≡ Menu

Books for My Beach Bag

Books for My Beach Bag post image

Ahh, picking vacation reads. Is there anything more awesome than that?

I’m heading up to my family’s cabin to celebrate the 4th of July this weekend, and so of course I spent a long time deciding what books to bring. I haven’t packed clothes or food or other necessities, but I have my books and booze already set aside. Responsibility, thy name is Kim.

I initially planned to bring only fiction, but after doing some palate cleansing I decided to mix things up and bring a little of everything. Here’s what I have in my bag so far (because you KNOW I’m going to add more before I leave):

  1. The Help by Katharyn Stockett, which is one of the books my sister and I chose for our sister’s book club. We’re reading this one first
  2. The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perotta, because everyone has been so excited about his book that was being distributed at BEA, The Leftovers, and I’m curious about the hype. Election didn’t rock my socks, but this one might.
  3. The Sweetness of Tears by Nafisa Haji, which I got as a review copy from Morrow Paperbacks. Now I can’t remember why I accepted it, but it looks like good beach reading.
  4. How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson, which I picked up at one of my trips to our local Borders’ store closing sale.
  5. The Girls of Murder City by Douglas Perry because who doesn’t want to read about Chicago and murder on vacation?
  6. Up for Renewal: What Magazines Taught Me about Love, Sex, and Starting Over by Cathy Alter because Meg (Write Meg!) recommended it as a great example of a “change your life in a year” memoir, which I am hopelessly addicted to. I need a better nickname for these books — any help?
  7. The Accidental Adult by Colin Sokolowski because I wanted another nonfiction book for the list, and vacation seems like a good time to read about why being a grown up sucks 🙂

Seven books for a 3.5 day vacation? That’s not excessive at all… And I definitely won’t be adding any books to that list while I continue packing…

Any book I should get to first? Any favorites on the list you want me to read? Ideas for a catchy word or phrase so I can stop writing “change your life in a year” memoir every single time I read one… which is all the time?

Photo Credit: Wouter de Bruijn via Flickr

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Amy June 29, 2011, 6:13 am

    Not excessive at all 😉 Interesting list, I hope the ones you end up reading are great! I haven’t read any of them so have no real tips.

    • Kim June 30, 2011, 5:26 pm

      I think they will be — I have high hopes for every book on the list 🙂

  • softdrink June 29, 2011, 8:34 am

    Early-life crisis memoirs? I wanna be better memoirs? Bucket list memoirs? The moral of the story memoirs? How to change your life and get a book deal memoirs (HTCYL&GABDM)? Not that those are any shorter.

    • Kim June 30, 2011, 5:27 pm

      Ha! Yeah, none of those are really much shorter, although I like the acronym.

  • Steph June 29, 2011, 9:03 am

    I haven’t read any of the books on your list but it looks like you have a wonderful selection so no matter what mood strikes you, you’ll be prepared! I hope you have a wonderful time!

    • Kim June 30, 2011, 5:27 pm

      That was one of my considerations — lots of different kinds of books so if one isn’t working I have options. That’s the tricky part of packing for vacation.

  • nomadreader (Carrie) June 29, 2011, 10:42 am

    Happy reading! I’m glad you’re giving Perrotta another chance (he’s a favorite author of mine), so I have to advocate for him, but I’m most curious how you find Up for Renewal. It definitely intrigues me, as I, too, am a fan of that type of memoir.

    • Kim June 30, 2011, 5:29 pm

      I’ve heard lots of good things about Perotta, and reading a book/movie for the first one probably wasn’t a fair shake. I like the premise of this one, so I’m looking forward to it.

  • Aths June 29, 2011, 10:43 am

    I have How to Buy a Love of Reading on my shelves, but I have been so hesitant about it. So I will wait to hear your thoughts.

