I am taking a break from packing to tell you I'll be away for a bit. I'm not going anyplace exciting, but it will be a little warmer than here and I am assured that I will not wake up to 17 degrees and new-fallen snow on the ground as I did here today. It's just the girl and I this time around, and besides the rain boots and hundred pairs of underwear that I somehow fit into our suitcase (I am an excellent packer, you should know) I will also need a book light (sharing a room with the girl) and BOOKS! Ahh, vacation books. There's nothing like them! There are of course a few requirements that a book must meet to come on vacation with me. I generally prefer authors that are known to me - I'm looking for comfort reading here, books must be easily replaceable, that is, I won't bring any that are dear to me or arrived from the UK, and I generally don't travel with ARCs for the same reason.
So here is what I have lined up.
Penny Vincenzi's books are deliciously trashy and long, long, long. I've already begun Windfall and am looking forward to losing myself in the story.
A Monstrous Regiment of Women is the second book in the Mary Russel/Sherlock Holmes series by Laurie King and I'm definitely packing this for a bit of mystery.
Is that all? I'm not sure. I don't think there's any chance I'll get through these but I might have to bring that Just In Case book along. What would you bring if you were traveling tomorrow?
Part of my preparations for this trip included finished the books I had started including The Meaning of Night, and today's feature book, Etta by Gerald Kolpan.
Etta is the story of Etta Place, an elusive woman who had a relationship with legendary train robber Harry Longabaugh, otherwise known as The Sundance Kid. Aside from one clear photograph, there is nearly nothing concrete known about Etta Place, if Etta Place was even her true name, and nothing is known of what became of her. Author Gerald Kolpan was intrigued enough with what he did know about Etta Place to conjure up who Etta might have been and what might have happened to her. The result is this novel, his first.
Kolpan uses a variety of narrative methods to tell his story, from newspaper clippings and letters, to Etta's diary and a traditional narrative. I enjoyed the various points of view of this story, but found Etta's words to be most interesting. I am not traditionally a reader of Wild West sorts of stories, so while the Wild West tales were probably my least favorite parts of the book, they don't distract from the focus of the narrative which is Etta's life. Born into a wealthy family, circumstances send Etta off to Colorado, and eventually into cahoots with the Wild Bunch. Life eventually brings her back east to New York City where she becomes close friends with Eleanor Roosevelt (hard to believe) and works in Buffalo Bill's rodeo show (easy to believe). Etta is a fast-paced book, plot driven and entertaining. Naturally, my own interest in Etta Place has been peaked and I'd love to know the real story like many others.
Many thanks to Ballantine Books for this review copy.
So I'm off, and will see you in about a week. Cheers!