Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Vacation Reading

I tend to over plan my vacation reading, but I'd rather have too many choices instead of not enough! The way I figure it, we'll be in the room for a good 3 hours each afternoon while Reese naps. He tends to take BIG naps on vacation, so that's 21 hours of time to read. Plus the plane ride there & back...another 5 hours total. So I figure three books should cover it!

I'm bringing:

*The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard. This was on our library's "Oprah's Book Club" list. Not that I care about Oprah's book club, but I was looking for a good emotional story and this seemed to fit the bill. The Amazon.com synopsis reads:

The horror of losing a child is somehow made worse when the case goes unsolved for nearly a decade, reports Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel columnist Jacquelyn Mitchard in this searing first novel. In it, 3-year-old Ben Cappadora is kidnapped from a hotel lobby where his mother is checking into her 15th high school reunion. His disappearance tears the family apart and invokes separate experiences of anguish, denial, and self-blame. Marital problems and delinquency in Ben's older brother (in charge of him the day of his kidnapping) ensue. Mitchard depicts the family's friction and torment--along with many gritty realities of family life--with the candor of a journalist and compassion of someone who has seemingly been there.

Perhaps reading a book about an unsolved missing child case (fictional), while on vacation with a child seems stressful. I hope it's a great book! Apparently, it was made into a movie, which I never saw, so the book won't be spoiled for me.

*Her Last Death: A Memoir by Susanna Sonnenberg. I love the search feature on the online catalog of our local library. By searching for "Memoir", I have found so many great stories...one of my new favorite genres! Amazon.com's synopsis:

Susanna's mother gave her a copy of Penthouse when she was a ten-year-old, cocaine when she was 12, and seduced her boyfriend at 14. Sonnenberg recounts "the true calamity of being daughter to this mother." The glory of this memoir is that the author survived her traumatic childhood and somehow navigated her way to a deftly written book capturing her dismantled youth. The daughter of a glamorous, falling-down addict of a mother and a gifted, self-absorbed father, Sonnenberg never falls into the trap of attempting to analyze two people never meant to be parents. Instead, we are allowed to feel the strange and powerful familial currencies running between mother and daughter through the keenly observed writing of Sonnenberg. The writing is razor-sharp and raw, a significant feat considering the untethered early years of this immensely talented writer.

The beginning description reminds me of Drew Barrymore's story. I'm drawn to people's life stories....

*Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. Another book I found in the "memoir" search word in the online library catalog. I've wanted to read this for years, & when it popped up in the search results, I was excited to grab it! From Amazon.com:

"Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood," writes Frank McCourt in Angela's Ashes. "Worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood." Welcome, then, to the pinnacle of the miserable Irish Catholic childhood. Born in Brooklyn in 1930 to recent Irish immigrants Malachy and Angela McCourt, Frank grew up in Limerick after his parents returned to Ireland because of poor prospects in America. It turns out that prospects weren't so great back in the old country either--not with Malachy for a father. A chronically unemployed and nearly unemployable alcoholic, he appears to be the model on which many of our more insulting cliches about drunken Irish manhood are based. Mix in abject poverty and frequent death and illness and you have all the makings of a truly difficult early life. Fortunately, in McCourt's able hands it also has all the makings for a compelling memoir.

This is another one that has been made into a movie, but I have not seen it! I've thumbed through all three books & they all look so good. Where to begin, where to begin.

The library also had the National Treasure DVD checked in, so we rented that for movie night on Thursday. National Treasure 2 will be shown on the cruise, and we've not seen the first OR second movie...so we'll catch up on the first movie to prepare for the on-board viewing of the second.

Can I just say I LOVE the library? There are two local libraries that we have cards for, and there are so many DVDs to check out. Which obviously costs nothing. For vacation, Reese picked out The Incredibles, Muppets Treasure Island, & Honey I Shrunk The Kids. Chicken Little was on his request list, but it's still checked out. It's so much cheaper (obviously!) than renting them from somewhere, & you get to keep them for TWO weeks! Love me some free library videos!


spinning in our own direction said...

ok we need to talk.. could you get any more serious books than those?? I've read 2 of those 3 and they are good books but DUDE YOUR AT DISNEY!!!!!you need a good fluffy romance where the biggest decision is do they do it in the barn or onthe roof top.. ha ha.. I just finished The one by jenny mcarthy about her fight to cure her sons autism if you want me to bring it its a good fast read.

Anonymous said...

Wow, some heavy stuff on vacation! But books like that are the only ones that keep me reading --the "good fluffy romances" (that your "other" commenter speaks of!) don't hold my interest much. National Treasure are some of our favorites. Have fun on your trip, and I'll be checking in on your blog! Stay safe!!

cbashara said...

Hey! Thanks for your comments on my post about the teacups. I know Josh's mom was so loved and it's always nice to hear another story to reaffirm that. I wish I could have met her. And more than that I wish that Izzy could have met her...Everyone that knew Janet says that Izzy has her exact temperament - fiesty and passionate and funny ;-)

About your books - I'm an avid reader so I love this kind of stuff! I've only read 'Angela's Ashes' and it is a very good read - a little bleak at times, but also very inspiring.

A book that I really liked for a vacation read was 'Water for Elephants'. You may have already read it since it's been pretty popular lately. But I thought it was a nice balance of light and intelligent.

Since we're not doing any travelling anytime soon I may just start blogging about books for a while ;-)

Anyway, enjoy your vacation! I'm looking very forward to reading about your travels and seeing pictures! I'll live vicariously through your travels for now!