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Q and A > What's Your Favorite Literary Location

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message 1: by Betsy (new)

Betsy (ebburtis) | 1261 comments I ran across this list of books representing each state and thought it might make an interesting topic here. What are your favorite literary locations? The books where the setting is as much a character as any others?

http://www.purewow.com/slideshow/book...


message 2: by LynnB (new)

LynnB Ooh, good question, but I don't know I have a particular spot. I guess I would answer, anywhere the author can make me "see" the location as I read.

BTW, the book they chose for my state is NOT anywhere near what I would have picked! I wonder if others feel the same about the book picked for their state?


message 3: by Betsy (new)

Betsy (ebburtis) | 1261 comments That would be a great conversation! What is your state and what would you have picked instead?


message 4: by Linda (new)

Linda | 1426 comments I'm from Ohio and the book for Ohio, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison on this list is a whole lot better than another list that I saw a few months back.

The book I usually think of as representative of Ohio is Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson , but that was taught to me in grade school because Winesburg was fictionalized for a town not far from where I grew up (Clyde, Ohio).


message 5: by LynnB (new)

LynnB I'm from Washington for which they picked Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple . It was a fun read, but not the Washington I know (lifelong resident). I'll have to think about what I would have chosen instead, but certainly not this one!


message 6: by Mary (new)

Mary (puzzleress) | 12 comments LynnB wrote: "Ooh, good question, but I don't know I have a particular spot. I guess I would answer, anywhere the author can make me "see" the location as I read.

BTW, the book they chose for my state is NOT..."


LynnB, I enjoyed Cold Mountain, but I can understand that it's not the "best" representation of North Carolina. However, there are so many NC authors, it really would be difficult to choose one book!


message 7: by Betsy (new)

Betsy (ebburtis) | 1261 comments I grew up in Massachusetts which is represented by Little Women (Little Women, #1) by Louisa May Alcott . Obviously this doesn't cover current Massachusetts, but Little Women and Louisa May Alcott are representative of the liberal thinking of Massachusetts, where women dare to break the mold. And the group of authors and thinkers that made up the Transcendentalists certainly put Massachusetts on the map as a mecca of new thought and intellectualism.

I've now lived in New Hampshire for 22 years, which has A Separate Peace by John Knowles as it's book. It's been eons since I've read it, but it's supposed to be set at the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy. That bastion of privilege is hardly representative of real NH. John Irving often writes about the same NH, but I think probably Peyton Place by Grace Metalious or Our Town by Thornton Wilder is more the stuff that real NH is made of.


message 8: by Linda (new)

Linda | 1426 comments This is the other list that I had seen a few months ago. The book that represents Ohio, although written by David Foster Wallace, I had never heard of.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/56377/...


message 9: by LynnB (new)

LynnB Linda wrote: "This is the other list that I had seen a few months ago. The book that represents Ohio, although written by David Foster Wallace, I had never heard of.
http://mentalfloss.com/article/56377/......"


Oh, that's really bad. They have Twilight (Twilight, #1) by Stephenie Meyer for Washington! I read it years ago and thought it was awful. I lived for 8 years of my adult life in the little town the story was set in (Forks) and it had me very confused with her liberal changes in the geographic layout of the town... (I'm not going to mention the story line) ... and they did the movie in Oregon! Not a good choice for representation at all!


message 10: by Teresa (last edited Aug 02, 2014 05:57AM) (new)

Teresa Funny - both purewow and mentalfloss chose Anne Tyler books for the State of Maryland - Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler and The Accidental Tourist and Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler . I went to college near Baltimore and Anne Tyler's books became favorites of mine, too. The characters always seem real to me. Can't pick a favorite though. Loved Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler , Morgan's Passing by Anne Tyler , Saint Maybe by Anne Tyler , and Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler too.


message 11: by Betsy (new)

Betsy (ebburtis) | 1261 comments I've been thinking on this a bit. Don't worry, it's not keeping me up at nights ;-). I think New Orleans is one of my favorite literary locations. No matter what the book, from any of Anne Rice's to Confederacy of Dunces, the personality of the city always seems to play a role in the story.


message 12: by Gisela (new)

Gisela Hafezparast OK, as most of you seem to be American (and I sadly have never been) from books the states/towns which seem to attract me most are Boston (Masachusetts) Seattle, Montgomery (Alabama), Juneau (Alaska, although probably more the countryside), Denver (Colorado), Atlanta (Georgia, Augusta (Main) and Columbia (South Carolina). These states seem to be beautiful and the people interesting. Wanted to take my family to the USA this summer, but flight prices have rocketed, so have to wait till kids are out of school and can go after the summer holiday time alas.

In Europe, the places which attract me most are most definitely Scottland, my home town of Munich and Bavaria (Germany)itself, Greece and it's ancient tales, but most of all Scandinavia, especially Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Norway. They are beautiful and the way of life unique. Scandinavian writers also seem to have a special way of conveying both their culture and their country. Love it.


message 13: by Betsy (new)

Betsy (ebburtis) | 1261 comments Gisela wrote: "OK, as most of you seem to be American (and I sadly have never been) from books the states/towns which seem to attract me most are Boston (Masachusetts) Seattle, Montgomery (Alabama), Juneau (Alask..."

Thank you Gisela for reminding me of the larger world! You've mentioned a couple places that have been my all-time favorite places to visit - Bavaria and Scotland. I've read several books set in Scotland (mostly mystery/suspense) and the same with Scandinavia (love Nordic noir), but I don't think I've read anything set in Germany. I'd enjoy getting any recommendations from you.

Paris and Venice stand out for me as great European literary locations. I also enjoy fiction set in African locales, which I realize is a pretty broad category given how unique each country is.


message 14: by Gisela (new)

Gisela Hafezparast Betsy wrote: "Gisela wrote: "OK, as most of you seem to be American (and I sadly have never been) from books the states/towns which seem to attract me most are Boston (Masachusetts) Seattle, Montgomery (Alabama)..."

Unfortunately a lot of the Bavarian crime fiction does not get translated. Some of the best authors are the autor team Voker Kluepfel and Michael Kobr with their police detective Kluftinger (who is a typical Bavarian male from the Algau (Alps) of a certain age - unfortunately I could not find a translation. Another one is Rita Falk. Other really good German crime authors are especially Andreas Franz, Nele Neuhaus and Wolfgang Burger. These go further into Northern Bavaria and the rest of Germany (Andrea's Franz's crime is in and around Frankfurt) and the way of life and the way people behave/talk is very different. Great reads. Hope you can find at least some translations.


message 15: by LynnB (new)

LynnB Gisela wrote: "Unfortunately a lot of the Bavarian crime fiction does not get translated. Some of the best authors are the autor team Vo..."

Gisela, I'm also one who loves the crime/mysteries out of Great Britain and the Nordic countries. Thanks for the ideas on German writers! I will be trying them out if I can find translations.


message 16: by Rebekah (new)

Rebekah (bekalynn) | 17 comments I love going to Hannibal, Mo and be a Mark Twain tourist. Even if quite a bit of it is getting kind of cheesy.


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