Wednesday, July 14, 2010
At the moment, I have well over 100 books on my to-read bookshelf, probably closer to 150 if I include all the children's classics and the travel and food memoirs on my cookbook shelf. I have resolved only to bring paperback books I own on this trip -- that way if they're lost in my luggage, I won't owe the library; plus they're smaller and lighter than hardcovers. I've tried to select a good variety, and I'm concentrating on the books that have been around unread the longest.
I'm thinking I could reasonably bring five or six books -- most of them aren't terribly long, and I will have at least six or seven hours to kill during travel time. Last summer, I went to California for a week and brought David Copperfield and Dreiser's An American Tragedy with me. Not exactly light beach reading -- though I seriously brought Dreiser to the beach.
Anyway -- I'd love some opinions. Which books should I bring and which should go back on the pile for later? I know I'll have extras, but I get nervous if I don't have enough choices. Here are the nominees, alphabetically by title:
1. The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin. A food memoir, yum. Sadly, I'm not going to Paris.
3. Giants in the Earth by O. E. Rolvaag. Pioneer fiction about Norwegian immigrants living in the Dakotas. Given to me by my good friend Paul when he found out I was moving to Nebraska. Ten years ago! I think it's time I got around to reading it. (In my defense, he also gave me My Antonia, which I've read twice and loved. Willa Cather is awesome.)
4. Good Evening, Mrs. Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes. Short stories, always a good choice while traveling. And I haven't read a single one of my Persephone books yet. Might be too heavy for summer reading, though.
5. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson. Another Persephone classic, still sadly unread.
6. Perfume From Provence by Lady Winifred Fortescue. Another food memoir -- the blurb compares it to Peter Mayle, but written fifty years earlier. And it's illustrated by E. H. Shephard, who wrote Winnie-the-Pooh. I bought this more than 10 years ago at the French pavilion at Epcot.
8. Summer by Edith Wharton. I'm quite sure I'll bring this one because it's the August read for my library's book group.
9. The Summer Book by Tove Jansson. I loved the Moomintroll books as a child so I just had to buy this when I saw it at Bookpeople, the best independent bookstore in Texas. Plus it's short, only 170 pages. With illustrations!
So -- I'm thinking three in my carry-on (must have choices!) and three in the suitcase. Too many good books! Sigh.