tea, sun, and holiday success

photo Sri Lanka was gorgeous. Gorgeous, warm, fascinating, and fun.  It’s always a pleasure to travel somewhere for a happy occasion (we were there for a wedding), and to travel somewhere new, where you might never have gone, is an extra treat.

Of course, for me, a large part of the planning for the trip involved what books to take, which friends I could depend upon to have extra books I could borrow, and, now how much money I was willing to budget to spend on books for the iPad.  The iBookstore is still fairly minimal (especially if you don’t necessarily read books of the NYT best seller list), but I can normally find at least a few, and the ability to buy a new book from an hotel room and read it within a few seconds is…dangerously pleasant. As soon as there are more books available, and e-book formatting gets more consistent, the iPad is going to be one more thing that makes it far too easy to spend money on books.

iPad aside, the most successful book of the trip was definitely Connie Willis’ Blackout–Willis is one of the authors I feel is criminally unknown. She’s one multiple awards for her short stories and consistently turns out fascinating, funny, and wonderful books, but it’s rare to find more than one or two of her books on the shelves at a bookstore and libraries are rarely any better.

I’m sure I’ll write a longer review of it for Bookgeeks, but, in a nutshell, it returns the reader to Willis’ version of a time travelling Oxford and something is wrong.  Time itself appears to be breaking down, leaving the historians in danger of being stuck in their respective assignments, forced to live through the horrors of World War II. It is the first of two planned books (I’m sure it was originally one very long one that ended up broken into two) and that means the end is…not conclusive, but I was so wrapped up in the characters and their stories that my only response to the end was to immediately start wishing for the next book to be released sooner.