Monday, August 13, 2007

What I [hope to] read on my summer vacation – by FM

It’s that time of year again: before summer's end, the Mice will be heading to the lake for a week of fishing, beer-drinking, sunning and reading on the dock. I haven’t had a full week’s vacation since last August: I am in desperate need of a break. As I’ve done every lake-week for the last five or so years, I’ve collected a stack of books from the library and from hoarding any recent purchases. Mr. Mouse usually gets through 1-2 books during vacation; my current record is 17. [To clarify: (a) he is a lot more active than I tend to be on vacation and (b) I read really quickly.] Here is this year’s list: 18. I’ll reconvene after we get back and report on how many I actually got through.

  • The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins (1860). This one scarcely counts as I only have 200 pages to go.
  • Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett (1989). From my friend Kevin C. It’s about dragons – I love dragons.
  • Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield (1998). Since I’ve already read about the Battle of Thermopylae in the original Greek and in Frank Miller’s graphic novel (not to mention seeing 300), this should give me the last point of view I need.
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss (2003). About punctuation. Right on!
  • Portrait in Sepia, Isabel Allende (2001). Translated from the Spanish, this one was a gift from my mom.
  • A Good Dog, Jon Katz (2006). It’s about dogs. Impulse buy (3 for 2 table) at Borders.
  • The Summer of My Greek Taverna, Tom Stone (2002). $4 table at Borders.
  • Long Ago in France, M.F.K. Fisher (1991). Ditto $4 table.
  • The Best American Short Stories – 2003. Ditto $4 table. I don’t read many short stories so I figured this would be good for me.
  • The Children of Hurin, J.R.R. Tolkien (2007). Finished posthumously by Tolkien’s son. How could I not?
  • Mike and Psmith (1909) and Enter Psmith (1935), P.G. Wodehouse. I read a mention of the Psmith books a while ago which said they were very funny. I’m a sucker for British murder mysteries of this era so I thought I’d branch out.
  • Blandings Castle, P.G. Wodehouse (1935). Six short stories.
  • Tales of H.P. Lovecraft (collection, 2005). I’ve never read any Lovecraft: the book jacket calls him “the 20th century successor to Poe as the master of ‘weird fiction'.” I like weird.
  • The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell (1996). This book was mentioned on this blog (which I think is very funny and a great source of information). That’s all I know.
  • Archer At Large, Ross MacDonald (omnibus, 1970). Three Lew Archer novels.
  • Quicksilver, Neal Stephenson (2003). Other than TWiW and the Archer omnibus, this is the only really big book I’ve got this time: 916 pp. As I mentioned, I read quickly so big is good. Plus it’s the start of a series so I hope I like it.
  • Cell, Stephen King (2006). This one I’ve read before once so it’s my emergency book in the event I get through all the others.


  1. "The Sparrow" - Excellent. Required reading my freshman year of college and I can easily say that is one of the only required reading items I actually finished. Or started, for that matter. Good choice.

  2. Excellent! You're the second person who's recommended this book - now I'm really looking forward to it. (You're not the Anna B. I know and share T'giving with, are you?)

  3. Yes! I am honing my charade skills as we speak.

  4. I see that you are going to be reading (or are reading) Guards!Guards! by Terry Pratchett. This is another all time favorite of mine. I'm looking forward to reading your review on Blogcritics! :) (I write for them too)

  5. Thanks for the visit here, Katie. I just finished my last library book, Quicksilver (L O N G), and now that the tomes with the deadlines are done, Guards! Guards! is next on my list. (It was given to me by my friend Kevin C. - who has fantastic (i.e. I like it) taste in books and film.)