This week’s Top Ten Tuesday deals with settings. I swear, some of these topics are way harder to get a top ten for than you’d think. This is one such topic. So you’re only getting five from me this time (again). I’ll come up with a million more once I see the lists from other bloggers, to be sure. There ideas will likely spark my creative juices. Such is life.
I’m listing these in the order they came to mind. So, in other words, in no particular order.
I don’t think I’m alone in getting exciting when I realize a book I’m about to read is set in a familiar setting. Plus, this state of mine is truly beautiful. And there’s so much that can be done because of the cultural diversity we have, our lakes, our vicinity to Canada, and so much more.
Michigan’s Upper Penninsula
I know this seems kind of like I’m cheating since I already said Michigan. The UP is quite unique and has it’s own personality, so it is actually a character more than a setting when used in a book. I’m a huge fan of stories set in small, quirky towns and the UP is chock full of such places.
Late 1940’s through Mid 1950’s in the United States
There are books set in the far past, books set during World War II and the Vietnam War, books set in current times, and books set in the future. I’m sure there are books out there set in this span of time, but probably not a lot. The time in America where there was a sense of relief that the war was over and our country was once again safe. Most people had a lot of hope for where things were going. Even as we got involved in the Korean War, there was still a sense of innocence. I’d love to read some romance stories set during this time that push the envelope of what is “proper” and what a woman really wants. Maybe an erotic romance that looks deeper behind that curtain of purity. I am fully aware the innocence and hope of this time was masking a lot of much deeper issues…racism, sexism, and misogyny to name a few. I’m not glossing over those things. That’s a whole different genre and tone of book that I’m not looking for at this particular time. What I’m thinking is those historical romance “bodice rippers” but set in the 50s, when sex in America was even more taboo to discuss than it was in Victorian times.
There are books in the romance genre out there about football players, baseball players, hockey players (my favorite when it’s done right!), race car drivers, etc. In other words, plenty of stories about “manly men” in their “manly sports”. I definitely have enjoyed some M/M books that fall under the contemporary sports romance umbrella…it’s a different perspective and I like reading about how these men deal with the expectations on their masculinity and what being masculine means. So to go one further, I’d love to see some stories in which the male cis hero is in a sport that is not always considered to be overly masculine. Dancing, gymnastics, figure skating, those sorts of things.
Maybe there are more books centered here than I am aware, but thinking on this topic made me think of Puerto Rico. Again, I’m looking at the context of my favorite genre, which is romance. I’m sure there are a lot of political, historic, or otherwise non-fiction books that focus on Puerto Rico. While I do read non-fiction, I love when I’m reading a fiction story where the author does great research. I feel PR is a very misunderstood area; not just in the United States, but around the world as well. Especially since Hurricane Maria and the aftermath of that storm. How wonderful would it be for an author that is familiar with the customs of the Puerto Rican people to write a captivating love story that highlights these wonderful customs while teaching the reader about the political aspects of the country. I’m a bit on my soapbox here, but it angers me when I see stories and hear comments about aid Puerto Rico has received since Maria from people who do not understand that Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States and Puerto Ricans are US citizens. Maybe the message would get out to more people if it was in the form of a wonderful romance.
If you know of stories that entail any of the above settings, whether in the contemporary or historic fiction genre, please let me know. I’d love to read them!