Day after tomorrow, Hobgoblin, Muttboy, and I are headed out of town, so this may be my last post before we leave. We’re visiting my parents first, in the Rochester, NY, area, and then we’re heading over to Vermont where we will spend a week hiking, riding our bicycles, and seeing some sights. We know Vermont almost entirely because of backpacking, which is a great way to see a state (its woods and mountaintops at least), but rather exhausting. This trip will be wonderfully luxurious in contrast — instead of a tent or a three-sided lean-to shared with strange people and mice, we’ll have a real bed for each and every night! We’ll have showers! Restaurants! Hot food! On the downside, we won’t be woken by a moose walking to within a few feet of our tent. But that’s okay.

I’m not sure how much reading I will do, although I will certainly take along a backpack full of books. Our vacations in the past have been rather manic; instead of lounging around all day, we were more likely to climb a mountain — or three — after taking a long bike ride in the morning. But who knows? Perhaps this time we’ll be in the mood for some quiet.

I want to mention before I go that I recently finished André Aciman’s novel Call Me By Your Name and thought it was very beautiful — a perfect summer book. I don’t have time for a full review, but briefly, it’s about a summer love affair that takes place on the coast of Italy. Elio, the narrator, is a precocious 17-year-old who falls in love with Oliver, a young scholar visiting Elio’s family for six weeks to finish up his academic book. The novel tells of Elio’s obsession with Oliver and his uncertainty about how to approach him, whether to approach him, how to interpret his bewildering behavior, and how to process his own bewildering, contradictory feelings. The book captures the brief, intense love affair of summer wonderfully well; I read it fast and was caught up in its slow, thoughtful, dreamy, sometimes anguished, mood and didn’t want to put it down and didn’t want it to end. I will admit that I sometimes have trouble reading novels about the ridiculously privileged/wealthy/hyper-educated and those feelings came out here, but I did my best to ignore them for the sake of an excellent piece of writing.

As for what books I’m taking with me, definitely A.J.A. Symons’s The Quest for Corvo, which I have begun and have fallen in love with — it’s subtitled “An Experiment in Biography,” and although its subject matter is very different from Janet Malcolm’s The Silent Woman, the two books are similar in structure and method — both are about the author’s growing obsession with an intriguing and elusive biographical subject and about the course of his/her researches. Both authors turn their research into an entertaining story — entertaining because of the information revealed about the subject and about the author.

Also Charlotte Brontë’s novel Shirley, which I mean to begin any day now. I think I’ll take Jenny Davidson’s new novel The Explosionist too. I’m not sure what else. I may grab some things that appeal to me in the moment I happen to be packing.

So I’ll be back in a couple weeks with a full report. Enjoy August everyone!


Filed under Books, Cycling, Life, Reading

18 responses to “Vacation!

  1. Ahhh, what fun it is to choose books for vacation. By the time you get back, I’ll be choosing mine for our week in The Keys. Hope you have a fabulous time on your “luxurious” trip! Oh, and speaking of falling in love, I’ve finally started _Hearts and Minds_ and am definitely doing so.


  2. Have a fun time. Since you’re sleeping in real beds, who knows, maybe you will be inspired to do more lounging 🙂


  3. Have a wonderful vacation!


  4. That sounds like fun–especially the sleeping in a comfy bed and not being woken up by a moose part! 🙂 I finally started Shirley tonight, so we can compare notes when you return. I think it might be a challenge for me as she makes reference to lots of biblical quotes and people (and literary works and words I’m unfamiliar with!) in the first chapter. Still, I’m sticking with it and will read the explanatory notes as I go. Have a great vacation!


  5. Have a great holiday. Riding bikes in the morning, and climbing a mountain in the afternoon sounds fabulous – especially if you do find the time for the odd bit of reading.


  6. Have a wonderful holiday! It sounds like you have all the elements you need for a perfect time. I am very interested in the book you mention by A.J.A. Symons and will be looking it up while you are away!


  7. Have a great vacation! I’d love to see Vermont one day.


  8. Have a wonderful trip! It sounds absolutely lovely. I know what you mean about reading on vacations…sometimes it’s nice to shake up the routine a bit!


  9. verbivore

    Have a wonderful time – which I am sure you will. Vermont should be gorgeous this time of year!


  10. Choosing books for a vacation is so much fun. Sounds like you have some really interesting selections. Hope you have a great, luxurious time!


  11. Have a great trip.

    Nice to know the André Aciman is worth a read. It’s been on the stacks for months, just waiting.


  12. I like the moose reference. It reminded me of camping in the Badlands and being awakened by a buffalo. They are so cute and fuzzy. I highly recommend the Badlands if you ever have time to head west.


  13. I have been intending to read The Quest For Corvo for about seven years now… perhaps I will finally do it!


  14. Hope you enjoy your free time, relaxing, non-tenting Vermont vacation. I just bumped into your log and am enjoying it. Thanks!


  15. Your post reminds me of the Ann Taintor image I saw, of a vintage woman with the cut-out words that say, “I love not camping.” I do love beds, showers, hot food and restaurants just like you!!

    Hope your trip to Vermont is fun, safe, and full of good weather. And no mechanicals on the bikes. 🙂


  16. Pingback: Walks and books « Of Books and Bicycles

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