You never know, and I like to be prepared.
There are repeats on this list, some that I brought on vacation last year and didn't get around to, or never felt in the mood for, but there is one book that has made the list three years running: Anna Karenina. I'll get through it one day, I swear, and in the meantime, I'll just keep toting it with me every year.
So, the official Kristy Kiernan's Vacation Books for 2008 is as follows, in no particular order, because I'm just not built like that:
The Given Day – Dennis Lehane
The Prodigal Summer – Barbara Kingsolver
The Red Leather Diary – Lily Koppel
The Inferno – Dante
Game Control – Lionel Shriver
The Travels of Marco Polo – Marco Polo
Beowulf – Homer, (tr) Burton Raffel
The Ten Most Beautiful Experiments – George Johnson
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
The Russian Concubine – Kate Furnivall
Labyrinth – Kate Mosse
Skeletons at the Feast – Chris Bohjalian
Cervantes – Don Quixote
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
The Boy Next Door – Amy Knupp
Dracula – Bram Stoker
The Guernsey Literary…that one – Mary Ann Shaffer/Annie Barrows
Fieldwork – Mischa Berlinski
Among Other Things I've Taken Up Smoking – Aoibheann Sweeney
Beloved – Toni Morrison
When You Are Engulfed in Flames – David Sedaris
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle – David Wroblewski
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Tom Perrotta – The Abstinence Teacher
King's Oak – Anne Rivers Siddons
All The Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy
Peony In Love – Lisa See
Snow – Orhan Pamuk
On Beauty – Zadie Smith
Three Cups of Tea – Greg Mortinson/David Oliver Relin
Chinatown, A Portrait of a Closed Society – Gwen Kinkead
And, finally… Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
So, do I have any of your favorites on my list? Why is it your favorite? Any I shouldn't read back-to-back? And which ones did I remind you that you need to take on your own vacation?
I am, officially, off to the beach!
Kristy Kiernan is the author of Matters of Faith (Aug. 2008) and Catching Genius (2007). She lives with her husband and their dog in southwest Florida, and despite that, they still vacation at the beach.