Monday, May 31, 2010

Musing Monday...Is it snowing yet?

You may have noticed that Musing Monday was missing last week. Well, it seems Rebecca at Just One More Page has RL intruding on her time and can no longer host. So while we thank her for her service...{{insert applause}}...happily the meme has moved back to it's previous hosting blog at Should be Reading. So let's check out this week's question...

Do you ever read a word or phrase that sparks a specific place or setting in your mind and makes you crave to read a book with that type of place/setting in it?

As I sit here on this sunny, warm Memorial Day, I realize I am unusual. I hate the heat. I dislike summer. I am not that fond of the sun. A bright sunny day does not make me happy. In real life or in my books.
But set a book on a foggy, gray coast or in a snowstorm or in a damp, drizzling rain and I am there!

It happen just recently. Someone, a commentator on my blog, asked if I had read a book and thought I might like it. So I went off to Amazon or Library Thing to read what the book was about and there was mention of coastlines and the ocean and lighthouses...and you know I have to read it. If they had added cold, rain and a snowstorm and I would have paid for express shipping. Fog, rain, snow, coast, lighthouse, boats, crashing waves are all words that can provoke interest in a book for me.
Well, that and a serial killer.

Yes, part of it is personal preferences. I like those things myself and so I find books with those settings somehow comforting. But it is more than that. I like mysteries, suspense...thrillers, and atmospheric settings like that suit a good mystery. Dark, evil things can lurk in the fog easier than in the bright sun. But it is more than that. In my mind, any book, in just about any genre, is well served by being set in a place where the characters need a waterproof coat and mittens.

Yes, OK, it is not necessary and I have read many, many very good books set in far different places. And it is not a guarantee of success. I am sure I have read books set in a place like that which I did not enjoy, although I can't think of one at the moment. But I will admit that a setting like I describe predisposes me to go to that happy, comfy place in my mind where all books are wonderful.

If I am browsing, whether online or in a 'real' bookstore, and I see any of those words in the cover description, it is going to get a second, closer look and I can start to feel myself starting that journey to the place that an enjoyable book takes me.


  1. I am actually a lover of the sun (good thing, since I have it shining down on me 11 1/2 months out of the year) but the foggy, spooky mood with serial murderers running around appeals to me too. Add in a gothic mansion, and I'll drop what I'm currently reading.

  2. I do that too. If a cover or author appeal to me, or even if it has a catchy title, I'll scoop it right up. :)

  3. I'm ok with sun ==as long as there's a good breeze keeping that temp under 78...but like you, I much prefer the fog, the mist, the clouds. A cold day is a reading day. There is nothing like a good fire, some warm homemade soup, or a good pot of tea to put me in the mood for reading.

    I hadn't considered my reactions to the settings in books, but I know I now will be much more tuned in now that you've brought it up. I'm definitely more likely to pick a book up if the blurb says oceans, sand, litehouses, breezes, or if it's set in a place I've lived or visited. I love reading about places I'm familiar with so I can close my eyes, bring back the smells to add to the sounds and sites the writer is portraying.

    Now I'm off to read in the SMOKE we're getting from the Canadian brush fires. Not good.

    Thanks for a thought provoking post.

  4. Bandit, it is NOT depressing. Although I do get a little blue when I have not seen you! ;-)

    Tina, I would just lower that temp to about 68

  5. So your perfect book would be a serial killer mystery set in a lighthouse during a rainstorm.

  6. yes! wait, don't forget the fog!

  7. I agree with all your elements except snow- I hate shovelling the miserable stuff. You sound like my daughter too. She hates to come visit us unless a cold spell is predicted. No, it's not US she hates to visit! It's the heat, the heat. I just finished A Cottage by the Sea and loved the setting- Craggy Cornwall coast, mist and fog abound. Just say the word Cornwall and I'm there. Have a great week!

  8. You might like the Curse of Skull by Tim Kelly. It's a play, but it has most of the elements you mentioned. I saw it done at a high school, but the mystery looked like a fun read.

    Thanks for the Greenlaw suggestions. They look perfect and I've added them to my reading pile.


please speak up, I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!