Thursday, August 26, 2010

Top Ten Picks: Fictional Places

Top Ten Picks is hosted by Jillian at Random Ramblings. This week, the topic is "Fictional Places".

So for this week, the topic is on ten fictional places that stand out to you in the world of literature. These are the wonderful settings that either made your jaw drop in awe or simply terrified you. Either they are good or not-so-pleasant places, they have inspired your imagination to take a journey somewhere you've never been.

Here are my picks (in no particular order):

Fictional Places I'd Love to Visit

10. The Hundred Acre Wood
from Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

Who wouldn't want to hang out with a bunch of talking animals in a lovely English forest? Winnie-the-Pooh was one of the first books I ever owned. It still holds a special place in my heart. Mostly, I'd want to hang out in the Hundred Acre Wood because of all the wonderful critters who live there.

9. Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia
from The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The countries of Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia come to life on the pages of The Thief. Though the geography seems similar to Greece, with its olive groves and rolling hills, the cultures of these countries would make any one of them a fascinating travel destination.

8. the alternate dimension
from The Willowmere Chronicles by Alison Baird

Years before Alyson Noël gave us Summerland in her Immortals series, Alison Baird gave us a very similar alternate dimension, where reality could be manipulated just by thinking about it. I can't recall at the moment if this place had a name, but the basics were much the same as Summerland. (I can't say I'm surprised, though; the Immortals series is one of the most unoriginal and derivative I've ever read.) I'd love to visit this place and see my thoughts and dreams manifest almost instantaneously. How much fun would that be? I'd never want to leave.

7. the castle
from I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

When I read this book, one of the reasons I loved it so much was because of the idea of living in a ruined castle. There are so many nooks and crannies in which to hide, and plenty of space so that you're not tripping over your family members. Living in an abode with so much history would be interesting, as well.

6. Misselthwaite Manor
from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I must admit that I never really fell in love with Misselthwaite Manor until the 1993 movie came out. And then... oh, my gosh. I just wanted to pack up my bags and move there! Too bad it doesn't actually exist. From the maze of hallways to the secret passages to the gorgeous gardens, Misselthwaite is definitely a location that would be on my "must-see fictional places" itinerary.

5. Ancelstierre and the Old Kingdom
from Sabriel by Garth Nix

It's the contrast between the ancient and the modern that I found intriguing in Garth Nix's wonderful story. Can you imagine living in a fairly modern country... with a land of old magic right next door? I'd be hopping the border to explore...

4. Opium
from The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

This is one of those places that I would -- yet wouldn't -- want to visit. I'd love to see the landscape and the fields of poppies. But I don't think I'd want to live there. The ethics of the place don't really mesh with my own.

3. Hogwarts
from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

I've always liked castles, but Hogwarts takes the cake. It's just so cool! Ceilings that are enchanted to replicate the night sky, staircases that move, paintings that talk, secret chambers (or Chambers of Secrets)... There would be so much to explore that I'd probably be there for months (if not years).

Fictional Places I'd Never Want to Visit

2. the Forest
from The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

I didn't really like this book, but I have to admit that the Forest made an impression on me. There's something utterly creepy about a forest where nothing lives (except zombies... and their living is questionable), and the only way through this forest is a series of fenced paths of unknown origin. Had more been explained, I probably would have liked the story more than I did. But the forest is still creepy enough to make my list of places I'd never want to visit.

1. the Forest
from The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

This forest is even creepier than the last. There are things that live there that you wouldn't want to even think about, much less encounter. You couldn't pay me to visit this place (but it makes for a delightfully creepy setting for the events in this book).


  1. I think it's safe to say we both dislike forests! LOL.

    I have never read the Willowmere Chronicles. Do you recommend that series? Because it sure looks interesting!

  2. If you ever decide to take that trip to the Hundred Acre Wood I'll be glad to tag along.

  3. Oh I love this post! There are so many places I would love to see too on this list! Many a good place :)

  4. Ooh the forest of hands and teeth is a great pick on the bad side!

    I really need to read I Capture the Castle.

  5. +JMJ+

    What a great list! =D

    I'm as in love with Misselthwaite Manor as you--and yes, it also took the movie to do it for me. =P How lovely to be a child there, aye?

    But maybe I'd choose the ruined castle of I Capture the Castle instead . . . I'll have to read the book to find out which one is my true favourite! LOL!

    The Garth Nix settings remind me of Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea, which made my own list. I've been meaning to start reading Nix, so I'm glad to hear that he has his own speical blend of the modern and the magical. =)

    I'd go on and on about all your picks, but long-winded comments are probably my worst blogging fault. Especially when I haven't even introduced myself!

    Hi, I'm Enbrethiliel, and I only wish I looked as sweet as the coon on my profile pic. =P

  6. Great list! If I'd thought outside my mystery box, I would definitely have the Hundred Acre Wood on there!

  7. Great post. Me too, I want to go to Hogwarts! Wow, If you get an invite, please take me with you. ;) I want to see it too.

  8. We have a few places in common! :) I really should get around to The Book Of Lost Things though, I've had it for ages and always heard great things about it! Great list as always :D