Oh, dangerous days ahead!
The Summer 2014 issue of the online book review magazine Shiny New Books (“What to Read Next and Why”) is online as of this very morning, and I am happily bouncing from review to review to review, enlarging my “Ooh! That sounds promising!” list to a potentially costly degree.
All very well and good, but I should, instead of spending time gleefully reading about reading on the computer, be loading the car for a spur-of-the-moment road trip which has suddenly materialized. We were supposed to be engaged in a small carpentry project in town this week, but the person we are helping has had to reschedule, leaving us with a chunk of suddenly “free” (well, otherwise unplanned-for – there are really loads of useful things we could/should be doing here on the farm) time.
The weather forecast is for brilliant sunshine, my husband has four days of off-time before he needs to be back at his real job, we have competent house-sitters in residence, the old open-top Spitfire hasn’t yet had a good long run this year after its spring-time tune-up, and mid-week availability of good B&B accommodation looks promising. Golly, what should we do? 😉
One of the lovely things about road-tripping is that it generally includes a fair bit of evening reading, as we are more than ready, after noisy hours in the Spit with the wind in our ears, for some quiet down time. Book choice is one of the toughest parts of packing. Proper road trip books are preferably new-to-us, highly engaging, and not too “heavy”, in the literary if not in the literal sense.
Luckily one recommendation in SNB is already available right here in my house, and Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America 1927, just released in paperback and intriguingly reviewed by Harriet Devine, is coming along for the ride. My son has just located it (in the substantial hardcover edition, published in 2013) and plunked it down on top of my duffle bag; he read it earlier this year and also gives it words of high praise.
Off we go, fingers crossed that the weather will indeed smile on us, that the car will run smoothly (not always a given, what with its age and wondrous multitude of Little British Car eccentricities), and that we will find a promising bookstore or two en route. Part of the trip will be through previously unexplored territory, and those small towns tucked away off the beaten track sometimes are the very best book-hunting ground of all.
Bye for now! (Wish us luck.)
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