#ShelfLove Challenge: My Literary Road Trip Bucket List

Posted on May 1, 2016 «
Categories: 2016 Discussion Challenge, 2016 Shelf Love «
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A Booklover's Guide to the Midwest

As I sit in a crappy hotel chair in northern Iowa writing this post, I’m laughing because my pitstop before I left town was Half Price Books. I had a load of magazines and a handful of books to turn in. The goal was to get some book spending cash for the North Iowa Book Bash. Well, I didn’t get much cash and I immediately spent it on this beauty for two reasons.

  1. The vacation I’m planning to Minneapolis-Saint Paul.
  2. This post.

Until I started blogging, I don’t think I realized that have lived in two states that have such a love of literature or have strong author roots. It’s a point of pride for me. So here’s my bucket list inspired by lovely book and my chosen vacation location.


My Iowa Booklover’s Bucket List

  • Visit Burr Oak and go to Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum. This is apparently a forgotten chapter in Laura’s life and if the book I read a few years ago has any truth to it, apparently there is a reason it has been forgotten.

  • Field of Dreams Cornfield
  • Return to The Field of Dreams. Okay, so this kills two birds with one stone…I love movies and I do love The Field of Dreams which was based on a book by W.P. Kinsella called Shoeless Joe. (Read Laura’s review at 125Pages.) I have been here before, but the site is magical. There is something in those cornfields.

  • Stop and see the covered bridges in Madison County and stop by John Wayne’s home town. Now I’ve never read The Bridges of Madison County or seen the movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, but I’ve heard about it plenty. (I’m dreaming of the pictures I’ll take right now.) And I’ve lost of count the number of times I’ve driven by the signs and not had the time to stop. I figure while I’m in the area, why not not stop by the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum in Winterset.

My Minnesota Booklover’s Bucket List

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder was all over the Midwest and there are loads of sites to visit in Minnesota. There’s stops in Tracy and of course, Walnut Grove and only because it was mentioned in the tv show so much Sleepy Eye and Mankato. Maybe some day I can time my trip to see the pageant in Walnut Grove.

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  • Oh, I’ve been to the SPAM Musuem in Austin and for some strange reason I want to go (they renovated recently!). Do you know about SPAM-kus? I bet you didn’t know that SPAM had a literary connection beyond a Monty Python skit.

  • Maybe this summer I’ll have time to visit Minnehaha Park. The falls in the park were made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem, “The Son of Hiawatha.” It also sounds like a beautiful site to take pictures if you ask me.

  • I know that I won’t be staying far from Summit Avenue in Saint Paul. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda lived in this neighborhood as did Sinclair Lewis. I’ve driven down this street before, but didn’t know the connection. The houses are lovely—not surprised a few authors took up residence in the neighborhood.

  • The lovely little The Booklover’s Guide to the Midwest mentions a few bookshops that seem interesting. I’ve added a return to The Red Balloon (I’ve been there twice and it is delightful!). There’s a pretty extensive list of shops in the book in the MSP area and if any of them are used bookstores, I’m more likely to come home with a huge haul. DANGER, WILL ROBINSON, DANGER!

  • My final bucket list item would be heading over to Grand Rapids, the hometown of Judy Garland. The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite movies and I adored it even more when I found out that Judy was originally from Minnesota. (When I was kid, I didn’t know about her tragic life as an actress.) What I didn’t know is that Grand Rapids has a Forest History Center. And where would the world be without trees to make books?!

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So what’s on your literary travel bucket list? What literary hot spots have you already hit and is it worth going back?

If you are a #ShelfLove participant, don’t forget to link up below. How goes your challenge? Are you making progress?



Quick #ShelfLove Challenge Update

In an effort to get a bounce back in my reading, I signed up for a book tour and got a influx of new books as a result. I’m feeling a bit better about reading and have now moved back to reading books I already own. I’m currently reading Within by Aaron Bunce.



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7 responses to “#ShelfLove Challenge: My Literary Road Trip Bucket List

  1. Who’d have thought Iowa and Minnesota had such literary history?!? It’s really neat that you have bucket lists for both states, Terri. I hope you get to make all those stops! 😀