Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bon Voyage Part 2: Books and Music

One of the things I look forward to most about a vacation is having more time to read.  Since I've been to Italy a couple of times before, I will feel absolutely no guilt if I spend a whole afternoon reading at a sidewalk cafe.  Unfortunately, I had my heart set on reading two books in particular and the Universe seems not to want me to read them.  I've been meaning to read The Blind Man's Garden by Nadeem Aslam and Frances and Bernard by Carlene Bauer, but I really don't know much about their writing and theyr'e sort of best-sellery type books, so I've been saving them for vacation.  My library has both of them and no one had been checking them out, of course until yesterday when I went to go get them.  All three Barnes and Noble stores near me also seem to be sold out of them.  I thought I would finally get them this morning when I realized I could check books out of other libraries in my county, but they're new books and therefore restricted.  I guess I'll just have to wait until I get back to read them.

Instead, I will be reading...
Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson (for which I couldn't find a good picture)
The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

I'm expecting it to be kind of stupid, but I've heard good things about it and it sounds fun anyway.

and then I'm trying to decide whether to lug around my hardcover copy of Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel or pick up Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcon.

Lost City Radio is about a subversive radio station during the dictatorship of a fictional South American country (but loosely based on Argentina and Chile).  It's right up my alley, but...

Bring Up the Bodies is the second book in a series by Hilary Mantel.  I read the first one and loved it, so I can be sure that this one won't disappoint me.  Both books are hardcover, but Bring Up the Bodies is a little bigger.

I am aware that I wouldn't have any of these problems if I had an e-reader.  I could just download whatever books I want right now and never worry about them being sold out, checked out, or too big for my bag.  I just refuse to get one.  I like the feel (and smell) of a real book and the experience of going to the library or book store to go get it.  My life would probably be a lot easier if I just cave in and get a Kindle though.  For now, I'm being stubborn.

Travel music is a little easier.  I have a feeling I'll be listening to a lot of Renato Carosone, even though he's from the wrong region of Italy...

I'm also excited to listen to Surfer Blood on the plane, on train rides, buses, etc.  Their new album Pythons is so good... melodic and summery, but with a grungy, post-punk edge.  Their earlier stuff is a little rougher, which I actually prefer, so I'll probably be reviewing their whole catalog on this trip.  Did I mention they're going to be on the cover of the next issue of XO?!

Of course, there's always my old reliable Lonely Planet travel guides.  I can't go anywhere without one.

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