Vacation reading

08May08

Random: Oooh, new weather guy on CNN.

I always pack a book for trips. Always. The chances that I’ll crack the book open at least once, much less finish it, are very low, though. Still, picking the Right Book for a holiday always gives me a bit of anxiety. Will this book make me too depressed? Will that one be too brief to last a few days?

It’s really weird, but there’s no right answer. I can pack what I think is a summer-y, vacation-y, lighthearted book but I’ll hate it by the end of the holiday. Case in point: Michael Chabon’s Summerland, which, by any measure, should have been the perfect book for two days in a chalet by the sea. But I started and stopped that book so many times that I just gave up on it entirely.

My most recent (and one of the few) good trip book choice was Atonement, which I carried with me in Vietnam. I had lots of alone time, so I did finish that book. I think imagining James McAvoy as Robbie helped as well. Also, trains are conducive to reading like no other public transport. I don’t know why.

Important observation: I didn’t read anything in LA. I packed – snort if you must – Light In August but it remained in my big-ass luggage and somehow got moldy. Hmm.

SO – having completed the reflection portion of this post – I will tell you that I am bringing a really weird book along for the babis makan trip to KL.

Ok it’s very obvious that I stole this picture from Amazon, but I couldn’t find this particular cover – the one I own – anywhere else.

Confession: I’ve never actually finished a Rushdie novel. Maybe it’s some latent religious guilt, but he’s never really been like a big deal to me. But I read a really good interview with him a while back (“How do you make people see that everyone’s story is now a part of everyone else’s story?”) and my feelings changed.

So now some publisher has decided that they need to republish Rushdie with striking, idontknowwhatthewordis relevant? covers, and that’s just awesome, because GOOD COVERS ARE IMPORTANT.

I hope this turns out to be a good trip book. In any case, I’m making a vow to stick with the book even if I should spend the next three days ignoring it in favour of killing myself with high cholesterol and diabetes.

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