Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #16

This week's Top Ten is a really fun one.  The theme is book settings, but it's a kind of 'make up your own list' as you can choose your setting, and other people's will be very different.  I've had great fun reading other people's lists, so much so that I nearly forgot to post my own!! 

Read more for yourself via the Host site at The Broke and The Bookish

My selection is...  My Top Ten Nine favourite books set in an alternate Earth.  The idea is that the setting is the same as our Earth except for one difference.  Here's my list...

Fatherland by Robert Harris - The difference between that world and ours is that Hitler and the Nazi's won the second world war.

Rivers of London - The PC Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch.  The difference here is that Magic is real and present, and PC Peter Grant is a trainee Wizard in a London redolent with Ghosts and all manner of strange goings on.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, An alternate underground London, who knows - maybe it is real :-)

Stardust, also by Neil Gaiman.  Somewhere in the Victorian English countryside there's a wall and on the other side of the wall is a land of magic and mystery.  Most of the story takes place in the land of Faerie, but some is in England.  Again, the delight with Gaiman is in imagining that it could be real.

Northern Lights - His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman.  The trilogy starts with Northern Lights, and begins in an Oxford where human souls take the form of animals.

Harry Potter books by JK Rowling.  Can't pick a favourite, they're all fabl!  Another world where magic exists alongside our own muggle-lives.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.  OK, so technically it is meant to be our Earth, but even though this book really was very disturbing for me (personal reasons), I loved the otherworldliness of Susie Salmon's afterlife.

It would hardly be a list of mine without some mention of the following author's alternate versions of England...

The Eyre Affair from The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde (start with The Eyre Affair, but for heaven's sake don't stop there as they get better and better!).  The Eyre Affair starts in an alternate Swindon of 1985 where literature dominates our culture, the Crimean War lasted much longer, cheese is illegal, Wales is not part of the UK and time travel is possible on the basis that at some point in the future someone has probably invented it.

The Fourth Bear from The Nursery Crime series by Jasper Fforde.  This is set in another alternate 1985, this time in Reading where PDR's (Persons of Dubious Reality) are alive and well and living among us.  DCI Jack Spratt and his faithful assistant Mary Mary investigate various Nursery Rhyme related Crimes... in The Fourth Bear Jack is investigating the mysterious disappearance of a blonde news reporter called Goldilocks who went missing near the three Bears house.  In the other book in the series The Big Over Easy, Jack investigates the apparent suicide of Mr H Dumpty who jumped off a wall, but Jack thinks he was pushed.  The Gingerbread Man features in both books as a particularly evil character who can run really fast.


  1. This is the first blog I've seen mention The Lovely Bones. Such a good, creepy book.

    My TTT.

  2. Wonderful list! Rivers of London, Harry Potter, Northern Lights, Neverwhere, all fab!