T10T: Oddly Specific Settings I Love

July 23, 2019


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s theme was settings we want to see more of, but a lot of my favorite settings are pretty specific, so I decided to try to think of the 10 most oddly specific settings I enjoy.


1. haunted theme parks

There aren’t many stories set in theme parks to begin with, but especially not spooky ones! A book on my TBR with this setting is Dark Ride.
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2. carnivals of debauchery

I couldn’t care less about “normal” carnival settings most of the time, but throw in a creepy or devilish twist, and I’m there. One of my favorite bookish examples is Daughter of the Burning City.

3. ships lost at sea

I have a deep-seated fear of the idea of being lost at sea — especially alone! — so stories about ships lost at sea, shipwrecks, and anything of that nature always intrigue me and mess me up a little. A great book with this setting is The Devil and the Deep, an anthology of sea-related horror that has a few stories at sea.
36049101. sy475

4. secluded cabins

Speaking of settings I’m actually afraid of, who isn’t a little freaked out by creepy and/or secluded cabins? (If you haven’t noticed, I tend to love settings that give me the heebie-jeebies!) One book on my TBR with this setting is The Shudderingwhich involves being stranded in a cabin in the winter.

5. old cemeteries

I love old cemeteries, but maybe not for the reasons you’d think: not for the fear, but for how much history they hold and how many stories they tell. My favorite example for this one has to go to The Graveyard Book (and while we’re at it, I can’t recommend the full-cast audiobook of this one highly enough — it’s incredible!).

6. unknown international locales

This one can be hit-and-miss, because sometimes it just ends in an insensitive vilification of indigenous peoples, but I’m a total sucker for when it’s done right: ignorant (usually American ?) tourists stumbling into things they know nothing about and paying the price. My recommendation for this example is actually a movie: The Green Inferno (2013), which I strongly recommend to anyone who’s got a history of being able to stomach Eli Roth’s particular brand of grossness.
The Green Inferno (2013)

7. deep sea dives

Yes, this one could probably have been combined with #3 for a general deep sea theme, but… well, ya girl was stuck at 9 settings and needed another. ? If you also love films set in the deep sea, allow me to recommend the film adaptation of The Meg (2018), which has a lot of fun sharks and some really lovable actors, and most importantly, a deep-sea diving scene that gives me the best type of anxiety. ?
Jason Statham in The Meg (2018)

8. barren frozen tundras

Out of all of the settings on this list, this is one of them that I have the hardest time getting my “fix” for, and it makes me so sad, because I am such a sucker for “icy wasteland” settings. Hell, I’ll even settle for frozen suburban settings, like the Alaskan town that one of my favorite creature flicks, 30 Days of Night (2007), takes place in.
Josh Hartnett and Melissa George in 30 Days of Night (2007)

9. crisp, red-orange halloween nights

This will be my last film recommendation, but I couldn’t not add it in once it popped into my mind, because it’s literally my favorite October atmosphere style: crisp, crunchy, reddish-orange, cold Halloween nights, usually in somewhere I should probably move to, like New England. *wistful sigh* One of my favorite films of all time, friends: Trick ‘r Treat (2007).
Trick 'r Treat (2007)

10. abandoned space stations

Last but not least, the setting that gives me the most existential crises, yet I keep coming back to it: abandoned space stations. (Bonus points if it’s abandoned because everyone died due to some weird contagion, mutation, etc.) An underrated fave for this one: Pitch Dark, a YA sci-fi/thriller/horror lite story featuring what is basically a teen Lara Croft in space. ♥


Are any of these settings faves for you, or are any of them too creepy (or maybe just too specific)? Let me know your favorites!


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  • Reply Annemieke July 23, 2019 at 1:25 am

    Pitch Dark <3 Don't forget it also has a latinx mc. I love the author. I can't wait for her next book.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 29, 2019 at 2:11 am

      Yes, that’s true! I thought I had mentioned that but I think I got over excited and missed it haha. <3 I can't wait either!

  • Reply Davida Chazan July 23, 2019 at 1:39 am

    Very interesting list, and very creative! Abandoned space stations!

  • Reply Kay | Hammock of Books July 23, 2019 at 2:31 am

    I love carnivals!

