Which books to bring?

acropolis-photo-by-wallygWhenever I plan a trip, the first thing I consider is which books to bring with me. I want books that are pertinent to my travels as well as books that will entertain and inform me—and comfort me in my strange and scary new environment. Also, for obvious reasons they must be in paperback. I then spend a considerable amount of time wringing my hands mentally packing my carry on.

Later this spring my husband and I are planning a trip to Turkey and Greece. Here’s an outline of my book selection process.

  • 1) I talk to friends and colleagues, ask their opinions and research and digest their suggestions.
  • 2) I play with the Library catalog. I put the desired country in the subject line of the catalog and then add a dash and “fiction” ( i.e., Turkey-fiction).
  • 3) Google. Just put in the country and add “book list” or “book titles.” You will find many.
  • 4) NoveList Plus.  I typed “Turkey” and the button to search by “plot keyword,” then limited the choices to “Adult” and “Fiction.” (You could also do a subject search by country, but this plot search device works just fine.)  bastard-of-istanbul-book-cover

Here are my top contenders: Dinner with Persophene by Patricia Storace and Eurydice Street: A Place in Athens by Sofka Zinovieff about Greece;  Turkish Reflections: A Biography of a Place by Mary Lee Settle and The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak about Turkey.

But I have two months to go, many library hours in which to ponder my selections and, of course, many  bookstores to visit, here and abroad. Wish me luck and happy reading.  ~   Susan F.

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