Thoughts and other Miscellany

On reading every book I took on holiday

Yes, you read that correctly. I just went on holiday for a week and I read every book I took with me.*

Thursday: THE END OF YOUR LIFE BOOK CLUB by Will Schwalbe. Captivated me all the way from home to St Pancras, to Paris, most of the way to Avignon. Got ten out of ten without hesitation and I pressed it upon the Book Accumulator, who was too slow to finish his French novel and The Musician got her hands on it faster.

Started Thursday, abandoned Friday after 130 pages: THE GIRL ON THE STAIRS by Louise Welsh. Started well; I love books set in countries I know and whose culture I understand (that would be Germany then), got fairly spooky so I stopped reading long before bedtime. Decided I was fed up with the political agenda being pushed having a pregnant lesbian protagonist with a male-stereotype-like partner (worked too hard, not home enough, forced the couple into husband/wife roles). Attempted to abandon in several hotels; ended up leaving it in the hire car.

Started on Friday, finished on Saturday: THE KINGMAKER’S DAUGHTER by Philippa Gregory. More rehashing of the War of the Roses from a female perspective, but the same addictive historical frippering about as ever. Wolfed down. Took it back to England as it had been considerately lent to me by a friend!

Started on Saturday, finished on Monday at the beach: A NOVEL BOOKSTORE by Laurence Cosse. Very interesting from a literary selectionism point of view, a bit dull in that it could easily have lost 50-100 pages and there was little character distinction between the protagonists. Passed on to The Book Accumulator.

Started and finished on Tuesday (we spent that long at the beach and my face is the right side of pink to prove it): MY BRILLIANT FRIEND by Elena Ferranti. I finished it, but I wasn’t totally convinced. Brought back to the UK for lack of family members who wanted to borrow it. Will end up on Bookmooch shortly.

Started and abandoned on Tuesday at the beach after 120 pages: ISLAND OF WINGS by Karen Altenberg. So dreary. Beautiful writing about a very remote part of the world, but when 5 babies died in quick succession, I couldn’t take it any more. And if I couldn’t take it on the beach in the sun, imagine reading it in winter, at night, in a cold house… Had to bring it back to the UK because it’s a library book.

Started and finished on the flight home (which surprised me. I didn’t think I could read quite that quickly): THE HOTTEST DISHES OF THE TARTAR CUISINE by Alina Bronsky. Brought back to the UK in my hands (literally! I finished it as we started to descend into Gatwick). Still haven’t quite figured out what I think about it.

How’s that for a turn-up for the books then? (Pun mostly intended). In July I took about 14 books with me and read a book a day, but several were ebooks so that didn’t really count in terms of volume of luggage utilised.

*I also took a Kindle with about 200 books on it. I read maybe five pages on it.


7 thoughts on “On reading every book I took on holiday”

  1. Well done for finishing all the books! I never manage that. I also find that an ereader on holiday is just not so exciting. I don’t like to take it to the beach and prefer books that I don’t care about getting wet, sandy, sunbleached, etc.

    Sounds like you had a good holiday!

  2. Bloomin’ eck – you did a lot better than I did! I took about nine books away with me and read… one and a bit. To be precise: I started one but ditched it within thirty pages, read all of another, and managed about twenty pages of a third on the aeroplane home. HOLIDAY READING FAIL!

    The GOOD news is that this wonderful list has made me even more determined to pick up The End of Your Life Book Club in the next couple of weeks. It’s been sitting on my windowsill for a good month already, despite the fact that I wanted to read it… well, a month ago. You’re such a positive influence! 😀

  3. Please tell me you also enjoyed your holiday, eating good food and enjoying a lovely time with your family? 😉

    Incredible how you got through so many books in a week (even if you did abandon a few)!

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