I’ve really looked forward to this topic on the That Artsy Reader Girl, since it combines my two great loves, reading and travel. Some of the places on my list exist only in imagination and will always remain out of reach… but one can always dream! I probably could have filled the entire list with nothing but fantasy and sci-fi, however I tried to keep it mostly grounded in this reality.
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Iceland has been my no. 1 destination for years; I almost made it back in 2020 before the Rona shut down the international travel.
2. Castle Gormenghast
The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake
This immense, decaying structure from Peake’s darkly imaginative fantasy novels would make for a great Gothic adventure, with its countless corridors, towers and attics. My first stop would be the Countess Gertrude’s Cat Room, a blue-carpeted room full of snow-white cats.
3. Petra, Jordan
Appointment with Death by Agatha Christie
Christie penned a few novels set in exotic locations, but the Rose City in the Jordanian desert and its tombs and temples is the one crime scene I’d like to visit the most… minus a murder investigation in my tour group of course!
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels
It was tough picking just one Discworld destination, but the bustling city-state of Ankh-Morpork, inspired by real-life London and New York City, is clearly the most exciting and happening place to be. Even with its risk of unknowingly committing suicide by walking into a wrong part of the city at night, and the river so polluted even an agnostic could walk across it.
The Whispering Land by Gerald Durrell
As a teenager I adored the non-fiction novels by the British naturalist Gerald Durrell, who kept me captivated with his passion for the animals, marvellous sense of humour, and affectionate portrayals of the locals he met during his travels. Pretty much every novel of his that I read got me interested in the place it was set in, whether it was Africa, Australia or South America.
6. New England
The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The autumn foliage in Vermont looks absolutely stunning and spectacular. I would love to go for a leisurely drive around the place.
7. Umm… Wonderland?
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
I don’t think there’s ever been an official name for the worlds Alice visits in these classic children’s books… but who wouldn’t want to explore these fantastical realms with their bizarre logic and wacky characters?
The Monarch of Glen by Neil Gaiman
I’ve already been to Scotland and absolutely loved it, but this American Gods novella from the Fragile Things collection made me want to explore its wilder parts. As Gaiman explains, it was inspired by his love of the remoter parts of Scotland, where the bones of the Earth show through, and the sky is a pale white, and it’s all astoundingly beautiful, and it feels about as remote as any place can possibly be.
9. Carcassonne, France
Labyrinth by Kate Moss
When I finally make it to Southern France, this medieval walled city is going to be one of the must-see sights. I do have a massive soft spot for my castles and citadels.
10. Greek Islands
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
I confess, I absolutely loved this book… until the last fifty pages when I wanted to throw it against the wall. But I would still love to go to the Greek Islands!