Vacation Reading

We’ll never make investment bankers jealous, but publishing has its share of perks: daily contact with great writers and colleagues, for starters (gosh, I get sentimental around this time of year!), fun lunches, good parties, and, of course, free books.  And one of our industry’s greatest gifts is the gift of shutting down completely between Christmas and the new year.  All of us who spend all our time madly reading manuscripts and books get a week or more to do whatever we want, without worrying (too much) about the office.  We then embark on our version of the busman’s holiday: more reading!

Here’s what’s on my list:

“From Beirut to Jerusalem”

I’m thrilled to be attending the Jerusalem Book Fair in February.  I’ve never been to Israel and I have a lot to learn before I get there.  (I asked a much more widely read and religious friend for book suggestions, and this was at the top of her list, though she couldn’t resist pointing out that I might also try…The Bible.  Did I mention I’m her daughter’s godmother?  She granted me a special Heathen Dispensation.)

“Exodus”

When I was 19, I traveled alone through Ireland, reading “Trinity.” It was the perfect blend of soap opera and history, and it helped me understand and appreciate what I was seeing.  Bonus with “Exodus”: I get to mentally insert Paul Newman’s face throughout.  I never said I was deep!

“To the End of the Land”

I’ve never read David Grossman; now seems like the time to start.

“Gilead”

Last person to read this one?  Better late than never.

3 months’ worth of New Yorkers

I used to roll my eyes at people who complained about their New Yorker backlog.  Now I’m one of them.  Every week I make it through The Talk of the Town and (almost always) the Fiction, and of course the back page caption contest which I will never, ever win, and I make note of all the articles I want to read, and then suddenly the new issue has arrived and I’m back to square one.

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