    • Kim June 30, 2011, 5:29 pm

      I don’t know much about it, I just got it for cheap at the book sale. If it’s bad, at least I can get done with it after this weekend 🙂

  • Jeanne June 29, 2011, 1:21 pm

    I like The Abstinence Teacher; it’s well written and deals with some timely issues (http://necromancyneverpays.blogspot.com/2008/04/sex-ed.html)

    • Kim June 30, 2011, 5:30 pm

      Thanks for linking to your review Jeanne! Sounds good!

  • Jennifer June 29, 2011, 8:16 pm

    This looks like a great list. I’m currently working on The Help as well so I’m looking forward to swapping thoughts! Up for Renewal is also on my list. I have a huge Barnes and Noble card to spend before I finalize my 4th of July reading list. 🙂

    • Kim June 30, 2011, 5:30 pm

      Excellent, it’ll be fun to hear what you think. I might start with Up for Renewal, since books of that style are like candy to me 🙂

  • Citizen Reader June 29, 2011, 9:01 pm

    I always just call them “Year in the LIfe” books and leave it at that.
    Good luck with the Tom Perrotta–I have never understood all the love he gets from critics. He is the poster child for overrated, in my opinion, a male Jodi Picoult, if you will. Albeit a slightly more literary Jodi Picoult.
    Have a great vacation!

    • Kim June 30, 2011, 5:32 pm

      Yeah, that’s probably as good as it might get. I debated Candy Memoirs, but that doesn’t really make sense to anyone but me. And curious about Tom Perrotta — I’ll have to see what I end up thinking!

  • Leeswammes (Judith) June 30, 2011, 3:15 am

    Have a good time, Kim. Of course packing the books is first priority!

    • Kim June 30, 2011, 5:33 pm

      Always the first priority! I’ve been thinking of vacation books since the beginning of the month 🙂

  • avisannschild June 30, 2011, 3:07 pm

    I really enjoyed The Help — hope you do too. Have a great vacation!

    • Kim June 30, 2011, 5:33 pm

      Thanks, I hope so too!

  • Kathleen June 30, 2011, 5:57 pm

    Sadly I cannot be of any help since I haven’t read any of these. I hope you will enjoy a wonderful holiday. You are off to a good start by planning all of your reads!

    • Kim July 5, 2011, 8:14 pm

      Thanks, I did have a great break. It was super relaxing!

  • Misha June 30, 2011, 8:19 pm

    The Help is one of my favorite books ever! I haven’t read the rest, but I will be looking forward to your thoughts on them.

    • Kim July 5, 2011, 8:15 pm

      That was one of the books I read over the weekend and liked it a lot. Really great read!

  • Meg @ write meg! July 1, 2011, 2:47 pm

    No such thing as too many books for your beach bag! The Help is absolutely one of my favorite reads ever, so I hope you get a chance to read it on break. I also have The Sweetness of Tears in my stacks — will look forward to your thoughts!

    • Kim July 5, 2011, 8:16 pm

      I loved The Help. I was completely engaged the entire time — I flew through it, which is a sign of a good book.

  • Unruly Reader July 3, 2011, 2:30 pm

    Your book list sounds great. And not too long at all. I think 2 books per day is a good ratio. Anything less, and I start twitching.

    I’ve usually called those memoirs “Stunt Nonfiction,” though I know that’s not nice — and now that I too am hooked on them, I need a new phrase for them, as well. I’m considering “My Year of…”

    • Kim July 5, 2011, 8:17 pm

      I like having variety. I’d hate to be stuck with a few books and not be in the mood to read any of them — my worst nightmare!

      I like “stunt nonfiction,” even if it is a little harsh. But really, setting out to change yourself and having a book deal because of it is a stunt, although not a bad one.

  • Andi July 5, 2011, 5:17 pm

    Great choices! I haven’t read The Abstinence Teacher or The Help yet, but both are on my stacks or in my Nook.

    • Kim July 5, 2011, 8:18 pm

      I didn’t get to the Perrotta book, but love love loved The Help. It was great fiction — well deserving of the praise it’s gotten.