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Travel Diary: 6 Books To Bring On Your Next Trip

Travel Diary: 6 Books To Bring On Your Next Trip

Few things make me happier than being on the second day of a weeklong vacation and settling into a new book.

There’s so much promise ahead — days to relax, some 300 pages to devour and not a screen in sight. That’s why I bring real books with me on vacation — even though I know it’s ridiculous and there are these magical little devices called iPads. I’d rather check a suitcase knowing I have five real books in there than carry on a bag with an e-reader.

To each her own! Check out six books to bring on your next trip below.

1. If you want to laugh: Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple.

This book came out in October, so I have not yet read it yet, but I will be devouring it in 2 books from now. Semple is the hilarious and brilliant author of Where'd You Go Bernadettea book that made me laugh out loud on a plane multiple times. Semple is an author and a screenwriter, with credits including Beverly Hills: 90210Mad About You (my all-time favorite sitcom tied with Will & Grace), and Arrested Development. So any book she writes, I will read. And any show she writes, I will watch. We're basically best friends in my head.

2. If you want to feel delighted: The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More by Roald Dahl

This small collection of Roald Dahl’s short stories makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I think the best blend of travel books include lighter and heavier pieces, and Roald Dahl’s writing has the ability to feel light but also deeply moving, even when reading children’s stories as an adult. Dahl did write stories for grown-ups too, and if you’re interested in those, you can pick up a larger collection of his short stories to bring along, too. 

3. If you want to get lost in beautiful writing: Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith's new novel comes out November 15, just in time to devour over the long Thanksgiving weekend. The story is about two women and their friendship, which grows more complicated as the two grow older, and is sure to be a brilliant masterpiece like her previous work.

4. If you want to feel jolted awake: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

I had no idea what this book was about when I bought it. I was about to leave on my honeymoon, wanted to read something by Joan Dideon and liked the title. Turns out this is probably the very last book you would ever take on a honeymoon, since it’s about Dideon coping with her grief in the year after her husband dies suddenly from a heart attack. It’s heart-wrenching, mind-bending and made me feel like someone was simultaneously punching me in the gut and smacking me across the face. But, it’s also one of the most beautifully written, inspiring and thought-provoking books I’ve ever read, which oddly, is exactly the kind of thing I want to read when traveling. 

5. If you want to feel consumed by the story: The Mothers by Brit Bennett

This highly anticipated new book comes out October 11 and sounds like the kind of novel you have to sit down and consume immediately. The coming-of-age story is set in a small town and follows a 17-year-old girl who becomes pregnant after a romance with a pastor's son.

6. If you want to feel re-centered: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I read this book every few years because it pulls me out of whatever day-to-day minutiae I’m hyper-focusing on and provides some much-needed perspective. I realize not everyone enjoys re-reading the same book over and over, so if you’re all "been there, done that" with The Alchemist, try one of Coelho’s other books. He has a new one called The Spy coming out in November

Recipe: A Toast To The Weekend!

Recipe: A Toast To The Weekend!

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