Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is all about settings and I chose to feature ten historical settings I love! I’ve always loved books with historical settings, and I’ve got my favorites just like everyone else. So here they are:
Historical Settings in New York:
One of my favorite historical settings is New York. It’s a setting I didn’t have much experience with when I was younger, but I’ve read several books that take place in New York as an adult. I especially like immigrant stories where people (or creatures) migrate to the new world in search of a better life. New York has such a diverse history, and these are some of my favorite books that take place there.
The Hatmaker’s Heart by Carla Stewart
This book is about a young British woman working as a hat designer in New York City during the 1920s. It’s about fashion, following your heart, and finding happiness. There is a bit of romance, but it takes second place to the main story.
The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
I read this book a while back and I wasn’t sure I liked it then. I loved the setting though, and so I included it here. It’s also one of those books that has stuck with me, which counts for something since I don’t usually ponder a book much long after I’ve finished it. It starts off in the mountains of Italy, then migrates to New York.
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
A friend recommended this book to me and I absolutely loved it. It takes place in New York in 1899, during a time when a lot of immigrants were coming to America in search of a better life. It’s about a golem, a jinni, and their lives as they interact with each other and the humans around them. It has a fascinating, complex plot and great characters.
A Match of Wits by Jen Turano
This is the final book in Jen Turano’s Ladies of Distinction series. All of the books are about wealthy young women in New York and their humorous search for husbands. This happens to be my favorite book in the series, which I included it.
Historical Settings in Europe:
Another one of my favorite historical settings is Europe. I know I’m not alone in this, since there are oodles of books, TV shows, and movies set in historical Europe. So much history takes place in that small area of the world that you could never learn everything if you lived a hundred lifetimes. Maybe that’s why I (and the rest of the world) am so fascinated with it.
The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson
I read this book not too long ago. It’s a retelling of the fairy tale of Rapunzel, but with the omission of magic. It takes place in Germany during the middle ages. At first, I wasn’t sure about the setting, but it grew on me and I grew to love the castle, the characters, and the few German words tossed in.
The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman
Set in medieval England, this story is about a young orphan that becomes an apprentice to a midwife (as you may have guessed from the title). It’s a wonderful read and I’ve always loved books set in the middle ages.
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevres
This is the first book in the His Fair Assassin series about young female assassins in Brittany before it was absorbed by France. It’s part adventure, part intrigue, and part romance. If you are in the mood for a book that you can’t put down for a second, this is the one. Besides that, the setting is incredible.
The Moorchild by Eloise McGraw
This is a story about a changeling girl raised in a human home. It’s derived from Irish and English folklore about changelings and fairies. This historical setting is in a fictional village during the middle ages when superstitions ran high and magic was widely believed in and even more widely feared.
Historical Settings in the Frozen North:
I grew up in a very rural part of Canada, so it shouldn’t be a big surprise that I love books set in the wilderness of Canada and Alaska. These are just two of the books I’ve read that take place in the frozen north.
Gentle Ben by Walt Morey
I first read this story in school, then again on my own. I read it several times over. There was something about the relationship between a human and an Alaskan brown bear that captivated me. I still love this book and plan on reading it with my own kids soon.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
This book takes place in the Yukon territory, which is an area that straddles the Alaska and Yukon (Canadian territory) border. It was one of my favorite stories when I was a kid and I still love it. One day, when my slowly dwindling TBR pile is gone, I will read this again.
What are some of your favorite historical settings? Let me know in the comments!
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