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Holiday reading 2012

There is a holiday reading thread, but it has 2011 in the title, so I thought I'd start a new one for this year.  Mainly because I am going on holiday tomorrow and really looking forward to it!  Just five days in Whitby, but can't wait to be by the sea eating fish and chips out of paper.

My Kindle will be travelling with me - and fortuitously, a reissued Phil Rickman that I haven't read has just been downloaded to it (pre-ordered a few weeks back), so that might figure in my reading.  I will also take the next volume of Durrell's Avignon Quintet.  But I have also bought a book recommended recently by a friend which has a Yorkshire connection - it's The Plot by Madeleine Bunting, her account of a plot of land owned by her father (I think), which sounds just my kind of thing.  I had been planning to re-read Possession, as some of that is set in Whitby, but will take my new book instead.

Anyone else going on holiday this Easter?  Anyone heard about or read The Plot?
Joe McWilliams

I am going on holday in two days to Germany and Switzerland (maybe a bit of France) for three weeks. I'm not sure what I'll read while there. I've found on past trips the only books I can afford are paperback 'classics' that tend to be about  half the price of contemporary English language novels in the German shops. I look forward to browsing.

Whitby in April, Evie. What's that like? Can't be too warm.
Jen M

I'm not going away, but am looking forward to nearly two weeks off work, when I will be spending time with family, tidying up and trying to take things easier than of late.  

I haven't heard of The Plot, but I have heard of Madeleine Bunting.

Whitby is a lovely place with little narrow streets, a lovely unspoilt beach at Sandsend and lots of fish and chips!  Enjoy your holiday, Evie.  And you yours, Joe.

I haven't been to Whitby since I was a teenager, so am really looking forward to going back.  That section of coast is wonderful.  

Joe, we've been having wonderful weather here, warm and sunny (even in Whitby!) - but it's due to break tomorrow, of course, with rain forecast until Wednesday - typical!  But it's very British to sit on the beach whatever the weather...will have to find a bus shelter or somewhere like that to eat my fish and chips!

Enjoy German and Switzerland, Joe - fabulous places.

Hope you can have a relaxing time at home, Jen - time at home without work is good.

When people ask what is my very favourite place, Whitby is always the one that comes to mind, at least as a tourist place.  It is small enough to feel you have encountered most of it in a few days, it is beautiful in its setting, it has the fabulous history and mystery associated with the abbey, it has little interesting streets to meander round, and altogether is charming in the extreme, without being too obviously trying.

It even had garden allotments(not really known in NZ, though there are now more community gardens than in other times) for my husband up near the abbey.

I don't think we are doing much for Easter, but yesterday we enjoyed a Sunday drive round our own tourist area and enjoyed a beach walk, a picnic by a historic tractor and mill-site.  Now something we do often at all.  

Cheers, Caro.

Ooh Evie I am so jealous!! I LOVE Whitby its so beautiful there, (and the Fish & Chips from the Magpie are to die for!!  Very Happy) Have you been to Robin Hood Bay just a bit further along the coast? thats really pretty there and if you get there while the tide is out the shore is so pretty, with rock pools. I went there back in October, for a week and we did Whitby, Robin Hood Bay and Scarborough. It was lovely!

I would pack some warm clothes though as all that unseasonably warm and sunny weather has given way to more traditional April weather this week! I think there was even talk of a little snow in places! can you believe it!

I'm not going away at easter this year we only normally go on day trips anyway at this time of year.  I don't read while on holiday which I think I said somewhere else before, I do like to browse in any books shops I find while I am away and normally end up coming home with a number of new books to read, but we tend to pack in so much sight seeing and walking while we are away, there is no time to read, and by the time we get back in the evening we generally are too shattered and fall straight asleep!

Whitby's amazing at any time of year (even if very cold). We have a family tradition of going walking there on New Year's Day, which is normally cold, but beautiful and serene. We once went on a Dracula tour one evening, and they take you round the scenes of the book, some of Bram Stoker's history, etc. It was quite good.

I'm not going on an Easter holiday (though I am going on the newly opened Harry Potter Studio Tour next week!!!), but if plans fall into place I'll be going to Australia in the summer so will need some suitably Aussie reading recommendations!

Just back from my few days in Whitby...not a good holiday...not Whitby's fault though!  My hotel (which was utterly dreadful, even before the power cut we had as a result of the storm and the sudden heavy snowfall on the moors on Tuesday night) was in the same street as the houses where Mina and Lucy lived in Dracula (which I still haven't read - really don't get the whole vampire thing still - but probably should read it one day).  There was a Dracula walk advertised on my last night, but I didn't go.  I hadn't realised quite how many literary figures spent time in Whitby - apart from Stoker, there was mention of Mrs Gaskell, Lewis Carroll, Charles Dickens, the du Mauriers, amongst others.  I read half of The Plot, mentioned in my opening post, which I am absolutely loving.

