04 June 2008

Holiday Reading

"Leave the worthy stuff at home and fill your case with the books you have been looking forward to all year," says Mariella Frostrup in this Telegraph article:

The knowledge: how to pick your holiday reading

It is a quick read, so I won't rehash it here, but in keeping with Mariella's advice I decided to give you a few of my own suggestions for takealong tomes. I have added an Amazon search box in the right column for your convenience in locating your own copies, should you find my suggestions inspiring.

Short Story Collections

When you are on a busy holiday, sometimes the shorts are just the thing. No time to invest in heavy character studies or complicated plotlines, but still want that literary fix, then go with single author collections or an anthology if a more varied selection appeals. These are some I recommend or want to read:

The Cusp of Something by Jai Clare
Apologies Forthcoming by Xujun Eberlein
The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
Indiahoma: Stories of Blues and Blessings by A. Ray Norsworthy
Bonfire, an International Conflagration by various authors

Guilty Pleasures
It's your holiday, read what makes you happy. Crime Fiction, Sci-Fi, Historical Novels, Romance. (Did I say Romance? Not for me, but knock yourself out.)
Exit Music by Ian Rankin
Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
The Spa Decameron by Fay Weldon
Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

A Gratifying Reading Experience
When I am travelling, I like to connect with something I can get my teeth into, but that also allows for some level of detachment of my higher brain function. This isn't the time for study or obsession with literary merit. Books like Atonement by Ian McEwan or The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka are for reading at home when there are no other distractions. When I am on holiday, I look for something to get lost in, something to exhilerate me, something to make me sit up and take notice:
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Living with the Truth by Jim Murdoch
Gut Symmetries by Jeanette Winterson

A Little Bit of Madness
OK, I admit I like my books a little weird, hang the reality. I have no problem at all suspending disbelief if I am having a good time. These are some of my faves:
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins
Vaudeville! by Gaetan Soucy and Sheila Fischman (tr)
Boating for Beginners by Jeanette Winterson

Enjoy your holidays, enjoy reading, enjoy life!


Rachel Fox said...

As our holidays usually mean family with a capital f (the very old and the very young) I haven't read a word on holiday for years. Sounds nice though...and I suppose as I am stay-home Mum/work at home/live quite near to the beach I am kind of on holiday all the time...so can't complain...

Carrie Berry said...

I didn't read much when I was home with kids either, but once they were older (with activities of their own) I rediscovered reading. It took burying my head in a book to wean my brain from work mode.

Dave King said...

If I was to follow the Frostrup advice, the proble wouldn't be picking my holiday reading, it would be picking up my holiday case.