Sunday, 10 August 2014

Books to Read On Holiday

Books on a beach towel with sunglasses

Sun, sea, sand and books. Lots of us like to use a Summer holiday as a chance to catch up on reading, even those who don't read a great deal the rest of the time. I always think the best beach reads are the ones that manage to be page-turningly gripping whilst also being an easy read; with the smell of sun cream, the heat and the cocktails to tempt you into a nap, books that are less-than-exciting, or just hard work, might be better saved for a cosy Autumn afternoon at home. With these criteria in mind, I've put together a little selection of books I think would be perfect to pop into your suitcase if (unlike me) you're jetting off somewhere fabulous in the next few weeks. 

The one that goes hand-in-hand with travel is the beautifully written The Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke. The vivid and beautiful descriptions of the coastal landscapes visited by free-spirit Mia bring her story to life, as her older, more sensible sister Katie reads her travel diary entry by entry, following her journey around the world. The bond between Katie and Mia is explored as Katie visits every place her younger sister did on her way to Bali, the place where her apparent suicide took place. The author's love of travel and the sea shines through in this book, and it was just meant to be read on the beach, with the sun on your shoulders. 

The one that will make you laugh has to be my current obsession Mindy Kaling's book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Mindy is smart, hilarious and so likeable, and her book is an easy-to-read mixture of memories, essays and lists that will make you feel like you're having a good old chat with your funniest friend. 

The thrilling mystery that everyone loves is Gone Girl, the Gillian Flynn bestseller that is as gripping, surprising and full of twists and turns as you could possibly hope for. If you haven't read it, you need to get on with it before the film comes out. It really does live up to the hype. If you have read it, try Sharp Objects, Flynn's debut - the characters in this make Nick and Amy seem normal. 

The one that's not really chick-lit is disguised with a fluffy title and pastel-coloured cover, but will definitely make you think. Dorothy Koomson's Ice Cream Girls switches between two narrators who surely can't both be telling the truth about their teacher/lover's brutal murder. The papers portrayed them as teen seductresses, Lolitas eating ice-cream on the beach, but no one wanted to hear their side of the story. This one kept me guessing until the very end, and explored some sensitive but really important issues. 

Have you already been on holiday this year, and if so, did you read anything exciting?


  1. I love Gone Girl, I was getting a bit fed up half way through thinking it was going to be long winded, then boom. Truth comes out. Such a good book!

  2. I read Ice Cream Girls on holiday a couple of years ago, and thought it was brilliant. So gripping, and I love how it's got both girls narrating- it really makes you want to get to the end and find out who's telling the truth! Did you see the TV version? I'd forgotten the ending by the time it came out, so I got to have the suspense all over again.
    Also I'm adding the Mindy Kaling one to my list of books to read, sounds great :)
    Jennifer xx

  3. I didn't see the tv version, but I did see that the author was really, really unhappy about it! Was it good? I was so surprised by the book, I was expecting something pretty light-hearted, based on the cover, and it wasn't at all. The ending was great too, not what I expected!
    You should definitely read the Mindy book, she's just so likeable and funny!

  4. I loved how the big reveal was halfway through, not at the end - it gave lots of time to deal with the aftermath. I was glad too, because I had seen it coming, and was a bit annoyed at the prospect of reading half a book when I had guessed the ending, so it was great for it all to come out right away! xx

  5. I think a lot got changed in the tv version- the book was definitely better, tv tends to leave a lot out. And yes- don't want to spoil it for anyone else, but that was one unexpected ending! I will definitely give it a read :) xx

  6. I've read Gone Girl and loved it, it had me hooked (even though I occasionally had to put it down just because it was so tense in places!) I've never read The Ice Cream Girls but I did catch the beginning of one of the tv episodes on my break at work and really wanted to know what happened, so I think I'll be putting it on my list - thanks for reminding me!

    Holly / Holly in Your Pocket

  7. I really loved Gone Girl - I really need to pick up Dark Places at some point too. If you do end up reading Ice Cream Girls, let me know what you think! I really enjoyed it, and found it really hard to guess the ending! xx

  8. Nice picks. I've heard a lot about looking for Alaska, as well. Haven't read yet, though

  9. I love Gone Girl too! Are you excited for the film? :)x

  10. So excited! I feel like Ben Affleck is the perfect choice for Nick, and the trailer looks really promising! x

  11. Gone Girl is an all-time favourite of mine. Can't wait for the film. I wonder how it will be. *excited*

    Love, Somdyuti

  12. I think the trailer looks promising! x


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