The summer is upon us at least on the east coast of north America and with that comes time to sit by the pool or the on the beach and read. Yup, read. I’m not one for cooking myself in the sun’s rays without a purpose. I get fidgety real fast. So, I read. I let my mind travel, and though it may be redundant, my favorite books to read on vacation are travel books. So, here are some books that have piqued my interest and only god knows if there will be time to read them.
The title alone of the first book made me read the jacket and check out its Goodreads rating (4 of 5 stars) What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman. The memoir about an unattached, younger woman and the many vacation-oriented trysts she has as a solo traveler. She calls herself “Kristin-Adjacent” on vacation, a person who plays things a little looser while she’s away. I know we’ve all thought about it, being that other me, so here is a story about someone who’s gone and done it.
Have you ever wondered what it was like to travel in the glory days of the Jet Age? William Stadiem looks as the world of Pan American in the 60s in Jet Set: The People, the Planes, the Glamour, and the Sex in Aviation’s Glory Years. The style, the sophistication, the glamour and tawdry tales of elite travelers like Grace Kelley, Elvis, Paul Newman, Hugh Hefner and Marilyn Monroe come to life with the words of the Vanity Fair contributor. Stadiem also takes some time to remind us that the 707 jet changed the world of commercial aviation, opening the skies to not only the Jet Set but also to the common man.
French Ghosts, Russian Nights, and American Outlaws: Souvenirs of a Professional Vagabond by Susan Sapno is a classic travel narritave that takes you on a trip around the world from the author’s perspective. She recounts tales of trips to Java, the Artic Circle and the Badlands of the American west. These free spirit tales make all of us wish we had the gumption to be a risk-taking travel writer.
The next two books were chosen because of women in my life. First, The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World, is one of those quit-your-job-and-run-away-to-see-the-world kind of adventures. The kind of story that makes you think, “gee, I wish I could quit my job in my 20s and travel the world with my friends.” The authors Jen, Holly and Amanda are all share the first names of three of the Changuris women, hence my interest. I also suggest that you look up the full name or click on the link and not “The Lost Girls” which is a completely different kind of story.
The final one is for the princess of punctuation: my dear, sweet, nerd wife Amanda. It’s The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction at a Time. I know Amanda will admit it openly that she has some issues with poor grammar; the irony is she married someone who is awful at it. [Yes, dear reader, it’s Amanda’s job to make these posts understandable.] She has found herself tempted at times to correct errors on chalk board signs in front of businesses. I guess this story is what would happen if her compulsion was left — shall we say — unchecked.
I hope this list gives you a good idea for some great summer reading material. If none of these are your cup of tea, allow me to suggest my own book, The Ornament: A Novel of Love, Friendship and Television News. I’m told it’s a great beach read!