Summer Vacation Reading

Josie Leavitt - July 19, 2010

I am going to the Cape next week for a six-day vacation. I am thrilled to be taking a break from the rigors of the store and actually getting out and enjoying the summer. As I get ready to pack I am struck by the vexing problem of what to bring to read. I know some of you out there will say, “Get an E-reader and bring everything you want.” But I am a book person. I have tried to read things on an iPad and a Kindle and don’t much care for it, so it’s books for me.
I think I will bring four or five books. I know I’ll probably only read two, although, if it’s rainy, the sky’s the limit. I need your help as I am overwhelmed by books and thus utterly incapable of making a decision.
So, here’s what I’m looking for:
– Adult fiction that’s funny
– Young adult fiction that is offbeat
– A classic that is compelling
– And lastly, a great mystery (I’ve already read all the Stieg Larsson books)
So, dear readers, help me with some book suggestions, and when I get back I’ll let you know what I read.

27 thoughts on “Summer Vacation Reading

  1. gail hochman

    Kids book: MY MOST EXCELLENT YEAR, Steve Kluger
    Mystery–anything by Craig Johnson (western author)

  2. Connie

    Offbeat young YA fiction that is a really feel-good read – The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby – not to be missed.

  3. Laurie Muchnick

    Funny adult book: THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU by Jonathan Tropper. Funniest week of sitting shiva ever.

  4. Richard Sutton

    Fun read with profound sense of place and character:
    Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead.
    Compelling, absorbing read with an important lesson:
    Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
    Family Saga, with humor, sense of place and Celtic mystery:
    The Red Gate by Richard Sutton
    Mystery with regional flair:
    A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman

  5. Carol Newman Cronin

    Shameless plug: When on Cape Cod, read “Cape Cod Surprise: Oliver Matches Wits with Hurricane Carol” (GemmaMedia, July 2010). Oliver goes back in time into the teeth of Hurricane Carol. Just the thing for sand and salt water mixing between your toes. Ask Elizabeth at Titcomb’s Bookstore in E. Sandwich who has at least one copy…
    Enjoy your vacation!

  6. cbt

    For a funny mystery about compelling classics, try The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (if you haven’t already read it–I just discovered it a few weeks ago and have been singing its praises ever since).

  7. carisa hays

    Just read over the weekend Richard Russo’s wonderful novel THAT OLD CAPE MAGIC. It is a must read if you are going to the Cape. And while you are there, please visit The Yellow Umbrella Bookstore in Chatham. You will love it.

  8. Ellen Burns

    Perfect Summer read: One Day by David Nicholls
    Compelling classic: Dicken’s Bleak House or Trollope’s The Way We Live Now (both might be a bit long for a 6 day holiday!)
    Funny: Anything by Nick Hornby (my personal favorite is High Fidelity, but Juliet, Naked was great too) or Tom Perotta (The Wishbones, Joe College)

  9. Shari

    An excellent YA (maybe not “offbeat”, but it’s full of really well-captured conflicting emotions, and beautiful, lyrical writing) — Jandy Nelson’s THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE.

  10. gamerlibrarian

    Funny adult read : Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. Hilarious.
    A classic mystery: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie.

  11. jackie

    oooooh… The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz. It reads like a movie, and a hilarious one at that. It is the perfect vacation read! Plus, if you like the first one, there are three more.

  12. Ellen Mager

    I listen to books a lot in the car and Prince of the Mist was a terrific, somewhat scarey, YA. I also love revisiting Jim Dale reading Around the World in 80 Days. I actually listened to House of the Scorpions, which I had never read and that was wonderful!

  13. Glimmer Olmsted

    Love, Infidelity, and Drinking to Forget, by Elisabeth Gundy is an excellent read, and very funny, too. You will laugh on one page and tear up on the next. One of my all time favorites.

  14. marsha

    Cookbook COllector by Allegra Goodman-Just a good, well written and conceived book that makes you want to know what happened to the characters after the book ended

  15. Sarah Collins Honenberger

    Mystery: Michael Gruber’s Book of Air and Shadows
    Young Adult Quirky: Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
    Adult Funny: The Half Mammals of Dixie by George Singleton
    Classic: The Catcher in the Rye (reading as an adult is different, and you’ll be receiving ARC of Catcher, Caught, my third novel, and we’ll be dying to hear what you think of the connection.)

  16. Spellbound

    For funny adult fiction, if you haven’t read Christopher Moore’s “Fool,” you absolutely must. Totally inappropriate in any company and milk-out-your-nose funny!

  17. George

    Take “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and maybe the rest of the “trilogy” That should cover pretty much everything unless you’ve already read it once then there wouldn’t be much mystery.

  18. Susan

    funny adult: Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis or M*A*S*H by Richard Hooker. (Forget the movies and tv shows, the books, as usual, are another thing altogether)
    mystery: the best spy novel of all time, Toast to Tomorrow by Manning Coles (pseud of Adelaide Manning and Cyril Coles), originially printed in 1941, back in print from Rue Morgue Press
    offbeat ya: The Changeover by Margaret Mahy….if you can pick up a used copy, that is! This Carnegie winner is out of print in the US at the moment
    compelling classic….hmm…tougher. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton, Kim by Rudyard Kipling

  19. Carol

    Funny adult — CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES by John Kennedy Toole or SWEET POTATO QUEEN SERIES by Jill Connor Browne
    Compelling Classic — Best Book of All Time: LONESOME DOVE by Larry McMurtry You will be swept away by this magnificent book. This is a MUST READ.

  20. Anne DeCourcey

    TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, celebrating it’s 50th birthday this year. I read it for the first time a few weeks ago (blush) and if you have already read it, it’s worth a re-read! In the lovely hardcover edition published by HarperCollins of course!


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