I’m coming home from Seattle today. This week kicked off a two-month travel binge for me. Between now and June 20, I’ll be in Seattle, Chicago, Victoria, Vancouver, England, Cyprus and Florida. I’m very excited for my trips, especially Cyprus — which is both a homecoming and a honeymoon of sorts.
I’m a very nerdy traveler (surprise, surprise). I board airplanes with a backpack full of magazines and books, and still grab all the newspapers from the front of the plane. A man once said to me as we waited to get to our seats, “You look like you just came from the library.”
Yep. That’s me.
For fellow nerdy travelers out there, my favourite reads of the last six months:
1. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
I’m not going to tell you what this book is about. The book jacket says not to. Broadly speaking, it’s about how one bizarre episode on a Nigerian beach changes lives. It’s a story of colourful characters, a little boy you’ll fall in love with and an event that will make you wake your husband up in the middle of the night to tell him what just happened in your book. (Although, if your husband is like mine, he will scowl and tell you that he doesn’t really like you and you should go away.)
2. Incendiary, by Chris Cleave
Again, you’ll want to wake your husband up in the middle of the night. Only read it on weeks you can afford to be sleep-deprived because you won’t be able to put it down. It’s an incredible story, a beguiling lead character, a story that mixes raw grief and true humor.
3. Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
I’m a big history geek — two degrees to prove it. But I think even non-history nerds will be stunned with this true story. Louie Zamperini was an Olympic runner and one of the people pegged to be the first to break the four-minute mile when WWII turned everything upside down. During a routine mission over the Pacific, his plane crashed into the ocean, leading to an unbelievable series of events over the next five years. Here’s how good this book is: even at 500 pages, the husband and I read it both read it within the first week it was in the house.
4. One Day, by David Nicholls
It’s a funny and sad story about two confused friends who fall in love. Sort of. And they don’t. Then they do. Sort of. You will laugh and cry.
5. The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
You fall in love. You’re head-over-heels. Your friends say that your relationship is what they aspire to, it’s so incredible. And, then, for some reason, you’re not.
Ernest Hemingway and his first wife had one of those relationships. This novel recreates their relationship, told from the point of view of his wife, Hadley Richardson.