Monday, September 10, 2007

Travel Reads

Traveling is a great time to read, and I spent the weekend moving to France (oh la la). Unfortunately, I suffer from motion sickness (I know, could I be any nerdier?) so only made my way halfway through a new book.

Since I don’t have a new review to post, here are a few favorite books I’ve read while traveling in the past:
  • Shirley: I devoured all the Brontë novels as a teen but somehow never got around to Shirley. I bought a copy of Charlotte’s third novel at a bookstore in Ukraine and realized immediately I should have read it sooner. Although the book explores the industrialization of Britain, which might not be my favorite topic, Caroline Helstone and Robert Moore also experience a sweet romance. And I’m a sucker for romance.
  • A Town Like Alice: I also read this book, one of my mother’s favorites, in Ukraine. I enjoy this Nevil Shute classic, but I almost feel as if it is two books. The first story takes place during a forced march through Malaya and the second in Australia. I much prefer the first story and almost wish Shute had ended Jean Paget and Joe Harman’s story in the Japanese-run camps of Malaya.
  • The Thief Lord: Cornelia Funke’s young adult book has won numerous awards and even been made into a movie, but I do not love it. I read the book while visiting my sister in Oregon, and even the pleasure of vacationing did not temper its blandness. Although the book’s premise is interesting, several orphaned children living together in Italy, the final scenes are so fantastical they ruin the entire book for me.
  • The Witch’s Buttons: Ruth Chew was one of my favorite authors as an elementary school child. I was enchanted with her books about witches living in the everyday, mortal world, so I eagerly reread this book on a trip to Washington. I was sorely disappointed. As an adult reader, I found Ruth Chew far from the marvelous writer I remembered her to be.
  • Persuasion: I read this Jane Austen classic on my first trip to Europe. I was so involved in Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth’s story that I bit the bullet and read on a train from Scandinavia to Germany. The book is worth nausea and a headache. The enduring love the characters share is almost enough to make me believe in—and wish for—romance.

1 comment:

notaconnoisseur said...

It was fun to read about some of your travel reads. I agree with you about 'A Town Like Alice.' It does read like two different stories. I have wondered if "romance" is a little like that though. I really fell for Bryan Brown when I watched the series on TV. He was larger than life and such a hero during the war when he risked his life for the women, but back in Australia when life was normal, he was a more ordinary guy. Is that a bit like falling in love? Once the glamor has rubbed off the hero doesn't shine in quite the same way. However, I don't think that was what Shute was trying to do at all. What Shute was trying to do is beyond me. Put two good stories into one novel?