On vacation, I’m a Doer. I want to eat and see and do everything I can. Mrs. SMEs, on the other hand, is a Relaxer. I discovered this on our honeymoon in Napa and Sonoma. She wanted to sit at a spa and I wanted to hit every damn winery in California. Still, we compromise pretty well and I’ve been known to sit still on vacation for an hour or two at a time, reading.
Then we got our Thailand itinerary.
It’s chock full of down time, plane time, train time, beach time and, simply, time time (13 days, including six on beaches). We’re going to bounce around constantly so I’m not going to be bored and she’s going to get to to read on the beach. Compromise! But that’s still a lot of reading time. And while I’m looking forward to finally finishing Anna Karenina, I don’t really want to lug it and three other books around Southeast Asia. The answer, clearly, is Kindle, with it’s amazing worldwide instant book-download coverage and $189 price. So we bought two.
Now the real question: What the heck do I put on the thing?
Please don’t say Franzen’s new novel. I made it halfway through one CD of The Corrections on my morning commute and found myself longing to steer into a bridge embankment. Not my style.
As for styles I do like, it’s mostly history, historical fiction, non-D&D-type sci-fi, food writing. Not much fiction. I kept trying to think of fiction I’ve read and liked and it all qualifies as historial or a close relative (The Kite Runner or Memoirs of Hadrian). Oddly enough – or maybe not, who the hell knows – I’ve enjoyed the Russian lit I’ve given a try. So, anyone have a recommendation for this genre-confused reader?