Reading on a Long Flight and Trip

A week ago I was departing on a trip to California. I’ve been reading The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin, but I didn’t want to lug that massive hardcover through airports and elsewhere. I left it at home.

I don’t have a Kindle or Nook–yet. I still like to read physical books.

At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, I discovered a used bookstore called 2nd Edition Booksellers. I would never have expected a secondhand book outlet in a major airport but there it was, and I happily searched the stacks for a paperback I could take on my flights to and from Los Angeles. I picked up a novel by David Guterson, author of Snow Falling on Cedars.

I can be a slow and distracted reader, so even though I’m home from my trip I’m still working on Guterson’s novel, which is interesting.

What do you like to read on trips and vacations? What is your preferred format?


Stealing Time With ‘The Book Thief’

I’m generally not a reader of fiction. There’s only so much time, and I prefer true stories. (I know, I know. There’s often more truth in fiction than nonfiction.) Nor do I typically read young-adult books, although I did read some of The Hunger Games and dabbled with the Harry Potter series.

TheBookThiefThat said, I recently finished The Book Thief, the bestselling novel by Markus Zusak. It was outstanding.

I have my daughter to thank. She gave me The Book Thief for Christmas, otherwise I seriously doubt that I would have noticed it. The author’s approach to the narrator was unique and brilliant.

Here’s a brief description from the publisher:

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

I can tell you that any book with a 4.37 average rating (from a total of 464,776 ratings) on Goodreads is a very solid read. The Goodreads members are a discriminating bunch.

Now I’m back in my comfort zone. I’m reading The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin. A part of me, though, still wants to be reading The Book Thief. It was that good.