Thursday, January 28, 2010

What are your favorite fictional places?

An author friend of mine was recently spotlighted on a literary blog and was posed the question, "What fictional places would you like to live in/visit?" I loved her answers...Walnut Grove from the Little House books, the island from The Black Stallion books, Narnia, Avalon, and "where" from Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Since I am such a book-lover as well, it immediately made me think about what my own answers would be. I figured it would be easy and that two or three would immediately come to my mind...but, instead, I kept thinking over-and-over about many, many places that I've traveled to in the pages of books.

I thought about the town of River Heights, where Nancy Drew solved mysteries with her friends Bess, George, and Ned. The Nancy Drew books really turned me onto mystery novels, which became and still are some of my very favorite types of books.

My love of whodunits took me also to the streets and lanes of London, and the English countryside (and the many other places abroad) where Detective Hercule Poroit solves numerous mysteries in the novels of Agatha Christie. (If I spent my elementary school days immersed in adventures with Nancy, I truly spent my high school days with Hercule.)

Over the years, I have fallen in love with so many other places...the twinkling city lights and beautiful mansions from F. Scott Fitzgerald and Edith Wharton novels (although, there was much seediness and deception below the glittering surfaces, of course); the dusty streets of Lonesome Dove; the gothic beauty and Southern eccentricity of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; the fantastical halls of Hogwarts.

And, of course, you all know of my love for To Kill a Mockingbird...which, actually, has a setting not too unfamiliar to Alabamians like me. The streets of Maycomb came alive to me like almost no other place I've ever visited through the pages of a book; its smells and sights and sounds breathe vividly under Harper Lee's magical care.

My list could go on and on and on...and isn't that the joy and pleasure of reading? That, with each new book we open, we can become transformed? We can travel to another place, another time, even another reality.

Sydney has grabbed hold of my love of reading, and it couldn't make me happier. She is taking Accelerated Reading tests, and is in the top reading group in her class, and eagerly pulls library books out of her backpack to read everyday after school.

Just the other day we sat down and read one of our favorite books, Skippyjon Jones, for the seemingly millionth time. As we read the story of Skippyjon traveling in his imagination to the land of Banditos, Sydney sighed and said, "I love books. They can take you anywhere."

True, Sydney, so true.

(And now, what fictional places do YOU love?)


Sheila said...

Hi Cheryl and Happy New Year.

As an avid book reader I enjoy my many My favorite is Ft. Connor, Colorado from Deadly Yarn. The setting is a small town with the pace of a turtle, where one can find quaint shops from cafes to knitting shops and at the same time enjoy the beautiful mountainous landscape, clear waters of the lake, and ice caps.

hippo chick said...

My all time favorite place where I have still yet to visit is Prince Edward Island and Green Gables Farm. I dreamed of that place so much during my early teens. Of course, I wanted to be Ann(e) with an e.

Today, I am entranced by Robert Parker's Boston. We went there last summer and I felt like I'd been there before.

I was also transported to Alps when I read Heidi.

Like you, the list could go on and on. I think everytime I read a new book, I want to travel to that location.

Great post.

~hippo hugs~

hippo chick said...

P.S. I am in love with the Carolina "low country" too.


CAmport said...

Oh, Walnut Grove, for sure! I so wish I could go back in time and live on the prairie! Those simpler times seem so wonderful. Working and living by the sweat of your brow, no distractions. It's just so foreign to us, I think it would be fun.


Anonymous said...

What a great idea to blog about places!

I think my favorite sense of place in a novel would have to be the moors of Wuthering Heights and the house in Jane Eyre. Next would be the mountains, etc. in Heidi. Also, since I read GWTW in jr. high, it would be Tara and the fall of Atlanta.


Linda said... you the list would be endless, but I do like the Shire from the Hobbitt.

Gin said...

Such a great post, Cheryl. I love to read too!!!!!!

Phats said...

I like you love the book To Kill a Mockingbird and would love to visit there for sure. Eerily i'd like to visit the town and hotel where the shining takes place how much would a killer bash be there!! And I do mean Killer :)

I read mostly scary or murder mystery books so some of the places not sure i'd like to visit, like King's Desperation might give me nightmares haha :)

Cheryl Wray said...

Thankms for all of your comments! I loved hearing about your favorite places...and can't believe (Pam!) that I forgot about Prince Edward Island. I SO want to go there for real some day!!

Andy said...

a fictional town in the robin jones gunn glenbrook series