I love to read and always have several books going at the same time. Usually my method of choosing a book is cruising through Powell’s Books and picking up whatever calls out to me in the moment. I pick by title, cover and sometimes author. It is usually totally random and not every one is a winner, but so far my system has worked quite well.
Since summer is almost here and some of us are dreaming of the luxury of a lazy afternoon or two stretched out in the lawn chair or on the beach with a book, I thought I would share a few I’ve enjoyed recently on my new favorite topic – Road Trips. These are easy reads and by no means high literary art. Beach books all – but with heart and humor.
The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian ~ Ok, I LOVED this book. I bought it based totally on the title and the short blurb on the cover. I could not believe it was written by a man. Someone said “Michael Zadoorian must be a wise old lady.” Agreed! This is the story of John and Ella as they take one last road trip. Ella has cancer and John’s in the grip of Alzheimer’s. Ella is determined that what they need most is a vacation. In Ella’s words…”You might ask if this is the best idea? Two down-on-their-luck geezers, one with more health problems than a third world country, the other so senile that he doesn’t know what day it is – taking a cross country road trip? Don’t be stupid. Of course it’s not a good idea.” But, turns out – it was a perfectly perfect idea! This is the ultimate road trip, love story and final act of bravery all rolled into one. I cheered them on until the very last page. This review in the Route 66 News says it better than I can.
Breakfast With Buddha ~ by Roland Merullo is another delightful read. I think it might appeal to seasoned Buddhists as well as anyone who doesn’t know the first thing about Buddha. Actually, for me, it was more about contemplating your own life’s journey.
The story centers around Otto Ringling, a middle-aged man who’s dealing with a case of “what’s it all about Alfie?” and a serious gourmet food habit as well. After the death of his parents, he’s conned into taking a road trip from the suburbs of New York to to the family farm in North Dakota with his sister’s Rinpoche (guru). Along the way Otto and his companion share lots of American misadventures as well as insightful Buddhist teachings. It’s a fun, quick read, but it also managed to give me pause more than a few times. And I loved the food descriptions as well. In short, Breakfast with Buddha is a tasty treat.
Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral ~ by Kris Radish. Ok, first, let me just say that I am not a huge fan of this author. I chose this book solely based on the premise. I love the whole idea of the traveling funeral – so watch out friends of mine – you might get a UPS from me after I move on to the Next Adventure.
For Katherine Givens and the four women about to become her best friends, the adventure begins with a UPS package. Inside is a pair of red sneakers filled with ashes and a note that will forever change their lives. Katherine’s oldest and dearest friend, the irrepressible Annie Freeman, left one final request–a traveling funeral–and she wants the most important women in her life as “pallbearers.” From Sonoma to Manhattan, Katherine, Laura, Rebecca, Jill, and Marie will carry Annie’s ashes to the special places in her life. The ultimate final road trip with more than a few interesting and memorable moments.
What’s on your Summer reading list? I’m always looking for a good read.