Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Guest post: Janssen's Travel Book Recommendations

Today's guest post is from Janssen at Everyday Reading. I found her blog through Jenna last summer, when she was still pregnant with her adorable daughter Ella. She has great style and great taste! Janssen, as a former elementary school librarian and avid reader, has some great choice in books (and has read SO much!), so I asked her to share some of her favorite books to read while traveling!


One of my favorite things about traveling is choosing a big stack of books to take along with me (one of my least favorite things about traveling, coincidentally, is hauling around massive stacks of books). The books I read on vacation become indelibly connected to the place I read them, a lifelong association to a certain trip, which I love (and which also makes me want to choose carefully).

I reread 1984 by George Orwell when I was on study-abroad in London in 2006. It was surreal to read it while being in the same city it's set in, and then to walk by George Orwell's house on Portobello Road. I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo while flying back to Boston from Florida. I remember nothing about the flight except being completely sucked into that book's frightening, addicting world. My mom and I finished reading The Scarlet Letter together in the Atlanta Airport on a layover between New Orleans and Las Vegas (yes, I realize that Atlanta is not between those two places. The airlines did not appear to understand this). I finished Fire two years ago when I flew to Boston to search for an apartment; I was incredibly nervous about this trip, but letting myself be consumed by that book helped me not to dwell on the logistics of the trip itself.

If you're looking for a book to take along on your next vacation, here are some of my favorites:

  • The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt. This is, almost certainly, my favorite book of all time. It follows Holling Hoodhood, a seventh grader, during the Vietnam War. This book can't even really be summed up easily. I have never met one person who didn't LOVE this book. Even if you think you don't like books written for young adults or middle grade students, this one is worth your time. I promise.
  • These is My Words by Nancy E. Turner. This frontier romance is kind of like Little House on the Prairie for adults. The first 30 pages are a bit slow, so I was glad I was stuck on an airplane with nothing else to read or I might have missed this ridiculously wonderful book.
  • Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank B. Gilbreth Jr., and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey. One of my dad's favorite books, this true story about a family with twelve children is so funny and sweet, you'll find yourself crying and laughing. My dad asked my mom to read it before they were married and I had my husband read it before our wedding too.
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart is witty and wonderful young adult fiction. Frankie discovers a secret all-boys society at her boarding school and is determined to find a way in.
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. I don't really LOVE science fiction, but I adore this book. I read it a second time during college and it reawakened my love of pleasure reading.
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. Brilliant and engaging non-fiction that is as readable as any novel.
What books would you take on vacation?


heidikins said...

Ah! Another book we've both read and loved! I loved the first two books in the Ender series, I actually loved Speaker for the Dead more than Ender's Game. I was told it was written first and is the meat of what O.S.Card wanted to present, but he needed a prequel for it to make sense, so he wrote Ender after he finished Speaker.

And this exhausts my knowledge on SciFi. :)


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