Top Ten Books I Plan To Have In My Beach Bag This Summer
(which I have totally not followed, please see below)
Tis the season for beach reads and road novels. I love browsing through other people’s summer reading lists especially road trip reading lists like at Conde Nast Traveler, LA Times, Buzzfeed, NPR, Electric Literature, Paste Magazine
Having spent most of my life near the equator where it is pretty much hot (or hot and rainy) any time of the year, and having to adjust to the four seasons here in Northern California, summer makes me think less of beach reads and more of escape. Of travels to unknown lands full of adventures. So I’m not thinking of putting these books in my beach bag but rather that backpack that is dragged along whenever we go anywhere – road trip, beach trip, flight.
The Hobbit, one of the best adventure books out there.
My year of meats – Ruth L. Ozeki (my thoughts)
Perhaps an unusual choice this one. But Jane Takagi is a documentary film producer who travels America looking for families to feature on this programme that promotes beef in Japan. Ozeki also covers a wide variety of issues and themes in her book, and part of the story is set in Japan, in case you’re wondering.
The white bone – Barbara Gowdy
I picked this because it doesn’t seem to be much talked about on book blogs, which is a pity as this book about elephants (yes, I said elephants) is emotional, dramatic, and moving. And it is a road trip of sorts as they trek to find their “white bone”, a relic that they believe will lead them to the Safe Place.
Lost at sea – Bryan O’Malley
Raleigh is on a road trip with some classmates she doesn’t really know. They’re traveling from California to Vancouver. There’s some soul-searching, some bonding, and something about cats.
Adventure Time: Marceline and the Scream Queens – Meredith Gran
Marceline might just be my favourite Adventure Time character. She’s a vampire and in this volume, fronts a band that’s on tour. Oh and my second favourite character, Princess Bubblegum, is their manager. As they make their way through the various weird lands of Adventure Time, all sorts of oddness crops up. Lots of fun. So it’s a journey of sorts, through made up worlds.
Wild – Cheryl Strayed
This book features on plenty of these types of lists. Not actually a road trip as Strayed is on foot for 1,100 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. I know this is a bestseller and in all likelihood you’ve read it, but in case you haven’t, it is a great read. Her determination, her inexperience, her sorrow and emotions, as well as pretty solid writing, make this a great summer read.
Homecoming (Tillerman Cycle #1) – Cynthia Voigt
The Tillerman kids have been abandoned in a mall parking lot by their unstable mother and make their way to find their relatives up north, walking, hitchhiking, living on their own wits and with whatever they can scrounge up and whoever will take pity on them. A harrowing journey for such young children on their own.
Terra Incognita – Sara Wheeler (my review)
I have a minor fascination with Antarctica and Wheeler kind of understands that. This is definitely some journey.
A time to keep silence- Patrick Fermor
A Pelican in the wilderness – Isabel Colegate (my thoughts)
It’s not fair to lump these two books together but they do touch on a similar topic of retreats. I’m not religious but I have to admire those who cloister themselves and devote themselves to their faith. So these aren’t traditional travel or roadtrip books but they do have a wandering spirit.
Book of Three and the rest of the Prydain chronicles – Lloyd Alexander
It has been far too long since I’ve read this series. I used to read and reread these books as a kid. They were a barrel of fun and adventure, as well as promising some thrill and a little bit of creepiness that make a fantastic kids’ series. And there is journeying as Taran and his merry band make it through the various realms of Prydain.