A review of Novel Destinations by Shannon McKenna Schmidt & Joni Rendon.
Novel Destinations by Shannon McKenna Schmidt & Joni Rendon is my choice as the Book of the Month for September.
In the book’s introduction, the authors refer to Louisa May Alcott who wrote in her journal while visiting London in 1865, “I felt as if I’d got into a novel while going about in the places I’d read so much of”. McKenna Schmidt and Rendon maintain that this quote strikes a chord with modern-day travelers such as themselves who are “two life-long voracious readers who share an equally passionate appetite for exploration”.
This is an excellent read for anyone who is at all interested in literary travel as it covers a wide range of literary locales in North America and in Europe. The book is divided into two parts – “Travel By The Book” and “Journeys Between The Pages“.
Travel By The Book covers Author Houses and Museums; Writers at Home and Abroad; Literary Festivals, Tours, and More; and Literary Places to Drink, Dine and Doze. Each section contains short descriptions of a location and practical information on organizing a visit to places such as Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum, the Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Alexandre Dumas’s Château de Monte Cristo and many others.
Journeys Between the Pages highlights 10 locations that were immortalized by famous novelists – Bath, England; London, England; Paris, France; Dublin, Ireland; Prague, Czech Republic; Concord, Massachusetts; Key West, Florida; Monroeville, Alabama; and Monterey and Salinas, California. These destinations are covered in more depth and discuss the novelist’s relationship with the destination, what attractions/sites that the literary traveler may wish to visit, and places to drink, eat and sleep that have connections to the novelist.
As soon as I read the introduction to this book, I knew that I was going to love it as I have always been a voracious reader with a passion for exploring the world. This is a book that I will go back to again and again both as a reference point when planning a trip that includes some literary experiences and also just to dream about the settings of some of my favourite novels that I would love to someday visit.
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