Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Novel Destinations (review)

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review, though all thoughts are my own. This post also contains affiliate links that I may make commission from.*

I know I already gave you a post today about Penelope's second birthday, but I also have a book review. It's a bonus post, but this (finally) puts me on track with my Goodreads reading challenge. I was so behind there for awhile and now I'm on track again. Phew! I can't get cocky about it because I have to finish another book this week to keep up otherwise I'll fall behind again.

Follow in the footsteps of much-loved authors, including Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac, Jane Austen, and many more. For vacationers who crave meaningful trips and unusual locales, cue National Geographic's Novel Destinations a guide for bibliophiles to more than 500 literary sites across the United States and Europe. Check into Hemingway's favorite hotel in Sun Valley, or stroll about Bath's Royal Crescent while entertaining fantasies of Lizzie Bennett and her Mr. Darcy. The fully revised second edition includes all of the previous sites with updated locations plus color images and an expanded section on all things Bronte. The book begins with thematic chapters covering author houses and museums, literary festivals and walking tours. Then, in-depth explorations of authors and places take readers roaming Franz Kafka's Prague, James Joyce's Dublin, Louisa May Alcott's New England, and other locales. Peppered with great reading suggestions and little-known tales of literary gossip, Novel Destinations is a unique travel guide, an attractive gift book, and the ultimate bibliophile's delight."

If you know me at all you know I absolutely LOVE a road trip. If I can somehow incorporate a literary stop on a road trip, even better. The only bummer about this is that a lot of this book features things that are abroad... as in places I most likely will never get to see in my life time. So that's a total bummer. But don't fret, pets! There is still a ton of stuff in the United States for you to see!

Let's break down the book though because the book is two parts: travel by the book and journey through the pages. In the first part there are author houses and museums (my favorites were southern comfort and vampires, ghosts, and ravens), writers at home and abroad, literary festivals, tours, and more (this was my FAVORITE part of the entire book), literary places to drink, dine, and doze. The second part of the book, Journeys Between the Pages, was more of like a dedicated vacation. Clearly the one that would be up my alley was the Island Time: Ernest Hemingway in Key West, Florida only because I am a Florida girl through and through. But there was also a California Dreaming: John Steinbeck in Monterey and Salinas, California that I kind of thought would be fascinating.

Another section I really enjoyed was the "Libraries Worth Checking Out", but I have decided I really, really, REALLY want to go to a book festival. WHY HAVE I NEVER BEEN TO A BOOK FESTIVAL?! Have any of you been to one? Sigh. The other cool thing is that if you are going on a little trip and you've got some time, check out the index on the back for the state that you're visiting, there is a good chance it's mentioned in the book and you can make a quick day trip to a literary landmark! We are driving to Florida at the end of June and I'm hoping I can convince Matt to squeeze a stop, or four, in. They are practically on our way so it's not like we're losing time. Surely someone will have to go to the bathroom and I can just take a quick peek!  Right? Of course I'm right.

I totally loved this. It's such a fun, nerdy book to page through with lots of fun facts, lots of things I didn't know, it gave me lots of ideas for future trips (maybe not family trips but definitely trips with my friends!) and it's just an enjoyable read. Who doesn't love a good non-fiction book every now and then?!

You can find this book on the National Geographic web store and also on Amazon.


Shannon McKenna Schmidt said...

Sara, thanks for your kind words about Novel Destinations. Nerdy and fun is the perfect description! I love that. I definitely recommend a visit to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, especially if you love cats (about 50 or so live on the property). The (human) guides give an excellent and entertaining tour of the house and grounds.

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Oh my gosh YES you MUST go to a book festival if at all possible! They are a ton of fun and I know you'd have a great time.

Thanks for being a part of the tour!