Sometimes, I read a book and really, really want to just go and hang out in the places I find there. Today’s Top Ten features the houses I’d most love to visit and/or live in. This post was inspired by an article on the Huffington Post.
These are in no particular order:
1. Evenmere, from The High House by James Stoddard
Evenmere is a house that is a literal analogue for all of Creation. Think of the phrase “My Father’s house has many rooms” and you’ll get the idea. There are whole countries contained within its walls. My favorite is Naleewuath, where the giant talking tigers live, with the attic of Jormungand the World Dragon coming in a close second. Sadly, this book is out of print, but you can probably find a used copy somewhere. I re-read it at least once a year.
2. Bag End, from The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
Seriously, who doesn’t want to live in a hobbit hole? They are described as being the very epitome of comfort. Heck, Peter Jackson even took the set for Bag End from the Lord of the Rings movies and moved it into his backyard. I am envious.
3. Harper Hall, from Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels
Anyplace that I can live that is dedicated to music and scholarship is fine by me. Just let me go and do research in a place teeming with fire lizards and I’ll be happy.
4. The Beast’s Castle, from Robin McKinley’s Beauty
I’ll admit, I want this for the library. In this book, the library has books that haven’t even been written yet. Plus, I’ve always had this picture in my head that it has big windows, and cozy book nooks, and fireplaces. I could be quite happy there. And hey, all the other rooms and gardens are lovely as well, so it’s win-win!
5. Any ekele, from Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar books
An ekele is a treehouse. A big treehouse, with multiple levels and rooms. In the trees. I defy you to find any reader of this series who hasn’t, in some little corner of their heart, lusted after an ekele.
6. Ratty’s House, from Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows
A comfortable and compact little house by the river. I like all the houses in this book, but of them all, Ratty’s is the best. Mole and Badger live underground, which is fine, but I like sunlight. Toad Hall is too grand. Ratty’s place is just right.
7. The Father Tree, from Wendy and Richard Pini’s Elfquest graphic novels
Imagine one big tree. Now imagine it has naturally shaped dens scattered all throughout. Imagine sitting way up there where no one can see you. That’s the Father Tree. If you have never read Elfquest before, hie thee hence over here and get started for free!
8. Trader Vestrit’s House, from Robin Hobb’s Liveship trilogy
This house is basically a single-level manor house, not too big, lots of natural wood, lots of comfort, little garden, set in a seaside town. That’s my idea of heaven, honestly. Hobb’s descriptions of this house were a high point in the books for me, and those books are chock full of high points.
9. Longbourn, from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
Yes, yes, Pride and Prejudice again. What can I say, I love this book. I thought about choosing Pemberley, but Longbourn is smaller and easier to manage. As you can probably tell from this list, I like places that are cozy and not overwhelmingly big. A country house in England would be wonderful.
10. Edgewood, from John Crowley’s Little, Big
This is one of those houses that contains lots of secrets. Depending on what angle you’re looking at, it looks like it was built in one of several different architectural styles. This house always reminded me of a house that I visited often while growing up–it was down the street from my papa and nana’s house, and it had been added on over the years in a haphazard fashion. It always felt like a lovely maze to me. Reading this book gives me fond memories of that house.