Musings on holiday reading (2017)

Too small, too heavy. I can’t fit them all in my suitcase – disaster!

I finally have my summer holiday booked and the first thing that excites me is getting to choose which books I take with me on my travels. Every year I misjudge it – usually I don’t take enough. My mother suggested we combine books for the holiday and share them between the 5 of us – I scoffed, responding with “but I’d have finished mine in two days and would be waiting the whole holiday to get my hands on yours.”

So how do we pick the perfect selection?

Holidays are the time to relax in the sun, taking a splash in the pool or lazing by the beach, so surely I’d want something quite light hearted to read that’s equally as calming as my surroundings? Nope. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of Bridget Jones style chick-lit, but I would whizz through these – this is the kind of thing I’m reading to keep me going through exam season. Besides, I normally have to pack between 4-6 books when I travel depending on their size, and reading the same plot just with different character names over and over would disinterest me.

I’m also a big fan of thrillers such as Gone Girl, the Girl on the Train and Big Little Lies; however again I seem to read these with incredible speed because I want to find out whodunit so badly!

Going to the other extreme – non-fiction. As a history student, I love biographies and memoirs such as Jennifer Worth’s ‘Call the Midwife’ series. I have a shelf full of books on the Holocaust that I’m waiting to read, but these in my mind are not holiday appropriate! Non-fiction books are usually quite heavy reading material; again, if I took 5 of these away with me I might feel as though I’ve not had a break from university, despite the summer holidays is the prime time for me to read all of the big heavy books I can’t usually fit into term time.

So, what books will I be cramming into my suitcase this summer?

‘The Beautiful Dead’, a fast-paced thriller which I have no doubt will be finished in two days tops. ‘Travelling to Infinity’, the true story of Stephen and Jane Hawking which laid the framework for the motion picture ‘The Theory of Everything’. ‘One Day’ – a tragic romance (I’ve seen the film…oops…). Drums of Autumn – the fourth instalment in the Outlander series mixing historical fiction and romance. This one is biiiiiiiig so will keep me going for a while – usually these take me a term to read in between university work. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, again another thriller but one I expect will be more complex than ‘The Beautiful Dead’.

The combination and variation of themes across this selection should keep me intrigued and content laying on a sunbed by the pool between splashes. Hopefully I’ll be able to fit them all into my bag – otherwise I may have to sacrifice a few items of clothing!

Happy holidays,

Rachel x

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