Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Worlds I Would/Wouldn’t Want To Live In


Top Ten Tuesday was create The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Hi all and welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday. I decided with this one to do five bookish worlds I would want to live in and five I wouldn’t. I’m interpreting ‘bookish world’ as just the world that is being portrayed in a book, even if it is the real world and not a fantasy one, if that makes sense! This is mainly because whilst I do read fantasy, it’s not a genre I read frequently! I really hope you enjoy reading!

Bookish Worlds I Would Want to Live In:

1.Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling


Summary: from Goodreads

When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him that apparently he’s the last to know. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord’s curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Leaving his unsympathetic aunt and uncle for Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles upon a sinister mystery when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous – or both. An incredible adventure is about to begin!


This one is a bit of a given, right? I think almost anyone who read the Harry Potter books in their childhood wanted to become part of the wizarding world! Being honest, at 26, I still kind of do. I think this is because Rowling was so unbelievably creative when she made up Hogwarts and the world that witches and wizards live in. Plus she made it so that it almost could have been true and just flickering behind the surface of our world, or the muggle world. I love it and the Harry Potter books are always a comfort to me so I would definitely jump at the chance to live in that world.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


Summary: from Goodreads

‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.’ Thus memorably begins Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, one of the world’s most popular novels. Pride and Prejudice–Austen’s own ‘darling child’–tells the story of fiercely independent Elizabeth Bennett, one of five sisters who must marry rich, as she confounds the arrogant, wealthy Mr. Darcy. What ensues is one of the most delightful and engrossingly readable courtships known to literature, written by a precocious Austen when she was just twenty-one years old.


I love the Regency Era, it always seems so romantic and charming and I would love to go to all the fancy balls and events. I have to say I would really only want to go back to this era if I could be rich in that era because unfortunately, throughout most of history, it sucked to be poor. But if I could go back and be a Lady or Duchess, I would be totally up for it. I mean, the fashion alone would make it worth it! And if I bumped into a Mr Darcy type – that would be even better.

3. Circe by Madeline Miller


Summary: from Goodreads

In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.


I love the world of Greek Mythology so it would be amazing to live in it. I think I would like it if I was a Goddess of some description, not one of the super famous ones, but one with a great, creative name and some cool powers! Madeline Miller creates such a powerful image of a world inhabited by Gods and mythical creatures that it does really make you want to see it. Although, in her books, it does seem like being a Goddess doesn’t really make you immune to other Gods’ or Goddesses’ wrath so as long as I could avoid that – we’re good!

4. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling


Summary: from Goodreads

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!


This is a bit of an odd choice because this is an autobiography and Mindy Kaling does literally live in the same world as me. However, I found both her books so funny and charming that I just really want to live in a world where she and I are friends! She seems like she would be so much fun to have as a friend and like she would always have good gossip!

5. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness


Summary: from Goodreads

Deborah Harkness’s sparkling debut, A Discovery of Witches, has brought her into the spotlight and galvanized fans around the world. In this tale of passion and obsession, Diana Bishop, a young scholar and a descendant of witches, discovers a long-lost and enchanted alchemical manuscript, Ashmole 782, deep in Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Its reappearance summons a fantastical underworld, which she navigates with her leading man, vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont.

Harkness has created a universe to rival those of Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, and Elizabeth Kostova, and she adds a scholar’s depth to this riveting tale of magic and suspense. The story continues in book two, Shadow of Night, and concludes with The Book of Life.


Now, I read A Discovery of Witches a few years ago and when I read it the sequels weren’t out yet and so I haven’t got to them yet. I’m planning to reread the first book this year and then read the follow ups. But from what I remember about A Discovery of Witches it was such an intriguing and exciting world that I would definitely like to live in! It felt like a really intelligent and creative take on popular creatures like witches and of course vampires. I loved that it’s characters were mature and not cliches which is a big draw for me and I can’t wait to jump back into this world later this year!

Bookish Worlds I Wouldn’t Want To Live In:

1.Game Of Thrones by George R.R. Martin


Summary: from Goodreads

Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.

Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.


I mean I would just absolutely die in the world of Game of Thrones. I definitely wouldn’t make it past the first novel without being part of some huge tragedy or the victim of a gruesome death. I do think it’s such an imaginative and intricate world that Martin has created but it really is pretty relentlessly bleak. The random weather alone would probably be enough to put me off without even considering tyrannical Kings and dragons.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Summary: from Goodreads

The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.


