Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, participants are required to list their top ten favourite books that they read of vacation. This is a rather unique topic that I was quite intrigued to try and implement. Like many fellow readers, I always enjoy a good book while on vacation, and I have managed to get into some cracking reads while away on holiday. As such, it was an interesting experience to dive back into my trips for the last few years and try to remember what I was reading. I ended up coming up with a pretty good list in the end, including a few honourable mentions. I might have stretched the definition of a book to include audiobooks and other productions, but I am overall pretty happy with how this turned out. Hopefully this following list will give you some reading ideas next time you are on vacation.
Asterix series – Foster/Tuncurry
I absolutely loved the Asterix comic strips when I was younger (still do to be honest) and I always remember bringing them with me to our regular coast trips as a kid. These proved to be very fun reads while away at the beach and I would have brought most of them with me at one point or another. The one I most distinctly associated with coast trips however is Asterix and the Banquet, as my parents got a rather good photo of me reading it, however all make pretty awesome and light reads while your away.
Cabin Pressure – Road Trip – Canberra to Coffs Harbour and Back
My editor/wife got me into British radio dramas during several road trips we did, so I thought I would include a couple here, even if they technically aren’t books. One of my favourites is the outstanding Cabin Pressure series, which she owns on CD. Made up of 27 episodes and featuring an exceptional British cast (including Stephanie Cole, Roger Allam, Benedict Cumberbatch, and John Finnemore), Cabin Pressure follows the chaotic crew of the world’s smallest airline. Intensely funny and utterly brilliant, the road flew away as we listened to this and it comes very highly recommended.
Inspector Steine – Tasmania
In that same vein as Cabin Pressure, I also must recommend Lynne Truss’s outstanding Inspector Steine series, which we listened to while driving around Tasmania. The Inspector Steine series is set in Brighton in the 1950s and follows an incompetent police station who fail to notice that their charlady is Brighton’s criminal mastermind. Slick, deeply amusing and well worth a listen, this was a hilarious series to enjoy on a fantastic trip.
The follow up to the cool young adult science fiction novel, Jinxed, Unleashed made for an excellent and compelling read while we were busing it around Nevada in 2019. I read most of it on the coach trip up to the Grand Canyon, and I managed to pass a lot of drive time getting through this awesome conclusion to a fantastic story.
Top Ten List:
Let us start this list off with one of the best road trip accompaniments I can recommend, World War Z by Max Brooks. This iconic and brilliant zombie novel really made a recent length road trip from Canberra all the way up the coast to Queensland really easy, as we got quite hooked on its exceptional audiobook format. Featuring an unparalleled voice cast and an exceedingly clever narrative, World War Z is a must read for all zombie fans, and this is honestly one of the better audiobooks I have ever had the pleasure of listening to.
Long flights are the bane of my existence as I never get any sleep on them. Luckily one lengthy flight I had between Sydney and San Francisco proved to be very entertaining as I was listening to one of Jonathan Maberry’s incredible Joe Ledger books, Assassin’s Codes. Featuring a highly thrilling narrative about modern vampires attempting to end the world, I powered through this audiobook on the flight and even managed to write and post a review for it (written in the airport during our stopover at Fiji). An amazing read for the best holiday ever.
I had a lot of fun getting to know one of my favourite new fantasy authors, R. J. Barker, when I was traversing Japan. While Japan is such an incredible country with so much to see, there were a lot of train rides involved, so I spent a bit of time getting into some great books. Easily the best was Age of Assassins by R. J. Barker, which was a particularly impressive debut. Following two assassins as they are tasked to save a life rather than take one in a cursed castle, Age of Assassins was an excellent read and one that made me a lifelong fan of Barker, who has written some amazing stuff since.
Another epic audiobook I enjoyed on my recent road trip was the full cast adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s iconic The Sandman comic. You can really get to grips with the complex and brilliant story contained in The Sandman comics when listening to it, and the exceptional voice cast really helped to bring everything to life. As such, the second leg of our road trip from Gold Coast to Kangaroo Valley was a lot of fun, especially once we got wrapped up in the powerful narrative. Another exceptional audiobook that is a very good option if you are looking for some entertainment on the road.
The next entry on this list is a book I actually picked up while away on holiday. I managed to grab several great Warhammer novels while visiting a second-hand bookshop in the Blue Mountains and I ended up reading one while away on the same holiday. That book was Broken Honour, a great fantasy read about a group of prisoners pressed into service as a regiment of soldiers. Fun and action-packed, this was a great read for a holiday trip.
On the same trip where I listened to Assassin’s Code, I also had fun with the next Joe Ledger book, Extinction Machine. Featuring a fantastic plot loaded with conspiracies about aliens, advanced aircraft and men in black, Extinction Machine was an amazing read, and one I had fun getting through on a couple of long coach rides between San Francisco and other great locations. It was very easy for me to just dive into this compelling audiobook amid the long trip and I had a fun time getting through it.
Another excellent book for road trips is the hilarious Redshirts by the always clever John Scalzi. A very hilarious parody of Star Trek, Redshirts is a wonderful read and we had an outstanding time getting through it during a road trip to the town of Dubbo. We had so many amazing laughs during this trip and Redshirts is a great listen for a shorter road trip.
Another book I started to read after buying it during a holiday was Timeless by R. A. Salvatore. I always love a great high fantasy adventure and Salvatore does some amazing work in this genre. As such, I made sure to grab a copy of Timeless while down in Tasmania during a fantastic trip and I ended up reading it while I was gone. An excellent and compelling fantasy adventure, Timeless leads into an awesome trilogy by Salvatore and is a must read for fantasy fans.
I always enjoy a good Star Wars read but one book I was enjoying during a recent trip to America proved to be quite a fortuitous read. That book was Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson, which, while a fun book, is also a tie-in to Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge park. I ended up reading Black Spire while visiting Disney World back in 2019 and it was kind of fun to see the connections between the park and the book.
The final entry on this list is Mecha Samurai Empire, which I picked up and read a few years ago while visiting Melbourne. I happened across this awesome book while visiting the city’s premier comic shop and I couldn’t walk past a book about mecha combat in an alternate history America. Mecha Samurai Empire was an outstanding read and I instantly got hooked on its brilliant and captivating story in between enjoying all the fun sights and shows of the beautiful city of Melbourne.
That’s the end of this list and as you can see, I have had the pleasure of reading/listening to some excellent books on some great trips over the years. All the above make for excellent vacation reading, and I had a blast with all of them. While I only had a good break a few months ago, I am already excited for whatever trip I have next and hopefully I can chuck in some more international travel now that the world is opening up again. In the meantime, let me know which books you enjoyed on your vacations in the comments below.