The list author says: "A vacation isn't quite complete without that one book you can't seem to put down. When the family is all in bed and the excitement is over for the day, or you're up before anybody else, you need that page-turner to take your mind on its own vacation.
For me the best kind of book to take along is typically - but not always - non-fiction, with a strong sense of place. It doesn't have to be set in the same location where I'm traveling - in fact I've wasted many hours in the library trying to match up the book and the place and I can't offhand recall any vacations where I had that exact match. However, in my list I'll point out when there is a suggested pairing between the vacation spot and the setting of the book, and you can decide for yourself whether there's a special magic when the two align."
"A remarkable sports book that inspired a movie and a TV show. I packed this book along on a June, 2009 trip to Montana, and found that this story set in Odessa, Texas grabbed me as much as the beautiful mountains I was surrounded by."
"A biography about the author of "A Confederacy of Dunces" - a tragic figure who wrote only a single novel as an adult then took his own life. I read this during a most memorable, scalding hot August week at a bracingly cold Michigan lake, and was fascinated."
"Not the typical guys book, this biography of the great but largely forgotten stage and silent film actress Allah Nazimova recalls the star some have called "The Real Norma Desmond." It covers much of the early history of Hollywood and is hard to put down."
"Wow. Chicago. The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. A serial killer. You probably won't put this down till you're finished. This one would be a great read on a visit to the Windy City. Just don't go out in Jackson Park after dark."
"This one violates my guideline around having a sense of place, but it's nonetheless a fascinating study of how humans perceive success and failure, and spin yarns about it. You'll never quite think the same way about human performance again."
"Another exception to my rule about having a strong sense of place, but a fine read nonetheless. It's an epic story of software (mis)development. For anyone involved in some way with IT (or even if you're not), it will keep you turning pages."