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  • March 2012
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Don’t be a stranger to strange lands…

I spent this weekend in Baltimore, MD.  We went to the Inner Harbor, where we did some sightseeing and visited the National Aquarium.

Baltimore, MD - Inner Harbor

Because we’re huge library nerds, we also visited the Orleans St. Branch of the Enoch Pratt Library.

front entrance with sign

Inside, it reminded me of our Hill District branch. What do you think?

interior Teens area with sign above reading by the window

But something strange happened, last week before we left – I picked up one of the books I had in my to-read pile, and discovered that it was set in Baltimore.

Sixteen-year-old James ‘Hercules’ Martino completes twelve tasks while spending two weeks in Baltimore with his Uncle Anthony, and gains insights into himself, his uncle, and his recently deceased father, a self-help author and daytime talk show host who was beloved by the public but a terrible father.”
(summary courtesy of Syndetic Solutions)

And when I finished that one and grabbed the next book from my stack, I found out the main character was also from Baltimore.

Devastated when her parents separate, twelve-year-old Rebecca must move with her mother from Baltimore to Gran’s house in Atlanta, where Rebecca discovers an old breadbox with the power to grant any wish–so long as the wished-for thing fits in the bread box.”
(summary courtesy of Syndetic Solutions)

I was so into this accidental theme that I requested a third book.  It came to the library in time, but I didn’t get a chance to pick it up before I left.  But it’s next on my list, so I can read it while Baltimore is still fresh in my mind.

After moving to Baltimore and enrolling in a private school, high school senior Beatrice befriends a quiet loner with a troubled family history.”
(summary courtesy of Syndetic Solutions)

If you’re ever planning to visit another city, you can take a look at the library’s travel guides for ideas.  You can also brush up on the area’s history, which can give you a greater appreciation of what you’re looking at today.  Fiction can be a little harder to find since it’s not usually grouped by location, but try “name of your destination” and “fiction.”  (If your searches aren’t turning much up, talk to your librarian.  Sometimes the catalog can be weird and specific about historical and geographical terms.)

Are there any places you’ve read about that you’d like to visit someday?  Do you like to read about your destination before a trip?


2 Responses

  1. I like reading travel guides before I travel, but nothing really sticks until I get there–then my best friend is the map function on my smartphone.

  2. Searching for fiction set in your destination is a great idea! I always feel a stronger connection to a place I visit if I’ve read about characters who live there, and vice versa. 🙂

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