Sunday, July 10, 2011

Reading on Vacation

Every summer, I take a summer vacation near a beach. Most times, it's Cape Cod, but this year I'm spending a week on Block Island. One of the things I love most about vacation is discovering new books by browsing the books that live in the cottage in which I'm staying. This year I found John Adams by David McCullough, and so am laying down on the porch with a frosty beer and reading about the American Revolution. It doesn't get much better than this.

What are your favorite summer/beach books? I have to say that normally I indulge my weakness for Tom Clancy-style novels when i'm near the beach, so this year is a bit of anomaly.


  1. I find summer vacation to be a good time for sprawling epics. Last year it was The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. Any suggestions for this year?

    I also get into mystery novels. I recently learned that John Banville has been writing noir mystery novels under the pseudonym Benjamin Black, so I think I am going to crack a few of those open come vacation time.

    How're you coming along with John Adams and Sam Adams?

  2. Other than de Zoet, I haven't read any epics, much less sprawling ones. John Adams (read while sipping my Sam Adams) is probably the closest thing to one, and it's really fascinating. I like it because it's written in such a way that I can jump in and out of it during all of the inevitable distractions that arise at the beach house. It also doesn't get bogged down too much into detailing places and dates; in other words, it's not letting historical completeism get in the way of telling John Adams' fascinating story.

    For epics, tho, I did tackle War and Peace one summer and highly enjoyed it. The book was better then I had imagined, and I enjoyed the double-takes of people saying "War and Peace? No one actually reads that!" Hahahaha!