Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is the top 10 places we want to visit because of books. And luckily for me, fictional places count too!

Without further ado, my 10 top book-related destinations:

1) The Scottish Highlands, thanks to the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

scottish-highlands

2) Paris, because of SO many books — most recently Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. (I’ve actually spent time in Paris, but I’d go again in a heartbeat!)

paris

3) Amsterdam, thanks to The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

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4) Japan, thanks to Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

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5) Botswana, thanks to The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

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6) Australia, thanks to The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

australia

7) Italian Riviera, thanks to Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.

Manarola at Dusk, Cinque Terre, Italy

8) New Orleans, because of every Anne Rice book I’ve ever read.

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Honestly, there are so many real-world places I’d love to visit, and every time I read a book with a new or different setting, the list just gets longer and longer. I’d happily travel the world, books in hand, for the rest of my life!

To round out my top 10, I’ll just add in a couple of the fantasy worlds I wish I could get to… but alas, they only exist in fiction.

9 & 10 & beyond — the many lands of Middle-Earth:

Someone please figure out how I can get to Hobbiton (I’m short enough to fit comfortably):

hobbiton

Gondor:

gondor

and Lothlorien:

lothlorien

And that’s not even mentioning Narnia, Fillory, Westeros (well, no, too dangerous), and so many other favorite fantasy worlds.

Where will your bookish travel bug take you?

Share your links, and I’ll come check out your top 10!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly feature, Thursday Quotables. Happy reading!

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Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Fictional Worlds I Wouldn’t Want To Live In

fireworks2Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten Worlds I’d Never Want To Live In.

It was hard getting to 10, so I had to switch it up a bit. First off, five fantasy worlds that are fun to read about, but not great if you actually have to live there:

1) Arrakis (Dune series by Frank Herbert): Giant sandworms. Need I say more?

2) Westeros (A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin): There’s a pretty good chance of ending up dead, tortured, or mutilated. And/or watching everyone you love — including your pets — end up dead, tortured, or mutilated. And if you somehow survive all that, there’s still a bunch of white walkers to deal with. No thanks.

3) Mordor (Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien): I wouldn’t mind hanging out in most of Middle Earth, but I’ll pass on a voyage to Mordor.

4) Panem (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins): Televised slaughter of children. Nope. (But I think I would really rock the bow-and-arrow look.)

5) The Muggle world (Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling): I believe in the world of Harry Potter, but sadly, I think I should stop expecting an owl to drop off my Hogwarts acceptance letter — and what could be more depressing than living life as a Muggle when all the cool folks are playing Quidditch and drinking butterbeer?

For the next five, five different versions of life on Earth, post-catastrophe. I hope I’m not around for any of these:

6) Earth after the moon is hit by an asteroid, in The Last Survivors series by Susan Beth Pfeffer.

7) Earth after the alien invasion, in The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey.

8) Earth after the supervolcano eruption, in the Ashfall series by Mike Mullin.

9) Earth after the “gendercide”, in Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan

10) Earth after the slowing, in The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

(I guess if “Top 10 Fictional Apocalypses” is ever a topic of the week, I’ll be in good shape!)

Okay, made it to 10 just barely! What fictional worlds would you never want to live in?

If you enjoyed this post, please consider following Bookshelf Fantasies! And don’t forget to check out our regular weekly features, Thursday Quotables and Flashback Friday. Happy reading!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Do you host a book blog meme? Do you participate in a meme that you really, really love? I’m building a Book Blog Meme Directory, and need your help! If you know of a great meme to include — or if you host one yourself — please drop me a note on my Contact page and I’ll be sure to add your info!

 

Maps of fictional worlds

I’m somewhat of a map geek, I suppose. Just this past weekend, I got separated from my loved ones at a flea market when I stopped at a booth featuring historical maps of California and the West… and must have entered a time portal, because when I looked up, fifteen minutes had gone by and my family was nowhere in sight.

But beyond maps of real-life places, I’m especially fond of maps of the worlds I visit in books. It’s just SO COOL to see the author’s world laid out visually, and I tend to get lost in them. I really do want to know the best way to get from the Shire to Mordor, with a detour to Gondor along the way. And just where is Pentos in relation to Westeros? Inquiring minds want to know.

[Side note: One of my big beefs about reading on my Kindle is how annoying it is to try to flip back and forth to check the map every time a new place is mentioned in a book. I’ll take the “stick a finger in the page” method any day.]

I came across this map today, which puts a whole slew of fictional lands into the same world. Neat, right? So apparently Oz is just north of Middle Earth. Who knew?

Here are a few maps of some of my favorite places to visit:

Alera, from Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. If you haven’t read these yet, stop whatever you’re doing and read these immediately!

I just did a quick Google search for maps of Westeros, and discovered that every fan and his brother has a map. There are interactive maps, topographical maps, maps with caricatures of the main characters, maps with all the house sigils… you name it, it’s out there. Here’s one that gives the basics of Westeros, although it doesn’t include the lands beyond the sea:

Westeros, from the worlds of A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

Next up, always a classic:

Middle Earth. Again, it seems that there are endless variations of this one available out there on the interwebs.

And for a newer classic:

Fillory, from The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Of course, no round-up of fictional lands would be complete without:

Narnia!

What I want to know now is: Now that I have the map, how do I get there? Do I need a passport? Can I find cheap flights on Orbitz?

What fictional worlds would you love to explore?