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Sunday Salon: Gone shellin’

By March 20, 201111 Comments

Happy, happy Sunday and first day of spring to everyone! After about 2 straight weeks of snot, sneezing, sore throat, achiness and generally crappy health, and a winter characterized by brief periods of health bookended by various bouts with disease, I am headed tonight to Florida for a 10 day vacation [insert much rejoicing.]

My stepdaughter and I are headed to Sanibel Island, Florida, in my humble opinion, the very best place in Florida to go, where we will hang out with my mom and dad, to be joined later in the week by my husband, and then my sister, husband and her nieces, and my husband’s sister and her husband. Great family time and…shells. Lots and lots of shells. Beach. Sun. Sea. Swimming pool. And of course, beach books.

As Melody at Fingers & Prose understands, deciding what books to pack can be, well, difficult. I know I’m taking an Iris Murdoch novel I just bought, The Sea, the sea (it seems appropriate and I’ve never read Iris Murdoch). Here’s the long list of other possibilities, depending, of course, on suitcase space. Feel free to make your own recommendations, but make them quickly. The plane leaves at 8:25 pm.

Quite A Year for Plums, Bailey White
Tears of Pearl, Tasha Alexander
Heads You Lose, Lisa Lutz and David Hayward
South of Superior, Ellen Airgood
13 Rue Therese, Elena Mauli Shapiro
Alice Bliss, Laura Harrington
The Beauty of Humanity Movement, Camilla Gibb
Amaryllis in Blueberry, Christina Meldrum
Mice, Gordon Reece
The Winter Queen, Boris Akunin
The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver
Beautiful Verses, Kamila Shamsie

Obviously, not all of these can go. What to do, what to do? Also, I need to re-read Olive Kitteridge because when I get back one of my book groups will be discussing it and there’s a long-standing debate about the book that will be resolved, one way or the other. As my friend (whose on the other side of this debate) has said, she’s turning down pages! Them’s fighting words! Stay tuned when I get back for an update on the subject of this debate (hint: it has to do with Olive and her son) and who wins.

Also stay tuned hopefully for many reviews after all the books I have ample time to read on the beach, dependent, of course, upon the demands of stepdaughters, husbands, parents, sisters, nieces, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. And also of course, the draw of beer and food and shells and sand castles and sunsets and bird-watching and generally lying about.

Unless I find time (and decent enough internet access) to post from the beach, I’ll be back for April Fools. Enjoy the first day of spring, everyone!


  • It doesn't sound like you're going to get a lot of reading done :), but I would take the Akunin book. I've read a few of his and enjoyed them. The others, sadly, I've never heard of.

    However, the vacation sounds wonderful. I'm so sick of winter…and with you being sick on top of everything, it sounds like you need the break. Enjoy. Look forward to hearing how it goes.

  • Have a wonderful time!!

  • Sanibel Island looks just lovely–I particularly like the top image in your post, featuring a beach that is great for shelling.

    Take the Kingsolver. Then again, you might have already left by now. Deciding which books to pack for a vacation is such a big commitment, isn't it? After all, you don't want to be stuck with a dud. I always try to read the first chapter of any book before putting it in my suitcase. Which means I should probably be starting now to winnow down the books I'll be taking with me in June.

    Have a great time!

  • Definitely Rue Therese (haven't yet read it but hope to soon) and go for the rereading of Olive. Or take one more suitcase and bring them all.

  • Laura says:

    Hope you enjoy the Murdoch. I'd like to hear your thoughts on Rue Therese — I bought it with a birthday gift card and hope to read it in April. Have a great trip!

  • Just saw a book that looks like it will be right up your alley, being touted as A Suitable Boy meets Gone With the Wind. It's called Tiger Hills, written by Sarita Mandanna.

    Oh, wait. Am I confusing someone else's love for GWtW with you? I can't recall now. Shoot.

  • Lisa says:

    A traveling heavy reader needs an iPad or a Kindle. Treat yourself, and pack as many books as you like. Enjoy the sand beneath your toes and the birdsong and the soft caress of wind.

  • Meryl says:

    Hi Robyn. My answer to what books to take? Kindle or nook – lots of books in one light-weight product – at least for adults. Kids books… I still like as books.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I really appreciated your support and comment. IF there are any specific topics you'd like to hear about – please let me know!

    I look forward to more visits both ways,

    Meryl Jaffe

  • Oh, your vacation sounds wonderful! I could use a little beach right about now….

    Now that I have Sparky, my Kindle, taking books to read is less problematic…and certainly less bulky.


  • Anglers Rest says:

    Today has been a beautiful sunny, albeit breezy day in the South West of England. I am in desperate need of a few days away from the day job, despite only being 8 weeks into a new job I feel shattered. Too much reading of new process and procedures I think. What the doctor orders are some lay ins and sunshine.

    Have a lovely break and recharge the batteries!

  • Sounds like a great time! When I was kid I loved collecting sea shells! Oh the memories! 🙂

    Following you from Book Blogs, chimed in on the Blogging tips discussion. Blog hops are a great suggestion, I haven't officially participated in one, but I'm going to give it a try!

    Have a wonderful time in FL!

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