Monday, July 12, 2010

Beach. Books. (Battlestar Galactica.)

Last night, I commenced my official pre-beach countdown, because as of next Sunday evening, that is where I will be for a week, along with my parents, grandparents, G, and G’s boyfriend Ryan.   It can’t come soon enough. 

For many people, a week at the beach includes activities like spending hours in the sun, perhaps some fishing, maybe the consumption of quantities of frosty beverages.  Mom, Grandma, and G usually have some sort of project going on—painting or necklace-making or knitting or what-have-you.  My dad and my grandfather nap a lot.  As Dad says, “The biggest decision I have to make today is whether I should read now and nap later, or nap now and read later.”  Many books are read.  Many games of Michigan rummy are played.  Many of Dad's made-to-order milkshakes are consumed.

I, however, take the reading thing to a whole other level.  The whole point of the beach is to see how many books I can devour in a week, and a highlight of my summer is the careful cultivation of my beach-reading pile, stocked through leisurely ambles through the stacks at the library and the perusal of summer reading lists compiled by everyone from the New York Times to NPR to Entertainment Weekly to Glamour.  Unless Harry Potter is involved (or, God help me, A Suitable Boy), I tend to average one book a day. 

As such, I’ve been assembling on my beach-reading pile for the last two weeks, requesting books from the library; monitoring waiting lists in the hopes that the 17 other people in D.C. who are ahead of me on the list for The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake will, I don’t know, get tired of waiting and buy it (which I refuse to do) or for SOMEONE to return How Did You Get This Number, because I’ve been #1 on the waiting list for three weeks; perusing the catalog for audio books on cassette (because Lola is old school and doesn’t have a CD player) for the endless hours on I-81.  But that’s necessary when I spend an entire week moving from here...

… to here … 

... to here … here … 

... to here. 

Usually with this ...

or this.

It is glorious. 

Anyway, suffice to say that the countdown has begun, the book pile currently numbers 11, and I’m itching to load up Lola and hit the road.  Unless… does anybody know of a flight from D.C. to Charleston, SC that doesn’t cost $500?  Or some frequent flyer miles that they’d like to unload?  Because that would be excellent, too.


  1. Read Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls! Not that you need another book in your pile. But you know, if it's at the library, pick it up :)

  2. I don't have Half Broke Horses, but I do have The Glass Castle also by Jeannette Walls in my pile of beach reading. Maybe I'll add that one too!

  3. What are the 11 books that you're taking with you? Curious fellow bibliophiles want to know :-)

  4. So far the pile includes "Bloodroot" (A. Greene), "Never Let Me Go" (K. Ishiguro), "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" (J. Ford), "Blue Like Jazz" (D. Miller), "The Outlander" (G. Adamson), "Team of Rivals" (D.K. Goodwin), "Dragonfly in Amber" (D. Gabaldon), two Kathy Reichs novels, and two audiobooks (James Patterson and Dave Barry) for the car ride. And there are the two with the wait lists. But there are still three days until I leave, so this is by no means final. (Part of me wants to just scrap all of these and just take "A Suitable Boy," which will take me until next year to finish, but that's unlikely.)

  5. Oh, and the third Stieg Larsson (Dragon Tattoo) book.

  6. Might I suggest Rebecca Wells' latest "The Crowning Glory of Calla Lilly Ponder" Not a ya-ya follow up, but similar voice. And if you want total brain candy I just read Kristen Chenowith's bio, super delightful!

  7. I'll be interested to see what you think of Never Let Me Go. Just have to say that I LOVE A Suitable Boy!
    Have a great trip - you have some fantastic books to read :-)