Life Should Be an Adventure by the Book

By Kathie Bennett

If you are like many readers, you live vicariously through books. Who amongst us hasn’t wished to hang out with international bestselling author Frances Mayes literally “Under the Tuscan Sun” or travel to Thailand with a world-renowned cookbook author or travel throughout Germany or France with New York Times bestselling authors to understand the inspiration and research behind their blockbuster books?

Living vicariously was precisely what Susan McBeth was doing when she first met Frances Mayes at a book signing event nearly a decade ago. The Director of Marketing and Events at a San Diego based independent bookstore at the time, McBeth shared with Mayes her longing to someday visit Tuscany, when much to her surprise and delight, Mayes invited her to come visit. “Wow,” McBeth thought, “if I want to do this, wouldn’t Mayes’ legions of fans want to do so as well?”

The seed was thus planted, and in 2011, McBeth left her job and founded Adventures by the Book™, where her mission has been to connect readers and authors at what she deems “multi-sensorial” events and travels. Nearly a decade later, McBeth has created hundreds of such opportunities including, most recently, the first ever Super Book Adventure aboard the historic Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, featuring 20 bestselling authors and over 150 readers.

It’s true what they say: “Find what you love to do, and you never work a day in your life,” McBeth reflects. Oh and, yes, she did escort a group of readers to hang out with Frances Mayes “Under the Tuscan Sun” and now nearly ten years later, will be returning, this time with New York Times bestselling author Paula McLain. And who knows, Frances Mayes just may make a surprise visit as well!

To find out more about Adventures by the Book or the Tuscany Adventure, visit


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