My motto when it comes to travel reading: find something easy, fun, and free. I always love reading John Grisham books and find myself rereading a lot of his tales when on the road. Usually it is pretty easy to find books in hostels, but you can’t always be choosy. Mike played on his iPad, and I read. Who’s the smart one now? I beat him in total number of books read both on this trip and the last.
Here’s my list of books read on the road:
1) THE PARTNER by john grisham
2) THE BROKER by john grisham
3) RISING SUN by michael crichton
4) THE FIRM by john grisham
5) TRUST ME by lesley pearse (This book was over 700 pages, so I should get double credit for reading it)
6) BABYVILLE by jane green
7) MONSOON by di morrissey
8 ) PICTURE PERFECT by jodi picoult (I have never read Jodi Picoult before and definitely felt like a housewife while reading it. Surprisingly good.)
9) THE TESTAMENT by john grisham
10) INHERITANCE by tara palmer-tomkinson
11) FINDING COLIN FIRTH by mia march
12) THE HELP by kathryn stockett (I read this book in a day. We watched this movie about three times before finding this book in New Zealand. It was fun reading direct lines of dialogue from the book.)
13) BRIDGET JONES: MAD ABOUT THE BOY by helen fielding
14) WAITING TO BE HEARD by amanda knox
Obviously I go for the intellectual reads. I am currently rereading the Little House on the Prairie series. Enough said.
I do like reading. I really do. On our last trip, I only read 21.5 books because I often played dumb games on our netbook instead of reading. One thing that we brought this trip that we did not have last time was an iPad. Swap out netbook games for iPad games, and that’s the reason why I didn’t read a ton on this trip.
We stopped at thrift stores before our trip and overpaid for old John Grisham paperbacks (Hanna’s favorites). Otherwise we traded some books at hostels along the way, downloaded some classics for free on the iPad, bought more cheap paperbacks in Bangkok, or borrowed books from the condo in Maui.
Here’s the final list:
1) THE PARTNER by john grisham
2) ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by lewis carroll (e-book)
3) THE BROKER by john grisham
4) RISING SUN by michael crichton
5) THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS by lewis carroll (e-book)
6) THE FIRM by john grisham
7) THE HUNGER GAMES by suzanne collins
8 ) BOOKY WOOK 2 by russell brand
9) CATCHING FIRE by suzanne collins
10) THE TESTAMENT by john grisham
11) THE THIRTEENTH TALE by diane setterfield
- I actually did not love the two Lewis Carroll books. Alice is meh.
- I liked The Hunger Games books (and movies) more than I expected. Must be the Survivor fan in me… I have the third book but still haven’t finished it. Guess I don’t truly care about the finale.
- Since I read Russell Brand’s first book on our first trip, I figured I had to read the second one when I stumbled across it.
- I am impressed with myself that I read about half of the number of books from last trip in about a fourth of the time. My prize please?
We are assuming that all of our faithful readers remember this post from our last trip that detailed all of our expenditures in a single day in Bangkok. No? You don’t? You’ve failed us, friends.
We have received the countless emails and comments that requested us to do a similar post this time around in Bangkok. Here we go:
Private Room with Air Con in Hostel: $15.28. Not the Plaza…But Clean.
Chilled Coffee Drink for Mike: $0.40. He Enjoyed Drinking These on the Roof Every Morning.
Laundry: $0.61. We Sprung for an Actual Machine Instead of Doing It by Hand.
Brunch Consisting of Banana Shake and Omelet over Rice for Mike and Orange Juice and French Toast for Hanna (Not Pictured: an Order of Toast): $4.28. Such Artistic Lighting.
Three Books Bought at a Used Book Stall on Khao San Road: $3.36. We Figured We Needed More Beach Reads for Our Upcoming Ten Days in Krabi and Phuket.
1.5 Liter Bottle of Water: $0.40. 7-11s Are Everywhere, and Their Generic Brand Tasted Just Fine to Us.
One-Hour Thai Massages for Each of Us: $9.17. Yes, $9.17 Total. The Clean Place by Our Hostel WAS That Cheap. Jealous?
- Big Bottle of Chang Beer for Mike: $1.62. He Quite Enjoyed Drinking a Beer on the Roof Before Sunset.
One-Hour Thai Massage for Both of Us (Round Two): $9.17. We Met Two Canadian Guys Who Wanted to Get Massages, So We Went Again with Them. Awesome, Eh?
Dinner of Pad Thai: $1.83. We Each Got a Plate from a Street Cart. (Yes, Even Hanna.)
Nutella Pancake for Hanna and Peanut Butter Pancake for Mike: $2.14. Yes, We Paid More for Dessert Than for Dinner. We Love These Things.
Groceries: $4.56. We bought some very essential groceries (two boxes of cereal and a sleeve of Oreos) in preparation for our time at a fancy resort in Krabi. We forgot to take a picture. Don’t hate.
