Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Holiday Reading Part 1: Alex

Hello.  I'm Alex and I blog over at Odd Socks and Pretty Frocks about clothes, books, photography, baking, crafts and all sorts of random stuff.  Chloe asked for some guest posters whilst she's off enjoying a well-deserved holiday and I thought this seemed the perfect opportunity to talk about some holiday reading.  Now I'm the sort of loon who packs books first and then worries about clothes later, so you can imagine that I'm never short of books to choose from.  If you're slightly more sane than I am and want some book recommendations for your summer holidays, read on:

If you're...going to Italy

Then pick up a copy of The Food Of Love by Anthony Capella



The characters and plot are beautifully written but this book is really about the food.  Oh my god, the FOOD!  It has the most sumptuous descriptions I've read outside the best sort of cookery book.  It makes me immediately want to move to Italy and find myself a Bruno who can feed me freshly made pizza, coffee, amazing wine, homemade tortellini, olive oil, truffles, tartufo.... It's a good job descriptions contain no calories or I'd be the size of a house!

If you're...heading to Egypt

Then it has to be Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
.


Egpyt, love, murder, excursions to  ancient ruins, Poirot in typical masterly deductive form: what's not to love?  I'd also recommend one of Christie's less well-known books, Death Comes as the End.  It's set in Egypt in 2000BC and although you do have tune your brain a little to get into it and keep all the characters straight, it's well worth reading.

If you're...travelling around Europe

Then make room in your case or on your Kindle for a copy of Neither Here Nor There by Bill Bryson.



It might be 20 years old now but let's face it, you won't be reading it purely as a travel guide (buy a Time Out guide or something for that).  You'll be too busy snorting with laughter at the tales he tells about his travels around the major cities.  I particularly like the Paris chapter.

If you're...going Down Under

Brace yourself and read Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay.



The film (which truly creeps me out) is probably better known than the book but I feel like it should be more widely read.   Very atmospheric, very spooky and full of wonderfully vivid descriptions of the countryside.

If you're...going on a beach holiday and don't want to tax your brain



Welcome to the world of Jilly Cooper.  Her novels are nice and long, so are perfect for a holiday, and they're always entertaining, funny and hilariously full of bonking.  An added bonus is playing the Jilly Cooper Drinking Game (copyright moi) - drink every time she uses the words ravishing, scent, wireless or washing-up machine, refers to someone by a convoluted nickname, uses an odd simile...there are many more categories.  End result - happy holiday drunkenness.  My personal fave is Polo but it probably makes sense to start at the beginning with Riders.

My late-summer holiday this year is to Estoril and I have no idea about Portuguese literature - I should probably start investigating now!
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