If you’ve read my last post on how I dealt with my brutal sun burn, you will probably have guessed that I spent quite a bit of time on a sun-lounger on my recent holiday. And of course it’s pretty much impossible to soak up the sun on holiday without a book in your hand. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find the hardest part of packing for a holiday is deciding firstly how many books to take, and secondly which ones.
I definitely don’t want to get ready for my last day relaxing in the sun, to find out that I’ve read all my books. And I definitely don’t want to open up all the books I’ve taken to get one chapter in and find that I can’t get into it and then be stuck with nothing I want to read all holiday.
For this reason I always make sure that I not only take a few actual books with me, but I make sure that in the few weeks before the holiday, I spend a few evenings sifting through the free books on the Kindle store of my iPad, and downloading anything and everything that looks vaguely interesting.
Because I like to alternate between swimming, sunbathing and generally exploring the place I am in, I generally don’t like to have my iPad on the beach with me. But for both general back up, and reading on the sunny balcony I make sure it’s loaded with potentials just in case! Plus, it came in handy this time when R made the silly mistake of only taking one book with him, so he could download something to keep him quiet on the plane home.
Again, as a safeguard – honestly, I’ve only just realised how seriously I take this reading on holiday thing! – I like to take a book that I have read before, but not for a while. This way I am guaranteed to have something that I know I will love. My choice of pre-read, and pre-loved this time was Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn.
I’m not sure where you would have had to have been to miss the huge hype around this book, and the subsequent film, but if you have you really should look it up. A thriller really like no other, the twists and turns of this is-she-isn’t-she-dead-and-if-she-is-the-the-husband-really-guilty? plotline will guarantee you can’t put it down.
My other two choices were plucked from the shelves of charity shops, because they looked like the kind of trashy beach thriller than I like to read on holiday. Something that looked interesting enough to keep me glued to the sunlounger – but of course nothing too heavy going for holiday. Because noone wants to be trawling through Shakespeare while they’re trying to relax and forget about the real world, right?
Blood Loss by Alex Barclay, did everything I wanted to. The protagonist Ren Bryce is as badass as I like my female Special Agents to be, and although the foreshadowing was a little too telling, I was pleasantly surprised by how intricately the plot was woven.
Luckily, I saved Rage Against the Dying, by Becky Masterman for the last day, and the plane. Which meant I had quite a bit of uninterrupted time to just sit and read, read, read. The step away from the usual female Special Agent, Brigid Quinn is retired, and has softened – just enough – from her ass-kicking days. But that doesn’t mean she isn’t still a force to be reckoned with. While the ‘Case is meant to be closed, but it’s really only just beginning’ plot to this runs a little slow for my liking, but overall it does work really well. And Masterman has an incredible talent of writing raw emotions so real, you just need to keep reading to see how everything turns out.
Maybe one of the two above will end up as my pre-read, pre-loved book the next time I go away.
So, do you have as much trouble as me picking holiday reads? What have you not been able to put down recently?