I guess this isn’t the typical blog post I have on here. When I travel I am usually too busy taking selfies for IG or being super extra on Snapchat. There are those times though, amidst a 15-hour flight or a slow day on the beach where I really enjoy immersing myself in a good book. FYI – if you’re going to do the latter, don’t take as many liberties as I do in the sun with such pale skin. Getting caught up in a good book will get you burnt because you were too busy reading instead of turning or applying sunscreen.
There wasn’t really a definitive number of books I wanted to list here (nor is there a particular order), just ones I wanted to share as being something I enjoyed reading with my fellow travelers and readers. These books were the kind where I sat down and it was like the world around me stopped. Nothing else mattered, except for the next page.
Yes, you will probably notice I have interests that aim mostly to certain topics (Bosnia + Caribbean) but hey, that’s just what I like reading about the most.
The Bosnia List: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Return – I guess this book probably spoke to me the loudest. The author (Kenan Trebincevic) recounts how he had to flee Bosnia as a child and two decades later made his return from the USA to Bosnia only to honour his father’s wishes. He makes a list of all the things he wants to do while there and let me tell you, some of those? No way. I couldn’t have done that. If you enjoy memoirs or are a fellow member of any refugee diaspora, I suggest reading this book. (Amazon has it in paperback here.)
The God Delusion – Before you ask, no, I am not an Atheist. Although I find nothing wrong with everyone choosing their own religious path, I personally was raised a Catholic. I really enjoyed this book. Richard Dawkins basically explains how believing in God is irrational and how religion only harms people (see: crusades + 9/11). I may not agree with everything he says, but I really enjoyed reading his take on the subject matter. Whether you are an Atheist or just someone who enjoys reading peoples opposing opinions on religion, this is a great read. (Amazon has it in paperback here.)
Sexing the Caribbean – I actually had to read this book for one of my classes in University. The second I picked it up, I did not put it down until it was done. Kamala Kempadoo does an amazing job of explaining the history of sex work in the Caribbean and how this lead to current-day sex tourism. The thing about this book that will stick out to everyone is – you have SEEN the exact things she is talking about while traveling to many foreign lands, even outside of the Caribbean. How foreigners lust after ‘the other‘ that they cannot have in their own countries. How money elicits attention that these people would not get in their homelands. This will educate you and piss you off. (Amazon has it in paperback here.)
The Book of Negroes: A Novel – This book is exceptional. Lawrence Hill wrote this for you to read it over and over. I know there was also a TV series/movie made from this book but I really enjoyed the book version. It follows an abducted 11-year-old girl from her home in West Africa to being a slave in South Carolina. I probably shouldn’t write this so publicly, but, this book was SO good I was actually working a security shift and spent 6 out of the 8 hours reading it from start to finish. I did not stand to go to the bathroom, I didn’t go get anymore water – NOTHING. I was so wrapped up in this book it was as if nothing else was happening at the time. If you are my employer and reading this, I am a changed person now OK? Everyone should read this book. (Amazon has it in paperback here.)
The Bridge on the Drina (also known as, Na Drini Cuprija) – I am really ashamed to say I didn’t read this book until I was in University taking a Slavic literature course. Some of my family members will read that and probably be like wtf????? This book is kind of a big deal. I should have known that much earlier in my life, I know now. Ivo Andric (born in Bosnia, woot woot) is the author of this book and actually won the Nobel Prize for Literature back in 1961. The reason I loved this book is because it gives such a picturesque image of what was around the Drina river. Also, it reminisces on a different part of Bosnia’s past, that isn’t solely to do with the Balkan war in the 90’s – because YES, we did exist before that happened. If you’re a history buff, this is a great book for you. (Amazon has it in paperback here.)
I will definitely have a part #2 to this soon, but I figured 5 is a good number to start with….
What do you like to read while vacationing?