I got the coolest book in the mail yesterday from National Geographic. Novel Destinations by Shannon McKenna Schmidt and Joni Rendon will be a perfect read for my approaching vacation. Since my vacation is just a vacation from going to work everyday and I am not actually going anywhere (a good chunk of the time will be spent working on my final project for school), I can play armchair traveler.

Via the book, I will be “touring” more than 500 literary landmarks in the United States and Europe (including Emerson’s house!). I will be making stops in Key West, Monterey, Dublin, Paris, Prague, London (how I wish I could live there!), and take afternoon tea at the Pump Room in Bath. It’s sure to be a lovely trip. There will be no lost luggage, mosquito bites, sun burn, bad reactions to food, or jet lag.

Going to grad school year-round sort of puts the kibosh on actually traveling anywhere–too busy, not to mention most all of my disposable income is paying for tuition. And I really do need an escape. So this book has got me thinking and planning on what other books I can read on my time off. I have Herodotus of course. I have also requested Rachel Carson’s The Sea Around Us from the library. Having grown up a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean, living in landlocked Minnesota leaves me sometimes longing for crashing waves and salty air. So a “trip” to the ocean will be quite nice.

If I somehow manage to breeze through all that, I also have on hand Riding with Rilke by Ted Bishop. Touring the American West and parts or Europe on a motorcycle while also meditating on literature, hard to go wrong there.

Now, kind reader, it’s your turn. I have another two years of armchair vacations ahead of me unless I manage to inherit millions from a long-lost uncle or aunt (if you have millions, one foot in the grave, and would like to be my long-lost aunt or uncle, please send me an email!). So, what book would you recommend for an armchair vacation? Fiction or nonfiction, doesn’t matter, just as long as it “takes” me somewhere.

And one more thing, happy Beltane!