Once you've completed the in-flight mag sudoku and played the trivia game on the screen in the headrest in front of you, deciding maybe you should sit out a few rounds and give the other passengers a chance to win, you need something to read.
I think a plane book is pretty close to a beach read, just a few differences. Plane books aren't just fluffy, they are funny. Sitting on the beach with or without a book is enjoyable, sitting in a plane for a cross-country flight is not. So the book has to be a bit more fun to make the flight tolerable. Also, the book should be somewhat respected, people might see you. This doesn't mean it has to be Middlemarch or As I Lay Dying, but maybe it also shouldn't be a Harlequin romance (careful if you're at work, and did you know there was a Harlequin NASCAR category!).
1) Bridget Jones's Diary - The first time I it read was on a plane. I wished I had it on my most recent plane trip. It's funny, I relate to it, perhaps a bit too much, and it's more respected than most of the other rom-coms.
2) I'm a Stranger Here Myself - Bill Bryson is the consummate travel writer. Maybe not as a guide book, but as a companion to travel or a friend to help you reminisce after you get home. I have loved every book of his I have read. This one was so funny I was embarrassed on the plane. And then I read several parts out loud to my dad on the ride home from the airport.
3) Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris is always funny and I can't wait till this Friday for his lecture. And this book is my favorite. Maybe it's because I grew up in SC, he in NC, and we have both lived in France, feeling so lost in a foreign language and culture, and yet loving it at the same time.
4) The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing - One of my all-time favorite books. I think I have read it twice, both during travel. There is one weird, out-of-the-blue chapter in the middle but keep with it and it will make sense in the end.
5) To Kill A Mockingbird - While it may not be funny or especially light, it is the book I have re-read more than any other and my favorite book of all time. I like to read it on a train, or on a plane, in a box, or with a fox. I like to read it here or there. I like to read it anywhere!
The holiday season is almost here and that means lots of travel... Any suggestions?