I have been traveling quite extensively for work --- all flights over the country and such --- and this shall continue through the 13th of March. And, yes, I love travel --- esp. Canadian travel ( which is basically what I do for work being, you know, Canadian and notwithstanding that trip to California for a conference but I digress... ) but I am not a great flyer ( the height thing and I don't get along ) and I find countless nights in hotel rooms can ware you a bit. That being said, I am getting used to it --- and shall continue to because my job will require a lot of travel during the Spring.
Oh wonderful world of publishing!
The other thing about travel is that it takes me away from my beloved Toronto. And I always am a little sad looking at the CN tower diminish outside the window of a plane as we take off from Pearson and in the evenings after my nightly gym trip/swim when I am betwixt the bleach-smelling sheets flipping aimlessly through channels trying to decipher what shows are on when in a weird time zone, I miss Toronto. I usually spend a few moments conjuring up the city in my mind: my safe, happy zone.... a favourite intersection; the ramble of the streetcar down college; the lights from the skyscrapers on King West winking down on me.
But, oh! that has NOTHING to do with books.
Okay, so I have been reading crap. But, I am allowed. Because, it's called AIRPORT fiction for a reason. No one reads " real books" on a plane. No one ( well, sometimes me, but who am I kidding).
So, first Really Dumb Book: The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham (purchased at Pearson airport. Reading Duration: one flight to Edmonton; one room service meal; one taxi ride):
Madeleine Wickham is Sophie Kinsella. I hope we all know that by now---- perhaps, Sophie Kinsella is Madeleine Wickham as Madeleine Wickham is Kinsella's real name and.....
So, the book has a dark side. Fleur is desperate to establish a wealthy, comfortable life. Abandoned at a young age and stripped from a life of luxury she had grown accustomed to, she vows to always be comfortable. Stunning, flame-haired and 40, Fleur succeeds by crashing funerals and seducing recent widowers: allowing them a brief glimpse of love and passion---often after their years of comfortable marriage; their fantasies and desires and youthful passion hanging on a shelf somewhere in their posh Brit mansions....
Fleur spends their money and leaves them almost flat--- her goal--- an American Express Gold Car in her name....
Fleur may sound conniving and malicious ( and she is) but I enjoyed her penchant for designer hats and her ability to sneak into the life of decent widower Richard--- a suave and kind man just realizing he never really knew his wife and pining for love.
I also really enjoyed the subplot featuring Fleur's teenage daughter Zara and Richard's gentlemanly 16-year-old son Antony.
Second Really Dumb Book: Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella (purchased: emergency Coles run in the Edmonton City Centre; Reading Duration: one airport wait in Edmonton; one Milestones meal in Calgary; one stint near a Booster Juice waiting for an editorial meeting)
First off, I read and loathed Shopaholic but I always admitted that Sophie Kinsella was clever. I rarely read the chick lit genre to begin with--- but, should I stoop, it MUST be British. Seriously. Unless it is some Christian novel that I have received for review. Because, if it isn't British chick lit then what is the point of reading it? ( I also accept chicklit from Ireland or Scotland or Wales--- the entire UK).
And I must confess, this was a good escape. It made me laugh. Let's throw Amy Adams and Jack Davenport in and call it a movie.
Emma, our spunky and surprisingly real heroine, is a bored marketing assistant for the Panther Beverage corporation who ruins her chance at promotion by a huge mistake at an executive meeting in Glasgow. On the flight back to London, terrified of turbulence and three-sheets-to-the-wind, Emma tells her deepest, darkest secrets to the stranger sitting aside her. The stranger ends up being the Jack Harper--- the biggest wig in the Panther Bev Co and its posh CEO---- their "meet cute" in the plane triggers his knowing ( and oddly loving ) every flaw she has. Emma's dirty office secrets are now in his possession, as are her secret Starbucks trips, her sex life and the size of her knickers....
I really appreciate Kinsella for crafting Emma's success in work and love on her instinct and honesty. Emma does what she feels and Jack's interest in her arises from her refresing ability to treat everyone the same.
Fluffy and cute with smart and witty lines, this is a well-plotted chicklit that mazes and turns in agreeable fashion to its predictable end.
Want more Confessions of Rachel's Work Traveler Tendencies?:
a.) I eat my weight in Jelly Bellys looking for a Sweet Factory kiosk at every airport
b.) I currently have the Second Season of Everwood in my suitcase which I pull out and watch on my laptop in the evenings.
Stay tuned for the next edition of Rachel Reads Really Dumb Books ( especially because I have a Catherine Cookson in my purse.... SCORE!)