Saturday, 23 June 2012

Summer Holiday Reading List 2012

Though I don't really get much time for it these days, I'm a massive reader and a great advocate for the written word. When I was a kid I used to read a book a day, and now while I try to have a book on the go and I still read loads as I'm doing English Literature at university, but actual books I want to read for myself? Novels? Political and historical biographies? As I have already mentioned earlier in the week I'm in France at the moment, and the house in France where I don't have phones and internet (the main reasons I don't get as much read as I used to) is a place where I try to get some writing done and be creative, as well as the place I try to get back to my old standard of one a day. I don't write much about books on this blog which I think is a shame, so I thought I'd share my holiday reading list for this week with you all. 
Hilary Mantel

A little known fact about me (unless you happen to have had to put up with being in my Literatures In Time seminar group this year, sorry I never shut up!) is that I am a total nut for anything and everything to do with the 16th century and the Tudor court. There was a time when I would absolutely devour every single new release that came out about the era, so I can't believe I have taken the acclaimed Tudor political thriller Wolf Hall on three consecutive holidays without starting it (I very nearly started it last year, but I got distracted by One Day). Hopefully this will be the year?

Laura Jane Cassidy

Next on my list is Eighteen Kisses, the second novel by blogger Laura Jane Cassidy. I reviewed the first book in the series Angel Kiss when it came out, both for this blog and The Guardian, and I'm really looking forward to delving into this second one as I don't get to read much teen fiction anymore as I'm not writing for The Guardian's Childrens Books site anymore. If you like teen fiction that is totally realistic, in tune while still being occupied with the supernatural, if you're a teen or an adult I know you'll enjoy Angel Kiss, and I'm sure Eighteen Kisses is going to be up to the same standard too.  

Amanda Foreman

I've actually had this book on my 'to read' pile for years, ever since the brilliant film starring Kiera Knightly came out but that pile is so big I kept on not getting around to reading the story of Georgina the rebellious Duchess. It caught my eye as I was choosing titles, and while I don't usually choose books of this ilk I'm looking forward to reading it and I think I'm going to really enjoy it. If any of you have read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it in the comments section!

Kazuo Ishiguro

Another paperback I've had for ages, this one since AS Level English Literature where I was supposed to by studying it before I switched to another class who were studying modern drama instead. Everyone really seemed to enjoy it and I gather it has been made into a film - has anyone seen it? It is also supposed to be a heart wrenching story and Ishiguro is supposed to be a fantastic writer - a bit of a change of pace! 

Randsom Riggs

A bit of a random shot into the list, this is a review copy I was sent in my capacity as a reviewer over at Judging Covers. I'm curious as it is a mixed media book, incorporating photos into the text, and the promise of a group of children stumbling on sinister goings on and secrets on a small island sounds promising!

Sonia Purnell

Finally the only hardback; the book I'm reading at the moment and about 100 pages in. Also, strangely for me the only book associated with modern politics. This was actually a Christmas present from my Aunt, and as I have spent months listening to people who work for London's enigmatic mayor telling me that the whole thing is rubbish I was curious. I'm taking it all with a pinch of salt (I've spent enough time hanging around Westminster to know that is the only way to read a political book) but it is a really interesting read and very enjoyable. Love him or hate him, who does not want to know more about Boris Johnson?

What is on your holiday reading list this Summer?


  1. I've got some Russian and German classics on my list this summer - Nabakov's Lolita and Guenter Grass's The Tin Drum, to name a couple x

  2. i have the same issue. I used to read every book I could find, but since a few years I just can't seem to find the time, except on a holiday.
    I'm leaving in a few weeks, but haven't made my list yet.
    Loads of reading fun!

  3. I really love reading too and although I managed to get through quite a few last year, I've still got tons of books on my shelf that are untouched. I signed up for Goodreads in January though and set myself a target of 25 books this year. It's such good motivation to be able to track my progress (and it helps me to remember what I've read because I'm so forgetful!). I'm currently at 10 books so far which, it has calculated, means that I am behind by 1 book. I'm determined to smash my goal! I like the sound of Eighteen Kisses though so will add that to my list! You have a much more sophisticated book list than me! x

  4. I read the duchess a while back and thought it was excellent, I think you'll really like it.

  5. Sirens and Bells23 June 2012 at 12:04

    There looks like some really good books here, I've heard Ishiguro is a fantastic writer too. I also love reading, but oddly enough, I found that since starting my English degree, I've read less, not more. Probably because I've read the books I've had to read for my course, but not so many other ones. My reading list for summer contains nothing particularly taxing, purely because I know my reading list for next year comes out soon, and I'd rather read books I'd enjoy reading whilst I can, before I have to go through the books I have to read! x
    Sirens and Bells

  6. Yay for books! I need to sort out my reading list, but I was waiting for summer to come, which it hasn't yet! I read Miss Peregrines Home for peculiar children a while ago and it was great...until the last few chapters, then it was a bit of a let down. I've just ordered The Prisoner of Heaven (part of a book series) from my favourite author, so can't wait to get it and read it.

  7. I haven't read any of these but they sound good, I've always wanted to read Wolf Hall. On my reading list this summer are the Game of Thrones books, A prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, The Shack by WM Paul Young and possibly Fifty Shades of Grey (doesn't really appeal to me but I'm a bit intrigued because of all the hype surrounding it at the moment!) :) x

  8. I can't wait for the next Pergrines book and I absolutely loved it, but I know what you mean about the action scenes at the end - I don't think they were that particular authors forte!

  9. I read Lolita on holiday a few Summers ago - you'll love it!

  10. I can highly recommend The Duchess - if you like biographies and histories I tihnk you'll love it! I think the Keira Knightley film did 'hollywoodify' the book somewhat - and of course the book is better!

  11. hey, random but i can't figure out how to make my replies on disqus stuff show a link to my blog or a picture of me? how did you do it??

  12. Hi Rachel, to get your picture to come up linking to your site you need to sign up for a Disqus commenting account, but you can always leave a URL to your page in your comment!