Top Ten Tuesday: Book Settings I LIVE For

Top Ten Tuesday #41

HOLY CATS, book nerds!

I’m partaking in my FIRST non-review related weekly meme of the YEAR!!!! This is equal parts shameful and exciting, but I’m choosing to breeze on past the humiliation and dive right on into the content. Emma’s reaction really says it all. So be like Emma, y’all. 😂

In addition to returning to one of my favorite bookish memes, I’m also partaking in The Reading Rush readathon. Because I’m attempting to do #7in7 I should theoretically be a book down as this will publish after midnight. As I write this up (10:30 p.m.) I’m 40 percent of the way through my first book so hopefully I’ll fly through some pages for that last hour and a half of Monday!

Now let’s dive into the real reason you’re all here, shall we?

That’s right, y’all, it’s time for TOP TEN TUESDAY!Hosted by Jana at ThatArtsyReaderGirl, this week’s topic is devoted to “Settings I’d Like to See More Of (Or At All).” Now initially I was going to tweak this prompt to settings I’ve loved or would freak the eff out to visit (i.e. Hogwarts, Neverland, Velaris, etc.), but I figured that was too similar to posts I’ve done in the past. Then I thought about REAL places I’d like to visit and highlighting a favorite novel from those settings (i.e. Egypt, Rome, Greece, etc.), but I wasn’t in love with all ten selections for that twist. Which leads me to what I landed on: Top Ten Settings I LIVE For! The settings that are guaranteed to pique my interest and get my grabby hands tingling. The settings I’d love to surround myself in and still ask for more! Scroll on down and see if we share any favorite places.

*I would like to point out that these are not ranked in any particular order!*

1) Boarding Schools


I don’t care if its scenes of camaraderie in the Gryffindor Common Room or assassin training sessions at The Red Church and Academy Absconditi, books are simply better when they feature boarding school settings. Don’t @ me.

…unless you’re giving me boarding school recs, then @ away, my gentlefriends.

2) College Campuses 


Speaking of schools, I’m a sucker for books that take place on college campuses. Most of my go-to contemporaries utilize this familiar setting, and that’s probably why I adore them so. Whether it’s emotional outbursts in a lecture hall, late-night cram sessions, or the everyday shenanigans of college students, these novels usually make me smile and remember the good ol’ days fondly. I should note the examples I used don’t really give off these warm and fuzzy vibes, but a majority of the books set on university do 😂

3) Bookstores/Libraries 

TTT3I mean this one should be fairly self explanatory, no? I love books. I love to read. I stan characters that also do these things. So obviously novels that devote their settings to these beloved locations are going to gel well with me. Throw in some magic and fantasy elements and then we’ve really got ourselves a literary party!

4) Theaters 

TTT4For those of you that know me well, you know I’m all about the musical theater life. If I’m not listening to show tunes, singing them, or watching them on stage, I’m probably…well, I’m probably always doing one of those things. Unless I’m reading lol 😂. So it should come as no surprise why books set in theaters/around theater life make my heart happy.

5) Road Trips (Especially if they’re for music tour purposes) 

TTT5Somewhat piggy backing off the musical theater track, I’m also super on board with books that feature musicians on tour. There’s just something about the “crammed on a bus so there’s no escape from the drama or the tension” dynamic that just calls to me.

6) Courtroom Dramas 

TTT6Even if I didn’t work at a law firm, I think the sheer number of hours I’ve devoted to true crime docs, episodes of Law & Order, and “arguing my case” with friends and family on the daily would prove my devotion to courtroom dramas. It’s rare to find books that make you feel the tension of cross-examination without being bogged down with industry jargon, which is why I’m always on the hunt for my next legal thriller.

