11 June 2011

Books & the Beach: My upcoming vacation reads

Leaving soon for two weeks in Anguilla.  Packing is a cinch: snorkel & mask, bathing suits, t-shirts, cute tops, capris, one sundress and a couple pairs of sandals.  I could pack in my sleep,  or blindfolded, or with one arm tied behind my back, or with whatever cliched hamper comes to mind.  But, oh the agony of choosing which books to pack!

These are the ones that mostly, sorta-kinda final.  I may have room to add a few more.  Yes, I mean physical books.  I do have an e-reader but it's not actually my preferred method of reading.  They're fine for planes, trains, and automobiles, but I find I prefer the physical book when I've got lots of time on my hands to indulge in my favorite activity.  So, here are the books.  Mostly fiction.  Mostly ARCs.  One classic.  Some heavier stuff, some very light.  So far I only have one non-fiction on my list, so I'm open to more suggestions if you have any!

 1. The Sweetness of Tears by Nafisa Haji.  (novel)
2. Ladies & Gentlemen by Adam Ross (stories)
3. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (novel)
4. The Comedians by Graham Greene (classic--selected for its locale)
5. The Three Weissmanns of Westport by Cathleen Schine (nice & light!)
6. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain (also nice & light)
7. The Goat Woman of Largo Bay by Gillian Royes (the only mystery on my list--it's set in the Caribbean, so I grabbed it)
 8. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake (medium weight)
9. The Wettest County in the World by Matt Bondurant (at the behest of my husband)
10. Damned by Chuck Palahniuk
11. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman (possible FEC selection for the fall)
12. The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta (about the Rapture.  Yes, please!)
13. The Coffins of Little Hope by Timothy Schaffert (this one is just a maybe)
14. Minding Ben by Victoria Brown (about a Trinidadian woman who becomes a nanny in NYC--also not sure about this one)
15. Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost (this is my only non-fiction so far)
16. the new novel by Jim Harrison, whose title eludes me at the moment
This leaves me a little wiggle room.  I've requested Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt's new collection of short stories from Penguin but it hasn't arrived yet, and there might be more books waiting for me at work that arrived yesterday, or books yet to come early in the week before I depart.  But it looks like a pretty good mix, no?

So...I usually take a good YA book with me and so far I don't have one.  I'm thinking maybe Will Grayson, Will Grayson from all of the great things I've heard about it.  I've love to get suggestions from y'all for nonfiction (strong narrative is necessary), YA, and maybe 1-2 more literary novels.  What say you?


  1. Ok, I printed out your list of reading and IF I ever get seven seconds off I will start on this journey of great reads.

    Is there any way I can purchase a copy of the poster Eat Sleep Read? We have that Literary Lodging Vacation rental in Damariscotta, Maine and this would be a PERFECT poster to greet people as they enter our rental.

    Have a great and relaxing trip. Read to your heart's content...walk the beach, swim, soak up the sun, but hurry back to post.


    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  2. THanks, Sharon. Here's a link you can follow so that you can download the Eat Sleep Read image and have a local printshop make it for you...I think these posters are great!


  3. Oh, picking books for a trip is agony! I'll be dealing with that soon as well and always end up swapping and packing extras in the end. Argh.

  4. Born Under A Lucky Moon by Dana Precious. I'm reading it right now. It packs a bigger punch than the cover lets on. Have you read it?

  5. Well hello, kismet: I just read Will Grayson, Will Grayson (as in yesterday) and adored it. For YA fiction, it's about as good as it gets. And you know I read a boatload of YA fiction for my work... Now, granted, if you're at all squeamish about sexual references and swearing, it's possibly not for you, but if you're cool (as I am) with all that, the language is gorgeous, so so funny, and the characters individuals and so empathetic-yet-imperfect, and the whole journey just fast and fun.
    And may I say (green eyes gazing sidelong) that when you return from snorkelling in Anguilla, I'd love to chat about both The Dovekeepers and Caleb's Crossing.
    Safe journey, good times,

  6. Gosh, you have a stellar mix there. The only YA that I am intrigued with right now is WonderStruck by Brian Selznick.

  7. Your trip sounds awesome, but I agree the book choices are the toughest. (I'd take the new Perrotta book for sure).

  8. I know you didn't love Foreign Correspondence (not even the Trekkie parts?) but I am halfway through Caleb, and loving it. Also bring David Mitchell's 1000 Autumns of Jacob DeZoet.
    Have a great trip!

  9. Deciding on books is one of the toughest parts when packing for vacation. So many books and so little room! For young adult books, I recently read The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. It has a lot of play on words and is an adult crossover. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

  10. interesting selections-of these I have read only the Graham Greene book-many years ago I read a number of his books

  11. These are all great suggestions, y'all! As it turns out, the short story collection from Penguin DID arrive, as did book 3 in Sarah Rees Brennan's Demon trilogy, so both of them will probably make it into the final cut. I also ended up buying a copy of Tom Rachman's The Imperfectionists for good measure. Nothing is worse than running out of books to read on vacation-- I know, because it happened to me a few years ago and books are *expensive* in the Caribbean!

  12. Such great books! I can understand why picking which books to pack is so hard...you never really know what reading mood you'll be in. I'm really interested in hearing your thoughts on the new Perrotta and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Enjoy!

  13. I love Graham Greene, and I have Comedians on my shelf. Happy reading and traveling!


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