09 January 2010

Vacation Reading:

I am heading out of the country for 5 long, wonderful, and hopefully sunshine-filled days. A stop in Mexico! A stop in Belize! I'm taking my very first cruise.

Almost immediately after booking our tickets my thoughts turned to reading materials. "What will I read" I pondered, probably aloud. Well, turns out that thought was fleeting because my mind wandered over the next few weeks to Christmas and job searching and general, everyday life bites. Last night I found myself in a panic with two days to go and not a reading list in sight. Well, 30 minutes later and I've got a book bag packed. Thank you public library! Thank you Conde Nast!

Clockwise, from the upper-left-hand corner:

  1. The Sweet Potato Queens' Books of Love by Jill Connor Browne (Three Rivers Press 1999): This was a hilarious and perfect Christmas present from my friend B. For months she would say "Have you read the Sweet Potato Queens books yet?" When I answered with a sheepish "no," she would exclaim, "Well you should. I think if you wrote a book it would sound like these do." I'm a hundred pages in and not entirely sure how to interpret her comment. I will say that these books are funny from page 1--give them a go.
  2. The Maples Stories by John Updike (Everyman's Library, 2009): I read "Snowing in Greenwich Village" on a bus ride from Granada to Valencia. After Valencia the bus made two more stops before ending up in Madrid. Fittingly, I read the story two more times as well. Hopefully I'll finish learning about the Maples before I dock in Miami next Saturday.
  3.  The Book of Other People edited by Zadie Smith (Penguin, 2008): Zadie Smith, Nick Hornby, David Mitchell, Dave Eggers and Aleksandar Hemon...that's why. 
  4. This week's New Yorker
  5. W Magazine: Fun fact alert. When I was younger I thought W Magazine was only sold in airports.  I suppose it's because my bookshops didn't have magazine sections and the newspaper stands of suburban Illinois did not seem to want for the pages of W. For this reason I began to think of the oversized leaflet as special. Reserved for those with places to be and planes to catch. I think that's why I pick one up almost every time I'm in an airport. It's all about the cheap thrills. 
Cross you fingers to keep away the rain clouds!

PS: Book jacket photos from Barnesandnoble.com; Magazine photos from newyorker.com and wmagazine.com. Thanks!

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