7 Literary Destinations to Inspire a Love of Reading
Thursday will be the 25th anniversary of World Book Day, a time to celebrate the joys of reading and losing yourself in a novel. Follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s most famous authors and see below seven literary destinations that are sure to inspire a love of reading.
Discover Dr. Seuss’ San Diego
One of the world’s most iconic children’s authors and illustrators, Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geise), lived in La Jolla, San Diego from 1948 until his passing in 1991. His early years in San Diego were where he perfected his craft and wrote many of his most loved books including Horton Hears a Who, The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Travellers to San Diego can visit the Geisel Library in downtown San Diego, which houses more than 15,000 Dr Seuss drawings, manuscript drafts, photographs and memorabilia, or visit Legends Gallery in La Jolla, close to his home, where there’s artwork on display and limited edition reproductions available to purchase.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower in Pittsburgh
Set in the 1990s, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is centred around the heart-warming friendship between three teenagers. Loosely based on the author Stephen Chbosky’s younger years growing up in Pittsburgh, the story is fiercely tied to the city. Some of the most memorable moments are the tunnel scenes at Fort Pitt Tunnel and Fort Pitt Bridge, where one of the main characters, Sam, is riding in the back of a pick-up truck. Schenley Park and the Hollywood Theatre in Dormont also both serve as notable backdrops in the novel.
Havenfall – Sarah Holland, Colorado
One of Bloomsbury Publishing’s biggest books of 2020, Havenfall is a fantasy fiction novel by New York Times best-selling author Sara Holland. The book follows the story of young Maddie Marrow and her experiences at Havenfall, a fictional town and the gateway to other realms, which is nestled deep within Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. The Rocky Mountains provide an ethereal backdrop as Maddie embarks on a journey to discover the shocking truths about the dangers lurking beneath Havenfall.
So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo, Seattle
Residing in Seattle, Ijeoma Oluo is the author of the number one bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race. The non-fiction masterpiece tackles the subject of race in the US, highlighting police brutality, Black Lives Matter and white privilege in detail. Oluo’s work on race has been featured in The Guardian, The New York Times and The Washington Post, among many other publications.
Where I Was From – Joan Didion, California
What’s better than the California sunshine, a warm breeze off the Pacific Coast, and a glass of wine from the vineyards of Napa Valley? All of those things, plus a book. If you want to be transported to the Golden State and can’t get there in person, try grabbing Where I Was From by California native Joan Didion. In this thoughtful and well-researched novel, she takes a look at her home state. She explores both the past and present, ranging on topics from robber barons to water crises to thoughts on individualism versus incarceration. Didion’s craft shines throughout the text, and her passion for this beautiful and complex place draws a reader in.
A Scenic Road Trip Through Japan via the Written Word
There’s no better time to read renowned Japanese writer Haruki Murakiam’s Drive My Car. The film, inspired by the short story, is the first Japanese film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, and received a total of four Academy Awards at this year’s ceremony, including Best Director. Adapted from a 2014 short story by Haruki Murakami called Men Without Women, Drive My Car follows the story of a theatre director who is working on a new production whilst mourning the sudden death of his screenwriter wife. Much of the story takes place in the car, with Japan as a backdrop, making it the perfect book to inspire travel to Japan.
The Yosemite by John Muir
The ‘Father of National Parks’ John Muir once wrote ‘the clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness’. There is arguably no greater wilderness in the US than Yosemite – one of the country’s greatest national parks. Visit the park through the eyes of Muir, the Scottish-born American naturalist who helped save Yosemite valley and the wilderness in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. From the comfort of the page, explore the soaring peaks and lush Tuolumne meadows that so inspired Muir to petition the government until they established Yosemite Park in 1890.