Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lucy Silag´s Guest Post: Unexpected Places

Thinking about vacation reading during my last post reminded me of some times when I've been traveling and found myself reading novels that were so wildly different from my surroundings that I'd stop and have to take a look around to remind me where I was.

Lying on a beach in Greece, I plowed through Valerie Martin's gripping TRESPASS, which is set in lonely rural New York state and horrifying, war-torn Croatia.

Unable to sleep after arriving for a research stint in Paris last summer, I stayed up all night finishing MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL by John Berendt, which captures spooky Savannah fascinatingly.

Sitting in my mom's hot tub in Carmel Valley, CA, I really enjoyed THE 19th WIFE by David Ebershoff while I drank a cold can of diet Coke and looked up at the leafy trees in her backyard. In Tunis, Tunsia, I read ESCAPE by Carolyn Jessop in between visiting mosques and souks. Both of these books take place on polygamous compounds in Utah, one fictional, one the border enclave of Hildale/Colorado City.

During an epic 22-hour train ride from Delhi to Jasailmer, India, I scarfed down all 575 pages of AN ABSOLUTE SCANDAL by Penny Vincenzi, a soapy British novel about an 80's financial collapse in London.

Sometimes I wonder if reading while traveling just automatically enhances the experience of the book, no matter where your locale is and what the locale of the book is. When you are out of your comfort zone, you take deeper pleasure in those moments of relating to the emotional arch of the characters, and, conversely, if you are lying in a very relaxing beach somewhere, you might just be more able to escape and enjoy the story more than you would at home. For me, reading a great book while traveling somewhere fantastic might be as good as it gets; what are some of your some of your favorite vacation-reading memories?

-Lucy Silag
from Lisbon, Portugal

1 comment:

  1. I love this post. Certain books remind me of vacation. I carried EDGES by Leora Skolkin-Smith on a beach vacation and it still smells of chlorine from the pool! When I was a child, I read WHITE LOTUS at the Cape,though I can't remember what I took to Paris or Italy...hmmmmm.

    Caroline Leavitt