For me, the two most important things I pack to go on holiday are my walking boots and at least one book for every two days I am away. Long stomps through forests or up mountains by day and then evenings lazing on a blanket (if we are camping) or on a sofa reading, are what I like to do best on holiday. The last two weeks in North Yorkshire have seen plenty of boot and book action and have left me feeling very relaxed and peaceful.
I managed to finish one book, read five more and start another while I was away. This is what I read:
- Theft by Peter Carey. I had started this before I left London, and found it very tough going, but I must have needed the holiday as once I was no longer distracted by everyday chores I enjoyed it. Its a strange book, but satisfying at the end.
- Further Under The Duvet by Marian Keyes. This book is a collection of articles by Marian Keyes and was a freebie from somewhere which I hadn't particularly expected to enjoy. But it was such an entertaining read after the seriousness of Peter Carey, that I went out and bought one of Keyes' novels to read as well.
- Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes. A satisfyingly chunky book and well written. Quality chick lit.
- The Great Stink by Clare Clark. By far the best book I read all holiday. I loved every minute of it and wished I had written it. Its a thriller set in the sewers of Victorian London - original, brilliantly written and very exciting.
- The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. Many people I know have read this and enjoyed it. I did too. Its an American book, which would always predispose me to like it, but the idea for the plot was fascinating, and the characters were really well thought out.
- The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. This was, by a long way, the book I enjoyed the least. The writing was clunky and cliched and the much-mentioned huge guilty secret which was revealed at the end was a big disappointment.
- The Bird Woman by Kerry Hardie. I haven't quite finished this one, but it gets the second place rosette from me. It is original and slightly strange; I am very much enjoying it. Kerry Hardie explores the differences between how people from Northern Ireland and Eire view each other, which is something I've not come across in fiction before.
Because reading and walking is what G and I do on holiday, the children have no choice at the moment but to do that too. I wonder sometimes if this is something they will deeply rebel against when they are older. I must try not to be too disappointed if they choose to go on beach holidays in Spain or villa holidays in France instead.
At the moment, however, I seem to have children who are happy to fall in with my plans (or maybe they're just not old enough to stage an effective rebellion...we shall see).