I'm listening to a novel on CD (I listen while driving, especially), which is set in a location where I've spent a lot of time. I remember the first time that happened to me. I was reading a 20s novel in high school and I realized that the characters were in an area I knew pretty well from riding my bike endlessly around. The area had changed, but it was still familiar to me in a fairly deep way. I remember how sort of shocked I was that my home landscape could be in a book.
That was different for me from seeing familiar stuff in movies, places I'd been, but hadn't been in the same way I was when riding my bike around. What I mean is I saw movies, and recognized landmarks and stuff that I'd been taken to, but never saw or read about places I biked around and knew in that sort of deeper way.
The places I'm thinking of, the places I bike(d) around or shopped or whatever and encountered in that 20s novel and now in this current novel aren't big landmarks, more like the local high school, or a water tower. They don't make postcards, but they're familiar.
It makes some things about this novel pretty fun in an insider sort of way.
But it's also very much a male novel, pretty focused on men and men's relationships, and the ways the characters use and think about the spaces and places feels pretty gendered to me. (The novel's not that great, but word is that the folks local to where it's set are pretty hyped about it.)