Monday, May 8, 2017

TLC Book Tours Book Review & Guest Post: Novel Destinations

About Novel Destinations

• Hardcover: 392 pages
• Publisher: National Geographic; 2 edition (May 2, 2017)

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 Brontë. 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.

Purchase Links

National Geographic Store | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Review: Do you like books? Do you like or dream about travel? What if you could visit literary places?

That's what Novel Destinations is all about.

As soon as I got this beautiful book (Look at that cover, its adorable) I started to peruse the places inside and the authors that make you want to go there.   There are so many...Austen..the Brontes....sigh...Dickens..

The book is segmented wonderfully with literary homes, museums and festivals, not to mention literary places to eat and stay over.

Of course, Great Britain (well Europe mostly) takes up a good portion of the book, and it definitely had me dreaming of "All the Places I'd Go" if the money were there.

I was happy to see my state represented in the book, with the Poe National Site and the Pearl S Buck House located in Pennsylvania. So there might be a road trip in my future.

No don't read this start to finish, that would't be any fun at all. Pick it to the index and look for things that interest you.

My dream trip would involve an F. Scoot Fitzgerald tour.

This is a wonderful coffee table book or nightstand book, where you can plan your next literary jaunt or if you are like me, dream of one you'd love to take.

Rating: 5 Flowers

About Shannon McKenna Schmidt

Shannon McKenna Schmidt is the co-author with Joni Rendon of Writers Between the Covers: The Scandalous Romantic Lives of Legendary Literary Casanovas, Coquettes, and Cads. She has written for Arrive, National Geographic Traveler, Shelf Awareness,, and other publications and websites. A former Hoboken, New Jersey, resident, she is traveling full-time in the United States and abroad and can be found on the web at and

Guest Post

Novel Destinations brings together two of my biggest passions: books and travel. Thankfully for wander lusting bibliophiles, there is an abundance of author houses and museums to visit. Just like a great page-turner, each site has a different story to tell, from the Gilded Age opulence of Edith Wharton’s estate in Massachusetts to Edgar Allan Poe’s sparse, humble cottage in New York City. It’s challenging to choose favorites from among the incredible places featured in Novel Destinations, but here are three of my top literary locales and why they were included in the book.

Orchard House, Concord, MA

Of all the literary sites I’ve visited, Orchard House is the place where I most felt like I had stepped into a novel. In Little Women, Louisa May Alcott drew heavily on her family members and their home for the characters and the setting. Eighty percent of the furnishings and possessions in Orchard House belonged to the Alcotts, further blurring the line between fact and fiction. While touring the house, it seems as if Jo March and her sisters might enter a room at any moment and begin entertaining visitors with one of their lively plays. Devotees of Little Women will delight in all the details, such as the trunk of costumes and props used to stage performances and the “mood pillow” perched on the parlor couch. Like her creator, Jo March used a sausage-shaped pillow as a mood indicator. If it stood on end, she wanted to socialize. If it was on its side? Do not disturb.

Bronte Country, England
For me the most atmospheric literary landscape is the dramatically scenic moorland around the village of Haworth in West Yorkshire, England—otherwise known as Brontë Country and once home to novelist sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. Walking over the brooding, windswept moors, it’s apparent why Charlotte described Emily’s Wuthering Heights as being “hewn in a wild workshop.” A several-mile walk leads past a waterfall the Brontës often visited and then on to Top Withens, the stone ruins of a remote farm credited as being the geographical setting of Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff’s domain. Visitors can also stop by the Brontë Parsonage Museum, the beautifully restored Georgian parsonage where the wordsmiths lived and wrote, and take a literary-themed walking tour along Haworth’s cobbled streets.

National Steinbeck Center, Salinas, CA

There is no other literary landmark like the National Steinbeck Center, an elaborate, specially-built The Grapes of Wrath were once burned. The novel angered some town residents, particularly ranchers and bankers who felt Steinbeck had cast them in a bad light for the way migrant workers were treated. Eventually veneration replaced malice, though, and the Steinbeck Center is a spectacular tribute to the author and a bibliophile’s funhouse.
museum dedicated to John Steinbeck’s life and works. Thematic galleries with interactive exhibits, mini-theaters showing film adaptions of his novels, and unique features like an oversize, light-up crossword puzzle for testing one’s Steinbeck smarts make it both informative and entertaining. Ironically, the Steinbeck Center stands on a street near where copies of


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Hmm, I wonder what Maryland sites are in there? I'd love to read that part for sure!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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