A list of "top ten books with a strong sense of place" was recently posted over at Down The Writer's Path, a writerly blog by Vikk Simmons. This particular list sets up a challenge for me since I've only read two of the listed ten. Time to add a few more titles to the ever-expanding List of Books I Need To Read Next. I posted a different link to books with a strong sense of place here.
Any "top" list, sense of place or otherwise, will be lacking the favorites of others, of course, (no House Made of Dawn?!?! no Desert Solitare?!?! no Death Comes for the Archbishop?!?!) but it is a good conversation starter.
Personally, I've just finished The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen and I'm damn close to (finally!) finishing Coming Into The Country by John McPhee. I've never been to Nepal or Alaska but both these books evoke an incredibly strong sense of place and definitely "put me there" in terms of imagining the icy isolation and the vastness of those mountains. I've also been reading Rock Springs, by Richard Ford. It also evokes a certain Western States desolation. In places such as Idaho, Montana, North Dakota. And it's a great short story collection of the so-called 'dirty realism' variety.
Read on readers. Don't forget to write.