Last year on Mystery Circus I asked for ideas for books for our one carryon bag trip through Eastern Europe and got fabulous ideas which made our trip terrific. Here it comes again if some new people might want to help us out. We will each carry two books. They must be slim paperbacks that we can interchange. No more than 3 of the 4 should be crime and preferrably 2 of the 4 since my husband does get tired of it. What four books would you take? No more than 250 pages please. We are aging travelers. Thanks for any suggestions.

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This is an interesting question, since book suggestions will be more to personal liking, and not knowing what you like to read beyond crime or even what kind of crime (hard boiled, cozy?). It's also hard to find paperbacks with 250 pages or fewer. These have just a few more pages than that but would fit nicely in a carry-on:

1. Mary-Ann Tirone Smith's memoir GIRLS OF TENDER AGE
2. Jeff Shelby's KILLER SWELL
3. Karen Lindsey's "Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII"
4. Duane Swierczynski's THE WHEELMAN
Oh that Piercing looked frightening, stabbing someone in the eye...
Loved The Wheelman but the other three are great suggestions. My husband will #3. Wish I had Showtime to watch the current production. Thanks.
I'm re-reading No. 3 right now. It's fascinating stuff. I saw the first episode of The Tudors on On Demand for free, offering it and the second episode until May 1 in its Top Picks category on Comcast (I have HBO, but not Showtime). You'd love Mary-Ann's book, it's fantastic.
Oh, I get HBO. I'm gonna check my On Demand right now. Maybe I can get This American Life too. Or Dexter. Thanks.
If you haven't read it yet, DRIVE by James Sallis. While a crime book, I think anyone would appreciate Sallis's writing. BTW, it's 158 pages.
I love his Cripple Creek books and have been meaning to try this. Thanks for reminding me.
It certainly looked like something intriguing. Fun is what you need on those flights.
1. African Psycho by Alain Mabanckou
2. The Flood by Ian Rankin (which is not crime fiction and was his first book... hmm, not sure you guys can get it, but if you can it's a book that's lingered with me long after reading it)
3. Out of the Gutter - a short story collection might be a good idea for variety
4. Ken Bruen's Brant books and just about all the standalones weigh in under 250 pages

And if you didn't read it last year, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.
I thought I had every short story collection, but not that one. Thanks Sandra.
Apart from the ones which have already been mentioned (THE WHEELMAN and DRIVE and the Bruens in particular) I think the following fit the bill (although one or two may be a few pages over!):
James Crumley - THE LAST GOOD KISS
Anthony Neil Smith - PSYCHOSOMATIC (if you both don't mind completely and utterly warped!)
James McKimmey - SQUEEZE PLAY
Scott Phillips - THE ICE HARVEST
Colin Cotterill - THE CORONER'S LUNCH
Kevin Wignall - PEOPLE DIE
Allan Guthrie - TWO-WAY SPLIT

Anything by Hard Case Crime
Almost anything by Jim Thompson - they're usually quite short

And for non crime:
Slavomir Rawicz - THE LONG WALK
Donna-You have more ideas than any ten people. Thanks a lot. I had forgotten all about Flowers for Algernon. What a heart-rending story.
Murder Off the Books by Evelyn David
Ladykiller by Lawrence Light and Meredith Anthony
Cracking Grace by Steven Stromp (not crime)
Twisted Perception by Bob Avey
The Thief Maker by D.H. Schleicher
Fringe Benefits or Calling The Dead by Marilyn Meredith
The Will To Defy by Ken Myler

All of the above I really enjoyed and are slim. I did not check the number of pages but believe all are under 250, but not certain.


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