One of the keys to successful international travel is to pack lots of reading material for the planes, airports, and hotels. I typically pack a few of my favorite aviation magazines (Model Airplane News and Aviation History, among others) as well as 3 or 4 good books.

On this trip, I’m working on two non-fiction bestsellers that I can heartily recommend to anyone. The first is Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat, which finally came out in paperback. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Friedman ever since I read From Beirut to Jerusalem years ago.

The second is The Looming Tower, a Pulitzer Prize winning offering by Lawrence Wright. It traces the history of radical Islam, al Qaeda, and the rise of Osama bin Laden from WWII to present. It’s fascinating to view modern history through the lens of 9/11 and to learn how seemingly unrelated events are all part of a tangible chain that makes sense when you view it as a whole rather than as the sum of the parts.

Other books in the bag on this trip include Godless by Ann Coulter, The Last Days by Joel Rosenberg, and Sandstorm by James Rollins.

On the comic book front, I recently added two key Silver-Age issues to my collection:

Of course, you’ll need the Silverlight 1.0 Beta 1 plug-in to view these comics in your browser. If it’s not already installed, you’ll be prompted to install it when you visit either of these pages.