When you travel whether it be on a quick flight up the coast, a few hours across the country, 14 hours across the world, over night on a train, or a day trip on a boat (please insert “I’m on a boat” song here), you have a lot of time to read…. A LOT…sometimes it feels like endless amounts of time. When you travel in South East Asia you also get to read during this time…
…and it makes up for all those times you attempted to pass the hours in the back of a buss by reading, but instead passed the time with your head under your sweatshirt trying not to vomit. YaY!
In other words, in 6 months time, I had tons of reading time. So I thought I’d share with you the books I read, 12 books to be exact. I can’t tell if I should pat myself on the back for reading so much, or take some speed reading classes because 2 books a month is something my 6 year old little cousin could do in her sleep.
***Side note: I just joined GoodReads and of course I started stalking all my friends lists of books they have read, and I’m wondering if it’s possible to get a job where all I do is read all day because I now have an endless amount of books to read. I need to step up my game.***
Don’t worry, NO spoilers ahead, just my overall thoughts about the books….read away!
1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I started this one in April when we were in Boracay, Philippines. I did really like the book and it brought me back to my high school days, but my favorite part of this book was that I read it at the same time my sister did. We didn’t plan it, but when I finished it I messaged her and told her to read it. Little did I know that back home in Oxnard, CA my little sister was reading the same book I was at the same time. A world away, but I felt closer instantly.
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
I “read” this book in middle school or high school (one of those) like everyone else did. Only this time I was determined to actually read it without the CliffsNotes, and I was going to love it! Everyone loves this book, it’s a classic! Right? Well, my brain disagrees. I hated the main character, and maybe he is meant to be hated, but I couldn’t take it. I got a little over halfway through the book and I finally gave up.
3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
So instead, I went with another classic. This time I survived and Greg didn’t have to hear me rant about what a horrible book it was. Although, I probably wouldn’t say it’s a favorite. I think my hatred for Catcher in the Rye encouraged me to give this one an extra star.
4. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Now we’re in Bali and Greg has decided to work for a week, which means I have all the time in the world to get my read on. This was also around the time BuzzFeed wrote this story: 65 Books You Need To Read In Your 20s and holy shit you guys! I have less than 2 years left in my 20s. Excuse me one second while I head to Amazon to purchase wrinkle cream and fiber supplements.
Ok, I’m back! So, I started off with The Secret History, which I heard was really long and good to read while you’re in college or after works too because it will help you be “reminded about the intensity of college friendships.” None, of these things apply to me because I’m not in college anymore and I had about zero “intense” college relationships. Unless you count the one guy who intensely didn’t like to help with group projects and whom I intensely wanted to backhand on a daily basis. But it said it was long and a must-read and I had all the time in the world to read by the pool, so I gave it a shot. And it was actually really good! It has murder. Secrecy. And yes, it’s pretty intense. I can totally see it being a movie.
5, 6, & 7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (including The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest)
I’m so late on this game, but I tried reading it when it was all the rage and I just couldn’t get past the first 25 pages. But now we were in Thailand and I had a lot of train traveling and beach hopping to do so I gave it another shot. This time, OMG LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! I read all three in a month. I just couldn’t put them down! If I was back home when reading these I definitely would have been the girl who reads a book while she walks and almost gets murdered by cars, bicyclist, or poles. I loved these books so much I told Greg all about them (which he loved…duh!) and I dreamed about them every night, which probably isn’t a good thing because that girl with the tattoo is all messed up!
8. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Another one from the Buzzfeed article that now haunts my dreams with book covers, ticking clocks, and wrinkle cream. I really loved this book. I could never have done what Cheryl accomplishes, at first I wondered if I would even want to and just thought she was crazy. But in the end it was her thing and she did it and it was very inspiring!
9. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
While looking for Cheryl’s book, Wild, I came across this one and remembered that I really liked the movie so I should read the book. The way the story is told is from the author’s perspective as he literally retraces Chris’ steps through the mystery of his life. The first-hand stories from his family and friends made me feel like I had also met the Supertramp and been part of his adventure.
10. Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman
Besides reading books, we also were able to keep up with most of our favorite TV shows while on the road. Can you really blame us? I mean, it was either that or come home early so we wouldn’t miss an episode of Breaking Bad. So yes, we did fit in some TV watching, including the new show Orange Is the New Black. We binge watched this one when we got to Switzerland and realized it’s the most expensive place we had been to and we had exhausted all the free activities around us. Love this show! You must watch right now if you haven’t already. So once we had finished every episode I got the book. I’d give the book a B-. Unfortunately, the poor grade is mostly because the show is so much better than the book. More drama, more characters, better story lines. But really when it comes down to it, this woman who could easily be me (minus the whole lesbian drug dealing situation) went to prison for something stupid she did 10 years earlier when she was young and dumb. And now she has to clean her bunk with maxi pads (sorry, small spoiler). I would not have survived.
11. Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer
Oh no, this book means we’re flying to London and our trip is almost over. I chose to read this book because it was another by Jon Krakauer, who wrote Into the Wild which I really enjoyed. This book however, not so much. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but I think what it comes down to is I just couldn’t read any more of the fantasy stories. The first quarter of the book dives into real life recent horror stories from some of those in the Mormon Church (some, not all! Don’t get your undergarments in a bunch!) which was eyeopening and scary as hell. But then it starts going into the history of the church and I got a little bored and a bit WTF, so I stopped reading it.
12. Defending Jacob by William Landay
Technically I started reading this when I was back home, but I was still on London time so I think it counts. Great thriller with a holy-shit ending. It also gave me reason #1,847 I will not be having children. Guess you have to read it to find out!
I don’t have as much travel time ahead of me, but I still like to find time to read. Before this trip I read books every few months, but I feel like I have graduated to a new level of reading where all books are like Twilight to me and I just can’t put them down. Yes, I said Twilight. My guilty pleasure. Don’t judge me.
What should I read next?