Need literary advice

I'm going on a trip, soon. 

The gist of this trip, I'll get into later.  But a really large portion of it will be spent sitting around, waiting.  Waiting, waiting, waiting.

When I go on trips, I have a hard time deciding which books to take.  

I am packing LIGHT for this trip.  Like, one medium carry-on.

However, I will require reading material.  For all the waiting, waiting, waiting.

I vow to only take TWO books.  They need to be thick, engaging, and of literary merit.  

War on Peace-- might be too heavy, mentally.  On the other hand, Harry Potter-- too light and I would burn through it too fast.

I need suggestions.  

What should I read on my trip?


jill alexander essbaum said...

Of course, I meant to type War AND Peace.

The war _on_ peace is still being written.

Or maybe I meant : Warren Pees: The history of incontinence in the Harding administration...

Mike said...

Or War On Pease: Aaron's Battle Royale Against the World?

On the serious tip, for me, the travel book kind of depends on the trip itself. Do you want something funny? Sad? Funny-sad-weird? What kind of world do you want to sink into? Something similar to the world you'll be occupying in physical space? Something totally different?

jill alexander essbaum said...


Let's call it a rock and roll trip.

With heavily moody overtones.

I was thinking of taking Nabokov's collected stories as one of the books.

So something complimentary.

dave said...

Have you read God is Dead yet? It's not particularly long, but it's pretty fucking great. Connected short stories by Ron Currie, Jr. Good shit.

Seems kinda up your alley.

I just read Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell and it's a really great book, although not super long.

Hmmmm...trying to think of fun, long books. Maybe I'm too stupid to read long books.

jill alexander essbaum said...

The nabokov book is the right size, length, flavor... it's about 650 pgs. i also have michael schmidts the lives of the poets, but at 1000+ pgs, its a bit thick.

and not so much fun, tho quite informative.

Mike said...

You could read part of Remembrance of Things Past. I've never been able to make it through much, though there are some really, really beautiful moments (maybe just not quite enough story for me).

Paul Auster's been my most recent obsession. None of his books are super-thick, but they're definitely worlds you can sink into.

Or how about Delillo's Underworld? That shit's long, yo.

Sarah said...

Howsabout: Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl. Dark, funny, darkly funny, definite moody overtones. And undertones. Long. The author's been compared to Nabokov.

It ain't beach reading, though I did read it on a beach, which I would not recommend.

jill alexander essbaum said...

Ooh, I read that book over Christmas.... I liked it muchly!

Mike said...

If it's a rock and roll trip, you might be interested in Black Postcards, Dean Wareham's account of life in the indie-rock machine.

jill alexander essbaum said...

it's literally a rock and roll trip. i'm going to a bunch of shows in various venues across europe.

Mike said...

If you want rock and roll, This Band Could Be Your Life is pretty thick, and entertaining. Though for some reason I imagine you having read that one before.

kitty said...

"Dr. Zhivago" should fill the bill. Throw is an Ayn Rand and you're good t'go.


Mel Sue said...

I was thinking Ayn Rand - I still haven't finished Atlas Shrugged - I started it twice and haven't quite made it to the middle. I'd love to see it made into a movie - of course Angelina would be a perfect Dabny.