Rides, Relaxation and Reading.

Beginning early last Friday morning, I have been traveling around New England. A book has been my faithful friend when I was in limbo between destinations. Taking a bus to Boston to visit friends from school, and later the ferry from Woods Hole to Oak Bluffs, my book accompanied me.

Saturday afternoon I met my family at my grandparents’ summerhome in Martha’s Vineyard. Luckily, the weather was in our favor, and we made it to the beach each day of our vacation. A true Long Island girl, I know how to pack a beach bag efficiently– and by efficiently, I mean one that is neither jammed with crap I won’t use nor too heavy. Essentials include:

  • my book (of course!)
  • sunscreen (of various SPF depending on the current condition of my tan)
  • bobby-pins (gotta keep those pesky fly-aways back!)
  • a water bottle (hydration is key for an enjoyable few hours on the shore)
  • a beach towel (…obviously)
  • any chapstick that is SPF 15 (nothing–I repeat, nothing, is worse than sunburnt lips)
  • my ipod & headphones, and
  • snacks. (add lunch, if you get an early start)

Anyway, spending so much time at the beach also gave me plentiful hours to kill as I baked in a golden glow. For the majority of that time, I read.

Accompanying me in spirit throughout my aforementioned journey and on the beach was the Joad family, from The Grapes of Wrath. I have to say, as much as I sympathized with their struggles, I didn’t love the book all that much. In fact, I appreciated more Steinbeck’s prose than the plot itself. Although I suppose that the slow progress and banal repeated events that created the ‘plot’ mirrored the migrant worker’s lifestyle during that time period.

I spent this morning in a car for 6 hours as my dad drove home. During some of this time, I learned of the fate of the Joad family: or more accurately, learned of an event that gave somewhat of a conclusion to one of the character’s life trajectories. (Sorry for the crypticism, don’t want to spoil the book!) During another sector of this time, I began Animal Farm, which hooked me much more than the documentation of the life of the Joads.

Arriving home before I was able to close the short fable, I quickly unpacked before beelining my couch to finish it. I suppose that’s the avid reader’s lifestyle, though. Traveling by ferry, bus or car, my books travel with me. Relaxing on a beach towel or the couch, I’m bound to read.

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Day 2: Breakfast and Books

So my sister came home from school last night. Or more accurately, my mom and I went to New Haven to pick her up. The whole Bridgeport train situation made the (what was supposed to be an) hour and a half drive to get her seem more reasonable than making her travel via bus, train, subway, bus (repeat?) to get home. 

As I’m sure you can imagine, the traffic was terrific terrible. Driving three hours there and two hours back, we finally arrived home at 8pm. But I’m not (really) complaining. When I woke up this morning, I shared the am hours with my sister 🙂

While drinking coffee and eating breakfast, together we compiled a list of books to tackle over the summer. From the minds of two nerds book-lovers arose an extensive list… probably one that is unrealistic for a month, but fun to look at anyway. I divided it into two sections: one of the classics that I wanted to read, and one of bestsellers and suggestions by friends, family, my go-to college blog, etc.

Classics

  1.  The Catcher in The Rye (seriously, how did I go through high school without reading this one?!)
  2. Treasure Island
  3. A Farewell to Arms
  4. The Importance of Being Earnest
  5. Animal Farm
  6. Of Mice and Men

Recommended:

  1. Looking for Alaska
  2. The Tenth of December
  3. Whiskey Beach
  4. Lolita
  5. A Prayer for Owen Meany
  6. The Best of Me
  7. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Where to begin…