Up Next… Travels with Charley (?)


I’ve been a voracious reader since I learned to read and got my first library card in grade school, so I always have at least one book that I’m reading, and a couple of backups. Beginning when I was in second grade, my Mom would let me walk to the library (a good 10-12 city blocks away) once a week and check out books. I always came home with an armload of books – almost too many to carry. The worlds they showed me fed my young imagination, and set the stage for me being the lifelong reader that I am today.

Yesterday, I returned Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon (12 days overdue), and renewed The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larson so I could finish the last 30 pages without a fine. After that, I went to Blue Hill Books – my favorite indie bookstore anywhere – and picked up a copy of Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck, which they had ordered for me.

Books stacked on the living room table waiting to be read include Michael Capuzzo’s The Murder Room, Lost by Alice Lichtenstein, Road Trip USA, and a half dozen travel guides to various states and cities. Also on the table is The Thieves of Manhattan by Adam Langer – devoured in between bouts of Blue Highways, and waiting to go to my daughter.

In addition to the books, I subscribe to a handful of magazines. Most are monthly but there’s that good old New Yorker in the mailbox every week…

I started Travels with Charley yesterday, and after reading the intro by Jay Parini I found I couldn’t get into the book! Not sure if it’s because I’ve just finished the final book of Stieg Larson’s trilogy, or that I’m not the sophisticated reader I like to think I am…

So, I put it aside and started on The Murder Room, which is a non-fiction book about a group of criminologists, FBI profilers, police detectives, etc. who meet in a room in Philadelphia once a month to review a “cold case” that is presented to them and decide whether they want to try and solve it. From the first page it is riveting, and I guess I’ll blow through it and then give Steinbeck another go.

This morning I was talking with my friend Gigi who is reading The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein – a novel whose narrator is a dog named Enzo. Googling the book, I found a summary/review that convinced me that Gigi is right – I need to read this book too. Portland Public Library has three copies, and I am 5th on the list for one of them!

Mysteries – true and not true, novels, books about travel, books about (or by) dogs. These are my current reading list.

Now I need to make a list of books to take on the road…

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About Maureen Farr

I am a graphic and web designer – and the publisher of the print version of Arts Guide, a free guide highlighting the arts, dining, events, and more on the coast of Maine. In addition, I am a visual artist working in mixed media and encaustic, as well as creating found object jewelry. I am currently at work revising a short novel that I wrote as a participant in the 32nd Annual 3-Day Novel Contest.
This entry was posted in Camping in a Honda Element, Current reading list, Maine, Musings, Random thoughts, Traveling with a dog. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Up Next… Travels with Charley (?)

  1. katyallgeyer says:

    I loved the Stieg Larson series…preordered on my Kindle so there were no wait lines for the books! BTW, here’s a book that meets your criteria and I found it a great vacation read last year: Dogs of Dreamtime (http://wp.me/pt2rM-9x).

  2. Life’s not the same after “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” by Stieg Larson.
    Must have started five book and each seemed lifeless. It took “Let The Great World Spin” to get me reading again. Can’t imagine reading Steinbeck again. But then, you have a goal, and an exciting one at that!

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