April 26, 2015

My Literary Bucket List [Updated]

Almost two years ago I made a literary bucket list, detailing bookish goals I want to achieve, and literary locations I want to visit before I die. I recently came across that old post, and decided I needed to update it, since a few of my original items have changed. 

  1. Go to Prince Edward Island. I'm dying to see Anne Shirley's world! This is still number one. I will make this happen! I'm thinking it could be an awesome family vacation in another decade.
  2. Go to Scotland and the Shetland Islands. Ok this is sort of cheating, since I'm combining two. But they're really close to each other! The two Scottish places I most want to visit are (a) Slains Castle, thanks to Susanna Kearsley, and (b) Edinburgh, thanks to Ian Rankin. As for Shetland, I was super mad at Ann Cleeves for the ending of the Shetland quartet. But then she relented, and wrote a fifth book, which helped to assuage my grouchiness and increase my desire to see these lonely islands.
  3. Have a Harry Potter marathon. I bet if I did nothing else I could read them all in maybe 4 days? I have visions of holing up by myself in an air-conditioned hotel room, and just occasionally venturing out to read pool-side. In related news, I'm DETERMINED to make Noel read Harry Potter. Someday...
  4. Visit a Laura Ingalls Wilder site. Maybe the farm in the Ozarks, maybe her birthplace in Wisconsin. I loved re-reading all of these, and can't wait to read them with Eleanor and Juliet!
  5. Tour Wallander's Sweden. The Ystad Tourist Information Bureau offers a walking tour of Wallander's haunts. How great is that?!
  6. Go to Venice. Reading Donna Leon's books has given me a burning desire to see this gorgeous city! Every time I see pictures of it, I get all jealous.
  7. Re-read all the Trixie Beldens, and write some sort of food / travel guide based on them. I've re-read two of them, and they're hilariously specific about the places Trixie goes, and the weird, mid-century food they eat. "Trixie stirred the dried beef in the hot oil, then added the thick, creamy mushroom soup..." "Let's save on dish-washing... If I add a can of peas to this goulash, there'll be one less pan to wash!" I know this one is random, but it really makes me giggle! I think it might be too niche though... perhaps I could branch out and write a "recipes from your favorite kids' books" cookbook! (Which is actually a really good idea, now that I think about it. Does this already exist?)
  8. Take a tour of founding fathers' birthplaces. I've read so many biographies of men like John Adams, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson; plus a lot of fiction from that era - from kids' books like Johnny Tremain to the Williamsburg novels. I really hope someday that I'll be able to go to Massachusetts and Virginia and see some of those places. Noel and I are tentatively talking New England for our 10th anniversary next year, so this one may happen sooner than any others!
  9. Hang out with a favorite author. I did this one! I got to go to dinner with Deborah Crombie, and it was awesome. The author I'd really most like to hang out with is Maggie Stiefvater. It felt creepy to put "Be Friends With Maggie Stiefvater" on this list though, so I'm being a little more vague. I also think it would be great to spend time with Bill Bryson or Lauren Willig!
  10. Go to Australia. Thanks to Kate Morton and Liane Moriarty, I want to visit Australia, even though Bill Bryson kind of talked me out of it a decade ago. I'll think I'll just stick to the cities though... I still remember terrifying things from reading In a Sunburned Country.

What's on YOUR literary bucket list?