Top Ten Tuesday: Vacations: Good, Bad, and Ugly

For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:

Today’s topic was:

October 11: Books I Read On Vacation (bonus points if you tell us where you were!) (Submitted by Dedra @ A Book Wanderer)

But decided to change it a bit and make it books about vacations:

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim – Four different English women decide to rent a home in Italy for a month. Things are tense at first, but then they start to bond and find ways to bring their vacation back home with them.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley – A group of college friends reunite every year for a New Year’s trip. This year, they’re spending the time at a Scottish highlands estate. But then a body is found, and long festering resentments and secrets amongst the group flare up.

In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware – Nora is invited to the English countryside for a bachelorette party for a friend she hasn’t seen in about a decade. Then, she wakes up in the hospital with the knowledge that there has been a murder, but not much more than that. They time frame of the novel moves back and forth, eventually revealing what happened.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer – This is about six teenagers at summer camp at a summer camp in the Berkshires who form a lifetime bond. The novel follows them over the next thirty years, but their experiences of that summer vacation are always central to their characters. Eventually a few of them make it back full circle.

The Sanitorium by Sarah Pearse – Le Sommet is a former TB sanatorium turned minimalist hotel in the Swiss Alps. Elin’s brother and his fiancée, Laure, are celebrating their engagement there, and invite Elin and her partner. But then Laure goes missing and a storm cuts off the hotel…

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan – A New Yorker heads to Singapore with her boyfriend, to go to his best friend’s wedding, and also to meet his family. Unexpectedly the family turns out to be insanely wealthy, and not thrilled about this relationship.

A Room with A View EM Forester – Lucy and her cousin, Charlotte are on vacation in Florence, Italy when they realize that their room doesn’t have a very nice view. Another guest offers to swap, and this acquaintance ends up changing the course of Lucy’s life.

The Light in the Piazza by Elizabeth Spencer – The above book made me think of this one, also set in Florence. In this case, it’s the destination of Margaret and her daughter, Clara. Visiting from North Carolina, Clara finds a romance that draws her mother into a moral quandary.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple – When her daughter Bee wants to go to Antarctica as a reward for good grades, it presents a challenge for her reclusive mother Bernadette. But the planning ends up throwing Bernadette over the edge and she disappears. To find her mother, Bee goes to the ends of the Earth…


Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make Me Hungry

For That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday:

September 1: Books that Make Me Hungry (They could have food items on the cover, foods in the title, be about foodies or have food as a main plot point… they could be cookbooks or memoirs, etc.)

I actually did a list like this a few years ago. But I took up the challenge again and came up with ten more. I must confess, I’m not much of a foodie. Oh, I like food, don’t get me wrong! Give me something I like, and I’ll eat plenty of it!. But I can by a picky, finicky eater. I don’t like to cook. And there are lots of foods I don’t like. So making me hungry is an uphill battle for a book. But here are some that have accomplished the task!

1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl- This is sort of a no-brainer! I mean there’s a whole room made of candy! I used to fantasize about eating my way out.

2. Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson– There is a character in this who is homesick for England and it’s food. Actually, a few of the descriptions of British food, did make me a bit peckish (though a few also make me wonder what that character was thinking!). The description of some of the Brazilian foods and fruits also sounded good.

3. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor– This book make me crave fried plantains! Actually it made me want to try several of the African dishes.

4. Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe by Heather Webber– A lot of the food served at the Blackbird Cafe sounds wonderful, but if I had to pick just one thing I’d want to eat, it’s the pie.

5. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan– I pretty much craved really good Chinese food, the whole time I was reading this book.

6. The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert– Basically any food involving apples sounds appealing when reading this book. Apple pie, tart, sauce, and cider of course.

7. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee– This doesn’t stand out in my mind for food related reasons, but at the same times of the food descriptions definitely made my stomach growl.

8. The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen- Confession: I have a terrible sweet tooth, that wasn’t helped by the sweets that the title character of this book also loves.