The Story of My Vacation (In Books and Music)

Here’s the story of my vacation: I went to Prince Edward Island. Now I’m back.

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Hey, listen, I am not a travel writer, okay?

Actually, I do expect to have some things to say about the trip, but I’m waiting for the pictures from my photographer, also known as my mom. In the meantime — I read lots of books, listened to lots of music, went to a ceilidh, and *bought* lots of music (all of which tend to happen when I’m in PEI) — so here’s the report.

I Read and Recommend:

  • The Ballad of Lucy Whipple, by Karen Cushman. MG historical fiction, takes place in California during the Gold Rush (mid-1800s).
  • The Fire-Eaters, by David Almond. YA realism, takes place in 1962 (the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis) in the north of England (in and near Newcastle).
  • How Green Was My Valley, by Richard Llewellyn. Literary fiction, takes place in southern Wales in the 1800s, around the time coal miners unionized, whenever that was. This is a classic you may have read in high school — or maybe you’ve seen the movie? I never did either and am loving reading it now. No book about coal mining sets itself up to be happy, but this one manages to be beautiful and funny despite the sadness. I love stories about families of recalcitrant children who are too smart to be obedient.

Ever heard any Celtic and/or folk music from Maritime/Atlantic Canada? This’ll give you an idea:

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

I also wanted to share a Natalie MacMaster fiddling track, with Cookie Rankin singing, called “The Drunken Piper,” but it wasn’t available to add to that playlist. It’s beautiful. You can listen to a bit of it here. (Click on the song title at the t0p, not the video — the sound quality on that video is terrible.)

Another gorgeous one that wasn’t available for the playlist: The Cottars’ version of “The Briar and the Rose,” which you can listen to here. (I think it starts to play automatically.)

If ya’ like all that stuff, you might enjoy this album: Atlantic Standards. Available at Amazon and from other online vendors. And at every gift shop in PEI, and probably Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland, too. :o)

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So, I’m home now, listening to my new music, finishing up How Green Was My Valley, and, of course, working again. More soon.