Lola’s Ramblings is a feature on my blog Lola’s Reviews where I ramble on about a book related or a non-book related topic. These are discussion type of posts where I talk about a topic and readers can weigh in on the topic in the comments. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like tours, cover reveals, memes, challenges, recaps or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are discussions of a certain topic and my point of view on them. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Designs.
Earlier I already talked about how experience settings where I listed in two posts which settings I liked and why and which I liked less. Read part one here and part two here. There I focussed specifically on the exact setting. This time I want to look more globally at setting. I notice more and more that in reviews I often give an alinea for setting if it’s interesting. So I want to talk about what is a good setting and how an author can make a setting come alive and feel real. With settings I often mean the location where a book is set and mostly this applies to books set into our own world. Settings can be the town, the place, the region or even the house or buildign where a book takes place and I use the word to indicate all those things.
What do I like a book setting?
- Details and descriptions. I think a setting doesn’t come alive and isn’t good until there are details and descriptions. A house is just a house without details, but knowing whether it’s old new, dusty or clean and how it looks from the inside. Descriptions and details really can give a feel for the place and makes it easier to imagine what it looks. And they can help form a beter imagine of that specific house or location instead of just the general imagine. The details and descriptions make it stand out from other houses for example.
- Being able to imagine the setting. Just like with world building, I want to be able to imagine what the setting looks like. It is dingy, neat. colourfull, what does the palce look like? What kind of town is it? Which season is it? What is the feel of the palce or setting? Is it creepy or mysterious, or familiar and comforting etc. I like being able to image the
- Settings I know little about. I like visiting new places. New settings it a bit like reading a fantas book and get to visit a new world, although in this case there isn’t a new world but a new setting. I like reading about settings I know little about. I recently read a book about a circus for for example, which was a fun setting as I never read about circus before. I like learning more about ew to me settings, leanr about the people there and what it looks like.
- Settings I haven’t read about as often. This is mroe the originality part of settings, settings I don’t read about as often are fun. So we all read a book with a smal town setting and even though it is one of my favourite settings, it isn’t quite original. The circus setting mentioned above is used less often.
- Settings I enjoy being. This one isn’t necessary for a setting to be described well and having me like the setting, but once in a while it’s nice to have a setting I personally like. As this often makes me like the setting more or feel more comfortable. In my posts I did earlier I talked in Read part one here and part two here about what I think of specific settings and which I like and which not. Settings I like are small town settings or nature settings. I also like job related settings and then particulary jobs I know little about.
- Believeable and Realistic. I like it when settings are believeable and realistic. Often when you know little about the setting it’s hard to judge this, but sometimes when I read about a setting it just feels realistic, like the author has really done their research and I like that extra touch.
- Learn new things. I like learning new things. I recently read a book set in Historical Chicago where the city was muddy and they started to lift the city from the mud, it was such an interesting tidbit. I like learning new things like that while reading. To leanr ew thigns about a place and time while reading is fun.
- Travel to other places. I like being able to experience a setting I might not have the chance to experience otherwise. Reading gives me the chance to travel to cities and places I might not have the chance to visit else. And that’s what I like about a well developed setting, it feels like I am there and I can imagine what it looks like. It almost feels like I actually travelled to that place.
- The Inhabitants. I often feel that who lives at the settings or the inhabitants of that place can add to the feel or the setting as well. Like how in a small town setting you have people who know everyone else. Or in a mountainous setting you have people who know the joy and the danger of those mountains. The place shapes the people who live there and the people who live there give you a feel for the place.