Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Historical Settings I Love

Welcome to another week of Top Ten Tuesday! I’m impressed that I’ve kept it going for three weeks (but I almost forgot about it today until I checked my reader and saw everyone else posting theirs), so I must be doing something right! This week is a bit of a challenge for me, as I generally prefer to read more contemporary/futuristic settings. However, I always like a good challenge; isn’t that the purpose of these top ten lists? This one will require some thinking, but here it goes!

  1. Contemporary – This is still technically considered a historical setting, since these stories are happening all in this place in history! I don’t know what it is about some of these light, fluffy or brooding, paranormal romances in modern day that draw me in so feverishly, but I’m definitely not complaining. Shout out to Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Lora Richardson’s Outspoken for being this for me.
  2. Turn of the 20th Century – So I’m talking around 1890s/1900s here, the end of the Victorian era. I like both US and UK. While I’ve never particularly been one for the Jane Austen and her contemporaries type of novels, books that take place around this later era seem to pique my interest a lot more. There was a lot of social reform, historically, which often translates into the novels. Mount of Hope by Jamie Michele is a great place to start.
  3. Iranian Revolution – This is from Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, specifically. While often after revolutions, we tend to see things get more progressive, but the Iranian Revolution made that particular society far more conservative. It’s interesting to observe a first-hand account of what it’s like to have grown up during such a time of drastic change in daily life.
  4. 1990’s – There have been quite a few books I’ve read that take place in this era of my youth and it’s always so easy to relate given that I actually lived during that time. Take Harry Potter, for instance, which takes place during the 90’s. While, yes, the action didn’t take place so much among muggles in the midst of the grunge era, the setting still held that unique 90’s charm that overshadowed the decade.
  5. 1800’s Paris – While this may be due in part to my love of the corresponding musicals, I was enraptured with both The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux and Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. Granted, both of these books take place in different parts of the century — with Les Mis being the earlier quarter and PotO being the latter — it still doesn’t take away from the wonder 1800’s Paris holds.
  6. Dystopian Future – Alright, so everyone’s into this right now, whatever. However, there are so many different routes these stories could possibly take — as evidenced by any B&N/Booksamillion/library shelf right now — that serve as cautionary tales of what might be to come if we don’t shape our shit up in the next couple hundred years or so. #byepresidentfelicia
  7. 2000’s – I’m putting this in a separate category from contemporary, because there’s just something so ubiquitously pre-shaved head Britney Spears about the books from this time. The characters feel just a little bit more shallow, yet spunkier than the characters from the 90’s — hello, all of Meg Cabot’s novels — that give these books that extra 2000’s kick.
  8. Elizabethan-Era – Specifically, any of Shakespeare’s works during this time. It’s been a while since I was “forced” to read the Bard’s works in high school, so I’ve had plenty of years to reflect on exactly how quintessential they are to the English canon. It’s so fascinating to see a play like Hamlet — which takes place in 1500’s Denmark — hold so much relevance nearly 400 years later.
  9. 1960’s US – THAT’S RIGHT MORE POLITICAL REVOLUTIONS. The Civil Rights era was absolutely a terrifying time to be alive if you were anything but white, but damn, didn’t we a lot of great fiction and non-fiction come out of people telling their stories of that time. I’m always eager to get my hands on a novel from this time, if only to learn from the massive wrongs done to people of color.
  10. Ancient Greece – Who doesn’t like a good story about gods fucking everything up wherever they go? Greek mythology is full of these types of tales, and more. While everyone’s standby is, of course, Homer’s The Odyssey, I read Ovid’s Metamorphoses as I worked on it for a production in college. Even today, these myths still ring true.
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