This is a similar situation to Game of Thrones. I just simply wouldn’t survive the Hunger Games. It looks like a whole lot of hard work, all that bow and arrow stuff plus it looks like it involves a lot of running away/to things and running is really not my strong suit – I’m more of a yoga girl. Again, like GoT it is a very severe, unyielding sort of society and I definitely would not want to live there.

3. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel


Summary: from Goodreads

England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?


Life in Tudor England seems really unpredictable in my view and I don’t like unpredictable. Unless you are Henry VIII himself then you and the rest of the country are essentially at the mercy of one, fairly erratic and changeable man. I definitely would not want to live according to the whims and romantic obsessions of Henry, it would all just be too unreliable and frightening. Also, as is the case with historical periods, unless you are one of the privileged class then it would have been a very hard, brutal life and that’s before even considering that if you caught a cold you could very well die because of the lack of sanitation and medicine – bleak.

4. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt


Summary: from Goodreads

Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. The enigmatic and powerful man known only as the Commodore has ordered it, and his henchmen, Eli and Charlie Sisters, will make sure of it. Though Eli doesn’t share his brother’s appetite for whiskey and killing, he’s never known anything else. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, and on the road from Oregon City to Warm’s gold-mining claim outside Sacramento, Eli begins to question what he does for a living – and whom he does it for.

With The Sisters Brothers, Patrick deWitt pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable comic tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of characters – losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life – and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.


This book is such a great, evocative read but I wouldn’t want to live in it. It is a Western of sorts and focusses on two killers-for-hire and as such is full of brutal violence. The whole world these characters inhabit just seems so gritty and life threatening and as previously stated I’m not good in unpredictable or stressful situations and I would be genuinely terrible in a shoot-out. In related news this book has been made into a film starring Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed and John C. Reilly which I just saw the trailer for the other day. I’m not sure how I feel about it because, as we know, the book is almost always better than the film but I really hope it’s good and stays true to the quirky nature of the book.

5. The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood


Summary: from Goodreads

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…


I think, as a woman, it’s pretty obvious why I wouldn’t want to live in Gilead – I mean, what woman would?! It’s a genuinely terrifying society and if I’m remembering correctly, Atwood said that everything that takes place in the book has happened at some point in time somewhere in the world. That makes it even more frightening and scarily plausible. The book really contains no light moments, the world of Gilead is unrelenting in it’s horror and I absolutely would not want to live there and I wish it were the case that no women had experiences like those in The Handmaids Tale.

So thats my list! I really hope you enjoyed reading this post, I know some of them are kind of predictable but these were my first instincts so I just went with it. I’d love to know what you thought of my list in the comments and I can’t wait to read everyone else’s!


52 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Worlds I Would/Wouldn’t Want To Live In

  1. Ambi says:

    I am like dying to read Circe and A Discovery of Witches but at the moment I’m practically drowning in my tbr lol 😛 I definitely agree the world of Gilead is no place for anyone particularly women but the author portrayed the horrors there in a very well I think. Great picks and thanks for visiting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. @lynnsbooks says:

    Fantasy certainly has it’s share of scary places to live doesn’t it. I did think of Game of Thrones and no matter how great some of the places look I definitely wouldn’t want to live there.
    Lynn 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alexis Spivak says:

    I really liked that you picked Mindy Kaling’s ‘world’ as a place that you would like to live. I think it’s wonderful to realize that we live in the same world as the famous people that we watch on television. It’s even better to realize that they are normal people too.

    Here is a link to my top ten tuesday list for this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. aliteraryparadise says:

    I love that you included Pride and Prejudice it is one of my favorite books and I often daydream about living in that world. Also I love the inclusion of Mindy Kaling’s world because yes we live in the same physical place but she lives in another type of world you can’t argue that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. alicerosesimmons says:

    I feel like we are all united in the fact that no one wants to live in Panem! On the other hand, I would absolutely love to be able to attend Hogwarts and all of the other places in the wizarding world – if only all those places were real!
    My TTT

    Liked by 1 person

  6. imyril says:

    I love the twist you gave to the interpretation 🙂 And great picks! I’m right there with you on Panem and Gilead: I wouldn’t stand a chance. Such good books, such awful worlds.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. RacheLeanne says:

    Great list! I see what you mean about the similarities haha! I love Greek Myth so much too. I haven’t read Circe yet, but I’ve been meaning too ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Olivia-Rose Clarke says:

    Every time I read Pride and Prejudice, I am reminded of how wonderful, despite its difficulty for women, living in the early 19th century Britian would be. From the elegant dresses to the tea times used for friend gatherings, Jane Austen’s worlds have never failed to entice me.

    Liked by 1 person

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