Friday, October 3, 2008

2008 Vacation Reading by Kristy Kiernan

This month marks my third year of regular blogging (I'm still waiting for the "Congratulations!" cards and flowers to arrive from my adoring fans). And each year I've done a post with my vacation reading list, and this year shall be no different. I am, as usual, bringing along more books than I can possibly read, but you have to leave room for fluctuating tastes, right? Maybe one day I'll be in the mood for Hemingway, perhaps the next…Amy Tan?

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.


Anonymous said...

jeez, i hope you're not flying, cuz those books alone will have to pay for their own seat.

Anonymous said...

Prodigal Summer – Barbara Kingsolver

One of my all time favorite books. On my vacation I stopped at Barbara Kingsolver's new restaurnt. Loved Animal, Vegetable, Mineral.

Kristy Kiernan said...

Anon #1: Nope, we're driving, books stuffed in every little nook and cranny of the car.

Anon #2: It's definitely in my top five. I pull it out every couple of years to reread it, and it seemed like time this year.

Dogwood Girl said...

I read the blog all the time and never actually comment, so consider this the flowers and congratulations card - Y'all do a great job!
My faves you listed:

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Dracula – Bram Stoker
Beloved – Toni Morrison
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
All The Pretty Horses – Cormac McCarthy

The Books You Reminded Me I Want to Read:

Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
The Prodigal Summer – Barbara Kingsolver
King's Oak – Anne Rivers Siddons

Don't Bother (IMO):
Labyrinth – Kate Mosse. A decentish book, but nothing groundbreaking, and did not leave me satisfied or thinking about it later. Hope that isn't too harsh or mean.

Have a great vacay!!

Kristy Kiernan said...

Ahh, the elusive Dogwood Girl. Hey, a fresh commenter is even better than cards and flowers, so thanks!

Okay, Labyrinth is staying home (thick hardcover, tough to find a nook OR a cranny for this one). I'll give it a try once we're home.

King's Oak has some interesting things in common with Prodigal Summer, and is also on my top five and is a reread. You'll have to let me know what you think.

And i should update the list now, since I wrote it I've read One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Abstinence Teacher, and am currently in the middle of The Guernsey Lit., etc.

I definitely liked Solitude, but I feel like I want to give it more thought to see as much as everyone else sees in it. I know, I know, I shall be hunted down by the literary powers that be and drawn and quartered. I did NOT dislike it, I just wasn't TRANSPORTED the way I thought I was going to be. As I said, I think I need some more time to think about it, and possibly a reread is in order.

Anyway, thanks for the vacay wishes, I can't wait to get there!

Ad Hudler said...

Yep, looks like you're doing the same thing I do: making up for a bad education. I try to read a classic "book I'm supposed to read" in between the fun's a good strategy to fill in some holes.

But I noticed there were no Ad Hudler novels in that list. Hmmmm??????