Holiday reading

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Holiday reading

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Ago 16, 2010, 10:50am

The general lack of posts during August suggests several possibilities, in no particular order of likelihood (and of course not an exhaustive list): (1) banishment to an alternative universe; (2) boredom over current topics; (3) massive catch-up on reading list titles; (4) any combination of these. When I finally go on a summer break I intend to haunt the local bookshops for bargains, taking only one fiction and one non-fiction book as back-ups. If the sun shines I shall also get a paper or a magazine. Is this a typical pattern for other Brit Library Thingers, or am I alone in this? (If there's no response I'll know it's the latter option.)

Ago 16, 2010, 11:03am

A week away for me demands a minimum of three books, at least two magazines, a couple of good audiobooks, and a selection of ebooks either on my phone or netbook :) I actually try to avoid buying too many books when I'm away before I've got over 40 books on my to-read list as it is, and I have enough trouble packing without forcing mysef to leave space for books as yet unpurchased. That's the problem with not being able to drive; you can only take as much as you can carry.

I'm averaging a couple of books a week at the moment, in and around work. I'm not planning a holiday now until October, which is one that won't give me many opportunities for reading (film festival) but I'll probably take something chunky for the train, something I've been putting off like Gormenghast.

Ago 16, 2010, 2:52pm

Gormenghast -- now that's a timely reminder! I struggled through part of the first book well over (ahem) three decades ago, but, especially with still strong memories of the TV adaptation from a few years back, it must be nearly time to give it another go.

Charles Dickens is also well overdue a visit, again after a sizeable gap since reading A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations while at school. Probably ideal for those rainy days that seem to arrive just when your break has started.

Ago 17, 2010, 2:43am

On holiday, I usually take a book per day. Mainly BookCrossing ones so I can leave them wherever and use the space for anything I buy on the trip. Last holiday though was a busy birdwatching one and I only read 5 books, including on 2 x 8 hour train journeys!

I'm in Masters Dissertation Season at the moment (I'm a proofreader as well as a librarian) so not reading much at all!

Ago 17, 2010, 2:33pm

I've just got back from a week away. I'm always way too optimistic about how much I'll read. Took the two books I was reading before the holiday (a non-fiction and a fiction) and a replacement for each. More than doubled that with new purchases whilst away. Didn't finish either of my two books although I did read quite a bit of the non-fiction one (on the history of Egypt "The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt" which I've now finished and can thoroughly recommend.

Ago 18, 2010, 6:54am

I don't generally read much on holiday as I'm always running around from morning to night without a moment's rest! The most I get in is a few pages before I fall into an exhausted sleep in the evening.

Ago 18, 2010, 7:17am

Right, so the key thing is what kind of holiday you go on -- be it beach / adventure / family etc. If it's an activity holiday I can see that miss_read will have precious little time or energy to expend on reading, for others the journey is itself the opportunity to read. I suppose if I'm in culture-vulture mode abroad I'd definitely take a Rough Guide or a Dorling-Kindersley Travel Guide, whereas a getaway-from-it-all break would be light fiction. I'd definitely NOT take some proofreading!

Ago 20, 2010, 8:10pm

We will be off to our favourite corner of Crete in mid-September. Beautiful beaches -Itanos, Kouremenos, some walking - Chochlakies Gorge and the Gorge of the Dead at Zakros, Minoan sites - Roussalakis, Kato Zakros, good food and wine in Palaikastro and our friends who run the apartments where we stay with a pool with a view to die for. Plenty of time for reading so what's the choice? Proust often comes on holiday but is rarely read - maybe I'll try again. Antony Beevors' take on D-Day. Something local, perhaps The Villa Ariadne by Dilys Powell or maybe Freedom and Death by Nikos Kazantzakis. An effortless thriller - one of Alan Furst's, I think. One I've read before - Tender is the Night and one I should have read before Nostromo. Some poetry - Larkin? Graves? or what about Derek Walcott's Omeros - that'll do.

Not quite enough to cover all eventualities but it's a start.

