Sunday, January 6, 2008

Any Recommendations?

Curt and I are leaving for Puerto Vallarta on Saturday and are both a little stumped about what books to take along. Typically, we've each got two good beach books to take along. This year, zippo. I do have some Amy Tan book buried in my car that might be an option. So, my friends, we are turning to you. The qualifications for good beach reading for us are:

1. Must be entertaining (in a broad sense) and not too deep, dense or thought provoking. This is vacation after all.

2. Must be able to be found at Barnes & Noble and preferably can be found without Oprah's (self appointed spiritual leader of America- poor Gail) seal of approval on it. I'm not a big O fan. Now, if Liza Minelli had a seal of approval that would be another story, he said with quivering jazz hands.

3. Must not be a romance (straight or gay) and must not be a family history that spans centuries with hundreds of characters. That would be too confusing for a beach read and hard to jump back in after being distracted by lovely beach goers every 10 pages or so.

4. I really like essays, particularly humorous essays. I've read everything by Sarah Vowell and David Sedaris, so they're out.

So, can you help?


Mnmom said...

Water for Elephants
Anything by Bill Bryson, especially A Walk in the Woods or The Lost Continent
Devil in the White City
Team of Rivals
Widow of the South
Essays by Fran Lebowitz
Leaving Home, Garrison Keillor
The Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love
The Sweet Potato Queens Big Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner
The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio

Mnmom said...

Excellent book and very funny, based in Southern MN: Hit by a Farm: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Barn

I know what you mean about the O books - I don't pick them just on principle. She's a great woman but I'm not of her minions.

Mnmom said...

Scratch Devil in the White City and Team of Rivals. I loved them, but they don't qualify as good beach reads. Plus I bawled like a baby at the end of Team of Rivals and that won't play well on the beaches.

michaelg said...

Thanks, MNMom, for posting so many times. It makes my blog look like people are reading. I love that.

Loved the Fran Leibowitz essays and Devil in the White City.

I'll have to say ixnay on the arrisongay eillorkay. I'm Prairie Homed out. (I just want him to quit ruining the musical guests with his singing. Is that too much to ask?)
I'll definitely check out the other recommendations. You rock!

Coaster Punchman said...

How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship and Musical Theater by Marc Acito. Not deep, entertaining.

Did you ever read The Secret History by Donna Tartt? It would be a great beach book - suspensy. But for smart people.

Melinda June said...

I read Water for Elephants while I was home and I liked it.

There's also a good book called Little Heathens that some woman wrote about growing up in the depression on an Iowa farm and the NY Times named it a notable book of the year, so I'm not the only weirdo.

Have you read Postville yet (about the Lubovichers in our neighboring hick town.)

Mnmom said...

I read Little Heathens recently. I was hoping it was about my Mom's family. But compared to the nice family in the book, my family is it's own little insane asylum. Still a fun read.
Postville sounds good - a DHS classmate of mine is a cop in Postville and had very interesting stories to tell of the mixture of white Iowans, Hasidic Jews, and recently immigrated Hispanics in one really small town.