Vacation Reading

My vacation reading falls into four categories:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Beautiful collected works that I will dip in and out of and keep scattered around the house because they are so beautiful to look at, until I put them on my shelves to keep forever.  At the top of this list is William Trevor’s “Selected Stories” which replaces an older paperback Collected that is thicker than the phone book and has pages falling out from the spine being cracked so many times. There are no words to describe how much I love William Trevor.  Ann Beattie’s “The New Yorker Stories.” The jacket for this book is so lovely that looking at it online really doesn’t do it justice; it doesn’t capture the gloss of the red and the tiny detailing along the side which looks like perfect diamond perforation exposing robin’s-egg blue behind it.   “Selected Novels and Short Stories” by Patricia Highsmith.  The table of contents includes stories called “The Baby Spoon” and “Oona, the Jolly Cave Woman.”  How could you not want to read?
  • Paperbacks that are short and may or may not have a parable-like simplicity.  On vacation I am all about the super-ambitious, or the page-turningly easy, and not much in between.  That was why I was delighted to receive a parcel full of Penguin paperbacks which contained “The Year of the Hare”, “Hector and the Search for Happiness”, “Light Boxes” (points for having pages that contain only a single sentence!), and “Twitterature”, which I’ve blogged about before, and which is even funnier than I anticipated.  (First entry for “Candide” by Voltaire: “If you try to bang your boss’s daughter do you get canned?  Hey, she came on to me.  What is sex anyway?  I’m clueless?  And exiled.”)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • In between and for a palette cleanser I will peruse Leanne Shapton’s “The Native Trees of Canada” which has no words at all, other than a label identifying the leaves on the page and which smells heavenly (as others have noted) like paint and really thick paper.  Will fantasize about having one or two as prints for my walls and which I would pick if I could only pick two.
  • Granta Pakistan which I have been saving to read cover to cover, but will likely devour the fiction first.

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