Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday, where after a week’s hiatus I realized all the TTT posts I’d written back in January had run out (how are we at the end of March already?) and I had to stop relying on all of my scheduled posts and actually get around to writing things again. I’ve still got book reviews, first impression Fridays, and recipe reviews scheduled out to July, July, and May, respectively, but I’ve run out of TTT posts and I’m close to catching up on Tag Thursday posts. I’ve been so busy the past few weeks working on cross stitching thing (a hobby that I never thought I’d enjoy!) that I’ve been neglecting my blog. Even if I was posting, I wasn’t interacting with anyone, and that’s like 99% of what’s fun about blogging (especially with book blogs).
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week’s theme is Places in books I’d like to live. This was pretty hard, because a lot of the books that I read are pretty dark fantasy or science fiction books, or they’re historical stuff about the Holocaust, and none of those are places that you really want to live.
1 – Beyond the Tollbooth from The Phantom Tollbooth
The problem with a lot of children’s fiction is that the places in the books are either super cutesy or super dark, but I think The Phantom Tollbooth straddles that line really well. While there are a few scary places in TPT, like the Valley of Sound, for the most part the world is fun and interesting. You just have to avoid the Mathematician and his division stew, and definitely avoid the demons in the mountains. (Or just give them a bunch of rice to count, like you do with vampires.) Milo learns a lot about himself in the land beyond the tollbooth, and he learns to appreciate what’s around him that much more. I’d also love to visit Dictionopolis, because it seems like just the place for someone who loves words as much as I do.
2 – The Castle from the Septimus Heap series
Instead of Hogwarts, let’s go back to the Castle, maybe even to the Ramblings (obviously post-Supreme Custodian/Dom Daniel times, when Jenna is the rightful Queen of the castle). It just seems like such a cozy place, even if the plumbing isn’t up to modern standards. Plus, it would be fun to be an apprentice in some of the magykal charm shops – as long as you didn’t have one blow up in your face and turn you into a giant mouse, that is.
3 – The Shire from The Lord of the Rings
If we’re talking either pre-Bilbo finding the Ring or post-Frodo destroying the Ring, I think that The Shire would be an incredible place to live. Hobbits seem like so much fun, and partying with hobbits seems like something I need to experience in my lifetime. (Or maybe I’ve just spent too much time the past year inside and on my computer.) I just don’t want to have to deal with Sauron-related stuff. Just let me party, drink, eat, and have fun with my friends!
4 – Redwall from the Redwall series
Brian Jacques knows exactly how to write a fun and inviting place! However, I definitely wouldn’t want to be a main character in Redwall, I’d want to be one of the side characters who gets to enjoy the feast and the holidays but never has to worry about being called to go on a deadly quest. The Redwall books are pretty dark for how young their intended audience is meant to be, but I think, unlike the five books mentioned later in this post, that it’s good times far outweigh its bad.
5 – Night Vale from Welcome to Night Vale
I might be cheating with this one because it was a podcast before it was a book, and I think I’d put this down as “like to visit, but wouldn’t want to live,” but I think Night Vale would be an interesting place to at least drive through. I’d probably die a horrible death, but I like to think that I’d at least be able to drive through it without something terrible happening. Besides, if I keep my mouth shut, I’d probably be okay!
And, for the last half, let’s go with places I think it would be interesting to visit but I’d never want to actually go there, because I have a LOT more places like that on my bookshelf!
6 – The Scholomance from A Deadly Education
I mean, the Scholomance actually traps you inside the walls for the four years it takes you to get your magical education, which isn’t ideal, and less than half of the graduating class actually makes it to graduation and beyond, so it’s absolutely not a place that I’d like to stay. Maybe if I could just watch it through a viewscreen, so I don’t get up close and personal with the demonic creatures that crawl through the pipes and walls of the place, I’d be satisfied.
7 – Ketterdam from Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom
A place that I think would be absolutely fun to visit but I would never want to stay because I’m sure I’d end up getting kidnapped and made to work in a brothel. And while being a Grisha sounds fun, having to be constantly afraid for your life absolutely doesn’t sound fun, so I think I’ll just stick to reading about Victorian-esque places instead of visiting them.
8 – The Hinterlands from The Hazel Wood
Ever wanted to live in a fairy tale? Well, now you can – and you’ll probably never leave the woods alive. I really like reading reimagined and retwisted fairy tales, but I don’t think I’d ever want to visit places like this because I would absolutely get murdered by Twice-Killed Katherine or someone even worse.
9 – The OASIS from Ready Player One
Aside from the whole Sword Art Online vibes that you get from the entire world living online while still having a physical body, I think we’ve lived too much of our lives online in the past year (thanks, pandemic!) and I think I’d go insane if there was literally nothing else to do except play video games online. You have to have some sort of balance! (My balance is right now is cross stitching, candle making, video games, and reading, in order of what I’m currently doing the most.)
10 – Anywhere in Space (The Expanse, Old Man’s War, etc)
Space is the absolute last place that I think I’d like to go. There are so many things that could go wrong, and there are so many things that could cause those things to go wrong. I mean, I guess if the Earth was destroyed by an apocalyptic event and my only option was to die a certain death down here or take my chances in space where I only have a 50-50 chance of dying, I’d probably choose space, but it would be my last resort.
What about you? Do you have a place in a book that you’d absolutely love to live (I’m pretty sure I’ll see The Shire on a lot of lists today!), or do you have a longer list of places that you’d absolutely want to avoid? Let me know in the comments!
And as always, keep reading.