During Stidd family vacation, I decided to leave behind the large, intense novel and bring along some lighter reading. First was The House on Mango Street. I picked this up at a local Borders closing for about $2.00. It's an extremely quick read, made up of a series of vignettes. I pretty much finished it before we even got there between waiting at the airport and the flight. It's perfect for vacation and I really enjoyed the little tales of Esperanza. I don't always read the full introduction, but I recommend it on this one. I think it gave a real sense of the heart of the tales and made it more enjoyable for me.
I also read Steig Larssons, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, over vacation. The story line is pretty far fetched but I found excitement and anticipation in parts of it, came to really like some of the characters, and thought it was overall well written. The ending was a little lame and a too leading into a sequel-ish for me. The series is pretty popular right now, but I'm not sure if I'll read the remaining two in the trilogy.
The third of my distracted reading accomplishments was Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson. It's a classic that I had never heard of before Jim started on his Modern Library quest. It's surprising, being raised in Ohio, that I wasn't required to read a classic novel about Ohio. (Ok, it's actually not surprising. I really only have a third grade reading level unless it's medial terminology. That's just what happens when you grow up in a school district with nickname "Dirt-mont.") Regardless, I found the collection of tales centered around the George Willard to be a great read. I felt in touch with the characters and the setting even through the short story format and love how each tale was unrelated but always tied together at the same time. If you're not up for tackling 19th century Russian literature, then go for this one.
Next on my list, The Wettest County in the World, which I also picked up at the Borders closeout. "[An] utterly engaging fable of bootlegging, revenge ,and remorse..."