2019 Travel Plans and To Be Read Lists

Although I could happily spend a lifetime nattering on about England and British Lit, which I did for much of the last two years, this year I wanted to challenge myself to face my dislike of American Lit. The American literature I was forced to read for school I found unenjoyable and frustratingly hard to understand. If you’re in the same boat, I hope this year I can begin to turn both our opinions around. And if you need no convincing, please enlighten the rest of us!

With this year’s travel plans starting to come together, I wanted to share with you the To-Be-Read lists I’ve created for this year in case you’d like to read along with me! I look forward to sharing my upcoming adventures with you and hope you’ll share your thoughts with me on the locations and books via emails and comments along the way!

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase one of the books through these links, I’ll make a few cents at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting this blog.

The Sylvia Beach Hotel, Oregon

Sylvia Beach was the owner of the now-famous English-language bookstore in Paris, Shakespeare and Company. She invited writers and readers from all over to visit, stay, read, and discourse. Two women in Newport, Oregon had a similar desire to create a place for bibliophiles to unplug and relax. That place is the Sylvia Beach Hotel, and as soon as I read about this boutique b&b I knew I had to visit. This hotel sounds like the perfect destination for a bookworm. There are no TVs or WiFi, but there is a library with a view of the beach, and each room’s decor is themed for a different author. I’ve booked the F. Scott Fitzgerald room for one night, and… wait for it… the J. K. ROWLING room for my second night! I could not be more excited! (If you’re as big a Harry Potter Fan as I am, you might want to check out my posts about Harry Potter World, and the Harry Potter Experience London)

Sylvia Beach Hotel website photo of J. K. Rowling room
[Sylvia Beach Hotel website photo of J. K. Rowling room] OMG guys! I’m going to stay here!!!

To-Be-Read list:

  • Shakespeare and Company by Sylvia Beach [Purchase via IndieBound | Amazon]
  • Something by F. Scott Fitzgerald other than The Great Gatsby. I’d like to try his other works, but can’t decided which one. Let me know if you have a suggestion!
  • Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling [Purchase via IndieBound | Amazon | Audible]

To be perfectly honest, while I would happily reread the Harry Potter books from beginning to end over and over again, I probably won’t be re-reading Harry Potter this year because I’ll already be working on the books for the next trip…

Boston, Massachusetts

I enjoyed living in Boston so much during library school that any excuse to visit is a good one, and this summer TravelCon just happens to be in Boston. I can’t wait to visit friends, stuff my head with new blogging knowledge, revisit some of my favorite places, and finally get a chance to visit the places I didn’t get a chance to see before.

Boston Make Way for Duckling statue
Boston Gardens statue honoring the children’s book Make Way for Ducklings

Bookish places to visit:

  • I’ll of course have to revisit the Boston libraries and indie bookstores, such as the Boston Public Library, Trident Books, and Brattle Books.
  • I’ll be sure to stop by the Make Way for Ducklings statue as I wander through the Boston Garden.
  • And I plan to explore Boston’s Revolutionary history and literature by following in the footsteps of historic Cambridge author, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

To-Be-Read list:

  • Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey [Purchase via IndieBound | Amazon | Audible]
  • Paul Revere’s Ride (poem) by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Concord, Massachusetts

Although only a 40-minute train ride outside of Boston, I never made the journey out to Concord while in school. I’m super excited to make the trip now.

Bookish places to visit:

  • Seeing Orchard House, the home of Little Women author Louisa May Alcott has been on my bucket list for awhile. I’m looking forward to seeing Louisa May Alcott’s “mood pillow” in person.
  • I’ll also being trying to wrap my head around Transcendentalism while visiting Walden Pond and the houses of transcendentalist authors Thoreau and Emerson.
  • And I’ll be staying at another boutique b&b, the Hawthorne Inn, with rooms themed for the local authors!

To-Be-Read list:

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott [Purchase via IndieBound | Amazon | Audible]
  • Walden: Or Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau [Purchase via IndieBound | Amazon | Audible]
  • Concord Hymn (poem) by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I’d like to read one of his longer works, but I can’t decide which one. Help me decide!
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne [Purchase via IndieBound | Amazon | Audible]


Finally, the year would not be complete without embarking on one rather large and unusual adventure. Two years ago it was The Open Palace Programme, this year I’m joining a group trip led by vloggers Kara & Nate, they’ve chartered a river cruise along the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar! Besides getting to explore a place and culture where I would otherwise never go, Kara and Nate will be teaching video editing and travel hacking while on the boat. I’m looking forward to sharing vlogs of this trip with you!

Irrawaddy River Cruise Boat, Myanmar
[Photo from Flickr of Irrawaddy Explorer River Cruise Boat, Myanmar] This is the boat we’ll be on!

To-Be-Read list:

The river cruise boat has suites named after the authors George Orwell, William Somerset Maugham, and Rudyard Kipling so I have of course added these authors to the list. They are all, however, western authors writing from colonialist view points.

I would also like to find some books by authors from Myanmar. So far I have found one work from the list of A Year of Reading the World. If I’m lucky, I may be able to attend the Irrawaddy Literary Festival  just before the river trip and find some good book suggestions there.

Have I missed a Bookish location? Have you been to any of these destinations? Do you have a book suggestion for me? Have you read any of these books and have a strong opinion? Let me know in the comments below!

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