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Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks From Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Hemingway's Key West

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  250 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
For the new breed of vacationer who craves meaningful trips and unusual locales, the combination of reading and travel can be a heady mix—especially if you happen to be checking into Hemingway’s favorite hotel in Sun Valley, or strolling about Bath’s Royal Crescent while entertaining fantasies of Lizzie Bennett and her Mr. Darcy! Cue National Geographic’s Novel Destination ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published June 16th 2009 by National Geographic (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 29, 2016 Charis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-journeys
I didn't read this cover-to-cover, but on a 30-day solo roadtrip I did this summer, it provided plenty of inspiration and information.
Jun 19, 2008 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: traveling book lovers!
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
*Review based on skimming through to points of interest:
Found at the library, joy of joys! Not that I'll be reading through every single page (I doubt) but enough skimming to do a bit of armchair travel! ;-> Delightful!!! As the cover suggests, it's "a book-lover's Baedeker" featuring more than 500 literary locales from the US and Europe. Of course, there's the obvious and obligatory "Shakespeare's Birthplace" type entry, but also a lot of really nifty lesser-known sites of literary interest
LH Johnson
Though the organisational principles behind this book remain esoteric, haphazard and complicated at best, Novel Destinations is a charming travel guide which captures some of the great and intense pleasure to be had with literary tourism.

Novel Destinations splits itself into two main parts: 'Travel by the book - the best literary experiences at home and abroad', and 'Journeys between the pages - the pages of literature come to life in the following ten locales, immortalized by famed novelists'.
Jun 25, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Kerja keras dan tersusun oleh dua penggila sastera ini bukan sahaja membawa kita mengenali tempat asal dan tempat berkarya penulis-penulis besar dunia, tetapi juga menjenguk tinggalan serta warisan zaman setiap pengarang ini tidak kiralah melalui muzium, restoran yang dikerapi, mahu pun hotel yang pernah ditumpangi.

Selain itu, kita juga diperkenalkan dengan tempat-tempat sebenar yang diangkat senagai inspirasi mahupun latar novel-novel terkenal dalam sastera Inggeris. Bath, yang sebetulnya diben
Although there were features on authors that I am not interested in, I did fantasize about a few vacations while reading this book. I am not a big Agatha Christie fan, but I would love a trip organized around the settings of her books. What's not to like about the Orient Express?
As someone who has enjoyed many author pilgrimages in the past (L.M. Montgomery, J.K. Rowling, just about every deceased New England writer/poet), I really enjoyed this book. Now I'm dying to travel to Alabama to see Harper Lee's stomping grounds, as well as return to Bath and see the Jane Austen landmarks (should have done that while I was there instead of shopping...oops).
Dec 30, 2016 Tiffani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great companion for those who like to travel, read, and travel to places of literary significance.
Todd Stockslager
Jun 02, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel-geography
Review title: Go to the places the books took you
No high concepts here, just straight forward travelogue of places made famous by books we love and the authors we love more. The authors don't go out on any limbs, sticking to the tried and true: Dickens and Shakespeare in the UK, for example, and the New England Transcendentalists here at home.

The organization is a bit scattered, bouncing around, bouncing around in the first half of the book through a series of chapters on author's houses and mu
Aug 28, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it
This is a book I've wanted to write for years. I have always sought out literary sites when I travel (fictional ones are my favorites). I keep a running list (which I couldn't find when writing this review) of such sites.

So, naturally I was very excited to see that someone else has created a collection like this. The book is clearly only a piece of the pie. You realize instantly that there are so many places NOT included. And you realize that no one book could cover them all. But the authors hav
I enjoyed sampling the entries from this book, but it wasn't particularly useful when I went to use it to plan some literary adventures. The layout stymied me when I approached the book from a planning standpoint. I felt like I had to search around quite a bit to find what I was looking for, both when looking for everything for one author and for everything in one geographical region. I wanted to be able to say, "I'm in New England; what can I do that's literary?" but it didn't work that way for ...more
Oct 09, 2013 Poonam rated it really liked it
It is a delightful travel book with a twist - it covers the places where writers were shaped, places/watering holes/houses where they were inspired, places they immortalised in their books, their literary friendships, lot of associated trivia about books, writes and places that influenced them.

When going to Paris, I had come across the guidebook where the writers of 'lost generation' used to visit, watering holes patronized by likes of Oscar Wilde and Hemingway. This book covers a great deal mor
Literary Detectives
The Literary Detectives found this book to have great prompts for our literary excursions to Austen-related places. Even the smallest ones, such as Steventon, and the ones she spent least time in, such as Lyme Regis, are covered, if briefly. Especially the chapter on Jane Austen's Bath was invaluable, pointing the reader/traveller towards the must-sees such as the Jane Austen Centre, as well as more off-the-beaten-track spots for the bigger fans, such as the home of Jane's aunt and uncle, the Le ...more
Apr 14, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book in the Rockefeller Center Anthropologie with my best friend, so I began this with a very positive attitude. Anyway, I spotted it on the shelf, read the title, and realized that this was the perfect book for me. I love traveling, and I love reading. An absolutely perfect combination. It was as if Bach's "Hallelujah" commenced as I picked it up and read the information about it and realized how perfect this was for me. So if you love traveling, and you love reading, this is an a ...more
Literary-minded travelers rejoice! As I really can’t see myself ever jumping out of a plane like they did in the movie, “The Bucket List,” this book instantly became my bibliophile “bucket list.” Numerous destinations based on the wanderings and residences of my favorite authors as well as their most memorable settings and characters are presented here alongside practical travel information, fascinating facts, literary gossip, and great reading suggestions. My first literary-minded trip centered ...more
Bill Glose
Classic literary landscapes, from the wild moorlands of the Bronte sisters and Wordsworth’s daffodil-dotted Lake District to Dostoyevsky’s brooding St. Petersburg. Stateside, you’ll travel across Robert Frost’s New England to the Deep South of William Faulkner and the rolling hills of Jack London’s California ranch land. Featured sites include everything from author houses and museums to legendary libraries, festivals, and walking tours. A sampling of restaurants, pubs, inns, and hotels where fa ...more
Sep 04, 2011 Antica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy going to places where literary figures have stayed/lived/died or museums dedicated to those people in history. This book was fantastic in showing the places where book lovers can go and visit places dedicated to their favorite classic authors. It is well organized and has great info about each place related to that author

