Sunday, July 4, 2010
The Sunday Salon: My Annual Which-Books-to-Take-On-Vacation Post
It is, happily, almost that time.
Time for us to take leave, to board the ferry and set sail (albeit for 85 minutes) to our seaside town that time seemingly forgot and where, for a few glorious days, allows us to forget about time.
We look forward to this trip every year, this pilgrimage to my family's beach house. My mother-in-law (possibly father-in-law) will accompany us for the first 2.5 days, then The Husband and I will get a few days to ourselves. We require little more than a beach (check), a chair (check), a cool drink (check), sun (looks promising), and a good book or two (check, check).
Or, in my case, a good book or ... um, 13.
Yes. Thirteen lucky books are awaiting your consideration for me to take on vacation. This amounts to half the books I read so far this year so clearly, some decisions must be made. Since I am incapable of deciding such weighty matters, this is where you come in.
My general criteria: 1) a vacation book should, ideally, be from my TBR pile. That way, if I don't like it, I can leave it at the beach house for someone else to hopefully enjoy. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment that I've knocked something off Mount TBR. 2) I generally do not take library books to the beach because I abhor sand in the pages and covers, but sometimes I'll cave and reserve them for reading at the house itself, on the porch that gets the ocean breeze or the deck that gets the wind from the back bay.
So, without further ado, here are the books that I'm contemplating bringing for our one-week-long beach trip and the reasons why.
Truth be told, this might be the book I read this week, given that the 50th Anniversary of this classic's publication is July 11 and I'm participating in the celebration of TKAM hosted by two of my absolute favorite bloggers, Dawn of She is Too Fond of Books and Heather from Capricious Reader. I also don't like to be in the middle of a book upon starting vacation (don't I sound like a delightful trip companion?) so chances are I will be able to finish this by the time we leave. I haven't read this since high school.
Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, by Charles Shields
I bought this at our library's book sale earlier this spring and really want to read this, after re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird.
The Liar's Club and Cherry are both by Mary Karr.
I have Lit checked out from the library right now. I really want to read Lit. However, I'm thinking I should read her first two memoirs first. Yes? No? Your thoughts? Can one read Lit first and then go back to read these two? (See, such weighty matters!)
A Gate at the Stairs, by Lorrie Moore
Among my other vacation-book criteria is that I prefer the author to be a known commodity to me. There's nothing more satisfying then enjoying one of my favorite writers and having the time to savor every word. I absolutely love Lorrie Moore. Birds of America is among my absolute favorite books ev-vah and my favorite short story collection. Now, I know this new one of Lorrie's has gotten mixed reviews, but I don't care. It's one of those books I've been saving for a special occasion. (I bought it in September, for goodness sake.)
Glimmer Train Stories, Summer 2010 issue
I like to read Glimmer Train on the beach itself. Makes me look like a cultured intellectual. I like that people might be wondering what literary treasure I have (and indeed, Glimmer Train is always a literary treasure trove.)
Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
I've been hearing so much about this one and I really want to read it soon. I love Nicholas Kristof's work.
A library book, but really ... just look at that gorgeous cover! This just seems to be a book that one should read by the sea, does it not?
How to Be a Sister: A Love Story with a Twist of Autism, by Eileen Garvin
I usually shy away from bringing any autism or special needs books with me on vacation, and chances are, this one might be left home. But, we're becoming increasingly focused and concerned on Betty's issues as they pertain to her relationship and feelings about Boo, so I want to read this sooner rather than later. I bought this with the $100 gift card that my former coworkers gave me.
The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal, by Jonathan Mooney
(I've already removed this one - as well as A Slant of Sun by Beth Kephart - from consideration because I'd forgotten that they are both signed. Signed books don't go on vacation.)
Final Vinyl Days, by Jill McCorkle
I like to have several short story collections to choose from while on vacation. I'm not even going to mention how long this has been on my TBR shelves. Let's just say that it has moved with us at least three times in the past 8 years. Jill also qualifies for the proven-commodity author category.
Another Marvelous Thing, by Laurie Colwin
Because I've never read any Laurie Colwin, and it is probably time to remedy that. And this looks short enough to read during an afternoon on the porch.
Runaway, by Alice Munro
I've never read any of Alice Munro's short stories, either, and keep hearing how wonderful she is. This one was also bought during the spring library sale. (I really need to post the photo from that sale. I think I bought 56 books for $12.)
Lottery, by Patricia Wood
Also purchased during the library sale.
So, of these lucky 13 books up for contention, which ones would find their way into your suitcase? (The Husband, who really does not want to see 13 of my books accompanying us and whom I've advised not to read today's post, would be especially appreciative of your help in narrowing down this list.)
copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.