How many times have you read a good book that transported you to a place or time about which you’ve only dared to dream? Perhaps you wished, after reading Frances Maye’s Under the Tuscan Sun, that you could travel to Tuscany yourself, meet the people who inspired the author, interact with the locals with whom she connected, and visit the places she wrote about.
|Want to be a traveling reader? And visit book locations?|
Perhaps you’ve read an intriguing biography, like Kathi Diamant’sKafka’s Last Love, that inspired you to travel to the old worlds of Prague, Krakow and Berlin to retrace the footsteps of the great writer, Franz Kafka.
Or perhaps you’ve read a spellbinding memoir, Blue Bear, by Lynn Schooler, an award-winning author, photographer, and world-renowned Alaskan wilderness tour guide, only to wish you could travel to this majestic and awe-inspiring US state.
Well, what if I told you that those dreams could become reality, and you could in fact experience one of these Adventures, literally, by the Book? After living vicariously thru hundreds of authors over the years, I had the good fortune to meet Frances Mayes at a book signing years back and told her that I had never traveled to Tuscany, but someday dreamed I could experience firsthand what her world of Tuscany was really like.
Yes, her lyrical prose makes you feel like you are already there, but I believed her books would become even more multi-dimensional if I could in fact travel there and see for myself what inspired her to write her many bestselling books.
|Some of the travelers and author Frances Mayes in her hometown of Cortona, Italy|
Somewhat in jest, I told her that I would love to come visit her one day and she, being the gracious and classy woman that she is, certainly encouraged me to do just that. I told her that someday I would come knocking on her door, and that perhaps I might even bring other fans with me.
And while things did not transpire exactly in that manner, I did soon thereafter quit my job working in a bookstore to create Adventures by the Book, an organization that offers worldwide opportunities for readers to connect with authors on an intimate basis through unique, interesting, and adventurous travels and events. Because what I learned through Frances and the countless other authors, who have inspired me, is that I don’t have to just dream.
The first Adventure by the Book travel experience was, of course, anAdventure Under the Tuscan Sun in the summer of 2011, which I organized after corresponding with Frances Mayes and telling her that I was finally going to travel to Tuscany and bringing other readers along on the journey. We spent ten days not only having lunch with Frances but visiting her hometown of Cortona, and attending the Festival of the Sun that she co-founded about a decade ago.
We also sipped wine at internationally-renowned author Ferenc Mate’s winery, which he made famous in his book, A Vineyard in Tuscany, shared an authentic Italian feast with Tuscan author and radio personality Annalisa Coppolaro-Nowell, and traveled about Siena with bestselling author Dario Castagno, who led us firsthand through the intriguing world of the Palio horse races.
|Group at the historic Borgo Scopeto outside of Siena, Italy with internationally renown author Dario Castagno|
In the past 18 months, not only have Adventurers been able to have lunch, happy hour, high tea, cooking classes, and dinners with authors in and around San Diego, but we have also traveled to Eastern Europe with author Kathi Diamant on a Magical Mystery Literary Adventure, and to the wilderness outside of Juneau, Alaska, where author Lynn Schooler, one of the world’s leading Alaskan wilderness tour guides, invited us to stay at his home for six days to experience Alaska like you will never see on a cruise ship tour.
|A group with author Kathi Diamant in Berlin|
Now that your appetite has been whetted by the possibilities, why don’t you consider joining us on our next travel opportunity, a Springtime in Paris Adventure by the Book with author, Paris-trained chef, and Food Network Star winner Amy Finley. Amy will lead us on a ten-day tour of Paris and Burgundy to meet other authors, chefs and restauranteurs who are not accessible to the general public.
After a unique welcome reception at the renowned Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in Paris, where we will meet up with a host of American authors living in Paris, you will indulge in the food, the wine, the culture, the people, and the history and get to know Paris like you never dreamed possible.
After all, life really is an Adventure by the Book, and it’s time you turned your dream book into reality!