No Ordinary Princess

...anything but ordinary...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Vacation/Summer Reading

This is my stack, so far. There are a few others but I've eliminated them from the running for travel to Barbados. These are the contenders. I know I've got to pare it down. There are 27 books here, not counting the empty journal on top. The stack is about two feet tall. I am only going away for 10 to 12 days...and I'm a relatively slow reader. I just like to have choices! I would have made a good pharaoh...or princess. : )

The topmost book is a real journal, fashioned by Laurel Burch with her self-portrait. I recommend taking a look at her stuff. It's beautiful...and Laurel ain't bad, either. I've never had a real journal before. I had "locking" diaries when I was a preteen and teen. I've had spiral-bound notebooks into which I've poured horribly morose teenaged angst and beautiful quotations. I've had spiral bounds in recent years to help me sort through my thoughts as I've been in therapy. But I've never purchased anything beautiful specifically for journaling or writing. I guess I've been rather noncommittal and impermanent about writing until I started blogging last year. Now it feels like a good idea to buy a really beautiful blank-page book to toss my thoughts into.

The Stack (or TS, as it may be known for this post...not to be confused with Terribly Sexy, which is me. It used to be Terribly Sad, but it changed.) consists of the spatial order from smallest to largest:

Four books by Janet Evanovich, the first four in her Stephanie Plum series. She has a great, little website, btw. I haven't been in the mystery section of a bookstore in ages. I think it's about time I read this woman. This could also be my positive reinforcement. By reading these in the rapid manner I do with books like this (and Christopher Moore (don't miss Chris's Picks, if you visit Chris Moore's site) and Vonnegut...(also check out Vonnegut's Confetti series, link at right) I give myself a bonie for and a break from reading something more intense. And if I should feel like all fluff and no substance on vacation, Janet Evanovich should be fairly easy to find on the island.

Next is Finding God When You Don't Believe in God, by Jack Erdmann, with Larry Kearney. This came up as a recommendation when I was buying some Anne Lamott on Amazon. The title intrigued me, though I do believe in God, of a sort. I could feel my in-laws cringing from 50 miles away as I typed that.

Anne Lamott is represented by Traveling Mercies, Some Thought on Faith, which I am almost finished. Maybe I'll squeeze the last of it into me on Thursday. Or maybe I'll take it to Barbados with me and leave it for the next guest. I sure found it inspirational.

The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is next. I think she's earned a place on the plane.

I bought Mark Haddon's the curious incident of the dog in the night-time for a number of reasons, none of which had to do with knowledge. The book is so visually interesting! Bright red cover, poodle cut-out, lower-case lettering. And it's got the most adorable illustrations inside (only a few of them, it's not a picture book) And the type is varied. I could go on and on...the texture of the paperback stock, the offset of the cover above its black background...). And the lead character, a teenager, tries to solve a mystery a la Sherlock Holmes, one of my favorite detectives! Obviously I'm leaning toward a trip to the beach for Mark, he's such a rugged individualist Brit. Okay, okay. I'm just a big kid at heart!

Dan Brown's The DaVinci Code. No, I haven't.

The Alchemist by Paolo Cuelho. Haven't read anything by him yet but think I'll enjoy him. Besides, this book is thin and light. Backpack.

Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass.

The Year of Pleasures
by Elizabeth Berg.

I decided to make my first foray into Phillip Roth via Portnoy's Complaint. I hope he's as good as his reputation and blurbs. Has to fly.

The Collected Stories of William Carlos Williams is a little weightier, in the literal sense. But I do so love short fiction and I've loved what I've read of William Carlos Williams. Definite probably/maybe.

Anna Quindlen's Blessings could stay home, I think.

I've simply got to have some Vonnegut on the beach so Deadeye Dick has got to go.

The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler is another tight, I mean slim tome. I think I can slip something into it, I mean slip it in somewhere. Barbados-bound.

Phillip Dick
's Radio Free Albemuth could probably wait until later in the summer.
(I find it rather amusing, in my typical twisted fashion, that, organized only by size, The Vagina Monologues got wedged between two Dicks ; )

Michel Faber's Some Rain Must Fall
could also probably wait for a Jersey beach day.

Now we get to the really big books. I need to do some serious weeding out here.

Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts was one I really wanted to take along. Feminism, history and Cokie Roberts. What's not to lug?

Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake won a Pulitzer, for Pete's sake. How can I leave it home???

The Centaur was going to be my first foray into John Updike. I would have bought the Rabbit series if Border's had had Rabbit, Run. I like to start at the beginning. I really would like to take this one.

Rick Moody's The Ice Storm could probably stay home. Since it's one of my favorite movies, I practically know the story by heart. I might appreciate it more if I don't needlessly lug it thousands of miles.

The Bible According to Mark Twain has got to go!

America's Gulag
(see here, also) is an edition of The Spokesman, a British labor and social justice journal founded by Bertrand Russell. An essay by Kurt Vonnegut happens to be in this edition. And it's very thin.

Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream
by Doris Kearns Goodwin might have to wait until later in the summer as well. Although it came highly recommended, it might not be "light" enough in a couple of senses.

Finally, I'll have to see if I feel
Wicked enough to take the book along. This tale from the perspective of The Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire (great site!) was recommended to me by Kelly, so that's worth something. But, being at the bottom of the pile means it's the largest book of the lot. Is it worth the trudge, Kell? Help me, y'all! What stays and what goes?

Technorati tags: blogging /life / self-awareness


Blogger Refugee from Reason said...

Mysteries are my guilty pleasures: Matt Scudder series by Lawrence Block and Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly. There are others, but those are the most consistent for me.

12/6/06 1:48 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

No! No! I don't need more suggestions!!! (But I will make note of them for later.)

; )

12/6/06 1:53 AM  
Blogger Mocha said...

Don't waste this on "Wicked" because even though I liked it, it's very WEIRD and the musical is much better. Go with Haddon, Lamott, Quindlan, Evanovich, and Roy.

Did that help?

Damn. Now I'm going to go to the bookstore and buy more books, Cher!

12/6/06 12:38 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Thanks, Kell! Yes, it helped. And WEIRD is right up my alley, but I think I'll consider the weight, especially given the way my back feels tonight!

3 more days!!! ; )

12/6/06 11:41 PM  
Anonymous leahpeah said...

both wicked and son of a witch were excellent. great summer reading.

12/6/06 11:54 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Thanks, Leah! If Wicked is as weird as Kelly says, I'll probably love it. I enjoy Vonnegut, Phillip Dick and Christopher Moore so weird and I are very compatible! ; )

Enjoy your summer reading!

13/6/06 8:24 AM  
Blogger Moley123 said...

Make sure Evanovich is packed, she's wonderful to read! And I echo refugee's comments Michal Connelly's Harry Bosch rocks! Oh as does Tami Hoag, but you don't need any other suggestions now do ya. Then again as you're going somewhere glorious, I don't feel at all bad about making you make extra choices, cause I'm jealouse! So nah!

16/6/06 10:48 AM  

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