Counting down to vacation — what books should I bring?

It’s Monday, and here’s what I’m thinking about – VACATION!  Our months-of-planning trip to Italy happens this Thursday.  Mentally, everything else is taking a back seat.  Our weekend was filled with must-dos, from confirming with the cat-sitter to making last minute itinerary changes.

My big question for all of you is, what books should I bring on vacation?  I’ve posted a survey on the right, so please weigh in!  And feel free to comment if you have other ideas.

Italy is a country I’ve wanted to visit for a long time – amazing history, culture, wine, food, and scenery.  We’ve had trouble with the planning since there’s so much to see, but right now the itinerary is Florence, Siena, Cinque Terre, Sorrento, and Rome. We’re bringing Rick Steves and Lonely Planet.

What else is on my to-pack list?  Maybe the new novels by Jonathan Tropper or Christopher Moore.  Maybe Tallula Rising, the sequel to The Last Werewolf.  Maybe Gone Girl, since everyone’s reading that.  Gillespie and I also looks good. I’m also due for something by David Mitchell or Haruki Murakami, or maybe something from my Classics List.

On last year’s vacation I went through four books, and I remember where I was for every one of them: The Book Thief, Assassin’s Apprentice, Ender’s Game, and Before I Go to Sleep. That’s why picking good travel reads is so important.  I’ve got a lot of plane and train travel coming up, so I’m looking forward to lots of good reading.

If you’ve been to Italy, I’d love to hear any travel suggestions.  But please, do weigh in with your book recommendations.  What was your favorite vacation read this summer?

  7 comments for “Counting down to vacation — what books should I bring?

  1. August 26, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    The bigger question is: which ones do you leave at home?

  2. August 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I am ALL THE JEALOUS that you’re going to Italy. I studied in Perugia (it’s between Florence & Rome) for a semester and loved it. If you can make it to Capri/Anacapri I recommend that. There’s a ferry that goes from Sorrento to the island and it’s gorgeous.

    I would def recommend the new Moore for the trip, though if you have the hardback that could be a little bulky to pack. I would also recommend Attachments by Rainbow Rowell.

    • August 28, 2012 at 6:50 am

      Perugia sounds pretty amazing — they make chocolate, right? I’m jealous of anyone that’s studied abroad. We’re looking at whether to go to Capri, thanks for the recommendation!

      I haven’t heard of Attachments, what’s that? I’m taking the Kindle so no worries about weight! Just trying not to spend too much on books — expensive trip ahead.

      • August 28, 2012 at 10:13 am

        They do make the chocolates there! It’s a fun town in the area of Sienna and Assisi. If you make it to Capri I recommend going to the top of Anacapri. There’s a ski-lift type thing you can take up and there’s a gorgeous view up there.

        Attachments is a romantic comedy that I didn’t realize was a romantic comedy until I had already fallen in love with it. The main character has to read people’s emails at this newspaper to see if they’re violating any rules and he reads all of these emails between these 2 hilarious women. It’s so good.

      • September 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm

        Alley, I read Attachments in a day, perfect vacation read except I had a hard time putting it down. Thanks for the great rec! I never would have heard of it.

  3. August 28, 2012 at 8:23 pm


    Since you are taking Kindle with you, you can download Some Must Watch from It’s a spine-tingling read.

    Have a nice time.

  4. September 13, 2012 at 9:39 am

    Tried to add a reply after your last comment, but it doesn’t seem to be letting me. Anyway, glad you enjoyed Attachments!! Rowell has a new book that’s out in the UK and should be out in the States soon called Eleanor & Park.

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