Our vacation isn't for a couple more weeks yet, but I'm already setting aside the books I'm bringing.
There's a bit of madness to this, I admit. For starters, I must have more books with me than I can possibly read. At the bare minimum, there must be one book for each day of the vacation. Never mind that a brand new library just opened in Undisclosed Location, where the family beach house has been for ... who knows. Never mind that there is an inviting chock-full bookshelf in the robin's-egg-blue bedroom that gets the bay breezes when the windows are open.
The books accompanying me must be by authors of a known quality to me. There's nothing sadder than abandoning ship in the middle of one's vacation. I need to be pretty confident that this is going to be a book I'll love. That's why Beth Kephart is coming along, in the form of Nothing But Ghosts and Into the Tangle of Friendship. Beth will sharing the blue bay-breezed bedroom with Kaye Gibbons and Ellen Foster as I read The Life All Around Me. (I started this on audio recently and quickly turned it off, the writing being so wonderfully rich that I had to read it instead of listening.)
No nonfiction books on parenting or special needs are permitted. I make exceptions for memoirs, however, so Vicki Forman's This Lovely Life will be part of a lovely week by the sea.
Library books are verboten to be read on the beach if they have the cellophane-ish jacket cover. (They can be read on the second story porch with views of the bay and the ocean, depending on what Adirondack chair you're nestled in.) As a teenager, I worked in a library shelving books and nothing was more off-putting to me than handling library books with grains of sand imbedded in the covers. (I still cringe just thinking about it.) Or maybe it was a reminder that the affluent patrons of the library were taking the books to far-flung beaches in the dead of winter that made me so sensory-adverse. Library paperbacks are allowed on the beach.
And finally, there must be a short story collection. It's usually the Best American Short Stories collection or the PEN/O.Henry Stories. I happened to get The 2009 PEN/O'Henry Prize Stories 2009 at the library today - and as a bonus, its in paperback!
Today, as I'm counting the days to vacation, I'm spending time with Cecilia Ahern's There's No Place Like Here (a fitting description of the six-block long, two-block wide enclave that is Undisclosed Location). If you're a fan of Cecilia Ahern's (and I am), this has the magical realism qualities of her previous novels. I'm enjoying this, and it's a fast read so far.
I'm between audiobooks right now, although with lots to choose from. (I've been, um, kind of overdoing it with my library loot lately.) Most likely this week's audio book will be Gilead by Marianne Robinson.
I hope your Sunday Salon reading is being done while on vacation. If so, what are you reading ... and where?