Vacation reading

By Chantel Simmons

I love going on vacation. But perhaps, wherever I go, what I love most, is the chance to -- guilt-free -- read book after book. Why spend money on plane tickets, hotel rooms, tours, car rentals, meals and more (not to mention planning it all), if you're just looking forward to reading a book? I don't know. I have no good answer except that there's something decadent about taking a break from sightseeing and laying by a pool, on the beach, or sitting at a cafe, reading a book. You're away from home, and away from laundry and bills and errands and cleaning. Maybe it's a small price to pay.

But also, I think that the books you read on holiday can define your holiday, or the place you are when reading a book can put the book in a part of your memory. I remember on my honeymoon, it raining, and I lay in a hammock reading Ann-Marie Macdonald's The Way the Crow Flies. Not exactly romantical reading. But gripping nonetheless.

While in Italy, I read Limitless. Not high-brow reading, but totally mesmerizing. And although I would always vote for the book over the movie (except in the case of The Notebook), I found the movie equally entertaining (maybe it was just Bradley Cooper I found so mesmerizing. Ahem). But while watching the movie, I actually felt myself reminiscing about sitting at a cafe in a square in Torino.

A few years ago, while in Africa, while staying at a game reserve, I met a British woman reading Stieg Larsson's trilogy by the pool. She told me how good it was, how he had died, how they were going to be made into movies. She recommended I read them. I did, and now I think of Africa whenever I see those books.

This summer, I went to Maine, Manitoba and the Finger Lakes. I chose summery, funny books. These are some of my favourites.

10 Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Real Live Boyfriends by E. Lockhart

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

What are some of your favourite vacation reads?


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