A Vacation Every Bookworm Loves: A BookCation!

August 28 2018
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Summer is almost over, but for me that’s the perfect time to head out on vacation! If you’re looking for a last-minute getaway, check out one of these vacation destinations, perfect for any book-lover!

From a beachy vacay town to a small European city, there’s plenty to do while soaking up the sun, sangria, and books. Pack your bags, and grab your passport and summer reading list: it’s the perfect time for one last summer BookCation!  

This post was originally published on GetLiterary.com.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
by J.K. Rowling

Porto, Portugal  

As someone who is obsessed with Harry Potter, this location is at the top of my list. I’m actually heading to Portugal to visit this beautiful city, and you can bet I’ll be stopping by this bookstore: Livraria Lello. It’s a magical place that is said to have inspired some of the locations in Harry Potter (Flourish and Blotts, The Hogwarts Library, and the staircases around the castle). J.K. Rowling frequented this bookstore when she lived in Porto in the early ’90s, and she wrote the first draft of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in nearby Majestic Café —another bookish location I’ll be visiting.  

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter's life is miserable. His parents are dead and he's stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he's a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry. Though Harry's first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it's his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined. Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

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A Vacation Every Bookworm Loves: A BookCation!

By Saimah Haque | August 28, 2018

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The Outlander Series Bundle: Books 1, 2, 3, and 4
by Diana Gabaldon

Edinburgh, Scotland 

Edinburgh is the unofficial literary capital of the U.K. I could make a whole list of just Harry Potter–related destinations…but I’ll give you one more here only. This is the other place where J.K. Rowling worked on her draft of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone  

Outlander fans will love Edinburgh too! Many of the iconic scenes from the series were filmed in Edinburgh, so you can feel like you are on the set! A few must-see locations include: Craigmillar Castle, The Signet Library, and Summerhall.  

Edinburgh is also the birthplace of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the home of the famed Sherlock Holmes statue. Looking for more bookish things to do there? Check out the Scottish Storytelling Centre and the Edinburgh International Book Festival!  

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The Outlander Series Bundle: Books 1, 2, 3, and 4
Diana Gabaldon

There’s never been a better time to discover the novels behind the blockbuster Starz original series Outlander. Blending rich historical fiction with riveting adventure and a truly epic love story, here are the first four books of Diana Gabaldon’s New York Times bestselling saga that introduced the world to the brilliant Claire Randall and valiant Highlander Jamie Fraser: OUTLANDER DRAGONFLY IN AMBER VOYAGER DRUMS OF AUTUMN Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743. Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.

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A Vacation Every Bookworm Loves: A BookCation!

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Goodbye, Paris
by Anstey Harris

Paris, France

I had to include Paris! So many famous writers spent time in this GORGEOUS city. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and many others wrote their masterpieces while living in the City of Lights. Paris not only was the home to many writers, but there are also so many books written about this city (like Goodbye, Paris) as well. It’s one of my favorite places in the world—I could so easily move there and just eat French pastries while reading at all the outdoor cafés.  

Must-visit bookish locations include: Café de Flore, Cimetière du Père Lachaise, and Le Rosebud. Want more inspiration? Check out this list. 

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Goodbye, Paris
Anstey Harris

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Media Tie-In Edition)
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Guernsey, Channel Islands 

Have you watched  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  on Netflix?  It’s the new bookish movie (adapted from a book with the same name) that everybody is raving about! 

The story is set  shortly  after WWII but shows flashbacks of the island and its inhabitants during the war, when  residents tried to protect the land, and each other, from the (real-life) Nazi occupation. 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  follows  a writer, Juliet,  who receives a letter from a pig farmer, Dawsey, from Guernsey. In his poetic letters, Dawsey explains how he and his neighbors founded a book club to help distract them from the war. Juliet is so intrigued by Dawsey’s story that she decides to travel to the island, meet the  members of the  book club,  and write about the hardships the islanders endured. Check out the book and movie to find out how this story plays out,  then visit the  real  island of Guernsey yourself! 

And if you’re looking for something to read on your travels to Guernsey,  check out this list from Off the Shelf! 

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Media Tie-In Edition)
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . . As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever. Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

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The Princess Diaries
by Meg Cabot

San Francisco, CA 

Bibliophiles will love visiting the many bookish hot spots in this Bay area city! From the firehouse apartment that is featured in The Princess Diaries movie to one of the area’s favorite indie bookstores: City Lights.  

Visit Jack London’s fave watering hole, Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon, then head over to Vesuvio Café, which was a gathering place for many Beat Generation writers like Dylan Thomas and Jack Kerouac.   

The San Francisco Chronicle put together this interactive map of the many bookish locations in “The Literary City”!   

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The Princess Diaries
Meg Cabot

Even people who rolled their eyes at Anne Hathaway’s Fantine in Les Miz have to find a little love in their hearts for Mia Thermopolis, don’t they? This charming YA novel introduces a girl who just wants to survive high school but discovers she’s got a little more on her plate than your average freshman—like being heir to the throne of an obscure European principality. It seems most of us have a little princess fantasy, because this led to a series with 10 more books to devour.

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The Spring Girls
by Anna Todd

New Orleans, LA

This festive city is filled not only with tasty food and strong cocktails, but it’s also home to an amazing literary scene. All things that I love! Booklovers can wander the streets of the French Quarter, where there are a ton of great bookstores like the Faulkner House Books.  

Then channel your inner Hemingway and stop by Hotel Monteleone—one of his favorite spots to drink and write. Anne Rice and John Grisham also enjoyed unwinding at the famed hotel.  

Need a break from sipping those hurricanes? Visit one of the many houses of authors who called this city home—from William Faulkner to Tennessee Williams.  

And for a bit of light reading while you’re there, check out The Spring Girls—a modern retelling of Little Women, set in New Orleans.  

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The Spring Girls
Anna Todd

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The Favorite Sister
by Jessica Knoll

* * * NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * * *

“Engrossing…Deliciously savage and wildly entertaining.”—People Magazine (Book of the Week)

NO ONE EVER SUSPECTS THE GOOD ONE.

Brett and Kelly have always toed the line between supportive sisters and bitter rivals. Growing up, Brett was the problem child, in the shadow of the brilliant and beautiful Kelly. In adulthood, all that has changed. Kelly is a struggling single mother and Brett has skyrocketed to such meteoric success, which has been chronicled on a reality TV show called Goal Diggers.

When Kelly manipulates herself onto the show and into Brett’s world, Brett is right to be threatened. Kelly, and only Kelly, knows her younger sister's appalling secret, and it could ruin her.

Still, when the truth comes out in the explosive final weekend of filming, neither of them ever expected that the season would end in murder.

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The Favorite Sister
Jessica Knoll

* * * NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * * *

“Engrossing…Deliciously savage and wildly entertaining.”—People Magazine (Book of the Week)

NO ONE EVER SUSPECTS THE GOOD ONE.

Brett and Kelly have always toed the line between supportive sisters and bitter rivals. Growing up, Brett was the problem child, in the shadow of the brilliant and beautiful Kelly. In adulthood, all that has changed. Kelly is a struggling single mother and Brett has skyrocketed to such meteoric success, which has been chronicled on a reality TV show called Goal Diggers.

When Kelly manipulates herself onto the show and into Brett’s world, Brett is right to be threatened. Kelly, and only Kelly, knows her younger sister's appalling secret, and it could ruin her.

Still, when the truth comes out in the explosive final weekend of filming, neither of them ever expected that the season would end in murder.

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