Great reads to take along on your next vacation

  • Monday, August 4, 2014

Recently, I spend two very relaxing weeks on the island of Curacao, located in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. It forms, together with the islands Aruba and Bonaire, the so-called ABC islands. Although it is still part of the Netherlands, Curacao has its own government.

The island has gorgeous beaches and the underwater visibility is around 100 feet, i.e., snorkel and diving heaven. My whole family went snorkeling, but only my younger son and I went diving. It is amazing how easy it is to dive there. You put on your gear and walk from the beach into the water, no boat necessary. Being underwater is being in a completely different world – there is no noise and the colors are incredible. Learning to dive is really not difficult, and if you are interested in learning this adventurous sport, check out library books “Scuba Diving” by Jack Jackson and “Scuba Diving and Snorkeling for Dummies” by John Newman.

Although I knew Curacao is Dutch territory, it surprised me how “Dutch” it was, with the same grocery stores, the same food and the same tall, thin, tan, blond – and did I mention tall – people as in the Netherlands. I should not be surprised about the last one because the Dutch are still (on average) the tallest people in the world – 6 feet 1 inch – except, of course, for me. I certainly influence this average number and not in the up direction. Maybe I should check ancestry.com at the library to discover the origin of my “shortness” gene.

With 182 square miles, Curacao is the largest of the Leeward Islands (Lesser Antilles) but still very small. We went exploring every day, but still had a lot of leisure time. We all brought reading materials. My kids heaved stacks of books. I, on the other hand, brought my Kindle and my iPad, which weigh almost nothing and make travel much easier, especially because the airline allowed only one piece of luggage.

We had Wi-Fi in our rental house and I was able to download multiple books from the library. “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes was one of my favorites. If you’ve seen and enjoyed the French movie “The Intouchables” with François Cluzet and Omar Sy, you definitely should read this book. When the coffee shop closes where Louisa Clark works, she needs to find another job. With no experience besides serving coffee and socializing with the customers, she accepts a job caring for a quadriplegic. Will Traynor had it all, a good job, a girlfriend and money to spend, until he was involved in a motor accident and his world changed dramatically. I loved the way Moyes describes the dynamic relationship between these two opposing characters.

“The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith – a.k.a. J.K. Rowling – was another book I read. A mystery novel about one-legged, ex-army private eye Cormoran Strike, it’s the second book in that series. The first book in the series “The Cuckoo’s Calling,” was Rowling’s debut writing as Galbraith.

If you travel with no access to Wi-Fi, make sure you download books from the library’s growing downloadable media collection before you leave.


Mount Pleasant Reel Club – A book/movie discussion group (adults)

Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2 p.m.

Book: “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll

Movie: “Alice in Wonderland” (2010). Rated PG, 109 minutes.

Second Saturday Writing Critique Group (ages 16 and older)

Saturday, Aug. 9, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Open to all writers. For more information, call the Reference Desk at 843-849-6161 or email MtpReference@ccpl.org.

Monday Book Discussion (adults)

Monday, Aug. 11, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“Someone” by Alice McDermott.

“The Big Bang Theory” Marathon (ages 13 and older)

Thursday, Aug. 14, 2-5 p.m.

Enjoy nine episodes from the sixth season of “The Big Bang Theory.”

Book Pass for Teens (grades 6-12)

Friday, Aug. 15, 2 p.m.

Read a South Carolina Book Award nominee, and share your likes and dislikes with fellow teens.

PLAY: STAR Therapy Dogs

Saturday, Aug. 16, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Practice reading with a canine friend.

Fantastic Reads Book Discussion (adults)

Monday, Aug. 18, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“Running with the Demon” by Terry Brooks.


Babygarten (ages 0-18 months with a caregiver)

Wednesdays, Aug. 6 and 13, 10 a.m.

Baby Bumblebees Storytime (ages 6-24 months with a caregiver

Thursday, Aug. 7, 10 a.m.

Family Storytime (ages 2-6 years; all ages welcome)

Thursday, Aug. 7, 11:30 a.m.

Mirjam Veldkamp is the Young Adult Specialist at Mount Pleasant Regional Library (1133 Mathis Ferry Road, 843-849-6161, www.mtplibrary.blogspot.com, www.ccpl.org, like us on Facebook). Email MtpReference@ccpl.org if you wish to receive a PDF copy of the programs being held each month at Mount Pleasant Regional.

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