I was very fortunate to getaway twice this October -- to Scottsdale to celebrate a friend's milestone birthday and to Napa Valley for a work event for my husband. Exploring destinations is wonderful, obviously, but when I travel without my kids, the other pleasure is the journey itself. I treasure the blocks of uninterrupted reading time at airports and on planes.
Here are some of the books I enjoyed this month during my getaways (mini-reviews heavily cribbed from my GoodReads. I'm booksandcarbs there if you want to find me on GoodReads).
I started and finished this one on a flight with time to spare. Perfect in-flight reading! It's a strange scenario to see the film version of something before reading the book (but necessary when, as with Bridget Jones's Baby, the movie precedes the book, at least in the States). I preferred the film's storyline, but that's not to say I didn't laugh out loud and delight in every page of the book. I hope Helen Fielding never abandons Bridget Jones as I would be happy to read about Bridge as she faces menopause, takes her kids to college, or moves into a senior-living community. Viva, Bridget Jones!
Liane's Moriarty's Truly Madly Guilty is a bit of a slow starter, but I was reading as quickly as I could to figure out what happened at that g.d. barbecue (hoping, all the while, that it wasn't something unendurable). I think what I liked best about the novel was not the suspense/mystery element but the way that Moriarty portrayed marriage and female friendship. My favorite Moriarty books are probably What Alice Forgot, Big Little Lies, and the underrated Hypnotist's Love Story. I wasn't at all disappointed by Truly Madly Guilty though. They would all make good book club selections as there is plenty to talk about.
I read all of Jennifer Weiner's novels and admire the way she speaks her mind. I don't always agree with her (though often I do), but I appreciate her honesty, humor, and vulnerability. I enjoyed reading Hungry Heart -- essays about her childhood, her parents, her high school and college experiences, her days as a journalist, and her family life. The essay about her miscarriage had me in tears. She chose Hamilton's "I wrote my way out." as an epigraph, but I wish she would have talked more about her writing process in Hungry Heart.
The main character of this novel (is it odd that I don't remember her name?) is downsized out of her librarian job in Birmingham, England and ends up buying a huge van and setting up a mobile bookstore that she drives around rural Scotland. Bookish heroine, Scottish setting, sexy farmer -- quick, breezy, enjoyable read! I bought The Bookshop on the Corner because I had enjoyed Jenny Colgan's Little Beach Street Bakery so much. If you want a getaway on your own couch, these books would hit the spot.