Monday, 2 July 2012

Summer's here


Summer's here, or is it? As I write this, I shiver! Where is the sun? Has anyone seen it anywhere? Please, someone, turn on the sun.

I hate to mention the weather during what's been an incredibly soggy June, but holidays are on the horizon - hurrah. I like to plan my holiday reading well in advance, just as others like to sort out which brand of suntan lotion they’ll use or how many bikinis/monokinis they’ll pack.

'Which Katie Price book should I buy at the airport's emergency shop, or which Dan Brown novel will I pluck from the bookcase?' some women will ask their husbands. While many holidaymakers revel in light reading I can be usually found clutching a chunky paperback with an obscure cover. And I don't mean to show off by doing this - I've even offered to back the books in sturdy wallpaper, like we did at primary school all those years ago to protect the covers.

I’ve not had a holiday in four years partly due to the acquisition of a cat who has ruled the roost. And as we can’t go too far with Baby, Tenerife is in the pipeline for the autumn.

Reading is an essential part of my holiday and goes hand in hand with the tropical escapism. The Secret History by Donna Tartt was a huge part of my honeymoon (*embarrassed smiley*) and I spent hours over dinner each night pondering the characters who just leapt from the pages.

I’ve already decided that the Number One read is The Submission by Amy Waldeman, a debut novel which has been hailed as 'remarkable' and 'exceptional'. It follows grief and trauma in the wake of 9/11 and focuses on a design chosen as a memorial to the victims. The Number One Read is the more intriguing of the two books I select and has the edge over the Number Two Read, well for me anyway - that's not to say it's superior.

Sadly I’ve yet to pinpoint my Number Two Read – and that’s where I need your help. My Amazon wishlist is as long as the circumference of the earth (around 25,000 miles for the nerds) and consists of everything from classics to new releases. There’s The Yips by Nicola Barker, but it has a more gritty English setting, or there’s Painter Of Silence by Georgina Harding, but I think it’s a little too depressing to take on holiday, given the Romanian setting. What about The Long Song by Andrea Levy? Too melancholy? Yes, I think so. I haven’t read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, but again it’s not what I deem a holiday read.

My themes are are broad church - I'm fascinated by the American diner and its place in history and in the past I've holidayed with my diner themed novels. I like a bit of intrigue, something off the beaten path, complex characters and a lot of style.

Help me with my holiday read.

5 comments:

JO said...

The Long Song by Andrea Levy is totally wonderful - don't be put off by the thoughts of melancholy. It will make you think, not such a bad thing - even on holiday. And the characters are terrific.

Chloe said...

I've been reading my way through the BBC Top 100 off and on over the last 9 years. With only a few to go, I've started asking people which books should go on my next list. If you pop over, their suggestions are under the 'Books' tabs (and please add to it, I need lots more ideas!).

But from personal experience... A Tale of Two Cities, The Stand (if you want a big read) or Carrie (if you want a short read), Our Tragic Universe (Scarlett Thomas) or The Eyre Affair/ Shades of Grey (Jasper Fforde).

I read The Secret History when I was a teenager and can't remember anything about it. BUT somehow it still haunts me...

Thrifty Gal said...

The book I have been recommending to everyone is Song Of Achilles - just beautiful. I also loved Bring Up the Bodies (or Wolf Hall, if you haven't read that). The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is amazing, and if you like non-fiction, Helen Castor's book She-Wolves is gripping.

Gillian McDade said...

Thanks for the comments. I think The Poisonwood Bible may come out tops!

Thanks again and happy reading.

Caroline Green said...

Another vote for the Poisonwood Bible. And I have been boring people senseless about a fantastic book called Gone Girl by another Gillian, Gillian Flynn. Such a great book.