Monday, September 3, 2012

What I'll Be Reading While Travelling for a Month

I know that someone will be
missing me while I'm away...
This might be my last post for a month, since I'm flying to Europe today and won't be back until October. Depending on internet access, I may email a few posts enroute, but I'm not sure about that. This is what I've got lined up on my iPod Touch to read while I'm away:

eBOOKS (Borrowed from all three of the Edmonton Public Library's eBook databases: Overdrive, Freading and EBSCO eBooks.)

You might think an iPod screen is too small for reading books, and I used to think the same thing... until I tried it. The only way I could get We the Animals quickly was in eBook format and I flew through it. I've been a convert since, although I prefer paper whenever possible. There's no way that I would or could pack all of these in paper for a trip, however. My suitcase is small enough to carry on the plane.

A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif (Hanif will be at the Vancouver Writers Fest in October)
Princes, Frogs & Ugly Sisters: The Healing Power of the Grimm Brothers’ Tales by Dr. Allan Hunter (The enduring appeal of folktales fascinates me.)
Scars by Cheryl Rainfield (A gritty autobiographical novel by a Canadian lesbian.)
Tommy Boys, Lesbian Men and Ancestral Wives by Ruth Morgan (The title was enough to hook me.)
Frommer’s Switzerland
Memorable Walks in Paris
Paris Eyewitness Guide


Audiobooks are perfect for travel. On a bus or train, I'm prone to motion sickness when reading a printed book, plus, with audio, I get to see what's going on around me while listening. On a plane, I close my eyes and via headphones I'm immersed in the narrative and I forget to think about claustrophobia and time passes quickly. The following are all borrowed from the library; some are eAudio from Overdrive or One Click, others are from CDs transferred to my iPod.

The Assassin’s Song by MG Vassanji (I'm partway into this one and it's reminding me of Salman Rushdie's style. So far, it goes back and forth between mythological time and Gujarat around the time of India's struggle for independence. Vassanji will be at the Vancouver Writers Fest. 
For the Win by Cory Doctorow (Doctorow is intellectually stimulating. I've enjoyed his previous books and I love his Boing Boing site and I'm excited that I'll hear him in Vancouver in October at a session where he'll be in conversation with William Gibson.)
The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz (Gavin of The Readers podcast praised this new Sherlock Holmes tale. Also, I know that Horowitz can write a pageturner, based on his Alex Rider teen series.)
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (Not sure about this one. The publisher's blurb compares it to Anne Rice and the Twilight series and I've read one of each of those and that was enough for me. Also, Danielle Trussoni, author of Angelology, has a blurb on the back of the audiobook. Oh dear. I'll see how far I get.)
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (A review in Booklist sums up why I'm interested -- Writing in a combustible mix of slang and lyricism, Díaz loops back and forth in time and place, generating sly and lascivious humor in counterpoint to tyranny and sorrow.  Plus, Diaz is another who will be at the Vancouver Writer's Fest.)
Collected Stories by Lydia Davis (Someone -- maybe Michael of Books on the Nightstand? -- recommended Davis. I love short stories.)
The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse (Humour is always welcome and I've been meaning to read Wodehouse for a long time. Jonathan Cecil's narration has been recommended as the best choice.)
Snowdrops by AD Miller (Character-based novel set in contemporary Russia)
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (I think Nancy Pearl championed this one?)
Drift by Rachel Maddow (I've only heard Maddow a few times on television when I've been travelling in the States, but her quick intelligence impressed me enough to pick up this book, even though "The Unmooring of American Military Power" isn't normally a topic I'd choose.)
Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff (A true story of adventure and survival following an American plane crash in Dutch New Guinea in 1945.)
Slovak for You (The audio portion of my textbook. I've also got Mango Languages app with Slovak loaded on my iPod. I've gone all the way through the lessons, but I like reviewing.)

These next audiobooks are all downloaded free through the 'SYNC YA literature into your earphones' summer program:
The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney (I'm curious about this fantasy series that has been very popular with elementary school boys. It's about a boy learning how to get rid of boggarts, witches and ghosts.)
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (Ghost hunting again, this time in Thunder Bay, Ontario - it was Liz's review at A Chair, a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy that caught my eye)
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (I fell in love with the djinn Bartimaeus from my first reading in 2004, when I was working at a B&B in the south of France. Most recently, I reviewed Stroud's Ring of Solomon.) 
Guys Read: Funny Business by various authors (Jon Scieszka, Adam Rex, Jeff Kinney, Christopher Paul Curtis, Jack Gantos and more; what a great line-up!)
Irises by Francisco Stork (I'm looking forward to another by the same author who wrote the fantastic Marcello in the Real World)
The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain (Can't go wrong with Mark Twain)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (I've known the opening passage for years, so it's about time that I encounter the rest of the words...)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (I first read this in high school and loved it so much that I went on to read everything else by Steinbeck.)
Tales from the Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang (I've been enthralled by these since childhood)
Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (I don't know, this one is mostly as a back-up, but maybe I'll get drawn in. I'm afraid it might be like Jane Eyre, which I hated.)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (I have high hopes for this one, which I've been meaning to read for decades. I might save it for the plane ride home, as a treat.)

PODCASTS - I've got a few of each:
Books on the Nightstand
The Readers
CBC’s Writers and Company (with Eleanor Wachtel)
The Guardian Books Podcast
CBC’s Definitely Not the Opera
CBC Ideas

And I do have actual PAPER books, of course!

What Becomes by AL Kennedy (Complex, layered short stories written by a master of language. I'm very excited about hearing her at the Vancouver Writers Fest.)
Beechcombings: The Narratives of Trees by Richard Mabey (A gift to me last year, but I didn't get far into this trove of information about beech trees, even though I immediately loved Mabey's style, because I set it aside to finish library books that had to be returned. The Sunday Times: "Bursting out is a leaf-storm of philosophical musings, journeys of mind and body, reflections and anecdotes that imprint the tree on human culture." I'm really looking forward to getting back to it.)
Slovencina pre vas (Slovak for You) textbook + a Slovak/English dictionary

See you in October!


Shawna Lemay said...

have a great trip! can't wait to hear what you think of all those books!

Lindy said...

Well, I haven't got very far with reading yet. Lots of visiting with relatives. It's been wonderful so far.