Usually, when I am reading any book, I find myself wanting to live in the fictional, fantasy worlds they are set in. But once in a while, I’ll come across books set in beautiful places in the real world, and my inner wanderlust would be instantly triggered!
Unfortunately, I am too broke to travel to all of the beautiful places I read about in books, and even if I could afford it–being a brown girl means I have family restrictions when it comes to traveling solo. Sigh.
~ Top 10 Books Set In Beautiful Places ~
A girl can still dream though, and this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is one that definitely has me dreaming. Today, I am going to share my favorite, top 10 books set in beautiful places, places that I’d love to visit someday.
1. Prague – Daughter Of Smoke And Bone
The very first on my list of top 10 books set in beautiful places is Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Laini Taylor. I still remember the first time I picked up this book; I was blown away by the beautiful, vivid imagery of Karou’s (our main character) adventures in the beautiful, eccentric city of Prague.
Laini Taylor is one of my favorite authors of all time, and I will always say that she knows how to build a mesmerizing, beautiful world that you cannot help but wish you could visit.
Daughter Of Smoke And Bone takes place in two different worlds, one of them being the Earth we know and love. And Taylor did an amazing job of bringing the city of Prague to life in her novel. That’s why it comes first on my list of top 10 books set in beautiful places.
2. Morocco – Days of Blood And Starlight
Laini Taylor’s Days Of Blood And Starlight, which is the second book in the Daughter Of Smoke And Bone trilogy, takes place in the wild, deserts of Morocco.
Though we only get a little glimpse of Morocco itself, the way Taylor described the crumbling old fortress where Karou and her people took shelter, and the overall descriptions of the desert made me want to visit Morocco at least once in my life.
3. Singapore – Crazy Rich Asians
There is so much to be said about Crazy Rich Asians. Now, this is a book that truly explores a new country the right way–by beautifully depicting the culture, the food, and the habits of the people, but with a bitingly sarcastic sense of humor and throwing in a whole bucket load of South Asian family drama.
The hilariously brilliant story aside, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan features some of the most amazing places in Singapore that I have been dreaming of (and planning since last year to visit).
With the story taking place in some of the best places in Singapore like the La Pua Sat…and of course the iconic happy ending at Marina Bay Sands that we get to see both in the novel and in the movie, it’s no wonder that Crazy Rich Asians is on my list of top 10 books set in beautiful places.
Reading Crazy Rich Asians was a delight for many reasons, one of them being that the culture represented is so similar to the one I grew up with in Bangladesh (South Asian countries tend to have quite a lot in common, I am starting to realize), and the other is that the author, Kevin Kwan, truly takes you to the glamorous world of Singapore with each page. Since Singapore isn’t that far away from Bangladesh anyway, this is a country I definitely see myself visiting someday soon.
4. China – North Of Beautiful
Justina Chen’s North Of Beautiful is a heart-wrenchingly beautiful, uplifting, and inspiring young adult novel about what it means to be your truest, authentic self and learning to demand the love and respect you know you deserve.
One of my favorite stories of all time, more than half of the novel takes place in China, and through the eyes of our characters, we are able to explore Chinese culture, food, and its people.
As the main premise of the book involves our protagonist growing into a more mature young woman during her travels to China, I couldn’t help but want to visit the country myself too. That’s why North Of Beautiful is also on my list of the top ten books set in beautiful places.
5. Phillippines – The Sacrifice
You might be wondering why I would mention a horror novel in a list of top 10 books set in beautiful places. Rin Chupeco’s The Sacrifice, which comes out this September, is one hell of a spine-tingling, bone-chilling young adult horror novel.
The Sacrifice is a horror story about a team from Hollywood who arrives on a haunted island to make a documentary. They are guided by an eerily young native named Alon, who seems to know a lot more about the island than he cares to admit.
Of course, things go really wrong the longer the team and Alon stays on the haunted island.
And while I would definitely not want to visit a cursed island even if someone paid me a million dollars, I definitely do want to visit Phillippines and take in the country’s renowned scenic beauty with my own eyes.
6. Japan – The Girl From The Well
Just as The Sacrifice made me want to visit Phillippines, Rin Chupeco’s The Girl From The Well also made me want to visit Japan.
Specifically, I would love to visit Himeji Castle, the place where the legends of Okiku, our main character, supposedly originated in.
In Rin Chupeco’s The Girl From The Well, Okiku is a terrifying, vengeful undead spirit…but instead of brutally murdering any clueless human who gets in her way, she targets those who harm children instead.
For those who don’t know, Okiku is an actual Japanese legend of a girl who was brutally murdered and then dumped in a well. Her legend is the inspiration behind some of the most famous Japanese horror movies like The Ring and The Grudge.
Because of how well-known Okiku’s legend is, I believe there is at least some nugget of truth in her story, and perhaps in the hauntings of Himeji Castle itself too. But aside from the allure of a potentially haunted palace, Himeji Castle is also well-known for it’s beautiful architecture, so I definitely want to visit someday.
7. Amsterdam – The Fault In Our Stars
I doubt there is any bookworm who would not add The Fault In Our Stars by John Green to their list of top 10 books set in beautiful places.
The latter parts of the book, and by far the most significant chapters of the book, take place in Amsterdam.
While I am not a huge fan of the book myself, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring Amsterdam with the main characters, and would love to visit the city myself some day.
8. Ireland – If You Could See Me Now
To be fair, each and every one of Cecelia Ahern’s books make me want to book a flight to Ireland!
However, I am listing If You Could See Me Now simply because it is by far one of my favorite, bittersweet, magical realism stories.
A cynical, skeptic interior designer with the trauma of her own falls in love with a man who claims to be a “friend” of her nephew…except the friend is not at all what he seems to be.
I don’t want to say anything more about the book, but trust me when I say this is the most uplifting, healing and bittersweet love story I have ever read.
9. San Francisco – When Dimple Met Rishi
When Dimple Met Rishi is undoubtedly one of the cutest, “Bollywood filmy” young adult romance novels that I have read about, one that normalizes the concept of arranged marriages that is so prevalent in desi households while clearing westernized misconceptions about this practice.
However, aside from the cutesy rivals-to-lovers romance, When Dimple Met Rishi also explores the beautiful city of San Francisco, thus making it into this list of top 10 books set in beautiful places.
10. Paris – All The Light We Cannot See
Last but not the least, I want to mention All The Light We Cannot See in this list of top 10 books set in beautiful places, because although the story takes place in Paris during the Second World War, the way Anthony Doerr painted the vivid streets of Paris have been burned into my memory ever since I picked up the book.
While I don’t visit a war-torn Paris, I do want to visit the City of Love someday and explore some of its most historical sites.
Aaaand that wraps up my list of the top 10 books set in beautiful places, or places that I’d love to visit. Share your Top 10 Tuesday posts in the comments below, and let me know what cities or countries you would love to visit at least once some day. <3