I am so happy to be home...I think I have been put off holidays for life!  Unless I go with friends, which is always nice, not that I've done it for a few years.  I did have a nice time overall in many ways, but not enough to make it all worthwhile - I so badly needed to get away, but this was just a waste of money at a time when my finances are precarious, so I have learned my lesson there!

Oh, dear!  I'm so sorry your holiday wasn't a success.  I was thinking of you and was quite envious.  I've been to Scarborough through work several times and loved it but I've never been to Whitby.
At least you're happy to be home.

Whitby is lovely, don't get me wrong - and I have been thinking about all the positive things since I got back, and there is quite a list.  I think it's only that the hotel was so awful - though I did forget my reading glasses (at least you can get cheap pairs in Superdrug!) and started to feel unwell on the last day, which was the one sunny, beautiful day.  But I am now focusing on the good things - and it was certainly eventful!  :0)

It's that time of year again, at least for me! Unlike previous years, when I have spent a few happy hours over the week or so before we go away gathering together my collection of books for the holiday, this year I only plan to take away two 'real' books. One of them is 'The Avignon Quintet', which, not surprisingly is actually five Lawrence Durrell novels. The other is Richard Yates' 'Young Hearts Crying', which I picked up in a charity shop a few weeks ago.

The rest of the reading matter will be selected from my Kindle. I should have ample material there to keep me going for a couple of weeks: short stories for the journey, lots of classics, some newish titles, a couple of biographies, in fact something for every mood, but minus the complaints from my husband about the amount of space in the car that my books require. All I need do is remember to take the charger!

I'm toying with the idea of adding another Elizabeth Taylor title to the Kindle. As with Lawrence Durrell, this year marks the centenary of her birth, but unlike Durrell, her publishers seem to have had the foresight to reissue her books, including Kindle versions. I read 'A View of the Harbour' a few weeks ago and loved it - it is now up there with 'At Mrs Lippincote's' as a favourite. Perhaps 'Palladian' or 'The Soul of Kindness', neither of which I have read before. Any views?

I haven't read either of those Taylors, Chris - nor had I seen that her books had been reissued in Kindle versions.  I might have to join you with one of the unread ones - can't let her centenary go unmarked!

Ooh, I do love Richard Yates...what a fine list of books you have there!

Oh dear, I'm feeling at once very pleased and very stupid! I was browsing through Amazon this morning, when I happened to notice that there was a 'pre-order' on my account. I couldn't remember pre-ordering anything, so I pulled up the details and found that I had bought myself a Kindle copy of Elizabeth Taylor's Short Stories, to be published on 21st June.

I'm pretty sure I must have done that back at the end of March, when I had some vouchers to spend. My excitement at the items which were delivered immediately must have caused me to forget about this little treat! I shall still be on holiday on 21st June, but will have to make sure that at some point that day, I am in WiFi range.

It's lovely to have something unexpected to look forward to in this way, but really, I could do without too many Senior Moments of this kind. I just hope it is not a sign of things to come...

I don't think that's a senior moment, Chris, I think it's easy to forget pre-orders when they are that far ahead!  I had the same thing (which is why I refuse to believe it's a senior moment!!) with something that was ordered months in advance (a reprint) and I'd forgotten until I got the email saying it had been delivered.  It was a lovely surprise - surprises are different from senior moments!

Thanks for the words of comfort, Evie! I daren't confess to my daughters, though - they have been convinced that 'Mum's losing it' for years! Very Happy
Green Jay

chris-l wrote:
I read 'A View of the Harbour' a few weeks ago and loved it

I love that book too, Chris. I think it was the first one of hers I read. I have not come across The Soul of Kindness. I've become slightly phobic about my Kindle after I ended up reading it in various hospital corridors and A & E departments earlier this year, deperately trying to distract myself. I've been reading real books since then, and have piled up a few thrillers for my holiday in two months time, forgetting that I should take the Kindle. For some reason I'm much happer spending money on real books than virtual ones.

If it's any consolation, I once bought a secondhand bookshop "bargain", only to find when I got home that I already had it! And that was when I was in my 30s.  Embarassed
Jen M

We're off to Devon tomorrow (I am so glad we are not camping this year) and I am planning to take with me The Great Gatsby (my next reading group book), Gervase Phinn's Over Hill and Dale (which I have been reading on and off since February) and my Kindle.  I am currently reading Thomas Hardy's Desperate Remedies on the Kindle, which I started a month ago, and which is taking me a long time to read due to lack of time...  I wonder whether I really need a typical light 'holiday read'-type book which I can race through effortlessly.

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