It's time for a new edition of "Packing for a Reading Retreat," where I imagine which books I would take with me if I were heading to a reading retreat, where there would be no distractions and I would be free to do nothing but read for a week. I might imagine packing two kinds of books: those that are "New to Me" (books I've never read before) and "Old Favorites" (past reads I'd like to revisit).
New to Me
Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter
Another one of those books that has snared me with its cover--all that sparkling blue water and those brightly-colored buildings clinging to the rocks as if held there by magic. The back cover promises 1960s Italy, the set of Cleopatra, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I'm particularly interested to see how Walter handles the last as I've been in Edinburgh during the Fringe and it is quite unlike anything else I've ever experienced.
In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, Margaret Atwood
A collection of Atwood's writing on science fiction and speculative fiction. I've never warmed to Atwood, but I am thoroughly convinced that I should not give up on her either. Someday something will click--I'll read just the right book at just the right moment. In any case, I'm intrigued to read what she has to say about SF, partly because I'd like to hear what Atwood has to say about SF and partly because I always want to hear what anyone has to say about SF.
Blackout, Connie Willis
Fifty years in our future, historians are time-travelers. When a group of historians travels to World War II, strange things ensue and it appears that they may be altering history. It's like Willis wrote a book just for me. Love it when that happens.
Cocaine Blues, Kerry Greenwood
The first in the Phryne Fisher mystery series. It's the 1920s and Phryne Fisher is tired of London--so it's off to Melbourne, Australia, where she quickly meets with mysterious goings on. I'm always looking for a good mystery series, and I've heard good things from trusted sources on this one. And, again, the cover! I would almost buy these just for the cover art alone.