Now you know. We felt like we had a super full day, and we are proud to say that we spent $2.52 LESS than we did on a comparable day on our last trip. We’re so amazing.
It is true. I read more books than Mike. I’m just that much smarter.
When choosing books to bring with us, I decided I wanted the lightest reads possible. To me, John Grisham books are easy reads that are entertaining. I plowed through those books pretty quickly and was then subject to reading whatever I could find. Yes, Ozzy Osbourne’s memoir was not at the top of my list, but I read it anyway. We had no choice. I knew we wouldn’t be spending any money on books and would rely solely on trading, and it really worked out for us. I like reading a variety of books, but when it comes to beach reads, travel reads, and pneumonia reads, I want chick lit or something mindless. Luckily we were always able to find something to suit my tastes.
1) THE ASSOCIATE by john grisham
2) THE PELICAN BRIEF by john grisham
3) THE RAINMAKER by john grisham
4) MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA by arthur golden
5) THIS CHARMING MAN by marian keyes
6) BEFORE WE SAY GOODBYE by louise candlish
7) THE BEACH by alex garland
8 ) I AM OZZY by ozzy osbourne
9) RUSH HOME ROAD by lori lansens
10) BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY by helen fielding
11) HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE by j.k. rowling
12) HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by j.k. rowling
13) HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by j.k. rowling
14) HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE by j.k. rowling
15) HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX by j.k. rowling
16) HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE by j.k. rowling
17) HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS by j.k. rowling
18) THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE SKY by marian keyes
19) CHASING HARRY WINSTON by lauren weisberger
20) JUST THE THREE OF US by clare dowling
21) THE LOVE VERB by jane green
22) MEET ME AT THE CUPCAKE CAFÉ by jenny colgan
23) ONE DAY IN MAY by catherine alliott
24) ROOM by emma donoghue
25) THE CONFESSION by john grisham
Before leaving for the trip, Hanna wanted to buy an e-reader so that we didn’t have to worry about taking up precious room in our small bags. We, however, ultimately decided that it would just be another electronic that could possibly be stolen.
Instead we bought a few books for a quarter each at library book sales before we left the States. I also loaded up my iPod with classic audiobooks (think Dracula, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland…yes, it’s obnoxious some titles aren’t the same as their movies. Stupid dead authors.) I thought that audiobooks would be perfect for long train and bus rides. The sad part? I completely forgot I had the audiobooks and rarely listened to my iPod. Shocking, no? (The iPod did come in handy on overnight Chinese trains. I can no longer listen to the Away We Go soundtrack without being immediately transported to the top bunk of a sleeper car.) Not a single audiobook was listened to by either of us. Whoops.
So how did we get books along the way, you ask? Book exchanges at hostels. We spent the most beach time in Thailand, yet it was often hard to find books in English at guesthouses and bungalows (hence why we both read Ozzy’s autobiography). German travelers rule the world, thus most books we stumbled across were in German. Yes, I admit that I became paranoid about not having books to read while in Thailand so I would stock up on a few books without leaving the same number. I’m a horrible human being.
Overall I definitely did not read as many books as I expected to, but I’m glad I had the opportunity to find and reread all seven Harry Potter books, especially with the final movies coming out. Hanna beat me in terms of books read (her report is forthcoming), but I chalk that up to all of the chick lit she zooms right through. I, on the other hand, read literary classics by Wendy Williams.
Here’s my final list of books read. Don’t judge.
1) THE TERROR by dan simmons
2) JURASSIC PARK by michael crichton
3) I AM OZZY by ozzy osbourne
4) THE BEACH by alex garland
5) KAITLYN by kevin lewis
6) THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by carlos ruiz zafón
7) RITZ HARPER GOES TO HOLLYWOOD! by wendy williams
8 ) HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE by j.k. rowling
9) HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS by j.k. rowling
10) HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN by j.k. rowling
11) HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE by j.k. rowling
12) HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX by j.k. rowling
13) HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE by j.k. rowling
14) HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS by j.k. rowling
15) THE ECHO MAKER by richard powers
16) DIE TRYING by lee child
17) BOSSYPANTS by tina fey
18) ROOM by emma donoghue
19) MY BOOKY WOOK by russell brand
20) GHOSTWRITTEN by david mitchell
21) ADRENALINE by jeff abbott
22) half of THE FINAL TESTAMENT OF THE HOLY BIBLE by james frey
Tell me what you think about my literary selections. I’m pretty pleased that we didn’t have to resort to reading crap for the most part.
Woke up at 11am.
Went to the rain-free beach for four hours.
Ate a late lunch from the grocery store.
Relaxed in the room for a bit.
Beautiful Blue Skies.
Parasailer and Umbrellas.
Today’s big milestone: Mike finished his first book (Dan Simmons’s The Terror which he bought for a quarter at a library book sale in Ohio) since leaving the States. Yes, his first book. Hanna has read SEVEN books, but he was always playing computer games whenever she was reading on trains or whatnot. He hopes to finish another book in the next three months.