Summer reading: what’s on your list?

Holiday readingAmanda and I are about to go on holiday (not together, that would be weird) so will be taking the first two weeks of July off from work and the blog.

I am off to Spain on a family holiday with various kids, boyfriends (not mine btw) and cousins and while M.A.D and teen daughter lie by the pool all day going brown and the cousins dive into the pool backwards, I will be firmly ensconced under a brolly in a kaftan reading as many books as I can get my hands on.

The last few weeks have been intense work wise and reading has gone out of the window in favour of working 12 hour days to get my new business off the ground, so I will be switching off all technology (I’m actually hoping our holiday home doesn’t have wifi) and getting stuck into some of the books that have been on my radar for some time.

AutobiographiesThe Slits are one of my all time favourite bands and Typical Girls is firmly on my Desert Island Discs list, so Viv Albertines biography, Clothes, Music Boys, is a must read for me.

Ben Watt is not only one half of another of my favourite bands (EBTG would also be on my DID list) he is also a great writer and his first book Patient, which tells the story of his long mystery illness, was a poignant read. Romany and Tom is both a personal journey and a portrait of his parents relationship and tells a story of ambition, stardom, family roots, secrets, life in clubs and care homes.

I saw Ben Watt speak at the recent Stoke Newington Literary Festival and was touched by his candid stories of his family history and what it means to watch your parents age. The very first line of Romany and Tom, reads, “we only ever see the second half of our parents’ lives – the downhill part”.

Lynn Barber is a journalist best known for her celebrity interviews and has written about everyone from Courtney Love to Salvador Dali. I also saw her talk at the SNLF and her frank and funny approach to life (The film An Education was based on her relationship with an older married man when she was 16) made me want to read her new memoir A Curious Career.

She has by her own admission has always suffered from a compelling sense of nosiness and this book sounds like a fascinating insight into the lives of celebrities and the changing world of journalism.

Holiday readingI have hear nothing but good things about Kate Atkinson’s new book Life After Life. After loving Behind the Scenes at the Museum, I was less enthusiastic about Atkinson’s next few novels, but I have high hopes for this winner of the Costa prize.

I like at least one chick lit novel on holiday and The Time of Their Lives by Maeve Haran, looks like it will tick that box, except this time the chicks are in their 60’s.

Maeve Haran started her writing career with the international bestseller, Having It All, which explored the dilemmas of balancing career and motherhood. Her latest book tells the story of four friends from the generation that wanted to change the world didn’t bargain on getting old and explores the different ways they celebrate their coming of age.

And lastly The Three by Sarah Lotz is being heralded as the new Lost/The Passage/Gone Girl (I will also be attempting to read everything Gillian Flynn has ever written) and promises to be a page turning holiday thriller.

Let us know if you have any must read recommendations for our holiday – we still have time for one last trip to the bookshop.



  • steffi says:

    have just inherited my second collection of Agatha Christies as well as a fabulous straw hat in the style of Diana Rigg in Evil under the Sun, so will be dedicating time to all my faves as I always do and waft around trying to look the part! Can’t wait!!!!! X

  • Susan says:

    “The Rosie Project” by Graeme Simsion was a popular choice of mine for my bookgroup and was also enjoyed by a male friend too – it’s about a man with Aspergers who looks for a wife with a questionnaire and finds someone quite unlikely instead. It is a fairly light read but is indeed laugh out loud funny in parts – as the reviews had said (we usually don’t believe what the reviewers say as they all seem to be friends of the authors these days…)

    A more serious book which is beautifully written and descriptive but more harrowing is “Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent – based on a true story dating from 1828 of an Icelandic woman murderer. Might be interesting to read this in the Spanish heat!

    Have a good holiday. I enjoy reading your posts and try to visit some of your recommendations when I get the rare chance to go to London.

  • Jane says:

    thanks susan I am buying both of those right now

    J x

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