Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme was Top Ten Books With X Setting. I’ve decided to split it into two sections.
Top Five Books with an Historical Setting
- The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
I absolutely LOVED this series, more so than the Mortal Instruments series. I love the setting and the added steampunk-ness to it. Taking place in Victorian England, readers get to know a few of the Mortal Instruments’ characters ancestors, and get to know further about other long-lived characters that made it into both series. The time period offers such a lovely aesthetic, especially when complimented by magic and machinery.
- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Set in the Georgian era of England, this is a LONG wordy book for those with perseverance. The characters of Strange and Norrell are perfect for the historical settings, showing the major cultural shifts that were taking place at the time. Plus, again, the marriage of magic and realism is a fantastic element that really brings the book to life.
- The Gentleman by Forrest Leo
Another Victorian London novel. This one, RELEASED TODAY AUG 16, is extremely clever and sharp-witted, making a folly of all the politeness and decency expected at the time. No magic here, but sure to make you laugh.
- The Arrival of Missives by Aliya Whiteley
Taking place in England after the first World War, this is a great short story focusing on the change that is to come with women wanting more freedoms and breaking away from the pasts of their parents. An amazing read, but a little weird.
- Inamorata by Megan Chance
Finally, leaving England, we head to 19th Century Venice to the salons and soirees held for the popular creatives at the time. Not strictly an historical novel, this one does have elements of the fantastical in it which really make it interesting. Chance does a wonderful job of describing the setting.
Top Five Books with a Futuristic Setting
- The Unhappening of Genesis Lee by Shallee McArthur
In this futuristic novel, the world is divided into a small select group of enhanced folks that have perfect memories that are stored onto physical beads they carry at all time, and those that remain “normal”. The enhanced seem almost robotic, or like human computers, in that they cannot touch one another without the transference of memories, therefore they must always be covered up. It’s really quite an interesting standalone novel.
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Such a dark, dark novel, The Road has us in a post-apocalyptic US where food is scarce, there are no animals, people roam in packs, cannibalism is widely practiced. It’s so somber and amazing. It remains one of my favorites (along with the movie). A definite must read, though it might give you nightmares.
- The Beauty by Aliya Whiteley
That’s right, Ms. Whiteley made it onto both lists. This one is also a post-apocalyptic world where a mysterious disease has killed off all the women of the world. Men are forced to bond together and reminiscence about the world when women existed. That is, until they discover something in the woods that turns this short story incredibly creepy, and weird. Really fantastic.
- The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
Now, I wasn’t sure if I should include this in historical or future since it’s post-apocalyptic, taking place after a great nuclear war, which could mean it takes place many years after the Cold War in the not too distant future we’re living in now. Or it could take place in the past after WWII. Either way, it deserves to be on this list. So incredibly heart breaking to follow the narrator’s story trying to survive in the unpredictable wilderness, it’s a moving read.
- Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
A dystopian future in which all folks undergo a beautifying process, where they are also tested an assigned careers, spouses, etc. It’s so very interesting and a great YA series.
Honorable Mention: The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jennie Fagan. The only reason I didn’t include it was simply because the future here is only 3.5 years away.