Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Ten Books That Should Be In A Beach Bag

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I do not sunbathe and therefore I present Top Ten Books that should be in my carry-on bag (or on my e-reader when I get one) to ensure enjoyment and variety on a long flight or an even longer bus or train ride. Also useful, in combination with an mp3 player, when you want to be left alone for any reason:

  1. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. My all-time first choice for a travelling book. I know it so well that I can open it at random and begin reading on any page, yet I never grow tired of it. I am on my second copy, having read the first one to tatters. Alternative: Any of Pratchett's Discworld books.
  2. A travelogue of the place I am visiting. Preferably historical so I can make comparisons and annoy my co-tourists with useless trivia.
  3. One Georgette Heyer novel, because sometimes it’s just nice to escape into a whole different time and place. Also because I like to spread the Heyer gospel.
  4. Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, as an antidote to the strains of modern travel. Alternative: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis.
  5. A book of short stories, journalism or essays. Because it’s nice to have something that can be read in short instalments.
  6. The latest romance novel from Nora Roberts.The perfect escapism.
  7. A juicy piece of popular science. Stiff might not be the best book to read on a plane, lest you scare your seat-mates with the cover, but The Secret Life of Lobsters or Orchid Fever could be interesting conversation starters.
  8. One classic I haven’t read before. Preferably one under 350 pages long. I know a guy who took The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire with him on holiday, with disastrous results. I have no intention of repeating his mistake.
  9. One serious piece of non-fiction or literary fiction to be ignored in favour of the more frivolous books on the list. Afterwards I can always say “I tried, I really did!”
  10. And last, but not least: My travel journal, because, in the immortal words of Gwendolen in The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde: "I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train."


Birdie said…
Yes, yes, yes, what a great list! I'd pack up everything except the Nora Roberts just because mysteries are more my style than romance, but I'm right there with you on the rest.
Priya said…
Good Omens is pure fun. Agree with you on Discworld, and Three Men in a Boat made it to my list too- that book really cracks me up!!
Fun list :)
Falaise said…
I do like your list. Pretty much the same process I go through!
Yvette said…
Ooooh, I like that combo of THREE MEN IN A BOAT and Connie Willis's TO SAY NOTHING OF THE DOG. Fun!

And Georgette Heyer - perfect!
Dani said…
I love reading Gaiman in summer! I haven't read Good Omens for quite a long time, so I might have to add that to my list. Great choices!
Kati R said…
I must confess, I have read but haven't really read Georgette Heyer. I did download an audio book read by Richard Armitage. And for the life of me, I couldn't even begin to tell you what it was about. His voice was so soothing.
Bibliophile said…
Hehe, Kati, I'm the same way with Jeremy Irons. He could read the phone book to me and I wouldn't be bored.

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