I’m about to leave on an international holiday with my family and I’ve been doing some careful planning about what books and audiobooks to load onto my Kindle and phone.
It has made me realise that planning holiday reading is quite different to regular home-reading.
As this holiday is a long one – 10 weeks! – I tried not to fall back entirely on ‘beach reads’, but neither did I want any books that would make me work too hard.
Perhaps there should be a service offering holiday-makers advice on how to choose the perfect holiday read, depending on their destination and duration …
Here are the books that made the cut, and why:
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver – I’ve read a couple of Kingsolver’s books, including The Poisonwood Bible, and enjoyed them both. After hearing that Demon Copperhead had won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and a recommendation from my sister-in-law, I couldn’t resist.
Wild Abandon by Emily Bitto – I’ve been wanting to read this since I read a summer reading special in The Age and lots of the writers raved about it. I don’t know much at all about it, but that’s recommendation enough for me!
Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty – I’m not sure that there is a better ‘holiday read’ writer than Liane Moriarty. I know that this book is going to be smart, fun and funny – the perfect combination for on the plane, train or beach.
The Candy House by Jennifer Egan – This is another one I’ve been chasing for a while, so a holiday seems like the perfect time to try this widely-praised novel. I enjoyed A Visit From the Goon Squad and Manhattan Beach by Egan.
Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh – This is the ambitious novel in the list, in case I feel like the comfort of a classic. I read Brideshead Revisited years ago, and I hope this one is as good … if I feel up to the challenge of tackling a classic during a holiday.
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover – I’m curious to learn what the fuss about Colleen Hoover is all about, after a couple of years of seeing her books proliferate across the bookshelves at Big W. I’ve heard mixed reviews about her books but I still want to know why they’re so popular.
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus – You would have to have been living under a rock not to have heard of this one, and I can’t remember hearing any reviews that weren’t gushing. I’m really looking forward to finding out what Garmus could possibly have done to make something with this unlikely title so interesting.
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Who doesn’t love a bit of escapism when you’re on a long-awaited escape? And I figure that London is a great place to read about the rock star lifestyle … although that side of London is a long way from the side that I’ll be seeing with my three kids!
Gathering Dark by Candice Fox – I’ve been totally obsessed with Candice Fox after having read the first in the Crimson Lake series. I accidentally read the third book in the series before the second, so now I’m going back to fill in the gap. These are the perfect books to pull you into the mystery and not let go until the final page. I find the lead character fascinating and irresistible, along with his partner private eye and the Far North Queensland setting.
Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince by JK Rowling – I’ll be reading this one to my eight-year-old, and with all of the Harry Potter attractions we will be visiting while we’re away, from the colleges at Oxford to the studio tour near London, it will be a wizarding bonanza.