By the way, it took everything in me to not start this blurb with a “you can’t handle the truth” bit. So, you’re welcome. 😂

7) Space 

TTT7This is probably the biggest shock to me out of all the settings on this list because until a few years ago I simply didn’t read sci-fi novels. Thanks to the book community, I’ve seen the <error> of my ways, and now, I not only demand more reads set in space, but I also rank some of these cosmic novels as absolute faves.

8) Gladiatorial Arenas

TTT8Are you not entertained by your current read? (Sorry had to 😂) Then I suggest adding a novel with a gladiatorial component to your TBR. I’m not certain if it’s the old world setting (or dystopian futures that mimic old world settings), the fighting itself, what’s at stake for these characters, or an extreme bias on my part, but I absolutely love books that feature this concept. They typically give me all the feels, and that’s the emotional journey I’m looking for from top-notch reads.

9) Hockey Arenas 

TTT9If you follow me on other platforms (or honestly here too since I talk about it a lot) you know from October on I’m devoted to all things hockey. Growing up in Chicago with a brother and father that both played the sport meant I was destined to fall hard for this sport. And that love extends past the ice for me and into some of my favorite reads. Whether it’s a lighthearted “puck bunny” romance or a murder-mystery thriller, if a book centers around hockey players and their arenas odds are I’m gonna cheer for it!

10) Carnivals/Circuses 

TTT10Wrapping up this list is the magical and intriguing realm of carnivals and circuses. Books that set their worlds inside the big tents of circuses and/or the grandeur of carnivals are often full of vivid imagery and expand my imagination to crave the impossible. These are books that usually consume me until the very last page and leave me hungry for more. Maybe these settings work so well because books themselves feel like a fleeting exploration of an astonishing new world? Maybe it’s because they feel timeless? Either way, I’m buying a ticket every dang time!

So how’s that for my first meme back in 2019?? Did y’all enjoy learning about my favorite settings? Do we have any cherished locales in common? Do you have any recs for me now that you know what I like to read? Let me know below!!

And, as always: Happy Reading!



32 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Book Settings I LIVE For

  1. Veronika @ Wordy and Whimsical says:

    I included the theater on my list, as well! I recently read the London Celebrities series by Lucy Parker, which is an rom-com series – and loved each book to pieces. All the characters were working at London’s West End, which was so fun to read about. I love circus novels.. in theory at least haha – I didn’t really like Caraval, and The Night Circus even though I had huge hopes. Great list! 🙂

    My TTT

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nerd Narration says:

      Yay for a new theater buddy!! I have never heard of the London Celebrities series, but I’m definitely going to look into it asap! And I hope you find a circus novel you love one day! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I’m off to check out your list now!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nerd Narration says:

      Aw, thanks so much! I’m glad you liked my picks, and here’s hoping we get some more theater books in the future!

      I used to do TTT all the time (one of my favorite weekly memes), but I went on a bit of a hiatus…bit being months…and I’m glad to jump back into it again!

      Thanks so much for the comment and the follow!! I look forward to your future posts!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Nerd Narration says:

      Hey, Susan! Thanks so much for checking out my page! I just commented on your post! Love some of the settings you included! Also cool that we shared the libraries/bookstores one, but like you said: “any book lover would agree.” =D


    • Nerd Narration says:

      Yeah!!! I guess it would have been easier to say “competition” settings, but I’m sure there’s a few books I’ve read that are escaping my memory right now that are specifically gladiatorial so eh. lol.


  2. Meeghan reads says:

    Taylor!!!!! I’ve missed your lists. Oooh, you like hockey stories? Have you read Parental Guidance by Avery Flynn?? It’s kind of a romance-type, but one of the MCs is a hockey player. Apparently she’s writing a series based on all the players (The Ice Knights?). Anyway, just throwing a book rec your way 😘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nerd Narration says:

      Meeghan!!! I’ve missed writing them!!! And getting to interact with all you lovely people!!! I haven’t read Parental Guidance, but it was recommended to me on Goodreads/through an email rec so you bringing it up now proves I need to investigate this further!

      Liked by 1 person

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