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Post Thumbnail of Explore This! The Australian Outback

Explore This! The Australian Outback

I’ve been reading all sorts of speculative fiction recently which presents issues when it comes to actual places we could virtually visit for this week (it’s hard to find real pics of post-apocalyptic Earth, right?). I hit up my best friend, Mel at He Followed Me Home for an idea. She gave me inspiration in the form of Stolen (A letter to my captor) by Lucy Christopher. I’ve included the book trailer here for more info (since I personally haven’t read the book) and then our tour begins. It looks like another stunning place I have yet to visit. Enjoy!

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! The Cascades (and surrounding area)

Explore This! The Cascades (and surrounding area)

This week, I thought it would be nice to travel to the North West of the United States. I’ve picked up a few books over the last six months that prominently feature this area. In Clive Cussler’s The Wrecker, there’s a madman attempting to tear down the Cascade Canyon Bridge. In The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting, the main character, Violet, lives in small town Washington but has the Cascade Range as a constant backdrop in her tale. And, of course, in The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer, we start off in Seattle but ultimately end up in Forks, Washington, chasing after Bella swan et al. (I think, technically, Forks is within the Olympic Mountain Range, but these areas are so close together that I’ve included them both here.)

I’ve always been fascinated …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Yellowhead

Explore This! Yellowhead

For this week’s virtual travel, I get to show you a bit of my own country, Canada! I recently read Tay John by Howard O’Hagan, which is the legend of a man born in the late 1800’s and of his cursory attempts to meld into society, as the Western parts of Canada were being developed and the trains were being extended to our West Coast.

I’ve personally never visited these areas before, but as you can see from the pics, there’s still a lot of wilderness here; so much that remains untouched by man. What I have for you today are images of Yellowhead Lake, which according to O’Hagan’s novel was named after Tay John’s people (Tay John was a mispronunciation of “Tete Jaune”, as he was a yellow haired native.) I’ve also included the Athabaska river, which features prominently …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Indonesia

Explore This! Indonesia

This week, we travel to Indonesia, to see the sites and lifestyle this group of islands has to offer. I’ve been reading Sea by Heidi R. Kling, where Sienna, the main character travels with her father’s group, Team Hope, to help out at an orphange. The kids living there include a large number that were devastatingly affected by the tsunami in 2004. The worst of the impact hit an area called Aceh, so Kling’s Sea features a character, Deni,  from this area who survived but lost his family, as did so many others.

Most of the story takes place in Yogyakarta (also known as Jogja, Yogya, Jogjakarta) which is in Java. There’s discussion of the different religions that are found in this part of the world, from Buddhism, illustrated by the temple Borobudur, as seen in these first 2 images (which is a very …

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Sweden

Explore This! Sweden

This week’s tour takes us to Sweden. I decided upon this destination for a few reasons: I have a contest running over at my own blog for a copy of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl Who Played With Fire (click here to enter….after reading this post 🙂 I’m also a big fan of Eric (played by Alexander Skarsgard, a native of Sweden) in the HBO series True Blood, which had its season premiere last night. Let’s just say it left quite the impression, to say the least…

I’ve realized that in previous posts, I had neglected to include a map, so I’ve corrected that issue here.

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Greece

Explore This! Greece

My inspiration for our virtual tour this week comes from my recent delve into Oedipus Rex (which I reviewed on my personal blog here.) While finding actual pics of what Greece looked like circa 429 BCE, when Sophocles originally wrote this tragic play, is difficult, the Greek civilization is one that has endured, evolved and been remembered for thousands of years. We can still readily find architecture and landmarks that highlight the ancient aspects of their culture, but also see what Greece has become over these millenia.  Everytime I see articles in magazines featuring this stunning country (yes, the shiny pictures always grab my attention), I sigh and think, “One day…” So, feast you eyes on Greece and travel with me, vicariously:

Post Thumbnail of Explore This! Paris Suburban Life and Algeria

Explore This! Paris Suburban Life and Algeria

Last week, I posted my review for Some Dream For Fools by Faiza Guene. The bulk of this story takes place in the poorer suburbs of Paris. We’ve all seen the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, The Arc D’Triomphe, right? Well, our heroine, Ahleme, takes us to parts of Paris that we don’t often hear about. The Pierre de Coubertin Stadiuam, where her brother Foued gets in trouble with his friends, the Galleries Lafayette and the Thiais shopping centres, and the Chatelet-Les Halles, where Ahleme arranges to meet up for a date (this last picture is much older but I’m sure the archetecture remains much the same.) Note: the pictures are in order as listed.

Post Thumbnail of Explore This: Tang Dynasty China

Explore This: Tang Dynasty China

My virtual tour for this week was inspired by my recent review of Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay (I reviewed it on my on blog, which can be linked to here). While Under Heaven takes place in a fictional place, it is loosely based on Tang Dynasty China. The Tang Dynasty began in June of 618 and lasted until June of 907 AD.

Today, I have samples of architecture, art work, and even a dance all based on this era of Chinese history. And, no discussion of China is complete without mentioning the Great Wall, which, again, has a paralleled version in Guy Gavriel Kay’s novel. For further research, I’ve linked some interesting articles at the bottom of this post. Happy traveling!

Tang Dynasty

The Great Wall

Post Thumbnail of Explore this: Prague

Explore this: Prague

As bookish people, we seek out our favourite reading spot and allow ourselves to be swiftly taken to different times and places. My new feature here focuses on the “places”. Call me your armchComposeair reference guide to the (literal) world of books; the less expensive way to explore our world, right here at your fingertips.

 I reviewed Vampire a Go-Go by Victor Gischler here yesterday. It starts off in anytown America…I don’t think it ever tells you where “Gothic State University” is, so that part is unimportant. We’re quickly whisked away to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. To quote the Wikipedia entry, “Situated on the Vltava River in central Bohemia, Prague has been the political, cultural and economic centre of the Czech state for more than 1100 years. For many decades during the Gothic and Renaissance eras, …

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