(And did I mention that this year I will be celebrating my birthday in Anguilla? That also might have had a factor in our decision to travel in November!)
In addition to a change of calendar, we're bringing along a travel companion this time around: our about-to-be-14-years-old granddaughter. We've begun a tradition of taking our grandchildren on a special trip with us when they're teenagers, and now it's Ava's turn. Her older sisters and cousins have visited New Orleans, Vieques, Tortola, and St. John with us, and all of those places were well-suited to their various travel styles. We knew that, like her sister Kate before her, Ava would appreciate Anguilla because she's the kind of laid-back kid who can create her own entertainment AND she loves to eat. Restaurant prices being what they are on Anguilla, she very well may eat us into the poorhouse, but introducing her to our favorite spots on our favorite island will be worth it.
Anybody who knows me knows that second only to planning my actual vacation, planning my vacation reading is my favorite activity. I spent a couple of very happy hours over the past weekend test driving potential vacation books, and the photo above shows the ones that have made the cut. I do realize that taking six physical books on a trip that only last four nights is verging on the ridiculous, so I will probably take three of these and rely on my e-reader for the rest. Running out of books on vacation ranks right up there with other nightmares such as appearing naked in school. Since I will probably need more than one book for each long day of travel, and one book for every day that I'm there, this is a very real fear.
The ones that I know for sure I'll take the physical editions are The Martian, since I can't get a free e-book download (because it's already published), and just about everybody I know has already raved about it, and The Book of Strange New Things, for the same two reasons. It's curious to me that both of them feature space travel, a topic I wouldn't necessarily claim as holding much interest for me. It's also curious to me that both books are written by men, as the overwhelming number of books that I read are written by women.
The Half Brother by Holly LeCraw -- the first 50 pages are well written and it's a prep school setting. Pretty much my jam.
Get In Trouble by Kelly Link -- she's supposed to be a literary and creepy writer. The first story I read hints at more promising things to come.
Leaving Before the Rains Come by Alexandra Fuller. I loved both of her previous memoirs. Books set in Africa (in her case, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Kenya) are also my jam, but this one is set in Montana. So I'm torn.
Funny Girl by Nick Hornby. Because Nick Hornby.
They're all advance reading copies, all to be published in January or February of 2015, and I'm looking forward to all of them. But what do you think, Gentle Reader? Do you have opinions about any of the above books? Which ones should earn a spot in my travel bag?