Friday Find: Novel Destinations

Still trying to figure out what to do on your next vacation? You may want to use a new book (to be published later this month) to help you plan. Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen’s Bath to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West, co-authored by Shannon McKenna Schmidt and Joni Rendon (with a foreword by Matthew Pearl), is brought to you by National Geographic Books. And for those who love to follow in the footsteps of their literary idols, it’s a great read.

Part One of this travel guide focuses on author houses and museums; literary festivals; and “literary places to drink, dine and doze” (hotels, pubs, cafés, etc.). Part One also includes a section on “writers at home and abroad,” featuring multiple literary locales associated with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, and Henry James.

Part Two is organized by location, describing each of ten “locales immortalized by famed novelists.” I enjoyed reading through both Part One and Part Two, but readers hoping to find destinations outside the United States or Europe may be a bit disappointed with the heavily American and European focus.

That concern aside, this is a clear, readable, and inspirational travel book for readers and writers. And if you’re not quite ready to plunk down $25 for it, you can get a preliminary taste at the authors’ blog.