Editado: Sep 2, 2010, 2:11pm

Well, holiday over and time to take stock -- what exactly did I read? Well, apart from a weekend paper and a couple of Prom programmes, the total over the week was one non-fiction and one fiction. The NF book was Bones of Contention: The Archaeopteryx Scandals by Paul Chambers, an excellent introduction to the 150-year-old controversy with as much attention given to the human actors in the drama as to the feathered reptile/feathered dinosaur/fake (delete according to taste). The fiction title was The Broken Bridge by Philip Pullman which, though aimed at a teenage readership, was perfectly sensitively and artististically handled for this adult, and a great foil to the His Dark Materials series. Both great reads and recommended. I'm afraid though that Moby Dick has to wait its turn...

Sep 2, 2010, 5:09pm

I'm currently on retreat in the Yorkshire Dales, so it seemed appropriate to read something by one of the candidates for Greatest Living Yorkshireman, so I have almost finished the first story in Alan Bennett's Four Stories.

Although we are only a few miles from Haworth, I couldn't summon the enthusiasm to read Wuthering Heights or similar, although we did visit the parsonage yesterday. Well worth the trip.

Feb 24, 2011, 6:34am

#8 I know we're now coming up to the next lot of holidays so I'm a bit late in the game but so good to hear from another Crete-lover. I'm willing to bet that, like me, you've read pretty much everything 'local' you can find but, just in case you've missed any of them, may I also suggest Winds of Crete, The Find of a Lifetime, Ill Met By Moonlight, The Cretan Runner, the well-worn, but still enjoyable Who Pays the Ferryman and a series by Beryl Darby that begins with Yannis and is set around Aghios Nikolaios and on the leper colony on Spinalonga (covering similar ground to The Island). I've got together a fair collection of books set in Greece over the years so if you're ever in need of something along those lines please feel free to have a wander round my library or drop me a message. I'd love to hear any of your recommendations.

Though Crete is decidedly my heart's home we also venture a little further afield from time to time (as long as it's still Greece) and this year we're headed, for the first time, to Samos, so if you or anyone else, know of any books set on that particular island I'd love to hear about them. Many thanks.

Feb 24, 2011, 11:13am

> 11: If you're sailing, and like a bit of archaeology and history thrown in, you might enjoy Hammond Innes' Levkas Man, set around the island of that name. It's a bit ancient history itself (I read it in the 70s) but enjoyable in a thriller sort of way. Some liberties taken with history and geography though, if I remember right.

Feb 24, 2011, 12:04pm

Thanks ed, it's not one I know (probably because I haven't been to Levkas). Will keep an eye open for it.

Mayo 11, 2011, 8:40am

We're going away in about two months and I'm trying to work out what I'll take to read. Last time we went on holiday, two years ago, I only read a couple of books, but this year I'm on a bit of a roll and I'm hoping to keep it up.

I'm working my way through Terry Pratchett's Discworld books and Robert Asprin's Myth series as well as alternating with some from my To-Read moutain. But I'm thinking that I might just take an entire set from my pile with me, like the whole of the Harry Potter series for the week. That way I don't have to worry about running out of books. ;-)

Mayo 12, 2011, 5:24am

Half (well, okay, not quite half) the fun of holidays is picking out what you plan to read, isn't it? I haven't started making my plans yet but am having my usual dilemma over whether I should finally give in and get a Kindle as our baggage allowance is less than ever this year. The cheaper alternative is to pay for an extra allowance because I have a horrible feeling bookshops are going to be few and far between where we're going. I love MinaKelly's idea of Gormenghast for holiday reading and if you haven't already read it, Caitak, it just might suit you rather well if you're keen on Rowling, Pratchett etc. It comes in a handy trilogy and is a fabulous book. Another great one on similar lines might be The Once and Future King (also a trilogy).

And wouldn't it be great if someone invented condensed books? Not shortened versions but whole big, fat books that had been condensed to the size of a matchbox and you just had to add water to bring them back to normal size. It's one for all you inventors out there - I'll give you the idea free of charge and promise to be your best customer. And if you can get it done by July I'd be really grateful.

