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I Can’t Wait to Get On the Road Again (with My Books!)

summer sky and car The day is finally here! After I finish putting together tomorrow’s newspaper, put the final touches on the copy for a special section next week, and walk through my notes for next Saturday’s newspaper… I am on vacation!

I can’t even tell you how much I need this break, to just get away from basically everything for a week of eating good food, drinking many drinks, laughing with old friends and sitting with absolutely nothing to do… except, you know, read a ton of good books.

If there is a thing I love almost as much as vacation, it is picking out the books I will bring on vacation. There’s a strange internal process I go through trying to decide what books will be perfect for the place I am going and the mood I hope I will be in. It’s very mysterious.

For this trip, I had a misguided idea that instead of taking ALL THE BOOKS I would try to limit how many I took with me, knowing that I plan to visit several bookstores on this trip to pick up more if I happen to run short.

This turned out to be quite an ordeal.

I knew that I had reached a level of weird that is hard to come back from as I was taking books on and off the stack, wondering if I’d be more interested in reading about skyjacking, a cult for the lonely, or a murder mystery in storm-ravaged Helsinki while I was sipping on sweet tea and lemonade by the lake.

No, I don’t think the subjects of the books are weird. I think they’ll be awesome (which probably says a lot about me). But limiting the books I will take on vacation? When I have no limits on how much luggage I can take? Ridiculous. Why not just take all of them?

Hence, my vacation book pile:


I think the titles are fairly clear, but if not here’s a quick rundown with a couple sentences about how this book made it into my bag:

  • Woke Up Lonely by Fiona Maazel: This actually my current read (and not pictured), about a found of a cult that promises to cure loneliness who is, himself, very lonely. Friends have been gaga over this one, and I am excited to finally read it.
  • Life After Life by Kate Atkinson: I got a galley of this book unexpectedly back in like, March, but didn’t make time to read it then. At some point I decided to wait to read it until the buzz toned down and hid it away for this vacation. I am SO DAMN EXCITED to read this one.
  • Moo by Jane Smiley: This is an older book that I borrowed from a couple of local friends about a month ago who said it was a funny read about a small college out on the prairie (exactly the kind of place I went to school). I can’t wait for this one either.
  • The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell: The buzz for this one is pretty high too, but I haven’t gotten a chance to pick it up. The setting and unreliable narrator seem perfect for vacation.
  • The Skies Belong to Us by Brendan Koerner: I’m breaking my own rule about “no review copies” on vacation to bring this one along, but when the New York Times review called it “Such pure pop storytelling that reading it is like hearing the best song of summer squirt out of the radio” I couldn’t resist.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: The folks at Harper sent me a copy of this book unexpectedly and it looks delightful (and short, sometimes you need a quick book).
  • The Healer by Antti Tuomainen: This is a Finnish dystopian/crime novel that had a really interesting premise. It’s a pretty slim book and seems page-turning enough for a vacation read (even if it is pretty grim).
  • Merchants of Culture by John B. Thompson: This is a primer on the book publishing industry that a friend recommended. It might be too academic for vacation, but I want to bring it along anyway.
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Because I’ve wanted to read this since I finished The Lizzie Bennet Diaries and I just haven’t yet.

There’s certainly a possibility that more books will end up in this pile before I head out the door tonight — Tiny Beautiful Things is looking awfully appealing, and I think I forgot to grab Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire from upstairs — but for now this is the slimmed down TBR pile I’ll be picking from while I’m away.

Dork out.

P.S. But not quite. Although I’ll be away from the blog for the next 10 days or so, I have a five guest posts from some of my favorite bloggers lined up for next week. I have a post scheduled for Sunday with the schedule, so stay tuned!

P.P.S. If you want to follow my vacation adventures (road trip!), I will probably likely be posting pictures to Instagram and sometimes popping on to Twitter.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bermudaonion (Kathy) June 28, 2013, 8:09 am

    That’s the best part of driving on vacation – you can take tons of books! I hope you have a blast!

  • Julie Merilatt June 28, 2013, 8:25 am

    Have a fabulous time Kim! You deserve it…

  • Andi @ Estella's Revenge June 28, 2013, 9:42 am

    I AM GUSHING ALL OVER THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE! Sorry, I got shouty. I do that in regards to this book. It is amazeballs.

    And I wanna know what you think of The Other Typist.

    And Life After Life is my book club’s pick for July. I have it from the ‘brary right now, so I need to get reading.

  • Heather June 28, 2013, 10:18 am

    Three cheers for vacation and vacation-reading!

    Hip hip hooray!

  • Nikki Steele June 28, 2013, 11:00 am

    Have a fantastic, wonderful, relaxing trip!!

  • Jennifer June 28, 2013, 11:31 am

    Vacation at the lake, that sounds beyond dreamy to me right now. I can’t wait to hear what you think about ALL of those books. A good chunk of them are on my I WANT TO READ IT NOW list.

    This is your first time reading P&P? Oooh boy are you in for a treat!

    Have a fantastic and relaxing time Kim!

  • Shannon @ River City Reading June 28, 2013, 12:33 pm

    The Other Typist and Life After Life are two of the ones I really want to catch up on, but I can tell you that The Skies Belong to us is the best non-fiction I’ve read this year 🙂

  • Anastasia @ Here There Be Books June 28, 2013, 1:01 pm

    Have a great trip!

  • Lynda June 28, 2013, 2:56 pm

    First of all, have a wonderful vacation!

    Second, I’m eager to hear your thoughts on … well, on all the books you’re going to be reading, but especially Life After Life. I won an advance copy too, and like you, held off on starting it — it IS a brick of a book, after all –but once I sat down to read it, I could not put it down. Sit in a comfortable chair, have someone handy to bring you refills on your drink of choice, and be prepared to get pulled right in!

  • Have a wonderful vacation! I always love picking books for vacation too, and it’s gotten much awesomer now that I have a Nook. I can get the maximum permitted limit of library e-books, and then I’m all set FOREVER.

  • Athira June 28, 2013, 5:12 pm

    Take all of them! No luggage limit means we should be able to fill a full trunk with them. Maybe we need Harry’s trunk that we can “Locomotor” trunk with us wherever we go.

  • Laurie C June 29, 2013, 5:40 am

    Have a great vacation! Great book stack!

  • Kelly June 30, 2013, 8:26 pm

    I didn’t love Life After Life 🙁 But I do hope you enjoy it and the rest of your books!

  • Charlie July 1, 2013, 2:48 pm

    I’m biased but I’d say Pride and Prejudice is perfect vacation reading, and the Gaiman is perfect timing (I’ve not read that one). It is so hard to pick books, I agree, because you can guess all you want but once you’re there and away from your shelves if the books don’t match your mood… Being near a bookshop is surely on the same level as knowing the nearby shop sells your favourite food!