For some reason, saying “I’m going on holiday” feels so much cooler than “I’m going on vacation.” Maybe it’s because it sounds more British? Regardless, for today, I am sticking with “holiday”!
I will start by prefacing that I am not a vacation-y kind of girl. I spent a week of every summer for the entirety of my childhood going up north to the same cottage, on the same lake, with my family. To me, that place was as close to paradise as I could get. I would bring a stack of books, read on the dock all day, watch the beautiful stars at night and have campfires, play cards and forget that the world outside of our little cottage even existed.
It wasn’t until I met my fiancé that vacationing became a huge deal. Unlike me, he had grown up visiting various parts of the world and had a long mental list of places he still had to go. He marvelled at my lack of desire to travel, and I was both intrigued and terrified by his constant desire for adventure. Since we’ve been together, I have gone on several adventures (six to be exact) and I have finally caved on adventure number seven. In a few weeks, we will be going to Cuba! (I swear that boy was a fish in another life.)
Now I know Cuba is a spring break staple, and many of my friends have been, but I’ve never been one for intense heat. The thought of spending an entire week drenched in my own sweat on a sizzling beach does not sound like my idea of relaxing. But when my fiancé starts talking about crystal clear water and a constant supply of daiquiris, my defences begin to weaken. It wasn’t until he said “you can just bring a ton of books for the beach!” that I began to see the potential.
After months of perusing Sell Off Vacations, we finally booked it, and now that it’s actually on the calendar, my excitement level is rising. Even though we don’t leave for a few weeks, I’ve already gone to pick up some new shorts and am in search of a very wide brim hat. But the best part, of course, is the books.
Choosing what to bring on vacation is always the hardest part. I am notorious for sneaking more books in my bag than I could ever read, even if I had an entire month. But there is always the rationale. “But it’s a WHOLE week! With nothing to do, but read! (And go to Havana!)” I’ve been rounding up books for days now, trying to narrow my choices down to five books.
1. The Ruins – Scott Smith
I actually think I may have eliminated this one already because it’s a horror novel that takes place during a vacation. Perhaps a bad idea..
2. One Last Thing Before I Go – Jonathan Tropper
I am almost finished reading This is Where I Leave You and I love it. I’ve heard that Tropper is the king of manlit (chicklit for men – har har) and now I completely agree. Yes, there are tons of times where our narrater discusses his hormones, which seems to be one of the complaints of Tropper’s work, but I really don’t mind it at all. In fact, I find his approach to sexuality refreshing and his man humour very funny. I feel like I know the characters and learn to love them for all their flaws and vulnerabilities. Now, I must read more! I chose this one and another to bring with me!
3. Looking for Alaska – John Green
After just finishing re-reading The Fault in Our Stars, I am itching for another John Green and I have surprisingly never read any of his other work. I would very much like to change this and going away may be the perfect opportunity.
4. Plan B – Jonathan Troppper
More Tropper.. because!
5. We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
This one is getting so much buzz for being quite enigmatic. No one talks about the plot, just that it’s a crazy read and the constant debate of whether or not the mystery is worth it has me intrigued. I feel like I could devour this one in a day, which could be good for the beach, but bad for the weight of a hardcover that won’t take long to read in my suitcase. #bookproblems
6. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
I’ve been wanting one of those books that just makes you feel human lately. I know that’s a weird way to describe it, but a book that just crawls into your skin and attaches itself to your very structure. I haven’t felt like this with a book in a while and I feel like this gorgeous sounding story may be the one.
7. The Cuckoo’s Calling – J.K. Rowling
I grabbed this one as soon as news leaked about J.K’s authorship but it has remained unread on my shelf. My lovely friend Yaz recently read it and her review shot it up on my to-read this. I think this mystery could be the perfect beach read!
I would love any suggestions on these, but also I would love to hear what kind of books YOU take with you and enjoy on vacation!