Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Vacation Reading

(PHOTO: New Year's morning in Hawaii on the hotel balcony. A Coke Zero and great reading!)

As I mentioned earlier, I read seven novels on my Maui vacation. My friend's husband was appalled. "What!?" he said. "That's all they could find to do in Hawaii? Then, I don't want to go there!"

We were there a full week and did our share of tourist activities. What we really needed was to relax in a beautiful setting. There's nothing more relaxing than reading a book on the beach (or on the balcony overlooking the ocean). The salty air. The crashing waves. The clapping palm trees. Ahhh.

What a treat to be able to just hang out after our stressful, busy December! Since my relatives didn't use the Amazon Wish List I prepared, I didn't have time to get the books I've been wanting to read. I had to live with what was stocked at the bookstore. I was pleased to find a few books by some of the authors on my LJ friend list as well as at least one recent award winner that I was curious about.

I'm pleased to report that of the seven books I read, I LOVED six of them. Since I really hate to bash books, I'll focus only on the ones I enjoyed.

My Hawaii vacation reading:

1. Contents Under Pressure by Lara Zeises. As you can see in the picture above, this was my New Year's Day reading. I tried to get anyone but you at the bookstore, but they didn't have it. I was happy to find Contents Under Pressure on the shelf. I grabbed it up the minute I saw it, and I was not disappointed. I totally did not want this book to end. I sat staring out at the ocean imagining what might have happened next. Then, a pale bozo popped up an umbrella and blocked my sun and the spell was broken.

2. Chicks with Sticks by Elizabeth Lenhard. I thought this was an interesting idea--knitting bringing people together. Okay, so it's symbolic and makes sense, but it was unique in a high school setting. I really cared about these characters and wanted them to remain friends.

3. The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall. I'd heard a lot about this one due to the recent press. This was a great, nostalgic vacation read. I loved it, but I'm also curious. It seems to have broken a lot of rules ... and it didn't matter! I fell in love with the characters and wanted a sequel. Now.

4. Bras and Broomsticks by Sarah Mlynowski. OMG! Too funny! Great voice. Great characters. Fun plot and magical high school drama. I can't wait for the sequel.

5. Monkey Business by Sarah Mlynowski. Okay, so this one is not YA. It's about a bunch of sex crazed MBA students. At this point in my vacation, my husband was giving me a hard time about all the kids' reading I was doing, so when I ran of of books the second time, I picked a pink book in the adult section. I had to hide this one when we got back onto town. I didn't want my young nieces picking it up out of my luggage! At any rate, I love Sarah Mlynowski's writing.

6. Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen. This one hit me hard. It's the type of story I've always wanted to write, but have always doubted I could do well. I was absorbed in the characters and the choices they made. I wanted to keep the characters from harm, to protect them from the choices they made. I had tears in my eyes at the end of this one.

I need to go back and study these. I wish I would have read these with paper nearby. With each book, I noticed something different and wanted to go back to analyze certain parts. Naturally, I don't remember what parts I wanted to study! With some it was the characters; with others the plot; with some I wondered what the author did to make me really care about the character or how they made me feel so sorry or scared for a character.


At 10:53 AM, Blogger Alexis said...

I absolutely love the beach and CANNOT go there without a good book, whether it's the Jersey Shore or the Caribbean. I'm so much like you--I don't like to DO stuff on vacation. I just like to be on the beach, read, and take an occasional dip in the water. I even read a Patricia Cornwell crime novel on my Jamaican honeymoon!!


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