Mayo 12, 2011, 7:48am

My book group has just chosen Gormenghast as our summer read. It's not really my sort of thing (not so much a fan of Pratchett, et al), but I'm willing to give it a go.

Editado: Mayo 12, 2011, 10:34am

#16 - I'm a fan of Pratchett but not of Peake and I wouldn't have said there was much but the most superficial connection. Having said that, I haven't given Peake much of a try because I found Gormenghast impenetrable. I ploughed through what seemed like a few hundreds of chapters and then it stopped making sense. I then found that on the way I'd managed to skip a dozen or so chapters without noticing. I gave up at that point. Life is too short for Mervyn Peake. I reckon you'd need a pretty long holiday for it.

Mayo 12, 2011, 9:54am

Well, you may well be right about there being no connection as I'm a huge fan of Gormenghast but not of Pratchett but I thought it was just me being odd.

Mayo 12, 2011, 1:16pm

>17 alaudacorax: ... oh, dear!

>18 Booksloth: Booksloth, I hope my experience is more like yours!

Mayo 12, 2011, 3:35pm

I tried to give Gormenghast and its sequels a go back in the 60s (probably on the back of the Tolkien craze) but I suspect I wasn't really ready for it then, finding it a little slow and Gothic. An imaginative BBC TV adaptation a couple or so years ago suggested I seriously ought to try again, but haven't yet got round to it. Some time soon, maybe!

Mayo 12, 2011, 5:37pm

I enjoyed them. Well, the third one was a bit nothingy, but the first two worked. A very different reading experience from Pratchett though. You've got to be ready to slow down for a world of page after page of description with nothing much actually happening. Maybe today's goldfish-attention-span computer-game-junkies (yes, I stereotype) may find them tough going. (On the other hand, I've never managed to drag myself through the Lord of the Rings...)

Plus, fewer jokes than Pratchett!

Mayo 14, 2011, 4:08pm

15: Thanks for the Gormenghast suggestion. It's on my list to read.

The good thing about where we're going is that there's a bunch of bookshops and charity shops there, so if I start running low on reading material, I can restock. ;-)

Mayo 15, 2011, 5:27am

>16 miss_read:

If your book group has serious biblioholics of a nervous disposition, there is a particularly disturbing bit in one of the later episodes of the trilogy, I seem to remember. ;-)

Mayo 15, 2011, 9:21am

And if I remember it right from the TV series, yes, it was a bit of a shock.

Ene 20, 2013, 2:34pm

With the snow'n'all, is anyone finding time to catch up on holiday reading? Or perhaps you're anticipating a winter holiday (if the planes aren't gounded)?

Anticipate your summer by browsing holiday bookshops here:

Abr 22, 2013, 2:30pm

I'm astonished. This group has hibernated all winter! Is there any life to be found, now that we've got a balmy 12 degrees?

Abr 23, 2013, 6:37pm

I'm still thawing out...

Mayo 4, 2013, 2:13pm

I think we all are. Anyone discover any great British authors while we were all snowed in?

Mayo 5, 2013, 8:50am

Jane Austen, don't know if you've heard of her? Just finished Northanger Abbey, very perspicacious and surprisingly modern (substitute Romantic Gothick for today's vampire goths). Of course, don't forget 2013 is the 200th anniversary of the first publication of Pride and Prejudice.

Oh, you meant somebody modern? Umm...

Mayo 8, 2013, 4:52pm

Ironically, I've recently been discovering some 19th century authors that I had missed before. Just started reading Middlemarch, although alternating with Game of Thrones.

Mayo 9, 2013, 5:24pm

>30 dhtabor:
Ah, promised myself Middlemarch too, for the not too distant future. Haven't yet succumbed to Game of Thrones though...

Mayo 10, 2013, 2:26am

Middlemarch is heaven.

Mayo 10, 2013, 3:30pm

I'm just a couple of chapters in. Sometimes it takes me a while to start getting into 19th century books.

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