Usually when I go on vacation I take too many books, and I spend a lot of time deciding just which ones to bring along. It would be too depressing to be stuck in an airport with nothing to read--or something to read that I wasn't going to enjoy reading. So I don't take any chances, and end up lugging around more books than I could possibly finish. And yes, I know that some sort of e-reader would be a solution to the problem, but I'm not ready for that yet.
But this year I got it just right. We were going on a trip with several long airplane flights, so I took 4 books. It proved to be the perfect number, and the perfect variety of escapist mysteries and more serious fiction. In case you're interested, here are my favorites:
Eucalyptus by Murray Bail is a tale of love, eucalyptus trees, and the power of stories.
The Ghost by Robert Harris is the political thriller the movie Ghost Writer was based on.
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters is a gothic mystery set in post-WWII England that was short-listed for the Man-Booker Prize.