Tag Archive > Holiday Reads 2013

Remarkable Creatures

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Remarkable Creatures, Tracy Chevalier, book reviewThis article is part of our Holiday Reads 2013 series. Remarkable Creatures is Rosanna Ley’s recommendation. Quercus published her  book, Bay of Secrets on May 9th, 2013. You can read our review of the book here.

This is a perfect holiday read for anyone who loves the Jurassic coast of Dorset as much as I do. The novel is set in Lyme Regis in the earlyish 1800s and the limelight of point of view is shared by the young, working-class girl Mary Anning and an educated but down at heel spinster Elizabeth Philpott. Both characters are real people with an interesting story to tell.

Mary Anning survived being struck by lightning as a baby and this event has given her ‘the eye,’ meaning that she can spot fossils she calls ‘curies’ on the beaches of Lyme Bay.

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Holiday Reads

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This article is part of our Holiday Reads 2013 series. These are Charity Norman’s recommendations. Her new novel The Son-in-Law will be published next month. You can find our review here.

I’m imagining the kind of holiday that involves long hours in a hammock with a glass of something cold – or possibly by the log fire in a Scottish glen – rather than one of the wholesome variety that involve blisters forming under the walking boots, the husband peering at the map, and teenagers asking why are we here, and please can we go somewhere sensible next year?

So – what books would I pack for the hammock or hearth? Well, let’s start with something to bring on that languorous holiday feeling. Joanna Trollope’s recent Daughters-in-Law, for example. Atmospherically set under the vast skies of Suffolk, the novel explores family tensions – something Trollope does so incisively. A controlling matriarch struggles to let go of her sons, while her three daughters-in-law each in their own way fight back. The result? Chaos.

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Books for Holiday Reading

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These are some recommendations from Hilary Linstead and Elisabeth Davies for your Holiday Reads 2013. Their book Growing Old Outrageously will be published in July. You can read our review here.

I have a pile of books on the table by my bed, R2R, Ready To Read, and when I go on holiday I pick them up and fling them into the nearest suitcase. Even if I take my Kindle with its library on board, there is still the instinctive urge to gather up those bedside books and take them with me.

Here and There, A. A. GillComing to England this time, my R2R books included Another Country by Nicholas Rothwell, a story of his desert journeys in Northern and Central Australia and his encounters with mystics, explorers and healers. The book is peopled with eccentrics and includes detailed information on Aboriginal art and artists. I’ve also included witty and insightful Sane New World by Ruby Wax in which she describes returning to University in order to re-educate herself about the depressive illness from which she has suffered all her life.

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A Lovesong for India

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Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, A Lovesong for India, book reviewThis article is part of our Holiday Reads 2013 series.

I love books about India and whenever I go there on holiday, I take a list of all the books I’ve heard about during the year that I might be able to find more easily in India. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s A Lovesong for India was one of my purchases in 2011. Whilst I generally prefer Indian writers, I also enjoy Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s semi-outsider view of Indian life. Although she was born German to Polish parents, she moved to England and then married an Indian – architect CSH Jhabvala – and together they spent many years living in India. She now splits her days between New York, London and Delhi and A Lovesong for India reflects that complexity in her own life.

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Cosmos

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Cosmos: The Story of Cosmic Evolution, Science and Civilisation, Carl Sagan, book reviewThis article is part of our Holiday Reads 2013 series. Cosmos is Matt Haig’s recommendation. Matt just published his second book, The Humans.

I am getting into science books. At school, I hated science, but I think that was mainly because I had not very inspiring teachers. I didn’t get excited by bunsen burners and forceps and those safety goggles you had to wear. Also, I turned up an hour late for my Science GCSE, meaning I ended up getting an F.

Anyway, my allergy to science changed three years ago when I was on holiday in Sardinia. We were staying in a hotel that had books on the bookshelves, most of which were written in Italian. Anyway, one of the few books written in English was Cosmos by Carl Sagan.

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The Humans

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Matt Haig, The Humans, book reviewThis article is part of our Holiday Reads 2013 series. You can find Matt Haig’s holiday read recommendation here.

Matt Haig’s The Humans is the second of his novels that I have read, the first being The Radleys, about a family of suburban vampires. The Humans has a similarly mundane setting, largely set around a family in Cambridge, the father of which is an eminent professor of mathematics at the university. Yet from the outset, we know that this is no mundane story.

Professor Andrew Martin has just solved the greatest mathematical problem in the world. The next time anyone sees him, he is wandering aroung naked and doesn’t seem to be quite himself. He is no longer Andrew Martin, but is an alien come to suppress the knowledge of his breakthrough. Humans, however, aren’t quite as primitive and two-dimensional as he expected.

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Growing Old Outrageously

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Growing Old Outrageously by Hilary Linstead and Elisabeth Davies, book reviewThis article is part of our Holiday Reads 2013 series. You can find out more about Hilary’s and Liz’s favourite reads here.

Growing Old Outrageously by Hilary Linstead and Elisabeth Davies is a travel book that will either delight you with the scope of their retirement adventures and their willingness to have a go at anything or will fill you with fear that you might one day find yourself on holiday with these two eccentric old girls. Liz and Hilary met at school at Cheltenham Ladies College and then found each other again after retirement, despite Hilary being in Australia and Liz in the UK. They were reintroduced by a mutual friend, took their first trip together to Morocco and were soon bouncing around all over the world egging each other on to increasingly outrageous acts of self-embarrassment. Flirting with waiters, accidentally wetting themselves, getting locked in cupboards, offending fellow travellers and having a wild time soon became the norm.

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The Honey Guide

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The Honey Guide,  Richard Crompton, book reviewThis article is part of our Holiday Reads 2013 series. The Honey Guide is Michael Logan’s recommendation. Michael won Terry Pratchett First Novel Award prize for Apocalypse Cow, just published in paperback.

I don’t know what it is about sitting on a beach beneath a baking sun, surrounded by cavorting holidaymakers, that makes my thoughts turn to murder. I’m not talking about actually killing the over-muscled gentleman thrusting his bulging speedos in my face as he retrieves a casually tossed Frisbee, although I’m pretty sure no court would convict me if I did. I’m talking about burying my nose in a crime thriller to avoid such sights.

Last month, as I holidayed in Zanzibar, I was lucky enough to have a copy of The Honey Guide by Richard Crompton to shield my bleeding eyes.

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