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March 03, 2010

What books should I bring on vacation?


I have just been informed that I shouldn't be wasting my time on Jodi Picoult when there are authors like Michael Chabon I haven't really read. And I need several books to bring on trips this month. So now's your chance. Tell me what to read! Here are the criteria:

1. Absorbing/not difficult to get into.
2. But not TOO fast-paced - don't want to finish a book in two hours and then carry it around for a week.
3. Clear enough to follow while picking up/putting down a lot while waiting in lines, etc.
4. Out in paperback.
5. Will not clash with vacation locations (Texas and Florida) - so nothing really wintery, I guess. Bonus points for actually coordinating with the location in some way.
6. Long is good.
7. Bonus points if you suggest books I already have.

Posted by Kat at March 3, 2010 05:00 PM

Well, you ignored my last recommendations, but I will try again! :)

All time favourite book is, I think, the Poisonwood Bible. Just so well written. Beautiful characterisation. Plus it's long, as requested!

"Watching the English" is fun, since you said you were an Anglophile. It's non fiction but it's easy to read, her style is great.

I loved "then they came to the end", and Joshua Ferris has just brought out a new one called "the unnamed" which is on my list. It's about the workplace though, so you might not want that on holiday. An easy, absorbing read.

I assume you've already read Obama's books?

Just finishing "The Corrections" - mostly a pleasure to read, with lots of interesting, wry insights on American culture, and it's definitely long!! Great writing in places.

Oh, and also recommended, for the journey, if you are this kind of person, "So You Think You Can Spell?: Killer Quizzes for the Incurably Competitive and Overly Confident". Fun! :)

Also, when are you going on holiday? Because I can always try and get you a first draft by then if it's not too soon and you fancy doing some reviewing!!

Posted by: Claire at March 3, 2010 05:32 PM

I'm a big fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips for fluff.

Posted by: cassie at March 3, 2010 05:32 PM

Wasting *time* with Jodi Picoult? This is a *literary endeavor*! Maybe next time we should liveblog an Ishiguro just to show we have Depth and Culture. ;-) (Somehow I think that would be a lot less effective as a vehicle for snark, though.)

Um, books to read on vacation. I think we've passed recommendations back and forth so many times that you've pretty much already heard all of mine. :) Have fun! What a delightful problem to have.

Posted by: Rachel at March 3, 2010 05:33 PM

I can recommend Michael Frayn as well (might not fit all your criteria,lol) as The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber. Also I recently read Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon was a delight to read. Any book by Douglas Kennedy makes for a good holiday read while being engrossing! Good luck. Can't wait to see what you choose!

Posted by: Kathy at March 3, 2010 06:06 PM

We don't allow books in Texas, they are banned.

Posted by: aisling at March 3, 2010 08:16 PM

Hester Browne's Little Lady Agency books are cute chick-lit (start with the first one!).

I read And Then We Came To The End while on vacation and thought it was perfect even though it was about work (go figure).

Any of the Nick Twisp books by C.D. Payne would probably be great, too (there's a new edition for the movie w/ Michael Cera on the cover - not sure how I feel about that). I think I'm recommending that the most strongly - it's a hilarious send-up of cultural elitism, and also very much about what it's like to be a kid, and the ways we try to get around kid status.

I don't know if Highway to Hell by John Geddes is in paperback, but it's definitely the most entertaining (and badass) book about the war in Iraq you'll ever read.

I'm with Stupid by Elaine Szewczyk is also in paperback, and I also read it on vacation (it's about a woman who goes on vacation), and I thought it was a perfect vacation read. It's my second-highest contender for you, actually.

And if The Comfort of Our Kind by Tom J. Stoner is in paperback, that one would be great.

All of these are reviewed on my Goodreads/Livejournal! I'm actually getting off of goodreads right now, because I could recommend books to you all night :)

Posted by: your cousin Liz at March 3, 2010 10:01 PM

Oh! And, I almost forgot - if you haven't yet read Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman BUY IT NOW. TOP OF LIST.

Posted by: your cousin Liz at March 3, 2010 10:02 PM

War books are good for any state or time of year

Posted by: Loy at March 4, 2010 12:07 PM

Ooh! I just thought of some you might not have read that you might like. Diana Norman has this great historical fiction trilogy. (Well, at least the first book is excellent, and the first few pages of the third book are good too, but I haven't been able to get the second one from the library yet.) The first book is called *A Catch of Consequence*, and it meets all your criteria. :)

Posted by: Rachel at March 4, 2010 01:31 PM

Josh Lyman, fictional?! What are you talking about?

Posted by: Claire at March 4, 2010 02:57 PM
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