Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 2 February, 2016 by Lianne in Meme / 21 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week’s topic: Top Ten Historical Settings You Love / Ten Historical Settings You’d Love To See

There was an option this week and I decided to go with the past πŸ˜‰

In no particular order, 5 historical settings I love:

  1. World War Two — I don’t know, there’s something about the World War Two setting that’s interesting for storytelling, the immediacy of the situation. A lot of my favourite novels are set in this time–Julie Orringer’s The Invisible Bridge (review), Louis de Bernieres’ Captain Correlli’s Mandolin (review), and Ian McEwan’s Atonement (review)–are set in this period.
  2. Early Modern/Renaissance Italy — Well, I love the country so I love the setting of Italy in books πŸ™‚ I think most of my historical fiction reads set in Italy have centered around the early modern/Renaissance period of Italian history which was an interesting and colour period. Marina Fiorato’s books (see author tag does a wonderful job in bringing that period of history to life…
  3. Any period in Russian history — Of course, student of Russian history I was πŸ˜› Whether it’s during the Soviet period (Travis Holland’s The Archivist’s Story (review) or a sweep of Russian history (Edward Rutherfurd’s Russka (review)), I will likely check it out πŸ˜‰
  4. Any period in British history — Need I say more? My fascination in British history is long-standing (going back to when I was very young) so naturally my interest carried on to setting in historical fiction πŸ™‚ I seem to especially stick to the Regency period for historical romances, lol
  5. Pre-revolutionary and post-Napoleonic to early 20th century France — I dunno why, I’m not so big on the Revolutionary period itself, but everything before that, the stuff after that and going into World War Two are my favourite time period settings for books set in France. The Belle Epoque is especially a favourite, so much was coming out at that time in the arts and in the literary scene.


And now, 5 historical settings I’d love to see (more of):

  1. Pre-20th century Spain — I’ve read quite a bit set in early 20th century Spain and a few historical fiction books set in the 19th century and the medieval period (less than 5), but I’d love to see more books set in pre-20th century Spain. Maybe I just haven’t encountered them in my various forays to the bookstore and parusing on GoodReads but Spain has such a rich culture, surely there should be more books set there…And in English (or better yet, work on my Spanish so I can read all the stuff published in Spanish) πŸ˜›
  2. Pre-20th century Scandinavian countries — I’ve read a few (again, less than 5), but I haven’t see more, especially set in the early modern period. Denmark, Norway, Finland…Yeah, it’d be nice to see more books set in that region and not in the mystery/crime genre.
  3. Pre-20th century Philippines — Outside of the big classics, I actually haven’t read a historical fiction novel set there. It’d be nice to read some πŸ™‚
  4. Pre-Petrine Russia — Pre-Petrine Russia (or early modern/imperial Russia) is such a fascinating period with such a rich culture and quite an upheaval of events, it’s the perfect setting for a historical fiction novel. I mean, the madness alone of the Time of Troubles is enough of a drama on its own…
  5. Mongolia. Any period. — Hell, even a contemporary novel set in Mongolia. I’ve always been curious about that country.



And that’s my list this week of favourite historical settings and settings I’d like to see more of in books. Are any of these your favourites? What settings did you choose this week (past or future)? πŸ™‚

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21 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesdays”

  1. Wow, great post. I’m developing an interest in Russian history. Do you have any recommendations? Something that explores elements in Russian history but isn’t a full blown history lesson?

    • Mwhahaha excellent πŸ˜€ No, seriously, it’s a fascinating field of history with so much to study and so much culture and happenings.

      Off the topic of my head: Travis Holland’s The Archivist’s Story (review) and Simon Montefiore’s Sashenka (review) for the Soviet period/Stalinist era with the denunciations; I’m actually drawing a blank right now for anything set in the 19th century but Susanna Kearsley’s The Firebird (review) is set during Empress Catherine’s time. Would you also be interested in Russian classic lit recommendations? They’re a little different I think than French or English classics but they really give a flavour of the times they lived in.

      For more straight-up nonfiction books on Russian history I’d recommend anything by Orlando Figes (he’s written some interesting books on Russian cultural history and elements of Soviet Russia). He writes in a very interesting manner that’s accessible and interesting πŸ™‚

      I hope this all helps! πŸ™‚

  2. Renaissance Italy is a setting I would like to read more of, and British history as well (I’ve been enjoying Victorian and early 20th century murder mysteries set in England, which I never read much of before). And I agree about Mongolia- that area has always fascinated me, it would be nice to see some books set there. Nice list!

  3. I also love reading Russian historicals! So many people seem to choose the late Imperial/early Soviet period and ignore everything else, when there’s a wide world of possibilities out there. A Spanish historical would also be a fascinating read.

  4. I definitely do love anything about Russian history, and I wish I knew of more books to read about the country! Anything about England is also probably something that I would check out πŸ™‚
    thanks for stopping by my TTT earlier!

  5. Great list! I love all sorts of British history too! Also any kind of Greek mythology / history is always great in my books πŸ™‚ You should check out some books that take place in Japan of any period. It’s my newest favourite!

    • Thanks for the recommendation, I’ve only read a few books set in Japan (Mitchell’s The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet and Clavell’s Shogun comes to mind) but would love to read more! πŸ™‚

  6. Great post! I agree with you on Scandinavia. It feels like very book I’ve read that’s set there is grizzly and depressing and involves either crime or vampires. Maybe I need to broaden my horizons!

    Pre-Petrine Russia would be really interesting, and I need to finally read Rutherford’s Russka one of these days.

    • lol I just had a hilarious image in my head of a literary map of Europe and the Scandinavian countries is labelled as “crime and vampire country” πŸ˜€ We definitely need more variety to that!

  7. YES to anything historical set in Britain, France and the Renaissance Period β™₯ My British obsession knows no bounds and my obsession with France is pretty darn close-to as well haha! You have a really unique selection here^^ well done Lianne πŸ™‚

  8. You list a bunch of books I love here! I didn’t think about them when I wrote my list, but Atonement and Captain Corelli’s Mandolin are both books that I loved. I don’t think I’ve read much historical fiction set in Russia — what do you recommend? I like your list of settings you’d like more of too. I don’t think I’ve ever come across historical fiction set in the Philippines!

    • Have I recommended Daphne Kalotay’s Russian Winter (review) to you yet? Travis Holland’s The Archivist’s Story (review) and Simon Montefiore’s Sashenka (review) were also excellent. Alas, all my recs are set in Stalinist Russia O_o I’m trying to think of a historical fiction I’ve read set in 19th century Russia or earlier, but they’re all Russian classic literature titles instead xD It seems I have my preferences there…

  9. I also love World War Two as a historical setting. As for pre-20th century Spanish novels, I could recommend a few, but they’re all in Spanish! Why don’t our novels get translated into English, I wonder?

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