Read to Travel

Perhaps you've read all five blog posts (number 6, number 5, number 4, number 3, number 2) we've already shared that talk about my love of reading to travel or traveling to read—basically literary vacations! I have talked about Hannibal, Rome, London, Concord, and Bath & Chawton. Today you get my ultimate vacation spot based on books I have read: Prince Edward Island (yeah, not just one city, the whole Canadian province)! 

1. Prince Edward Island, Canada

So, this is my all-time, most bookish trip that I took. I probably would never have gone to Prince Edward Island if it wasn’t for reading ANNE OF GREEN GABLES as a teenager. True story. However, PEI is not only the location of the beloved Anne books, but also many other L.M. Montgomery novels and short stories (and honestly the location is like a character in the story—you can’t totally understand Anne without understanding the place that she loves and lives in). 

EMILY OF NEW MOON writes in PEI, PAT OF SILVER BUSH grows up in PEI, AND so many of the short stories that Maud wrote were based on the island.  In fact, one tour guide at one of the many places we visited said that out of Montgomery’s 20 books, 19 of them take place in her home province—even though she only lived there until she got married. (The only book that Maud wrote that doesn’t take place in PEI is THE BLUE CASTLE, though that is a brilliant book as well.)

On the advice of someone who had been to PEI, when we first went to Cavendish (renamed Avonlea in the books), we went to the Cavendish Homestead and saw the land where L.M. Montgomery lived. Then we took a detour to the Cavendish Post Office; Maud was the assistant postmistress in Cavendish and secretly sent off her books there to be published.

We then walked through the “Haunted Wood” and came out just under Maud’s uncle’s home, which Green Gables was based on. That was truly the perfect way to see Green Gables for the first time (especially since the other entrance leads you to the visitor’s gates and barns…). Walking through the wood and then suddenly seeing Green Gables on the hill just felt like I was in the books with Anne. There is no other way to describe it! If you want to feel like you are in Montgomery’s work, you must travel to PEI. 

green gables picture

Also, there is the Anne of Green Gables Museum at Silver Bush (which also has the Lake of Shining Waters). This house was the inspiration for Pat of Silver Bush and is where Montgomery got married. Plus there are buggy rides that you can take—almost as if you were in the movie and Matthew was taking you out for the afternoon. Really, when Maud wrote her books, PEI was a main character and I couldn’t do justice to these books that I loved without going to the land where they were set. 

And there you have it. My ultimate top choice for a vacation based on books. Besides the FANTASTIC seafood, pretty much everything that we did on PEI was because of books—so basically it was a sweet vacation.

Granted, there are more travel plans ahead and more books with places as characters. So perhaps this list will continue to grow and change with each new passport stamp. I read to travel, I travel to read.

Where would you go based on books? Or what good books have you read because of somewhere that you have traveled?

Cozy Fireplace Remote

Post-Christmas blues? After the 25th, it can be hard to let go of the holidays. Here are a few not quite Christmas movies that still keep that December spirit alive.  

1.7 The Lion the Witch and the WardrobeTHE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE
Directed by Andrew Adamson
(2005)

A great take on the C.S. Lewis book, the wintery setting (and the fact that Santa Claus actually shows up in this film) make it a great pick for Christmas. Though for most of the movie it’s “always winter, but never Christmas” there are plenty of festive characters to enjoy. So sit down with some turkish delight and enjoy this reimagining of an old classic. 

 

1.7 While You Were SleepingWHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Directed by Jon Turteltaub
(1995)

A romantic comedy, this film takes place actually takes place over several holidays. Sandra Bullock pretends to be the fiancee of the comatose man she saved, all while slowing falling for his brother. The fun family dynamics make this a great film to watch any time of the year. 

 

1.7 Harry PotterHARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE
Directed by Chris Columbus
(2001)

This movie takes place, of course, throughout an entire school year. But some of its most memorable scenes take place over the holiday break: from the delicious Christmas feasts, to Harry discovering his invisibility cloak and the Mirror of Erised. It also helps that television networks have made the movie a Christmas staple over the past few years. 

 

1.7 Little WomenLITTLE WOMEN
Directed by Gillian Armstrong
(1994)

Though this takes place over several years, its most enduring moments happen during Christmas. Enjoy this heartwarming, and sometimes heartbreaking, story of an American family as they experience life during and after the Civil War.

 

 Sparklers

If you’re anything like me, you have a million books that you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten to yet. The New Year is the perfect time to recommit to reading those books that you’ve always meant to get to, and the library is here to help! We’ll have a display all month stocked with various classics, best sellers, and other books that might be outstaying their welcome on your “to read” list. Listed below is just a small sample of our offerings:

Classics

1.4 Wuthering HeightsWUTHERING HEIGHTS
By Emily Brontë
(1847) 

Cathy is fascinated with the orphan that her father has taken in. While her brother Hindley despises him, Cathy becomes Heathcliff’s constant companion, and he falls wildly in love with her. Despite their feelings for each other, Cathy will not marry Heathcliff and this proves to be their downfall. 

 

1.4 The Great GatsbyTHE GREAT GATSBY
By F Scott Fitzgerald
(1925) 

Jay Gatsby is as mysterious as his parties are wild. His Long Island mansion is filled day and night with young people drinking and dancing and discussing their host. Gatsby always seems to be alone, waiting for something—or someone. 

