Your book suggestions for a long vacation

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by donsgal, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

    May 2, 2005
    SW Missouri near Branson (Cape Fair)
    At the end of January DH and I will take a long (three weeks) vacation. I know this sounds crazy, but there isn't much to do (we'll be on a very small cruise). I would like to take along a few books to read to pass the time. Since I never read fiction at home (too much to learn). I am looking for recommendations from like-minded folks.

    The only parameters I have are that the books not make me cry! I hate sad books! Also, romance novels are pretty much not my cup of tea either. What I am hoping for is something rather funny or something like "Walden", literature or a "classic" that you have read and enjoyed.

    I appreciate any suggestions!

  2. SFM in KY

    SFM in KY Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    I don't like sad books either but unfortunately that's about the only thing we have in common as far as books go.

    I read a LOT of fiction and remember my mother reading Greek and Roman mythology to me for my bedtime stories in my pre-first grade years!

    I've probably read a little of almost every genre of fiction except "modern" and now, in my 60s my tastes are pretty well set. I have a couple of favorite authors that write Westerns, one that does write Gothic Romances (but they are mostly funny and literate and you can tell them apart). One author that goes back to my earlier "romance/mystery" days ... Barbara Michaels ... many of her books have a slight "supernatural" twist, which I enjoy and quite a few have a historical background as well.

    Most of my current reading and favorite authors are mysteries ... or science fiction/fantasy ... and doesn't sound like that would interest you a lot either.

    The only actual series I can think of that you might enjoy, if you haven't read them, would be the three books by Dr. Herriot ... a veterinarian in England and they are not only about the animals he treats but also about the people and the times.

  3. Bresias

    Bresias Restless User

    Aug 30, 2005
    I recommend John Steinbeck's "East of Eden", or any of his books. They are nice and thick, too. Not particularly funny, but you really felt like you read something good when you're done.
  4. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 11, 2004
    The two series by M.C. Beaton: (Agatha Raisin series and the Hamish MacBeth series are quirky, funny mysteries set in England and the Scottish Highlands) are good vacation reading and also Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. It is found in the Romance section but really shouldn't be (more adventure, IMO). It is the best escape vacation reading ever!
    Also, "A Walk In The Woods" by Bill Bryson, about his middle-aged adventures walking the Appalachian Trail, is so funny, I laughed out loud while reading it. It is excellent!
  5. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

    Feb 23, 2005
    Southwestern PA
    Hm. Funny and/or classic lit....

    In my experience, anything by Garrison Keillor might fit your bill pretty well, especially if you can hear his voice talking in your head as you read his words. It's charming, humorous, and has a nice small town sensibility to it.

    Watership Down by Richard Adams is more on the literature side of things--not funny, but very readable, and I have to plug it since it's the source of my online name. Lots of people here seem to love it.

    Have you read the Lord of the Rings trilogy lately? It's a really fun thing to plow through if you have a lot of time at one stretch, because you don't want to put it down.

    I find David Sedaris to be completely hysterical--like, tears streaming down my face because I'm laughing so hard funny--(I esp. liked Me Talk Pretty One Day), but I don't know you well enough to know if he'd be your idea of funny.

    I'm also a big fan of Virginia Woolf--To the Lighthouse is my favorite. Anything by her is a bit of a denser read than the stuff mentioned above, but very pretty. Maybe sadder, too, but not in a tear-jerker way at all. More contemplative than really sad.

    I recently read Last of the Mohicans for the first time, and liked it. It was slow at first, but it picked up very well by the end.

    Hm. I know I'm leaving out some good stuff. Maybe I'll add to this list when I get home and can look at my bookshelf to jog my pitiful memory. I can hardly remember what I had for breakfast.... It might help too if you gave an example of some fiction you liked in the past....
  6. Brandy

    Brandy Active Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    Ok, I'm a big reader! Here are a few favorites:

    Wally Lamb's I Know This Much Is True (don't let the size scare you...awesome read!)
    Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone
    Life of Pi
    Augusten Burrough's Running with Scissors (similar to David Sedaris style)
    Gregory Maguire's Wicked (it's the wizard of oz from the witch's point of view, awesome!)
    Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
    Life of a Geisha

    Ophrah's bookclub always has wonderful books, a few of which are on this list above. I'd recommend searching the net for a list of the bookclub books and check any of those out.
  7. Pauline

    Pauline Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 28, 2003
    Diana Gabledon has 6 or 7 books in the outlander series that are really good they are outlander ,dragonfly in amber ,a breath of snow and ashes, voyager, drums of autum, the fiery cross,and lord john and the private matter
    the first 6 listed are all about Claire and Jamie Claire time travels and the situtions that she and he end up in the pastthe first book she goes back to Scotland before Culloden ,the following books bring her back to the 20th century and returning to the past till the book a breathe of snow and ashes which has the two of them in the U.S. at the beginning of the revolutionary war they are a great read with lots of information and adventure to go with some romance. the Lord John book is part of the series yet it is a different character and isn't really needed to make the other 6 make sense.
  8. ajaxlucy

    ajaxlucy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 17, 2004
    If seeing the movie and knowing the ending didn't ruin it for you, you could try Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice." If that's too quick a read, how about "Middlemarch," "Great Expectations," "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" or "Tom Jones"? If you're a doglover, "The Dogs of Bedlam Farm" is nonfiction but with a story.
  9. bluetick

    bluetick Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    southern CA
    A really fun read is The Owl Pen Reader - the Adventures of a Dauntless Couple Who Rebuilt an Old House in the Wilderness, by Kenneth McNeill Wells.

    The setting is in Canada many years ago, and includes some very funny stories as they begin what we might call a homestead. It is out of print, but used copies are available at, and