Today I began addressing my usual pre-travel problem of what to take to read. It's one that I've been facing for a few days now, but with my commitments for the week out of the way I can give it the focus it needs.
As usual, I have plenty of books from which to choose -- so much so that it poses the perennial problem of option paralysis. And also as usual, books that seemed ideal at first became less appealing upon further consideration. But I think I'm narrowing it down successfully.
The first book that I'm planning to take is a Ross Macdonald novel. They're as close to a sure thing as I can get in terms of reading enjoyment, and I have a paperback of one of his books that I haven't read yet, so it will be perfect for the trip. The only problem is that I enjoy them a little too much, so I can't count on that occupting me for more than a day or two.
The second book will probably be Joanna Trollope's book in the Austen Project. I enjoyed Curtis Sittenfeld's contribution to it so much that I decided to give another of the volumes a try. We have the updates of Sense and Sensibility and Emma, but for some reason the latter has little appeal for me (Amy Heckerling may have ruined me in terms of Emma updates) so I'll try Trollope's volume instead. I may supplement it with another novel, probably one of my sci-fi paperbacks, but I haven't decided on that yet.
That leaves my big choice -- and I mean that in more ways than one. I'm hoping to take one of my larger nonfiction books with me as my primary read, in part because I realized why I have some many of them waiting to be read on my shelves. I do a good amount of my reading when I work out, which usually favors books that I can hold while I'm pedaling on a recumbent bike or a treadmill. This precludes bringing my whoppers, as they're a little much to handle. That's not a problem at the farm, though, as I end up spending hours stretched out on a sofa, which is an ideal way to read a nice, thick tome. Currently I'm leaning towards a history of the Manhattan Project, but I may select something on the First World War or even take a second crack at the first volume of MacFarquhar's Origins of the Cultural Revolution. It's a major decision, but by giving myself a day and a half to make it I'm pretty sure I'll be able to select something that will make the next week especially enjoyable.