 

Best Sellers

1.4 All the Light We Cannot SeeALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE
By Anthony Doerr
(2014) 

Marie-Laure is a blind girl who lives in Paris with her father. Werner Pfennig is an orphan in Germany who is fascinated by the radio. As World War II strikes, both children will have to figure out how best to survive. 

 

1.4 Go Set a WatchmanGO SET A WATCHMAN
By Harper Lee
(2015) 

Twenty years after the events in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, Jean Louise “Scout” Finch returns to her hometown to visit her father. While her town struggles to adjust to the civil rights movement, Scout struggles with her own personal issues as she learns things about her family that she never knew. 

 

Books-to-Movies

1.4 Ready Player 1READY PLAYER ONE
By Ernest Cline
(2011) 

The year is 2044 and the entire world pretty much lives in the OASIS, which is a massive online game. When the creator of the OASIS dies, he releases an OASIS-wide scavenger hunt. Whoever can find his easter eggs will inherit the OASIS and all the money that comes with it. When teenager Wade Watts solves the first riddle, he’s thrown into the spotlight—and not necessarily in a good way. 

 

1.4 Crazy Rich AsiansCRAZY RICH ASIANS
By Kevin Kwan
(2013) 

Meeting your boyfriend’s family is hard enough, but when he didn’t tell you that his family is worth millions if not billions of dollars, it can quickly turn into a disaster. Rachel Chu is about to find out how hard it really is to fit in with people who regularly spend millions of dollars on jewelry. And that’s nothing compared to winning over her boyfriend’s mother.

 

Julia Child

I have a confession. Sometimes I get really fangirly about something or someone and I read everything that I can find on that thing or person. I watch every movie; I read every book or magazine. I watch every YouTube video. Being a fan is a way of life for me. And this year I got all fangirly about Julia Child. She has become a hero of mine. She is now someone I look up to, someone I understand, someone with whom I relate. If you are curious about Julia Child, here are some of the best offerings Provo Library has on this big, loud, lovely woman. 

12.28 My Life in FranceMY LIFE IN FRANCE
By Julia Child
(2006) 

This memoir was begun just months before Julia’s death and describes her and Paul’s years in Paris, Marseille, and Provence. But it is also about her journey from a young woman from Pasadena who cannot cook or speak any French to the publication of her legendary Mastering cookbooks and her winning the hearts of America as "The French Chef."  

This is an upbeat, funny, and richly detailed memoir about Julia’s blossoming at age 40. Working for the government and meeting Paul Child changed her life forever. Their love story and their love affair with France is heartwarming and swoonworthy, as is all the food.  

 

12.28 The French Chef in AmericaTHE FRENCH CHEF IN AMERICA: JULIA CHILD’S SECOND ACT
By Alex Prud’homme
(2016) 

This is basically part two of My Life in France. Nephew Alex Prud'homme recounts Julia Child's life during the late sixties to the early eighties when, after the success of her book MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING brought her fame, she struggled to re-find herself and create her legacy in America. This book focuses specifically on Julia’s work in America. It discusses her groundbreaking television program, the many cookbooks she wrote, and her documentaries.  

By this point in Julia's life, Paul had become confused and surly. He never really recovered from a surgery he had. Though Paul was prickly with other people, he was Julia’s partner in everything. It’s amazing to see how Julia juggled her career and her marriage. The biography reads like a narrative and was so hard to put down. 

 

12.28 DearieDEARIE: THE REMARKABLE LIFE OF JULIA CHILD
By Bob Spitz
(2012) 

This is a delightful biography of a delightful woman. It gives comprehensive coverage of Julia’s entire life, not just her time in France. It particularly focuses the complex and passionate relationship between Julia and Paul. This relationship was the catalyst for Julia’s blossoming into a confident, competent, and creative chef and TV personality. It also discusses how Julia found her own voice and beliefs after being sequestered in the heart of California amongst her family and friends. The book was such a great read. The new information and excerpts from letters really made Julia and Paul real.  

 

12.28 As Always JuliaAS ALWAYS JULIA: THE LETTERS OF JULIA CHILD AND AVIS DEVOTO
Edited by Joan Reardon
(2010)

Julia Child is famous for her cooking, her size, and her voice. But one lesser known thing about Julia Child is that she was a prolific letter writer. One of her favorite correspondents was her dear friend Avis DeVoto. Some may have heard about Avis from her brief mention in the movie JULIE AND JULIA, but as is often the case, the movie doesn't do her justice at all. Avis DeVoto was a writer and a chef in her own right. She was an inspirational and a driving force behind both volumes of Julia's MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING. The letters between these two friends over the space of a lifetime are revealing of their humor, their intelligence, and their spunk. 

 

I loved reading about Julia this year. She has always been like a giant good fairy in my life. She blossomed at age 40, finding the love of her life and her true calling. She learned what she really believed, even though it wasn't what her family raised her to believe. She loved her country passionately, but also loved the world outside of it. These books are full of life, and love, and FOOD.

 

Provo Library Blog

Your daily stop for recommendations, reviews, and random facts about the Provo City Library. Look for new content every week day. 

Blog Contributors

Other Blogs

Library Staff Reviews 

Children's Book Reviews 

Archive