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Green Jay

Holiday Reading Summer 2011

The first "summer reads" recommendations appeared in last weekend's Guardian. I have been thinking about what to take on holiday with me in about 6 week's time. As I'm sure many of you know, Im not one for a light & silly beach read - it will probably be raining anyway and we'll be walking in full wet-weather outdoor gear - but for evenings in I like to take a decent pile of books in case I run out. Shock horror! And no Kindle either. And this year I can't afford to spend any money so I'm trying to amass things from charity shops (  Confused  er..which doesn't count as money?). So far I've got the latest novel from Maggie O'Farrell; a few thin and old paperbacks by Colette which will proably fall apart, I've had them so long; a  C J Sansom Tudor thriller (not sure about this); and an early novel by Barbara Kingsolver that I haven't read before. And anything else from my dusty TBR shelf that appeals, though I think most have lost their lustre, or I'd have read them before. Maybe Deaf Sentence?

Now I just have to stop myself from reading them before I go.

What is anyone else lining up for holiday reading? And what makes a good holiday read for you?
Sandraseahorse

My criteria for a holiday read are:
The book shouldn't be depressing (I don't want to be made miserable on holiday)
It shouldn't be too intellectually taxing (My brain tends to turn to blancmange on vacation)
If possible, the novel should be set in the country I'm visiting.  (It is irritatating to spend a lot of money going to an exotic destination and then find yourself reading about another country and wishing you were there instead.)

My holiday choice was Balzac's "The Black Sheep", which has been on my TBR shelf for some time.  It wasn't set in my holiday destination of Italy but as France shares a border I reckoned it was near enough.

It is about a family squabbling over an inheritance.  Lots of descriptions of French food and avaricious peasants.  Perhaps some of the financial and legal details and the complexities of family relationships were a tad convoluted for a light holiday read but it has been entertaining and I want to know how it ends.  I hope to finish it tonight.
Chibiabos83

Sandraseahorse wrote:
The book shouldn't be depressing
It shouldn't be too intellectually taxing
If possible, the novel should be set in the country I'm visiting

My planned summer reading fails entirely on the first two fronts, I suspect. I'm planning to take Buddenbrooks and The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum to Germany next month. The latter is set in Cologne, which is where I'm going. I read quite a lot of trash (comparatively) when I'm not on holiday, so I like the idea of tackling something more demanding when I have more time and thought to devote to it. (Actually Buddenbrooks looks quite fun.)

I'm having a week in Norfolk about a month later, so will take something a bit easier for that. Can anyone recommend any good books set in e.g. Hunstanton...?
chris-l

I have a suspicion that LP Hartley's 'The Shrimp and the Anemone' might have been set in Hunstanton. Certainly somewhere on the Norfolk coast.
Castorboy

If we are talking about the Norfolk coast and crime novels then there are the P D James' novels and the Inspector George Gently ones of Alan Hunter. The TV series of the latter starring Martin Shaw were excellent; it just happens they didn't use the authentic locales of East Anglia.
Chibiabos83

Thank you both. I tried The Shrimp and the Anemone out years ago and gave it up a short way in, so I must give it another go. The Go-Between of course is set in Norfolk, though further inland. Perhaps Hartley lived in the area. He seems to have grown up in Cambridgeshire.
chris-l

He grew up on the outskirts of Peterborough (Fletton). Hunstanton was traditionally known as 'Peterborough-on-Sea', so I'm sure the young Leslie would have had trips there as a boy. His sister continued to live at 'Fletton Towers' until her death, sometime in the 80s I think, surrounded by huge dogs that she adored like children.
Caro

Gareth, I enjoyed Buddenbrooks quite a lot when I read it about three years ago.  Not entirely without reservation, though (some German things didn't translate easily - accents of the 'lower-class' town, for instance) and I found myself not totally convinced by the events towards the end, or not so much the actual events as what they led to, or how they were interpreted.  

Can't remember it in detail now though.

