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June 15, 2012

Friday Fun: #BookTravels

For the rest of summer, I'm going to do a series of posts called Friday Fun. During ArmchairBEA several bloggers said they liked getting to know other bloggers with "personal" posts (not just posts about books). I also discovered some fun games that I hope to play on the blog so you'll not want to miss my Friday posts. There might even be some GIVEAWAYS!

Speaking of Giveaways, here are the winners from my HUGE ArmchairBEA giveaway last week.
Beth D., Bonnie Y., Carol O., Jo B., Julie N., Adee H., Ashley K., Lauren G., Laura T., Tamie B., SarahW., Angela D., Alyce R., Jessica L., Amber H., Laure Kay B., and Shae C. Congratulations!

sidewalk at Prague Zoo
It's summer and it's time for vacations. I have always wanted to go on a road trip (though I don't like to drive). I want to visit as many zoos as possible. I have visited 3 zoos - Atlanta, Houston, and Prague. But for a road trip, I think it would be cool to visit literary sights. You know, houses where authors grew up or places that were significant in my favorite books. I don't know if I will ever do a cross country road trip. Growing up my family vacations were normally day trips. That got me thinking about local literary sights. I found a list at Georgia Center for the Book: Southern Literary Trail. It includes 3 states, but I'm just focusing on Georgia.

Atlanta Literary Sights:
First off, we all know about Margaret Mitchell's home in Atlanta. It has been turned into a Gone with the Wind museum. I have driven past it, but never gone in.
English: Photograph of the Margaret Mitchell H...
English: Photograph of the Margaret Mitchell House in Atlanta, Georgia, USA taken by Jin-Ping Han on January 30th 2006 using a Canon Inc. Powershot S400 digital camera Category:Images of Atlanta, Georgia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Also in Atlanta, The Wren's Nest was home to Uncle Remus storyteller Joel Chandler Harris. According to the Southern Literary Trail (SLT) site, he was second only to Mark Twain in popularity.
English: This is the front of the Wren's Nest ...
English: This is the front of the Wren's Nest House Museum, the historic home of Joel Chandler Harris, the journalist who penned the Uncle Remus tales. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clayton Literary Sights:
Going a bit north, we learn about Lillian Smith. I've never heard of her, but according to SLT she was quite controversial in the deep south in 1940s. She's a banned book author. Strange Fruit, published in 1944, was banned in Boston because it told of a bi-racial love affair.

Library in the Museum (SLT)

Columbus Literary Sights:
Moving to the western border of Georgia, we discover the home of Carson McCullers. I do know of her book The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, however, I'm not sure I've actually read it. Cool tidbits: Carson was a good friend of Tennessee Williams (they vacationed together). In Columbus, there is a statue of Dr. John Pemberton, originator of the Coca-Cola formula.

Smith-McCullers House, childhood home of Carson McCullers (SLT)

Milledgeville Literary Sights:
In middle Georgia, we find the homes of two famous authors: Flannery O'Conner and Alice Walker. O'Conner resided at Andalusia Farms with her mother. While Alice grew up nearby in Eatonton. Funny enough I've visited both towns, but never knew I was close to literary greatness.

Cline House, where O'Connor lived from 1939 to 1945 (SLT)

Moreland Literary Sights:
Just southwest of Atlanta in the little town of Moreland one can visit the home of Erskine Caldwell. Georgia writers apparently like to stir up trouble or perhaps it was just the time for rebellion. Caldwell's first published book was The Bastard (1929). He was arrested and put on trail in New York City for it.

From SLT

Moreland is also home to the late humor columnist Lewis Grizzard.

Pavilion named for Lewis Grizzard (SLT)

Savannah Literary Sights:
On this last stop of Georgia's literary journey we head to coast and again partake in a little of Flannery O'Conner's history. O'Conner spent her childhood in Savannah before she was diagnosed with Lupus and moved to Milledgeville.
From SLT

While all these sights are within a day's driving distance from me, I probably won't be visiting any of them. In fact, the only travels I will be taking this summer will be wherever my books take me. This weekend my book travels take me to St. Regis Monarch Beach (Monarch Beach by Anita Hughes).

English: Monarch Beach, Dana Point, California...
Monarch Beach, Dana Point, California Photo by D Ramey Logan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Your turn: What are some literary locales in your area? Is there a literary place you would like to visit? Also, play on Twitter with #BookTravels where you state the setting of the book you are currently reading.

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  1. The only literary home I've toured is that of Eugene O'Neil (in CT). IMHO zoos are more enjoyable. ;-)

    James Fenimore Cooper's childhood home is about an hour from me.

    Unfortunately I won't be readingthis weekend since I'm on deadline....

    1. I'm hoping to visit Warsaw Zoo one day and kill 2 birds with one stone (metaphorically of course). I loved The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story

  2. Wonder if I can talk Hubby into doing this. If it were about boats....

  3. There is a little Flannery O'Conner museum in Savannah too. I think it was in the house she lived in. I never got a chance to see it, it had odd hours, if I remember correctly. St John the Baptist is a beautiful church.

    Last year, I went to Boston, so did some history and literary things. But Longfellow's house in Cambridge hadn't opened for the season yet, and the day I went to Concord, both Emerson and Hawthorne's houses were closed. But I did see Orchard House (where the Alcott's lived), and the Old Manse near the Old North Bridge, where Emerson and Hawthorne lived. Walden Pond was too far for me to walk too, since I just did public transportation. I saw The House of the Seven Gables in Salem (and another house where Hawthorne lived was near the cemetery). Fantastic area. I think you could spend a month or two in the area, and still not see all the historic sites and museums within an hour's train ride from Boston.

    And Thank you!

  4. I can't think of any literary landpoints in my area off the top of my head. Your area is full of them! It sounds like it would be fun to tour the homes open to the public.