Have you checked out our various Features pages lately? Julie and I are all about Features posts. (Who doesn’t need an occasional break from reviews?) In this new feature post, we will be discussing What Books Taught Us. And no, we don’t mean cooking, crafting, or organizing. We are talking about serious, useful skills. Like how to spend your summer vacation. That is if you have plans to do something besides read! We want to make sure all of our readers are prepared!
Take a hike: If you are thinking about getting back to nature this summer, follow along with Bill Bryson and take A Walk in the Woods. Mr. Bryson regales us with his hike along the Appalachian trail. Just maybe break in your shoes first. And avoid the bears.
Black bears rarely attack. But here’s the thing. Sometimes they do. All bears are agile, cunning and immensely strong, and they are always hungry. If they want to kill you and eat you, they can, and pretty much whenever they want. That doesn’t happen often, but – and here is the absolutely salient point – once would be enough.
As a cautionary tale of hiking, maybe avoid Melanie’s hike in The Host! We all vividly remember her hike through the desert. True, she does make it there in the end. But all that hiking in the desert heat is not my idea of a vacation!
Take a Road Trip: I love the idea of a road trip. Picking out the best snacks and tunes. Planning how far to the next pit stop. Which really, is the highlight of any road trip for me!
Peeing is like a good book in that it is very, very hard to stop once you start.
Paper Towns is an excellent example of a road trip. Albeit a very impromptu one. Quentin and his friends make some great memories on the quest to find Margo. And avoid hitting that cow.
Take a trip to the Beach\Beach Town: Beaches have a lot of sand that just gets everywhere. I’m more of a beach town kind of girl, with boardwalks and site seeing. And Jane Austin captures that in Persuasion, when Anne travels to Lyme and later to Bath. Anne and Captain Wentworth rekindle their romance with the backdrop of the sea. Ok, sure, Louisa does fall and bump her head. But that’s on her. You wouldn’t be that careless, would you?
Even better than a beach town for vacation, is a whole town built underwater. In Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, we still have jolly old Bath that Austen’s characters love to visit. But this mashup novel gives us Bath under a dome. And Colonel Brandon doing his best Davy Jones impression (Pirates of the Caribbean, not the Monkees).
Granted, they did have that whole dome flooding problem. Hopefully, if you visit an underwater city, you won’t have that same issue!
If potentially drowning in an underwater city isn’t your idea of fun, perhaps a trip to a Maine island is? In Sweet Salt Air, Nicole and Charlotte have reunited to write a cook book of local island recipes. I think hanging out in a swanky house, eating and testing recipes doesn’t sound too bad!
Little bits were one of Dorey Jewett’s gems: small, sweet lobster knuckles that were sautéed in butter. There were no herbs involved, just enough of a Ritz-cracker coating to absorb the butter for ease of eating.
Take a trip to to Europe:
That is, if you’ve mastered either magic or time travel. We’re all familiar with Claire’s trip through the standing stones to Jamie. How about instead, we talk about the MacKelters of the Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning. Drustan is woken when a girl falls through his cave, where he’s been asleep for centuries. Dageus has lived through those centuries with the souls of 13 druids trapped inside him. But really, the takeaway from these novels is the sexy highlander comes to YOU. With all the modern conveniences.
What about Diana and Matthew from the All Souls Trilogy? Travelling to London in 1590 to find a teacher for Diana, she and Matthew try to blend into Elizabethan England.
Witches, vampires, demons, and Kit Marlowe. What could be better? Oh yeah, indoor plumbing and electricity!
Luckily for Carrie in Winter Sea, her travel is more of a spiritual trip. She’s having memories of an ancestor, Sophia. Carrie has the best of both worlds. She’s staying in a quaint Scottish town, with a heater that runs on change. All while also living vicariously in Jacobite Scotland. No time travel required.
Or avoid the heat and sunburn, stay inside, and read some of these books!