My parents are originally from Maine, and all of my extended family lives there. Even though I grew up as a Navy brat, I lived in this beautiful state off and on throughout my childhood. My spouse hates the cold, so I probably won’t get a chance to move back. Books like Little Island by Katharine Britton and The Way Life Should Be by Christina Baker Kline give me my Maine fix, though they also make me want to look up travel prices!
2. Denver, Colorado
Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber makes me want to go to Denver. Not to ski, but to go to church!
3. Monroeville, Alabama
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is a recent read for me. Sometime soon I need to make the hour and a half drive up to Monroeville in order to visit the Monroe County Museum.
4. South Carolina
I want to go back to Charleston for a visit thanks to Trip of the Tongue by Elizabeth Little. I lived there for almost six years as a kid, but somehow I never had an experience with Gullah.
5. Salt Lake City, Utah
Is it weird to include The World’s Strongest Librarian on this list? Josh Hanagarne seems like such a cool guy to hang out with. He’s a librarian, and we all know bookish people are the best! And, he plays the guitar, so I could bring my flute and we could play some Jethro Tull.
Adé by Rebecca Walker made me hungry for coconut rice, cassava, and chicken biryani. I want to visit Kenya just to soak in the rich culture described in this novella.
I’d never heard of Lesotho (an enclave surrounded by South Africa) before reading Spiral Aloe by L.A. Forbes. It’s called a “kingdom in the sky” because of its lush, green, mountainous landscapes. Plus, they have a traditional instrument called a lekolulo that looks similar to a renaissance flute.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi made me wish I could visit Iran before the 1979 Revolution. My impressions of Iran have always been pretty skewed, unfortunately. This book started to changed that, and I hate that I can’t experience it by visiting. Where’s a TARDIS when you need one?
I don’t exactly need books to make me want to visit Italy! But La Bella Lingua by Dianne Hales, At Least You’re In Tuscany by Jennifer Criswell, and Travels with George by Olga Vannucci all pulled at my heart and reminded me how much I miss it.
10. Outer Space
When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. All through high school, I was sure I’d major in astrophysics in college. Although parts of Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars made me thankful I’d switched to music performance in college, the book definitely dredged up old feelings about how amazing it’d be to travel to space.