If you are bound for Mexico and looking for a Spanish phrase book, check out Rick Steves' Spanish Phrase Book & Dictionary. Although the guide is oriented to Spain, not Latin American, the vocabulary and phrases are great. In addition to all the usual things a tourist needs, such as words and phrases for changing money and ordering in a restaurant, the book includes gems such as the translation for "I've fallen and can't get up" as well as the popular favorite for taxi rides, "Slow down or I'll throw up." The book is useful and fun.
But what to read when on the plane or at the beach? Here are a few books I'm interested in checking out. If you've read any of these, or have recommendations for good books to take on vacation, please share your thoughts in comments!
1222 by Anne Holt.
The Fifth Witness by Michael Connelly.
Miss Timmins' School for Girls by Nayana Currimbhoy.
Gillespie and I by Jane Harris.