Now that I rarely go away, I tend to forget that normal people go on holiday in the summer. Now that I read well over 100 novels a year, I also forget that holidays are when most people pick up a book or e-reader. But at this time of year I can’t help noticing that both the broadsheet weekend supplements and the blogosphere abound with holiday reading recommendations, which got me wondering what constitutes a holiday read?
But I have also made some rather odd holiday reading choices: ploughing through Hobsbawm’s The Age of Capital between swims in the Seychelles and Moby Dick between treks in Patagonia. (In my defence, we were going whale watching.) I must have thought the reduction in stress through escaping work created the ideal conditions to tackle something more challenging; those of a less puritanical persuasion might choose to enhance the relaxed mood by reading something light.
When I first thought of posting on this topic, inspired by Charli’s comment that she was saving my novel, Underneath, for the beach, I thought I ought to include some holiday reading recommendations. But, as the above suggests, other than matching the book setting with a holiday destination, something The Book Trail manages better than I can, it’s not my strong suit. Perhaps I should work out what holiday means first.
Meanwhile, July’s reviews have taken me to India, the Netherlands, Berlin, Zambia, Ireland, South Africa and a mythical place that may not exist on any map. (I don’t count Britain as I’m already here!) If you fancy plucking one of these thirteen novels from my virtual shelf, click on the image to be transported to the reviews.
Holiday writing, or travel writing in general, relies on luscious language with evocative words such as crystalline. Rock-fanatic Charli Mills has laid down the challenge to write a 99-word story containing the word crystalline. I’ve failed miserably as I’ve failed to define a holiday read, but I hope you agree that my contribution is fun.
Leaving the divorce court, Jack crossed the road to the pub. His sister was a good listener but, having helped him pick up the pieces after three failed marriages, her patience was wearing thin. “You keep ending up with women who are just like you,” said Jill. “But sometimes opposites rub along best.”
“I should look for the ying to my yang? But I’m Mr Average. Everyone shares my tastes.”
“I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine.” She beckoned to a woman who’d been leaning on the bar. “Jack Spratt meet Crystal. Crystal Lean meet Jack.”