Memorable books can make memorable places even more memorable


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Books transport us. The same goes for planes, trains and automobiles. And when they all come together – the book, the mode of transportation, the destination – the experience can be sublime. Today, more and more readers are sharing their literary holiday memories.

from Vienna Melanie Snyder once traveled alone across France to a small village in the Alps, a journey that required several changes on smaller and smaller trains. She spent the trip hunched over a copy of Proust.

“In front of me, there were three generations of a French family,” Mélanie wrote. “The grandmother noticed my book and said how impressed she was because it was ‘very difficult’.”

Mélanie replied in shaky French that she was reading it in English. The two spent the time discussing Melanie’s trip.

“When the train reached the next station, I gathered my things, disembarked and prepared to walk to the end of the platform to find my next train,” she wrote. “The woman grabbed my arm and pushed me onto the adjacent train which started pulling out almost immediately.”

It was indeed the right train, which Melanie would have missed if she had lingered even a moment longer.

“It took me a few more years to finish the three volumes of [“Remembrance of Things Past”] but I thought of this woman and this train journey on every page,” Mélanie wrote.

Books can help us make connections. In 1987, Linda Keenan bring Umberto Eco’s “The Name of the Rose” with her on vacation in the Cinque Terre in Italy.

“Seated in a rented beach chair, I settled in to read the book,” Linda, from Silver Spring, wrote. “I glanced at the woman sitting in the next chair. “Signora,” I say, holding up my book. She smiled and raised hers: “Il nome della rosa.” ”

For the District Sharlene Kranz, the right book can complete the holidays. “I started [James Clavell’s] “Shogun” on the plane to Japan, read it at night while visiting temples, gardens and palaces of that era during the day, and finish it on the plane back,” she said. writing. “Perfect.”

Lynne Hay of Devon, Penn., is picky about the books she reads on vacation, craving those who make the break better.

“My most recent vacation was largely spent on the wraparound porch of my in-laws’ home on an island off the coast of Maine,” Lynne wrote. “The sounds, scents and sights add tremendously to the whole reading experience.”

by Madeline Miller “Circe” – Greek myths seen through the eyes of the sea witch who delighted Odysseus – fits the bill perfectly. This book set Lynne on her own odyssey, exploring a group of Trojan War novels dealing with key women, including “Daughters of Sparta” by Claire Heywood and Pat Barker’s “The silence of the girls.”

Lynne wrote: “Reading about the Trojan War while hearing the roar of the waves in front of me was pretty cool.

Not all books have to match their frame. Marshal Collins of Point, Texas, was pleasantly captivated several years ago by a book he read in Hawaii: “Larry: The Stooge in the Middle.”

Marshall wrote: “It was by Larry Fine autobiography, where he told stories of his years with the Three Stooges. By the time it was written, the other comics had died, and he was living in a nursing home. Nothing thrilling or suspenseful; no Eastern European spies or romantic engagements. But an easy day’s read sitting in a chair on the rocky black sand near Kona on the Big Island where sunbathers were few.

For Denver DJ Janicthe beach was in St. John in the US Virgin Islands, where he devoured by Michael Crichton “Jurassic Park.” DJ wrote: “At an exciting game, where a huge dinosaur roars, I looked up from my beach towel to see a huge iguana emerge from the jungle – five or six feet long, with a tail. I like to think the beach towel was damp from drying myself off earlier.

From shore to ship: Richard Leverone of Arlington once took PG Wodehouse “Right Ho, Jeeves” with him on a cruise. “I was reading it in a public room on the ship and laughing so hard I embarrassed my wife, who banished me to our cabin,” Richard wrote. “There’s no better choice for a vacation than a PG Wodehouse book.”

A ship of a different kind: by Bob Sweeney best reading experience was the summer when he was 17 or 18 and read Nicolas Monsarrat “The Cruel Sea”, set on a destroyer on convoy duty in the freezing North Atlantic during World War II. “As the action got heated, I had to get myself a blanket to cover myself!” wrote Bob, of Staunton, Va.

And now for a counter-programming of Linda Kraus from Silver Spring: She read by Erich Segal “Love Story” from start to finish on the flight home from its Caribbean honeymoon.

“How naive could I have been?” Linda wrote. “Still on honeymoon after 52 years – and never have to say ‘I’m sorry’.”

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