|Tove Jansson's 'The Summer Book'. 30 SPF suncream: £11.05, Vichy|
I'm not as good at reading books as I used to be. All that social media, instagramming and emails seems to have gotten in the way. And I spent far too long reading long, boring books through my English degree to ever persevere with a book I don't enjoy (3 courses of 'Paradise Lost'! It killed me).
I'm going to be honest now, I don't read much at all anymore, I carried the Goldfinch around in my bag for entire YEAR before getting to the end. But that's not to say I didn't love it, I just rarely catch moments to read where I'm not working, replying to someone, writing letters, planning blogposts, compiling moodboards for clients etc etc.
But I have been told by a few people that my book recommendations are good - I think a holiday book is also different to a life book. I'm currently reading 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' - it's brilliant but I wouldn't recommend to take it on holiday.
|Re-reading Harper Lee's wonderful 'To Kill A Mockingbird', looking forward to the release of the new title 'Go Set A Watchman'|
A holiday book needs to be a good length, so you don't need to take 5 in your Easyjet 23kg luggage. It also needs to transport you to another world, transport you to a far off place (but not too distant to detract from your holiday), so you can immerse yourself and truly relax. A great holiday book is one you want to talk about over lunch, and can't wait to dive back into after a relaxing swim (pun completely intended).
|Some of my all-time favourite reads - a book well-read is a book enjoyed|
Here are my TOP 5 holiday reads:
'The Woman In White' by Wilkie Collins - NERJA, SPAIN 2001
Oh, this was a glorious holiday, and what an amazing book. I honestly couldn't put it down - the first mystery novel of its time and the first book to use different people's perspectives, the fascinating story of a mysterious woman in white, seen by the protagonist Walter Hartright, whose story is unravelled throughout the book. It is just a must read, everyone who I have ever recommended this to has adored it - and it has, in my opinion the best villain ever - Count Fosco (whose accomplices are his pet mice).
'The Summer Book', Tove Jansson - BARCELONA, SPAIN 2013
You might want to take another book with you as well, as you will finish this in a day. A friend bought this for me after I fell in love with Finland - it's written by Tove Jansson, the creator of The Moomins and is about a girl and her grandmother, set in the Finnish Archipelago. It's almost a book of fables - little stories. But is endearing and wonderful - quite childlike - and totally calming.
'Valley of The Dolls', Jacqueline Susann - KORCULA, CROATIA 2011
This book may go into my all-time favourite reads ever. I love the social scenes it depicts of New York in the 1960s, hanging out at El Marocco, the views towards women in the 60s - plus the characters and sensational storylines are as addictive as those 'dolls' they take - every woman should read this book. Tip: I have the Barbara Hulanicki special edition cover, as it looks chicer (the other covers, I think, make it look trashier than it actually is).
'The Beach', Alex Garland - LIMASSOL, CYPRUS 1998
I remember reading this before finishing my A-Levels and it really made me rethink my travels. Such an interesting perspective on the dark side of travelling - and needless to say, so much better than the film.
'The Robber Bride', Margaret Atwood - PENANG, MALAYSIA 2000
I am huge Margaret Atwood fan, anyway, she is the only writer whose novels I have read in their entirety. The way she depicts women, and their awkward relationships, and the way she threads a story together, is compelling. The story starts at the funeral of Zenia, who was a compulsive boyfriend stealer - and what happens next just has to be read to be believed.
What are your all-time favourite holiday reads?