RIOT RECOMMENDATION: Airplane Reading?

In Riot Recommendation, we take a request for a recommendation and turn it over to the Book Riot community to help them with ideas. 

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I have a hard time finding the perfect book(s) for airplane rides. It has to be something that is (according to Nancy Pearl*), “complex enough to smother your annoyance when the guy in the row ahead reclines his seat into your lap, but not so intellectually demanding that it requires a dictionary…mostly you want something that’s intriguing enough to make you forget that your 34,000 feet in the air and, in your heart of hearts, you don’t really understand how the plane stays up.” I couldn’t have said it better. Though I might add that now-a-days you also need something that will lure you away from the 30 or so channels and multiple movies offered in the growing number of  personal TVs in front of each airplane seat.

For shorter trips within the United States, I usually bring one book and a couple of juicy tabloid magazines in my carry-on, and most often use the TV. I use the gossip rags for takeoff and landing, when all other devices need to be turned off, but because I’ve found that I am more distracted by movies and TV shows than by books on a plane (partly, I think, because the audio drowns out the airplane noises), I usually forget about that book in my bag.

With longer trips, like cross-country or international flights, preparing your own entertainment feels like a complete chore. How do you keep yourself busy in one seat for 5 or 12 hours when usually you would be having a full day of walking around, running errands, getting work done, interacting with friends and family, and so on? This is a large task, my friends. And I won’t lie — there is no way I can sit still and read a book for 11 hours straight, but I would like to find some titles that can keep me occupied for a fraction of that time so I spend less time with my eyes glued to tiny pixels in front of me.

So, will you help me make a Book Riot Airplane Reading List?

When suggesting a book please include:

  • Title and Author
  • Genre
  • One sentence description of the book and why it would be good for planes (ex. “Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, mystery/humor, Female detective with humorous story lines that don’t shy away from being gory at times – easy-to-read page turners.”)
*Nancy Pearl quote via NPR article titled “Carry-On Books to Take You Up, Up and Away.”
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