Recommend a couple of books to read on vacation.

I am down to the final days before our Big Fat German Vacation ™ and I need to take something to read during my lulls and down time.

I will be gone three weeks. I have limited room, as one suitcase is entirely filled with disposable toys and crafts for the kids and their cousins.

I prefer series, so there is a continuity on the way.

Right now, on the docket I have in a pile for consideration:

Lindsey Davis’s Falco Series that I am working through

A couple of romance novels.(Regency.)

Dead until dark and its sequel. by Charlaine Harris
I am open to suggestions and tend to stay away from sci fi, except HGTTG, which I’ve read, loved and is too thick to take along.

Let em rip.

If you like series and want something a bit different, you could try The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Deceptively simple writing - plus there are four more if you like it.

Grab a half-dozen of Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe novels. Or some of Georges Simenon’s Inpsector Maigrets, if you’re feeling more Continental.

Me, I usually try to Improve My Mind on vacations. Some hits of the recent past have been The Brothers Karamazov, Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks, and Brendan Behan’s Borstal Boy.

So far this year my “vacation” books have been *On the Road, The Things They Carried, All Quiet On the Western Front, American Gods, If on a winter’s night a traveller, The Stranger, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, *and Rabbit, Run.

I’ve had a lot of vacation time. :dubious:

I know you’re looking for series, but these books have all been at least decent, and Kavalier & Clay is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

Travel (especially to Europe) would be a good time to start the Boris Akunin mysteries. The first is The Winter Queen, and there wasn’t a dull moment (although the mystery wasn’t that difficult).

How about the art mysteries of Iain Pears? I haven’t read them, but I’ve read Instance of the Fingerpost and The Dream of Scipio, and they were both very smart and very readable.

Have fun!

Ok, ok, you said no sci fi.

I don’t like sci fi either, but I loved “The Speed of Dark” by Elizabeth Moon.

It’s not “little green men” sci fi. It’s “wow this could happen in about 20 years” sci fi.

It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.

It’s not a series, but I suggest Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones. I re-read it recently, and it was just as excellent the second time through.

It made me cry, again - and that’s something that’s rare for a book to do.
Um, as far as series, have you tried the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde? The books in this series (so far) are:

The Eyre Affair
Lost in a Good Book
The Well Lost Plots
Something Rotten

I’ve read the first three, and they were decent, light reading.

I am open to anything, and I like the art-mystery expanding my mind.
Anyone know of any good mysteries or whatever set in Germany/Denmark?

Which will be the areas of concentration for us.

I know you said you tend to stay away from sci-fi, but since you are going to Germany 1632, by Eric Flint, came to mind. Geography matters in this book!

It’s not really sci-fi, but a “displaced in time” story, like Lest Darkness Fall, except that instead on one person being transported back in time, it’s a circle of land in West Virginia, with a town and all it’s people, that get moved back to Thuringia smack dab in the middle of the Thirty Year’s War.

What would you do? What would the folks you met do? And what about when the toilet paper and the coffee runs out, not to mention antibiotics? Battle tactics? A single modern rifle, with an expert sharpshooter, could change the course of a battle.

There are sequels, 1633, 1634:The Galileo Affair, and Ring of Fire. The latter title is a collection of short stories and a novella set in the world of the other stories.

Try it. Trust me, heh heh.

I’ll gladly second that recommendation. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a great book.

[hijack]Are any of Michael Chabon’s other books as enjoyable?[/hijack]

These are great.

I am open to any suggestions and I am taking notes.

Keep them coming.


Shirley, for some (very) light reading, Jan Caron has a series of 7 or 8 novels about a minister in the small town of Mitford. It’s not “preachy” and the character development is pretty good.

I like Davis very well. She’s a good storyteller, and keeps me wondering what’s next. :slight_smile:

Lois McMaster Bujold has written enough books set in the Vorkosiverse to keep you busy reading for a year, if you have enough self-control not to gulp each one down. Most people who’ve tried her works can’t imagine that, though. :wink: Those books are considered “space opera”, but in recent years she’s begun to have a lot of “crossover” romance-reading fans. The only other author (of recognized quality) who has managed that is Catherine Asaro (who mostly icks me out - too much romance, and too melodramatic). You can learn (much!) more about Lois at her website

She has also begun writing a … well, it’s not a series, exactly, but that comes pretty close. There are two books out so far: The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls. The setting is an alternate universe, technology level late Middle Ages. The third book in this setting will be out in about six months, she says. The first two are set in an alternate Earth’s exquivalent of Spain, as the Christians regained ground from the Moors - but in the Chalionverse, there’s a different theology. And that’s all I’ll say about that. :slight_smile: Curse of Chalion is out in paperback; Paladin, apparently not yet - I just looked at Amazon.

Another author you would probably like is Mary Doria Russell. She has two books in print, and they are a duology; one story in two books (but you won’t feel suspended in midair at the end of the first). The two books are The Sparrow and Children of God. Russell is one of the few living authors I consider to be good enough to compare with Bujold. Both are outstanding at characterization, but are also convincing storytellers. Russell’s third book should be out “soon”, but it is historical fiction, and bears no relationship whatever to the first two. Russell is popular with book clubs because there is so much to process in her writing.

It wasn’t always true, but there is lots of serious fiction to be found in the SF&F (science fiction & fantasy) genres. I know that there are Dopers who are as much Bujold fans as I am (and I don’t mean just the other Bujold listies who are here), so I was surprised not to see her books recommended yet in this thread. I usually have to logoff before I get to this forum.

I do endorse the recommendation of Eric Flint’s 1632 series (though not many of his other series, alas) :frowning:

Dewey, Summerland is worth reading, but it didn’t have the memorable moments of Kavalier & Clay. It’s a coming of age adventure story with baseball, and some cool critters.

I have ruled out Dead until dawn as I have read the first chapter and am not captivated. thank goodness I didn’t learn this on the airplane and since it is a library book, didn’t haul it around for three weeks.

I might grab the Stephanie Barron Jane austen MYstery series. Those are enjoyable.

I have read Jan Karon series and they are quite lovely. If you like something along the pastoral lines like that, I highly recommend the Miss Read Novels which are something like 25 books. Set in the countryside of England after ww2 involving life in a small town and its school teacher. Just a treat.

I will be at the library tomorrow browsing and I have my notes and my amazon wish list (where I store any the books that pique my interest here.)