  • Reply evelynreads1 July 23, 2019 at 2:36 am

    Again great twist on the topic!

  • Reply Jess @ Jessticulates July 23, 2019 at 4:36 am

    Great list! I love a barren, frozen setting but, like you, I find them so hard to come by. Have you read The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney? It’s set in 19th century Canada at the height of winter; very frozen, very remote, and a mystery to solve, too!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 29, 2019 at 2:12 am

      No, I haven’t – thank you so much for the recommendation! I’ll look it up right now!

  • Reply lydiaschoch July 23, 2019 at 7:10 am

    I love old cemeteries, so I’d definitely like to see more books about them.
    My TTT.

  • Reply Poinsettia July 23, 2019 at 8:32 am

    So many of these ideas give me the chills! I like the idea of deep sea settings, especially with sharks. They are so fascinating and scary at the same time. Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  • Reply marydrover July 23, 2019 at 9:08 am

    I loveloveLOVE the carnival in Daughter of the Burning City. (lbh I love everything about that book) Spooky settings are so much fun, and it’s so interesting how the atmosphere of them changes completely between book and movie.

  • Reply laurenbodiford123 July 23, 2019 at 9:08 am

    I love the thought of all of these spooky places (even though I don’t do horror or suspense ?).
    Here’s mine: https://laurenbodiford123.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/settings-that-id-like-to-see-more-of-ttt/

  • Reply confessionsofayareader July 23, 2019 at 10:31 am

    We had some similar choices. Not exactly the same, but close.

  • Reply damianarose July 23, 2019 at 10:40 am

    cemeteries and haunted amusement parks? Yes please!
    My ttt

  • Reply Becca Leighanne (Bex) July 23, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    WHAT THE WHAT I LOVE THIS LIST & just added a few of these to my TBR!

  • Reply anovelglimpse July 23, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Secluded cabins are creepy!

  • Reply tasya @ the literary huntress July 24, 2019 at 11:14 am

    Ooh haunted theme parks sounds really good! I never see/read any media set in there!

  • Reply Brooke Lorren July 24, 2019 at 2:37 pm

    These all seem really creepy. All these books look good!

  • Reply Kelly | Another Book in the Wall July 24, 2019 at 4:30 pm

    Ooh, I love all these settings so much! Haunted theme parks, old cemeteries, and ships lost at sea are some of my favorites! They all have such enticing, eerie atmosphere! Lovely picks! <3

  • Reply Malka @ Paper Procrastinators July 25, 2019 at 12:03 am

    These are all so creppy and spooky! I’m a huge scaredy cat, and was getting a little scared just reading about these settings! The closest I’ll get to a spooky setting that I like is a semi-sentient slash magical forest setting like in The Raven Boys!

  • Reply Victoria July 25, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    I’m definitely adding a few of these to my TBR! I love a spooky setting, and am planning on reading all (or mostly) spooky books in October.

  • Reply Jessica at Booked J July 25, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    Not to, you know, shout and flail around in your comments but WE NEED ALL OF THESE SETTINGS IMMEDIATELY.

  • Reply Ellyn July 26, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    I completely agree about deep-sea dives – I hate water but for some reason can handle those types of movies??? It makes no sense, but I guess I need to actually go and watch The Meg now… is it the one with the Fast and Furious guy???

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  • Reply Jenna @ Falling Letters August 16, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    Barren frozen tundras! I love reading non-fiction about Arctic exploration but haven’t read much fiction with the same setting. Have you read The Terror by Dan Simmons? (I started it a little while ago and set it aside, but I might go back to it ^^;) It’s about the Franklin Expedition with a lurking monster thrown in the mix, AFAIK.

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries August 29, 2019 at 2:13 am

      No I haven’t, but I keep meaning to! Have you liked what you read of it so far?

      • Reply Jenna @ Falling Letters August 30, 2019 at 12:31 am

        Mmmm, it was alright but very ‘manly’ masculine and the plot was moving slowly. I might like it better on a dark winter evening…

  • Reply Kal @ Reader Voracious August 20, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Holy crap, are we the same person?! I would never have thought of most of these 9but the abandoned spaceships), but YES YES YES!

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