I'm ashamed of the lack of original content on the blog lately .___. I don't even have a good explanation or excuse. I'm just... not really feeling it at the moment and the thought of writing a review gives me an anxiety attack. So I just... read like a maniac. And the books pile up. Hah. Not very productive but I can't not read.
Anyway, since I still couldn't bring myself to review any of the great books I've read lately (doing them justice makes me nervous) I thought of something I'd like to discuss.
Cities I love as settings for books
I grew up in a village of 700 people but since my mid-teens, I've wanted to live in a big city, so when I was 21 I moved to Zurich (biggest city in the country). I love to read about cities. They have so many different places where things can happen and where different types of people converge. There's this sense of energy and possibility. Every city has its own vibe and I think that also flows into the setting of a book.
I've never been to the US, so whenever a book is set in Europe for once, that already makes me want to read it. If it's by a US author and/or if the characters in the book are from the US and traveling to Europe, it's also interesting to see how someone from there sees my continent. One example for that is Just One Day by Gayle Forman.
Other of my favorite European settings are London (because I've been there so when the characters go to certain places, I know what it all looks like and where they are, which is cool and unusual for me) and Prague. I finally got to Prague last summer and that resulted in me being even more into it as a setting. There's just something so old about it, and it has a history of magic and alchemy that I find very appealing. Examples: Daughter of Smoke and Bone, City of Dark Magic, The Book of Blood and Shadows. (I feel like I'm forgetting some...). For London there are just too many to count. Some of my faves: The Infernal Devices trilogy, Kate Griffin's Urban Magic series, Soulless, ACID, Neverwhere, Mrs Dalloway, the Black Butler manga. Feel free to share your own faves!
Other cities I enjoy reading about are Venice and Paris. They give off this romantic or seductive vibe and I especially love them for historical novels, for instance Venom by Fiona Paul. And there's of course Dublin! I love it as the setting for Karen Marie Moning's Fever series.
As for American cities, I like New York as a setting because that city is just so big and full of possibilites, but it can also really drag you down. I'm not such a big fan of an L.A. setting though I'm actually not quite sure why. I'd LOVE to read more books, especially YA ones, set in San Franscisco! I have a big fascination with that city and feel drawn to it, but I've only read very few books set there. So if you have recommendations, bring them on! As soon as I hear about one, especially with a paranormal element, it goes on my TBR automatically. Another city I really enjoy reading about is New Orleans. I love Kelly Keaton's Gods and Monsters series, where she creates her own unique version of the city, and I also love Poppy Z. Brite's books, many of which are set there. And of course there's Anne Rice.
But really, if the author can make me feel like I'm 'there' I can enjoy pretty much any city as a setting. It just has to set the right mood for the story, in my opinion. What I haven't touched on here are made-up cities. There are many of those I love but that would make this topic too vast for me right now... feel free to point some out to me though!
EDIT: Epic fail!! I forgot Tokyo, or Japan in genral. I haven't read all that many books set there (a couple by a Swiss author, Federica de Cesco, as well as Ink by Amanda Sun and the Across the Nightingale Floor books, which were inspired by Japan), it was mostly manga, but I'd looove to read more stories set in Tokyo! Could be historical or contemporary, fantasy or not, I don't care! If you have recommendations, please share :)
So what are some of your favorite city-settings for novels? Are there any that catapult an upcoming book to your insta-buy list? Are there any you really dislike reading about? Or does it not matter to you at all what city a story is set in? If so, I'm interested to hear why!