Helpline Question of the Month: Recommend a chick paperback for a long flight?
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The right book can make a long flight — and its discomforts — fly by faster. At the same time, it can give you an entertaining preview of the place you're about to visit. In short, what may feel like a time-waster at home can be a pretty productive use of your hours in the air. But which "chick paperback" is best for a flight? It's a perfect question for our sisterhood of the Travelers Helpline, to whom Allison of Jax Beach, Florida has wisely turned.
Tag along on Allison's journey through our Travelers Helpline...
Anyone have an idea for a good book to read on our very long flight Sunday? Not sure if anyone has seen the movie The Help, but maybe a book that's similar, light hearted or comedy?
Jax Beach, FL
Land of La
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society or any of the Flavia De Luce mysteries.
I second The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It is an easy, engaging read — I couldn't put it down. Perfect for a long flight. For trips to Europe, I never get tired of reading Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.
Seven Seasons in Siena by Robert Rodi.
Coming Home by Rosamund Pilcher.
Where are you going? Maybe we could suggest a book set in the country you're going to visit.
I love all Donna Leon mystery novels which take place in Venice. First one is Death at La Fenice. I am in love with Guido Brunetti!!!
Dorothy Dunnett's books, especially the Nicollo series, followed by the Lyman series.
Dorothy Dunnett's books are great but the LAST thing I would describe them as is "light-hearted or comedy"! I like Laurie Notaro's work; both novels and "memoirs" (not really memoirs but collections of funny essays).
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson. It's so entertaining and lots of fun — you'll be in Europe before you know it!
New York City (formerly Madison), NY
If you are headed for France, what about a Peter Mayle book? For the UK try Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small. If you're headed to Greece try one of Jerry Durrell's books, My Family and Other Animals.
Another vote for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I'm reading it again.
Any of the Dollar Days Girls series, the Miss Julia Series or Sweet Potato Queens. If you like sci-fi/fantasy consider Terry Pratchett's Zanth series (LOTS of books here) or something like Going Postal, Thud!, etc. For something a bit more "serious" (not really serious, but not "light" either) Anne McCarffery's Pern books are great.
San Diego, CA
We're just back from Paris and I was looking at books at Costco and stumbled on Becoming Marie Antoinette. I'm about 80% done with it and it's very good. If you're in that kind of history I think you would enjoy it. It's about her childhood, history, and how she became queen.
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris, especially if you are headed to France. Actually, any book Sedaris has written is great for taking on a trip as every chapter is a different short story so easy to leave off if you take a nap on the plane. All of his books are light and very funny.
If you're headed to France I'd recommend My Life in France by Julia Child. Beautiful atmosphere of postwar France. If you're headed to Italy: Pompeii by Robert Harris. And yes, I also loved Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. You get a real good understanding of Gothic architecture which is quite valuable when touring churches in Europe ;-) It is very big but reads really fast.
If you are headed for France, how about A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke. It is hilarious. Does have some bad language, but it may not bother you.
Ditto for anything by Sedaris. I also love Sarah Vowell (Partly Cloudy Patriot is US travel themed). Though slightly more serious themes, I though all of these books were page turners and also travel-related: Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Zafon (Barcelona scenery); Book Thief by Zusak (though a holocaust theme, quick read and really good story); The Imperfectionists (short stories based in Italy).
I was thinking about this thread this morning and remembered some of my other favorite travel type books (altho not chick lit), all old enough to be in paperback which is an advantage. Edward Rutherford's London; Sarum; and Forest (three different books along the lines of Pillars of the Earth...epic stories over hundreds of years)
I would suggest Christopher Moore's Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Friend. It's very, very funny.
I also vote for Donna Leon, she is great.
If you go to Rick's Graffiti Wall, you can also see other books enjoyed by travelers. It is always interesting to see what others read for and about their trips.
Huntington Beach, CA
If you're headed to London, get Confessions of a Shopaholic (plus it has 2 or 3 sequels that are laugh out loud funny). And speaking of LOL and London, how about Bridget Jones's Diary? I'm assuming you mean chick lit fun stuff so I suggested these. Hopefully your plane has individual TVs because that really helps time fly. You can watch 3 to 4 movies on the way!
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