One advantage to being on a book tour is that I feel no need to work. Just getting from hotel to radio station to bookstore is work enough. So I don't bring any of those, you know, factual books with me on the road. I forget all about research and the serious nonfiction tomes piled on my nightstand that I've got to read as background for my next project. Instead, I pack everything I haven't had time to read in the last few months, and those hours on the airplane become a real luxury. No e-mail, no cell phone, nothing to do but read.
First, I round up a stack of New Yorkers. The damn things keep coming every week, and they haven't published a dud yet, so I don't dare skip one. I'm perpetually behind with my New Yorkers ? and if you're not, please don't tell me about it ? but they are the perfect companion on the plane, and I can toss them as I go, lightening my load.
And I read fiction ? delicious, engrossing, luxurious fiction. Something to distract me from the tedium of the airport. Something welcoming to get into bed with at night. (And this last bit is especially important since my usual personal comfort item ? my husband ? is at home.)
They have to be paperback because I'm traveling light. So I get to catch up on books I meant to read a few years ago ? or a few decades ago ? but never did. Here's the list for this tour, but at this rate I'm going to run out of books before I run out of tour dates. Got any other recommendations?
The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
The Haunted Bookshop, Christopher Morley
If Morning Ever Comes, Anne Tyler
Drop City, T.C. Boyle
John Henry Days, Colson Whitehead
The Book Borrower, Alice Mattison
Three Junes, Julia Glass
Where I'm Calling From, Raymond Carver
Nobody's Fool, Richard Russo