I have marked a lot of places within this book and have added a whole lot of places that I need to visit in My Bucket List

I have the urge to go backpacking across Europ
This isn't really a book to be read cover to cover but it is fun to see all the literary related places of interest to visit both home and abroad. I would have given this book more stars but there were some omissions which annoyed me. There is a whole chapter on Russian literature, which I will most likely never have the opportunity to visit but did enjoy reading of. But no mention of Prince Edward Island, Anne of Green Gables territory? That omission alone had I seen this book in a store, would ...more
Jan 01, 2013 Tiara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, I am still in the process of reading this book.

However, because it is a guide book it is probably best read by skimming for what you find interesting. This is a process that the authors do NOT make easy. My only critique about the book is that the literary places are not categorized in a very organized way. This method makes the book lose its excitement until a "place" interests the reader. If it were organized it would not be such a pain to read.

That being said I do love most of the
Kirsty (alkalinekiwi)
It took me longer than expected to read this. I guess guidebooks aren't usually cover to cover reading material.
I enjoyed the wide range of books, authors and places featured in this - though it is with much shame that I have not read many of the works talked about.
I have added some books to my wishlist from this book - both books I want to read and places I want to visit.

I have someone in mind to pass this on to though if they don't want it I know of some other people who may be interested.
May 20, 2009 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I expected to enjoy this book much more than I did given that it combines two of my favorite things - books and travel. Unfortunately, the first part of the book is basically a catalog of places that are somehow related to novels or authors -very dry. The second part is more interesting as it provides more details and stories about places where various authors lived or settingls that they wrote about. I think I might take a look back at this book before traveling to one of the places discussed, ...more
Oct 15, 2013 Kathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love books that take me to a place I have enjoyed in a novel. When my children were very young, these were my favorite vacations...we read Meg and the Mystery of Williamsburg...Brighty of the Grand Canyon...Harry Potter...yes we went to Track 9 3/4. That is what I thought Novel Destinations was going to be. It is a nicely researched book. However, destinations were primarily where the novelists lived and not the settings in the book. I was a little disappointed, but still a nice read.
Milena March
Apr 16, 2013 Milena March rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some interesting literary sights in this book. I can definitely see it coming in handy in the future. I read the whole book through, and I wasn't entirely happy with the way it was structured; for my purposes I think it would have been more useful to simply have literary sights organised by the city/country/state where one can find them. However, it probably would have made for a less interesting reading experience, and I now have a lot of great ideas for my next trip!
Jun 07, 2011 Jenn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
I really wanted to like this book, but it just was not that great. The major complaint that I have is that the destinations were grouped by type of author, like poets, novelists, etc. I wish they were instead grouped by location, or were at least searchable that way. Additionally, many of the descriptions read like someone describing some research they had done rather than describing a place they had actually been. Boring.
This was a very interesting book, one I would like to have on my book shelf for a reference. I particularly enjoyed the sections on Hemingway and Steinbeck. I am hopeful that at some point in my life I will have a Charles Dickens phase and then would love to be able to pull this book off my shelf and read his section.
Apr 05, 2011 Michelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-books-read
If the entire book had been like the last section, I would have given this book a higher rating. The last section concentrated on an author told something about their life and directed you to areas and tourist sites related to the author or his/her works. That was what I expected from the book. The rest was like a poorly organized travel guide. Not very helpful.
Nov 30, 2010 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is book is the ultimate travel guide to literary lovers. It's full of information about many literary landmarks. If you love to travel and you love to read classics you should definitely check this book out- it's worth glancing through!
Apr 19, 2013 Judi rated it really liked it
If you like to travel and are into reading you will like this book. I've been to some of the places mentioned but not as many as I would like. I will be checking out some of these locations on my travels.
Mar 01, 2012 Em rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, 2012
Literary travel. A travel guide for those who like to spend their holidays visiting the homes, hang-outs and haunts of many authors and the settings of their notable works.

I've enjoyed dipping into this book over the past couple of months but it's gone back to the library today.
Brianna Elsass
Jun 04, 2013 Brianna Elsass rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
I was hoping for soo much more but I found myself reading the pages just wishing that it would get better at the next section. There were moments of saving grace but not enough to make it what I would actually call worth the time.
Jena Gardner
Love the idea of planning a vacation around an author I admire or a novel I really enjoyed. Really want to go to England and see all the Shakespeare sights, etc. Fun to plan a dream vacation around this.
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Wanderer and book lover. Shannon is the co-author of NOVEL DESTINATIONS: A Travel Guide to Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Hemingway's Key West (updated and expanded edition May 2017) and WRITERS BETWEEN THE COVERS: The Scandalous Romantic Lives of Legendary Literary Casanovas, Coquettes, and Cads. She blogs about literary travel at
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