Other Vacation Joys

I needed a break from my vacation.

For three weeks, I had been driving around looking at the sights of Italy. For three weeks, I had been trying to communicate as best I could with as many people as necessary. For three weeks, I had been deciphering road signs, catalogs and restaurant menus. I had Italian Overload.

I needed a break. I needed an American Moment.

I decided to read a book or two, or ten. I brought 5 paperbacks, and 13 eBooks. I read all the paperbacks, if for no other reason than I did not want to drag them back to the US with me. I started in on the eBooks. I have software on my computer that allows me to read downloaded novels right on the screen. I can adjust the font, the screen color and the print size. I can even have it auto scroll. I can also download the books to my PDA for those times when it is too hard to lug my laptop around.

1. “Nemesis” This was a story about the efforts to stop an impeding collision between earth and a meteor.

2. “Sign of the Cross” This was an interesting story written in the spirits of Clive Cussler and Dan Brown. It involves the hunt for the mastermind behind the slayings of 4 men and the secret he wants the Church to share. Only the two heroes of the story are ex military. The kind of military that didn’t exist.

3. “Metro Girl” This is another Janet Evanovich novel from her Barnaby Series. This silly novel made me laugh aloud. How can you not love a book that makes you do that? This one was about a sister chasing down her missing brother. Who stole a NASCAR racer’s fishing boat to hunt for a treasure. Of course, the bad guys are really bad, and the good guys are a mismatched band of NASCAR drivers, gun toting old women, a gay man, and a justice seeking daughter.

4. “A Breath of Snow and Ashes” Hopefully, the last book in Diane Gabaldon’s Outlander series. She should have stopped at the first one. It was a well-written and original story. The second novel was not bad, but the four after that were just long drawn out stories more or less repeating the same story. In fact, I did not even read the fifth one. An 18th century Scotsman named Jamie Fraser, his time traveling wife and the life they lead from Scotland to American and back.

5. “Wolves of Calla” The fifth of The Dark Tower Series.

6. “Songs of Susannah” The sixth in this series

7. “The Dark Tower” The last of the Dark Tower Series written by Stephen King. He started this series over 25 years ago. I read the first three novels as soon as they were released. The others took me longer. Once I found he was going to finish the series, I waited until all were written then read them all at once. The fifth and sixth got a little weird. Much of what Mr. King had going on in his life at the time ended up going in the book. The last book ended the story in typical King fashion. I loved it!

8. “Cell” This was another Stephen King book about the “rebooting” of people down to their most basic level. The reset was caused by a rogue program sent via cell phones.

9. “Sleep No More” A story by Greg Iles. This book had supernatural overtones. His other books are more legal/detective kind of stories. A murdered ex girlfriend comes back after 10 years to claim her love. It took her 9 years because she had to wait to find the right bodies into which to transfer. A little weird.

10. “The Xeno Solution” This was a medical thriller about the use of animal organs for organ transplants and the possibility of a crossover disease between the different species.

11. “The Amber Room” A story about the search for looted artifacts from World Wars I and II.

I am now reading Death Match, by Lincoln Child. It is a story about couples from a match making service that are turning up dead. Geek stuff for sure!

With my batteries recharged, I was ready to continue on my Italian way.

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