Holidays Are for Reading

I’m going to start lying when people ask me what I’m doing for a holiday. If I answer honestly—that I’m going to sit on my patio, read a book, and enjoy the breeze, and when I’m done with that I’m going to sit on my couch and read a book, and then I’m going to go to bed and read a book—a lot of people seem to feel sorry for me.

“Oh,” someone sadly said to me this week, “that’s too bad you don’t have any fun plans for the Fourth of July.”

The truth is I would rather read than do just about anything else. I’m not sad at all that I’m taking a miss on parades, barbecues, concerts, and fireworks. I’m right where I want to be. I have two books on the docket:


The Queen and I by Sue Townsend
I loved Sue Townsend’s Adrian Mole series, so I grabbed this one at a library sale while on vacation. It’s a clever satire about the British Royal Family who have been forced out of the monarchy and into real life. Hilarity ensues.

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
This one is a wicked suspense novel that feels like a Lifetime movie in all the best ways. It’s compelling, but it’s not brain-taxing in the slightest.

Happy Fourth of July. May your day be free of parades.


Reading on Planes

One of my favorite things about air travel is turning off my devices. I know I could put my phone in airplane mode any time I want. I don’t. I allow myself to be distracted, largely by things I don’t care about.

But on a plane, I’m held captive. I can’t access anything because I’m too cheap to pay for wifi. I can be alone with books for as long as the plane is in the air, assuming I can signal to my seatmates that I don’t want to talk. That can be challenging since I attract talkers. (Case in point: I recently went to New Mexico and the cab driver asked me if I wanted to see her house. I thought it would be rude to say no. So I got to ride past her house where she showed me her new porch ottoman. Very lovely.)

The point is that planes are a great space for good reading, assuming you can ignore everyone around you and don’t mind being seated in a manner that must be the most clinically uncomfortable position known to humans. I like to take books that require a lot of concentration because I know that it’s either the book or talking to the guy in a Make America Great hat next to me. I’ll focus on the book.

I’m traveling this week, and I’m bringing A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future by Charles Van Doren.

If you don’t hear from me again, I’m trapped under a stranger’s ottoman.