Salon's Literary Guide to the World

By Mark Trodden | August 3, 2006 9:39 am

Salon is developing a fun literary tool through which travelers (or interested readers in general) can find literature appropriate to places they’re visiting. The Literary Guide to the World has an interactive map of the World as its primary interface and, as Hillary Frey describes in her introductory article,

…the Guide promises to recommend the best books — fiction, history, memoir or otherwise — to take with you on your travels. And if there’s a place that you’ve always dreamed of seeing, but won’t visit in the foreseeable future, the Literary Guide will point you to the books that offer the best virtual tours around.

Right now, the number of locations is quite limited, but the plan is to gradually build up the number of destinations covered

Throughout the summer, the Literary Guide will feature two new locations a week; in autumn we’ll continue with one a week. There’s much to look forward to, including pieces from National Book Award winner William Vollmann (Norway), Salon favorite Garrison Keillor (Minnesota) and “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” author Rebecca Wells (Louisiana). We’ll take you as far as Papua New Guinea and South Africa, but we’ve also got the books to read if you’re staying closer to home — in Martha’s Vineyard, say, or the Jersey Shore.

This seems like a worthy endeavor as long as they work hard on quality control. I haven’t looked at all their current selections yet, but having John Banville writing and making suggestions about literature to read if you’re going to Irelend seems like a very promising start.


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About Mark Trodden

Mark Trodden holds the Fay R. and Eugene L. Langberg Endowed Chair in Physics and is co-director of the Center for Particle Cosmology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a theoretical physicist working on particle physics and gravity— in particular on the roles they play in the evolution and structure of the universe. When asked for a short phrase to describe his research area, he says he is a particle cosmologist.


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