Marion author to speak about new travel book at Reed City library

REED CITY — Mark your calendars now for an intriguing program entitled “Castles, Cottages, Forts, and Follies” presented by local author Randy Rassoul Johnston.

The presentation, which is accompanied by stunning color photography, takes place Tuesday, Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. in the Reed City Area District Library and reviews highlights of Johnston’s new book “I Slept in a Pineapple.”

“I Slept in a Pineapple,” an innovative travel guide released in July by Château Press, invites American travelers to discover a new way to travel.

The book reveals a well kept secret—a collection of endangered buildings of historic or architectural interest in the United Kingdom and Ireland that have been meticulously restored and are now offered as one-of-a-kind vacation rentals.

“I Slept in Pineapple” literally unlocks the door to hundreds of remarkable properties in England, Scotland, Wales, the isle of Jersey, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland that are largely unknown to travelers on this side of the Atlantic.

They are hidden gems waiting to be discovered—a treasury of idyllic thatched cottages, fairy-tale castles, imposing manors, medieval half-timbered townhouses, coastal forts, lighthouse keepers’ quarters, mysterious towers, baronial estates and eccentric follies.

Often in spectacular settings, they provide an exciting option to traditional hotel-based travel.

An example is the iconic Pineapple on the cover of the book. Built for the 4th Earl of Dunmore in Scotland, it is an elaborate summer house with a whimsical dome shaped like a giant pineapple, complete with prickly leaves of stone. It sleeps four in two bedrooms and features an elegant sitting room with romantic wood-burning fireplace.

“I Slept in a Pineapple” is illustrated with color photos and covers everything travelers need to know to help them find their dream rental and stay in a piece of living history.

Johnston, who lives with her husband near Marion in a cabin on the high banks of the Middle Branch River, is a former professor of French language and literature. She lived and studied in Paris and travels extensively throughout Europe. For a number of years, she operated MétaVoyage, a European travel and vacation rental agency. At present, Johnston is a free lance writer who enjoys contributing feature articles to local newspapers.

To meet Johnston and learn more about the pleasures of staying in historic rentals, attend the presentation and book signing on Jan. 13. There is no admission charge.

For more information about the book, visit where the book is for sale online.

The Reed City Area District Library is at 410 W. Upton Ave., Reed City. For further details, contact library director Heather Symon at (231) 832-2131.