Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Book a Vacation

Reality has been a heartless strumpet lately.  (Strumpet is my latest vocabulary word from Seraphina.  It's just a great word that I am trying to work it into daily conversation more.)  The weather here is rainy and cold, then add to that flooding and numerous boil orders and you have a reality that I would rather escape.

This has me dreaming about vacation.  But right now is not a great time to take a vacation, and I just don't have the financial resources to run off to Italy or Hawaii or Toronto, so I have to make due with books.

I know that I likely won't go to the places in my favorite books, but realistically, if I could, if I had a time machine and all that too, where would you really want to go?  Most historical fiction settings are out for me because I truly love indoor plumbing and electricity.  I might make it in the 1920's New York of The Diviners, but that's as far back as I would go.

This also means that most dystopian books are also out of the question.  I do not want to visit the Chicago of Divergent or try my hand at The Hunger Games.  Similarly, most fantasy destinations are out too.  It's constantly snowing in Narnia, no thank you, and there are a lot of monsters involved at Hogwarts and Camp Half-Blood, so I think I'll pass.  I'm not brave, I love showers, and I would prefer someplace with amazing food.  Let's see what I'm left with.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt set in Savannah, Georgia.  I have been to Savannah for a quick day trip about seven years ago.  But one day in Savannah is not good enough.  The setting of this book is so rich, and still very much alive in the South.  There are whole tours and shops dedicated to this book, which they refer to simply as "The Book".  I should reread this one just to soak in the setting.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor mostly set in Prague.  I'm a fan girl, so you really should have seen this one coming, but Prague just seems so ridiculous.  I saw an Anthony Bourdain show on it and it sounded incredible, although I'm convinced that Anthony Bourdain could make my small town seem interesting.  Still, Taylor paints Prague so beautifully that I would entirely go there.

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor mostly set in Morocco.  This is the only vacation I would take that I might have to give up some of my comforts, like showers and such.  Morocco seems amazing with the kasbahs, and marketplaces.  I might not want to visit the particular kasbah that Karou inhabits, because again, I'm afraid of monsters (I'm nothing like Zuzanna who thinks they are entertaining and wonderful), but I still think Morocco would be doable.

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg set in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  If there was a way to spend an entire New York vacation in the Met, I would sign up tomorrow.  Not only is it a kid's dream to spend a night in a museum exploring every little exhibit, but I would love it too.  I think I would start by sleeping in the little prayer room that they shipped in from Europe, or maybe the temple in the Egyptian wing.  See, I'm already planning it!!  And did you know that E. L. Konigsburg passed away Friday?  It's so sad to lose such an amazing, touching author.

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass set in a giant chocolate factory.  I know that this factory doesn't exist, but imagine if it did!  Imagine that you could make a chocolate harmonica, or any of the other creations they try.  This whole book was so descriptive and delicious that I found myself wanting M & M's by the bagful.  Maybe a compromise would be Hershey, Pennsylvania.  I'd take that vacation.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgensten set in a magical circus.  Again, this isn't real, but I would love to visit the Night Circus.  I can just imagine the lovely clothes I would wear, and the food, and the cloud room.  Maybe I should reread this one because there's nothing like magic to take your mind off flooding.

Those are my top book-inspired vacation picks.  Seraphina is proving to be a very nice escape but between boiling water, cleaning my dog's muddy paws, and cleaning up our leaky basement, I haven't had a ton of reading time.  What vacations are you planning-real or imaginary?  Are you looking to escape from the heartless strumpet as known as reality?  Are you loving the word strumpet?  Let me know!

Happy Reading!

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