Traveling this summer? Grab a good read.

Are the only books you read of the textbook variety?  Many people read much more (or maybe even only) during their vacations, because let’s face it – those international flights or long car/bus/train rides are absolutely brutal without something to keep you perked up like a cup of joe.  Sure, you can pack an Mp3 player, your Nintendo DS, or any other gadget to help you pass the time, but I can’t travel anywhere without having a few good books with me.  I once became so immersed in a book on a 4-hour bus ride through Vietnam that I finished it in one sitting!

Today’s Daily Post posed this question:  “Name a book that changed your life.”  Pshaw, easy, right?  Not so.  I could spout out the classics that they require us to read in high school:  The Great Gatsby.  The Outsiders.  Catcher in the Rye.  Fahrenheit 451.  Tale of Two Cities. How do I answer this question? There are so many to choose from.

Then at last one dawned on me (cue lightning bolts!):

Laurie Notaro’s “The Idiot Girl’s Action-Adventure Club: True Tales from a Magnificent and Clumsy life.”  It’s laugh-out-loud silly – a series of short, hilarious stories from a comic writer who is based in Arizona.  It’s not “classic literature” by any means, but it taught me not to take life too seriously and that there is always a funny story out there.  It was light, engaging, and perfect for taking with me on my trips.  I ended up reading another one of Notaro’s novels on a 6-hour train ride in Southeast Asia – a great way to combat boredom when shuffling songs on my iPod didn’t cut it anymore.

So, if you think you are ready for your summer vacation and you’re looking to pack a few extra things for your trip, consider throwing in some casual and fun summer reads.  Of course, pepper in those fashion or tech magazines like Vogue or PC Gamer, or even a guidebook of the location you plan to visit for insight on places to visit during your free time.  Whatever you choose, you’ll be glad you brought it!

Have your own recommendations for Contiki travelers out there?  Feel free to share!

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