being selected one day for the Games. However, I am so intrigued by the idea of exploring this post-apocalyptic world and seeing what has happened to the nation’s greatest cities with my own eyes.
- The Hopewell (Suite Scarlett, by Maureen Johnson) – This slightly dilapidated New York City hotel serves as the home for the Martin family and the spot for the occasional glamourous guest, such as Mrs. Amberson. I simply adore the idea of staying in a small, family-run hotel – it must be the Eloise fan in me, although she lived in quite the opposite kind of establishment. I think that there is so much heart put into the description of this place, and that is why it appeals to readers like me. The hotel just appears as a hidden gem in one of the world’s greatest cities and that kind of place easily earns my love.
- The School of America in Paris (Anna and the French Kiss, by Stephanie Perkins) – I am obsessed with boarding school stories, so this book was well up my alley. Not only does the school attract such diverse and interesting students, it’s in freaking Paris, guys. Can you imagine having Paris as your backyard when you were in high school and having the utmost freedom to explore it? I had an average experience with the majority of my high school classes, but I can picture classes such as History, Art, and Language being vastly more appealing if I had been studying them abroad where such things originated.
What are your favorite book settings and which would you like to visit?