Summer Reading: The Books I’ll be Hiding In During Vacation

Summer Reading: The Books I’ll be Hiding In During Vacation

I clung tight to my paperbacks and resisted the e-reader craze for a long time, until I realized that the Kindle Fire is BACKLIT and that means not having to fuss with a nightlight, which is more convenient for me and also does not disturb Mr. Beez when he’s trying to sleep.  My Kindle Fire is also absolutely perfect for vacation because books are HEAVY.  The Fire means I can bring a whole library in one little device.

Part of my pre-vacation preparations involves thoroughly considering what books I want to read on vacation.  I like books that pull you into their story, that are fast paced and an escape for reality.  I love dark, dramatic books.  I also love humor.  I have broad tastes, but whatever I read, I don’t want it to involve all that much thinking.  Vacation reading is for fun, not to exercise my neurons.

Here’s what I’m bringing with me this vacation:


Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto (it’s my book club book this month, and I’m actually about halfway through).

Opera and terrorism make strange bedfellows, yet in this novel they complement each other nicely. At a birthday party for Japanese industrialist Mr. Hosokawa somewhere in South America, famous American soprano Roxanne Coss is just finishing her recital in the Vice President’s home when armed terrorists appear, intending to take the President hostage. However, he is not there, so instead they hold the international businesspeople and diplomats at the party, releasing all the women except Roxanne. Captors and their prisoners settle into a strange domesticity, with the opera diva captivating them all as she does her daily practicing. Soon romantic liaisons develop with the hopeless intensity found in many opera plots. Patchett (The Patron Saint of Liars) balances terrorism, love, and music nicely here.

lets explore diabetesDavid Sedaris’ newest work: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.

A guy walks into a bar car and…

From here the story could take many turns. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: he will both delight you with twists of humor and intelligence and leave you deeply moved.

Sedaris remembers his father’s dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants), his first colonoscopy (remarkably pleasant), and the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered Pygmy.

With Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris shows once again why his work has been called “hilarious, elegant, and surprisingly moving” (Washington Post).

the darlingsChristina Alger’s The Darlings.

A Bonfire of the Vanities for our times, by an author who “knows her way around 21st-century wealth and power” (The Wall Street Journal)
Since he married Merrill Darling, daughter of billionaire financier Carter Darling, attorney Paul Ross has grown accustomed to all the luxuries of Park Avenue. But a tragic event is about to catapult the Darling family into the middle of a massive financial investigation and a red-hot scandal. Suddenly, Paul must decide where his loyalties really lie.

Debut novelist Cristina Alger is a former analyst at Goldman Sachs, an attorney, and the daughter of a Wall Street financier. Drawing on her unique insider’s perspective, Alger gives us an irresistible glimpse into the highest echelons of New York society—and a fast-paced thriller of epic proportions that powerfully echoes Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children and reads like a fictional Too Big to Fail.

the ocean
Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean At the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman’s intent was simple: to write a short story. What he ended up with instead was The Ocean at the of the Lane–his first adult novel since Anansi Boys came out in 2005, and a narrative so thoughtful and thrilling that it’s as difficult to stop reading as it was for Gaiman to stop writing. Forty years ago, our narrator, who was then a seven-year-old boy, unwittingly discovered a neighboring family’s supernatural secret. What happens next is an imaginative romp through otherwordly adventure that could only come from Gaiman’s magical mind. Childhood innocence is tested and transcended as we see what getting between ancient, mystic forces can cost, as well as what can be gained from the power of true friendship. The result is a captivating tale that is equal parts sweet, sad, and spooky

What is on your reading list this summer?

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