Saturday, May 02, 2009

Travel Companions (and a hard but worth while competition)

So by the time you read this I shall probably be on a train going halfway up the country to my homeland, that’s right the blogs you get over the next few days are timed and have been written in advance so I have been less reading and more typing the last few days. It is a mixture of sadness and happiness that takes me up as I love seeing all my family but sadly we are doing my Granddad’s (or as I called him Bongy) ashes, it would have been his 70th birthday on Sunday. Now that may get you all doing some maths, my Mum had me when she was 16 and my grandparents helped raise me when she was at University (well in the holidays - I was with her in term time) so as my Dad wasn't around Bong was actually the closest thing to a Dad I had. Sadly almost two years ago he was diagnosed with cancer and died within seven weeks, and I think the shock, plus logistics of the Savidge Tribe (we are having a close family dinner Sunday and its 20 people) have held us off doing this sooner. I think it’s quite nice it’s his 70th seems timely. Anyway enough doom and gloom this is a book blog not my online therapy outpourings.

So like I said when you read this I will be on the train and what does one need for all good train journeys? No not a book… books. I see the books I travel with as being almost as important as whom I am travelling with. You need something for every possible eventuality; therefore I don’t take a book I tend to take two or three for each direction the ones I don’t read on the way to my destination I can read when I am at it if that makes sense? So I always take about six one of each of the following catagories;
a) Something big I have been meaning to read for ages
b) A guilty pleasure read in case the above really just doesn’t work out, you know something slightly erm… un-literary??!!
c) Something by one of my favourite authors (like we discussed on Thursday)
d) Something brand spanking new ‘just in’ as you never know
e) A good crime novel
f) Something that has been hovering on my TBR pile and reading radar for sometime
This so far has stood me in good stead (though do note this isnt the order I read them in) and ok so my bags might be a bit heavy (I always get a tut from the Non-Reader over the amount of books I “need” when we go on trips) but should the train breakdown in the middle of nowhere or we get stranded at a station hey I am all sorted thank you very much.

So for this trip I have enclosed in my luggage in reference to the above formula:
a) Midnights Children – Salman Rushdie (and the latest Savidge Big Reads which you can join in with, I think some of you are already?)
b) Angels & Demons – Dan Brown (as The Da Vinci Code was a complete cheap thrill page turner and also because I am also going to a special screening with Q&A’s with the stars and director next week)
c) Behind The Scenes At The Museum – Kate Atkinson (must try and love this book)
d) The Earth Hums in B Flat – Mari Strachan (and I am taking part in a blog on someone elses site where we get to ask the author lots of questions and you can join in – more of this on Wednesday)
e) The Point of Rescue – Sophie Hannah (because her books are just superb)
Now what about f? I was stuck I simply had too many contenders. Eventually I managed to whittle it down to five…

If you cant see the picture very well the five are; Daphne - Justine Picardie, The Girl on the Landing - Paul Torday, The Devil's Paintbrush - Jake Arnott, The Road Home - Rose Tremain or The Secret River - Kate Greville!

So which one did I pick? Well I thought I would leave you guessing and see what you come up with, which one would you have taken? Which one do you think I will have taken? I can’t wait to read your thoughts... and also if you have any particular ‘books for travel’ rules yourselves?

I was going to dish up the results of my nosey findings of what people have been reading on the tube as it fits well with this but as this blog looks a little like a business report I shall hold off with any more lists and bullet points! I am going to run a little competition though… As well as telling me which one I picked from my five and your travel reads habits, if you can guess how many of the books I actually read (and which books they were) from what I have taken I will send you a very special book filled parcel! Adds to the May Bank Holiday Fun for you all I think! You have until 9am Tuesday...

10 comments:

farmlanebooks said...

I'm sorry to hear about your Grandad. I hope that you manage to make the scattering of his ashes special.

I think you will manage to read:

1. Midnight's Children - because it is for your big read
2. Angels & Demons - because it is quick and you're going to the special screening - how amazing!!! I hope you have fun!
3. The Earth Hums in B Flat - so you can ask questions next week.

I don't think you'll manage to read more than that, but I bet you took The Secret River with you, as I said it was great!!!

How close did I get?!!

I'm interested to hear about The Girl on the Landing - I've just finished Salmom Fishing in the Yemen - you'll be able to read what I think of it soon.

The only criteria I have for travel books is that they must be paperback, and the resale value mustn't be reduced if they get scuffed a bit!! Sad aren't I?!!

Hope you had a great weekend!

megan said...

I hope you take Kate Grenville's The Secret River, because it's excellent :)

I tend to try and take two chunky books with me when I travel, and know that I will: usually get completely frustrated with one of them and not finish it, love the other and buy a zillion other books along the way!

Next time I go on a trip that's more than a week or two, I'm only going to take one book - then I'll swap it at a secondhand bookshop and so on for each book I read :) That's the plan, anyway!

Sandy Nawrot said...

The trip sounds bittersweet. It is always therapeutic to spend time with close family (usually!) but will be so hard to officially say goodbye to your Grandpa.

Sorry to copy Jackie, but I think you will stick with Minight's Children, and will dip into perhaps one more...probably Angels & Demons. You will be too preoccupied for anything deeper.

I am facing a very long trip in June...my husband, kids and I are flying to Poland and is about an 18 to 24 hour travel time. Plus once I get there, I don't do alot of chatting with the in laws because I'm not fluent in their language. So I take ALOT of books. Too many for the 50 pound baggage limits. I'm seriously considering a Kindle. I think it would solve my problems in these situations...

C. B. James said...

I always travel with too many books just in case I have a difficult time finding one I like. I also take only very cheap editions that I can leave on the plane or train or in the hotel when I'm finished reading.

On a trip like the one you're taking, I'd go with strictly escapist stuff, nothing deep at all. Life can be serious enough for me at times.

gautami tripathy said...

Sorry to know about your granddad.

I too tend to take a lot of books while travelling. Can't risk about not having any!


BTW, everything distils into reading is my new blog. Please do visit it, subscribe to it or follow it! Do help me spread the word.

candyschultz said...

I am sorry about your grandfather but good god your luggage must weigh a ton.

Lizzy Siddal said...

1) You'll race through "The Earth Hums".
2) Ditto "Angels and Demons".
3) You'll read only a few chapters of "Midnight's Children" because it's far too heavy and you have enough to think about.
4) Your mystery book is "Daphne".

May this weekend bestow everything you need.

claire said...

My guess:
You have chosen to bring Daphne.

You will have read:
Midnight's Children
Angels & Demons
Daphne

Hope your trip is/was wonderful! (Whenever you get to read this)

StuckInABook said...

Oo... Daphne will be your choice, and you'll read three and a half of 'em...

Savidge Reads said...

Thank you all for your responses am impressed how close you all got... for the answers please see Thursdays earliest blog (I should be doing one for BTT later today) but lots of you chose what I would have read which will make sense honestly!