Sunday, May 18, 2008
The Sunday Salon: Vacation Reading
Just one of the many fabulous parts of vacation is the huge amount of time I can devote to reading. Most of my vacation reading takes place during the car trip; in this case, the trip was a total of 16 hours round-trip, and I probably read for 10-12 of those hours. Dr. H. likes to listen to an audiobook; my teenager reads, sleeps, and listens to his iPod (sometimes all at the same time); and the younger two alternate between watching DVDs and playing.
Growing up, car trips were much different. For one thing, my father liked to wake us up around 2 a.m. to get started on a trip. In those days before carseats and mandatory seatbelts, we kids had the luxury of traveling with the seats folded down in the back of our big blue station wagon, sunk deep in a pile of blankets and pillows. Also, my mother heavily dosed us with Dramamine (even though we weren't prone to car sickness), so we slept pretty much the whole way, awakening every few hours for a groggy rest stop. When we did clear out of our drug-induced stupor, we sang. My parents would start with old college fight songs (University of Illinois) and head into "Clementine," "I've Been Working on the Railroad," and "Waltzing Matilda" (which I learned around age 12, by the way, is the correct title for what I always thought was "Walt and Matilda"). We rarely stopped to eat; my mother packed sandwiches, oranges, and possibly a treat or two. I desperately wanted to toss the ham sandwich out the window then in favor of McDonalds back then; now the thought of McDonalds makes me cringe.
But I digress. While I do have fond memories of traveling as a child, truthfully, we kids probably slept the majority of our trips and my mother probably sat in her seat reading while my father drove. Just like we do now. And so I managed to read four books during our four day vacation: John Grisham's The Appeal (my review here), the hilarious Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like a Skank by Celia Rivenbark (my review here), Alice McDermott's lovely Child of My Heart (my review here), and the beautiful Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson, which I've not yet reviewed. Except for the Grisham novel, the reading was exceptionally good and satisfying.
I'm now reading Mildred Walker's Winter Wheat, which so far is wonderful--very reminiscent of Willa Cather's My Antonia. This week I'm planning to get my TBR list finished and up on my blog solely so that I can have the satisfaction of publicly crossing off books as I read them. I'm not sure what that says about me, except that I'm one of those people who likes to cross things off of lists. Probably I will even list books that I've read recently for the sheer pleasure of the crossing-out process.