I need a vacation.
Considering I don't have a lot of time or money, I guess I'll be traveling in my usual armchair manner. After of course stopping by my local bookstore for a vacation or two.
Vacations at the bookstore? I'm not talking about the travel section. I am talking about a page by page vacation to a different place, a different time or just some thing totally different. Today I give you:
Thirteen book locations I'd like to visit:
1. The Shire, specifically Bag End. The place of the party, of many meals and peace. Yes, I would love to go to the Shire. And after I've rested there and recouperated it would be lovely to go to...
2. Rivendell. J.R.R. Tolkien came up with the best places. How I would love to see Rivendell. Before the elves left of course. Then we could take a few years off and hop a train to...
3. The Island of Sodor. Of course the train we'd be hopping on would be Thomas. And while my boys may be to big to do that anymore...I AM NOT. Reverend Awdry may have been writing for his children, but I'm the biggest kid I know. I would love to go see the happy island where the only thing we would worry about is cranky Diesel and we could always outsmart him.
4. Then on to Camelot. I don't care which author we pick for this story. I've not found a bad version. We could read T.H. White, we could read Stephen Lawhead, we could read Mary Stewart, we could read Mark Twain or Mallory. I won't bore you with how many versions of this tale I personally own. But suffice to say, I've been there before and have every intention of going again.
Granted it is not always very peaceful with all the conflict going on. But it is very interesting.
5. But possibly my favorite version of the tale depicts the Isle of Avalon. We will travel this way...
Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon is on of my all time favorite books.
6. Then we can go to Narnia. I want to see Aslan. I can skip meeting the White Witch, but I must meet Lucy and Mr. Tumnus. I would love to eat some Turkish Delight and visit with all the talking animals there.
7. Then we could get shipwrecked on Dinotopia. Not the Hallmark movie Dinotopia, although that was amazingly a good follow-up. The original with everything looking like a James Gurney work of art. Where dinosaurs and humans live in harmony. I don't think it is far-fetched at all.
8. Next we can wander by The 100 Acre Wood. The original 100 Acre Wood, NOT the Disney version (although perfectly delightful). Walt should never have tampered with perfection.
If Kenny Loggins sings (yes, yes, I know he sings for Disney--it's my fantasy vacation) I will be truly happy.
From there I think it isn't far to...
9. Hogwarts, really. All that British literature is connected I am sure of it. Now, knowing what we know we can take that Herbology class with Neville. You know, I really liked Professor Sprout, but Neville is going to be in his element teaching. He is going to be an such an encourager.
And I am sure they will have Harry come in and give a lecture about what it was like in the "old" days. I want to sleep in the towers and visit the owlrey. And I would be brave enough to try some of Hagrid's fudge.
Maybe I could sit a spell with Molly Weasley. I need some parenting advice. I like her style. If we catch the train I am sure it could take us to--
10. Yorkshire where James Herriot wrote about All Things Bright and Beautiful. This is a must read author who has work for animal lovers of all ages. How I would have loved to have followed him around!
11. Then we will go back a few centuries to Morland Place. Have I mentioned Cynthia Harrod-Eagles around here lately?? My year's reading has been wound around her Morland Dynasty series. She has given me more in the way of history lessons and insight than any classroom time I've ever spent. Mind you, I don't want to be a servant or lower class during the time. I want to live as a guest of the Morlands. They are very hospitable.
12. Coming back hundreds of years we go to Porthkerris and The Shell Seekers. When my spirit is tired and I can't take much more I read Rosamunde Pilcher's timeless stories. She's written several, Shell Seekers being the most widely know, maybe. But all of her books are full of real emotion and fill me with immense hope.
13. Finally we end with the Land. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson. Even though Lord Foul is there, the people are peaceful, the Land is beautiful and has healing properties. There are horses and then there are the Ranyhyn. This of course is a land of fantasy...or is it. There is so much confrontation of reality that the veil becomes thin. I've read the first two books of this series and never felt I could do them justice in a review. But they have affected me on a personal level.
Just like any good "vacation."
Thanks for coming on vacation with me. No need for suntan lotion. The bags were light. Customs was easy to clear. The flight attendants were almost non-existent.
So, if you were to recommend a "vacation in a book" what would it be? I'd love to hear.
Happy November, happy TT, happy reading!
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