My Favourite Book Settings

Are you more likely to pick up a book if you know it is set in a certain place or city? I certainly am, and that is why I love this week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday. It was difficult for me to narrow it down to ten of my favourite book settings because I am someone who appreciates atmospheric in a novel. Let me know if we have any favourites in common!

Boarding Schools

The Broken Girls, Plain Bad Heroines, Never Let Me Go, and The Poppy War

I just know that boarding schools are going to be on so many people’s lists today! There is something about them that rarely misses, especially in thrillers/mysteries.


The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, The Thirteenth Tale, You, and Swimming Lessons

There is something so romantic about bookstores, but they can also be the perfect backdrop for a mystery, which is why three of the four books I recommended are thrillers!


The Guest List, And Then There Were None, Raven Black, and The Light Between Oceans

This was a more recent realization for me, but I absolutely love books set on islands! There is something about the isolation that adds to the atmosphere.


Normal People and Wonder

There is something about books set in Ireland and Irish writers in general that appeals to me. Sally Rooney and Emma Donoghue are my two favourite Irish authors, but there are so many others who I want to read from!


Project Hail Mary, The Darkness Outside Us, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, and All Systems Red

I adore all types of SciFi, but I am especially drawn to anything set in space. I love books that take place on spaceships in particular. I don’t know why!

New York

City of Girls, Final Girls, The Diviners, and The Museum of Extraordinary Things

Anywhere in Canada

All My Puny Sorrows, The Glass Hotel, A Dark and Hollow Star, and Still Life

As a Canadian, I love reading books either set in or written by Canadians. I am trying to be better at picking up books published by independent Canadian publishers as well.

Small Towns

The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society, The Dutch House, and Anne of Green Gables

There is something so charming about a small-town setting!


Be Not Far From Me, Silver in the Wood, The Boy From the Woods, and The Bear and the Nightingale

Forest are so vast and magical and make for the perfect setting for so many genres from fantasy to thrillers!

Haunted Houses

White Smoke, The Death of Jane Lawrence, The Widow of Rose House, and The House of Salt and Sorrows

Give me all of the haunted house stories! I have really been into them lately and they are my perfect books for this time of year.

What is your favourite book setting?

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54 thoughts on “My Favourite Book Settings

  1. I love this! I didn’t have room in my top 10 for haunted houses but I do love me a good haunted house story!

      1. I think the audio format might be challenging because the story jumps around so much. I had to take notes at first to keep it all straight! 4 different stories and settings! Happy reading/listening!

  2. I have loved so many of these settings! Ireland, yes please! And bookstores, and libraries, and small towns! So good.


  3. One of the most entertaining books that I’ve read that takes place on an island is The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific, a 2004 travelogue by author J. Maarten Troost describing the two years he and his girlfriend spent living on the Tarawa atoll in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati. Highly recommend.

  4. I’m so happy to see that someone else besides me liked The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. It doesn’t get mentioned a lot. Great picks for settings all around 🙂

  5. Great selection! I also love the boarding school setting (was completely crushed by Never Let Me Go), so I’m going to recommend If We Were Villains, by ML Rio, if you haven’t read it.
    I also love an academic/university setting, especially if it’s more related to science. For this I recommend the Memoirs of Lady Trent series, by Marie Brennan – although it doesn’t take place at an university, it deals with academic topics, scientific discovery, women in science, etc etc (in a fictional world inspired by Victorian era!)

  6. Great post! I love Canadian settings as well, being Canadian myself. My novel The Cross We Bear is set in and around Toronto and my fellow Canadians appreciate it because they can relate to it- I believe we have a unique culture up here, that some people may not recognize. And of course Ireland as produce some great writers in addition to the ones you mentioned, there is James Joyce, and one of my all time favourite books is Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt an Irish American.

  7. What an interesting angle at picking up book! I have been stuck in New Orleans or a while with Anne Rice and VC Andrews taking us there and to the bayou! Lol

  8. Hi Kristin! These are great – I’ve read many of the same books. I do like a NYC book, but haven’t read the ones you listed – I’ll have to add them to my list. My all-time favorite book takes place in NY: Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk. Highly recommend!

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