Always a concern when traveling… what do you take with you for those long hours on the plane, or sitting in the train, or lounging by the pool? In the pre-E-Reader days I had to lug a load that would make the Queen of Sheba cringe.
A bit easier these days :)
So while you are packing your bikini or your hiking boots or your red slip dress or your Hawaiian shirt – remember to consider what to ‘pack’ for the mind…
1. Hot favorite of mine at the moment, The Book Thief, by Mark Zustak. A great read with vivid characters and a unique take on the use of a narrator’s voice. Set during World War II – with the editable focus on the Holocaust – this book has it’s own interesting, poetic, beautiful twist. A cannot-put-this-down-until-I-am-done read :)
2. New out in the shops, In One Person by John Irving. Fascinating from my own perspective with having a parent who has explored sexuality and social mores around it – this is the tale of a bisexual young man in a small town, trying to figure out what he wants/needs from life and people. In the typical John Irving way, packed with great one-liners and fun while still heart-breaking. I love this books’ heavy reliance on Shakespearean plays as a plot device. One thing I didn’t like at all… – but for that you’ll have to ask me directly ;) Still worth the read!
3. Also new and SO worth the read: Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand. Hillenbrand is the author and researcher who brought to life the tale of Seabiscuit. She does another superb job with this book – telling the true story of an Olympic runner and WW II air bombardier who survives being shot down over the Pacific. Besides making me feel like hanging my head in shame for my time in the mile, Unbroken tells an incredible story of courage, conviction and will to survive. Lots of fascinating details about elements of fighting WW II in the skies, as well as POWs in Japan, the impact of war on the Pacific arena, the intense struggle of PTSD, and more. I gobbled up every page. And then had to go run just to time myself!
4. California School Law by Frank Kemerer and Peter Sansom… oops, that snuck in there… A fascinating read! REALLY! Makes you laugh about the foibles of the legal system in California – great case studies to help understand the law and it’s application in our CA public schools. But if that is NOT up your alley, try Donna Leon’s new book Beastly Things. Leon’s murder mystery series, all set in Venice and with the richly drawn main character of Plutarch-reading police Commissario Guido Brunetti, is always a good bet. Whether for the beach, on the train, or just to imagine yourself strolling along the canals of Venice. Her detailed descriptions of food – a main part of Commissario Brunetti’s life, as it should be! – make you yearn to get on the vaparetto and head over to have dinner with Brunetti and his family. Plus the stories always have a great twist that keeps me coming back for more!
5. This blog ;)