Cheers, Caro.
Gul Darr

Hi Gareth. Hunstanton is known locally as 'Sunny Hunny'; hope you have a good holiday. I can only think of one book set on the Norfolk coast, and that's Brothers of the Head by Brian Aldiss. All I can remember is that it's about Siamese Twins, who live on Scolt Head, one of whom has a third 'dormant' head on one shoulder and it involves rock music. Obviously not that memorable a book! Please wave if you pass by King's Lynn. The other side of Lynn is the Fens and if you ever visit, then I heartily recommend Graham Swift's Waterland. I think The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers is also set in the Fens, but I've never read it.
I'm not too fussy about holiday reads, but it can be nice to choose something with a local theme. I'm off to Cornwall this year, but have nothing in mind at the moment.
Sandraseahorse

The beginning of Patrick Hamilton's "Hangover Square" is set in Hunstanton.
Chibiabos83

We're actually staying in Brancaster Staithe, so about equidistant between Hunstanton and Wells-next-the-Sea, with King's Lynn in one direction and Cromer in the other.

I've read The Nine Tailors, Gul - very good, it was. I didn't pay much attention to where it was set, and now obviously regret it.

Sandra - excellent! I will definitely take Hangover Square with me. I feel a shame at not having read Patrick Hamilton, so this is the ideal opportunity.
Gul Darr

Very nice, Gareth. You'll be close to Scolt Head, then! And Burnham Thorpe, where Nelson was born; I'm not sure if there are any decent biographies of him or whether that's your sort of thing? Going off at a tangent, Barry Unsworth's Losing Nelson is worth a read, though.
Green Jay

chris-l wrote:
I have a suspicion that LP Hartley's 'The Shrimp and the Anemone' might have been set in Hunstanton. Certainly somewhere on the Norfolk coast.


That's a lovely book. I can still remenber the cover of the copy I was lent by a kind colleague who was a sort of "reading mentor" to me in one of my first jobs - two children crouching over a rockpool, a gentle sort of watercolour.
Evie

I would second the PD James recommendation - Death in Holy Orders is one of my favourites.  I don't go on holiday - would love to, but have yet to find a method of holidaying alone that I actually enjoy - but that's the sort of book I like to take, something easy to read but with a bit of substance.  Kate Atkinson, PD James, that sort of level - a good detective story is perfect holiday reading for me.  But I might also take AS Byatt, Iris Murdoch, one of those sorts of writers.

I haven't read Nine Tailors, but have seen the Ian Carmichael TV version - fabulous story.  DL Sayers' books are quite hard to get hold of these days, without paying full price (cheapskate that I am!).  And Hangover Square is quite brilliant.
MikeAlx

I'm off to Lyme Regis on Saturday - and hoping for improved weather! I have plenty of half-read books to finish, my reading having been desultory of late. I usually take a handful of books and then settle on just a couple of them. I may take some short stories - Algernon Blackwood's Best Ghost Stories perhaps. I ought to finish Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl, and will probably also take China Mieville's The City and The City. Though, being in Lyme, perhaps John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman would be more appropriate (it's been sitting unread on my shelves for about 20 years!). We shall see.
Evie

French Lieutenant's Woman is a great book!  And would be great to read it in Lyme.
Castorboy

I am sure Jane Austen had some scenes in Lyme for her fiction - I do recall one of those films about Austen's life showing her on the breakwater or one of her characters. On our last visit to the area we made a special trip to Lyme because of the literary associations.
MikeAlx

Hi Castorboy, you're probably thinking of Persuasion, where the impetuous Louisa falls on the Cobb and knocks herself out. I read Persuasion about ten years ago (required reading for a course), but I'm afraid I'm one of those people that doesn't really get on with Austen.

Michael Bracewell used a similar incident on the Cobb for his novel Divine Concepts of Physical Beauty, in a contemporary setting, but an obvious reference to Persuasion.
Castorboy

Thanks for that Mike. I admire what Austen achieved but I just can't bring myself to start any of the novels. I think I would read a biography about her especially the years she spent in Bath. There is something about Georgian architecture that appeals. I lived in Newcastle before the historic buildings were destroyed and would also visit Edinburgh for day trips so I am sure that is where the interest in the period comes from.
Mikeharvey

Isn't Lyme Regis the place where you can find lots of fossils?
MikeAlx

Yes, loads of fossils along that coast - not just Lyme, but also Charmouth, Chesil Beach etc. The fossil connection is relevant to The French Lieutenant's Woman, as I recall - and there was recently Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures, about fossil-finder Mary Anning, who lived in Lyme. Ian McEwan recently used Chesil Beach as a setting too. Very literary area, obviously - and we haven't even mentioned Thomas Hardy yet!
Evie

Jane Austen didn't like Bath.  (Referring back to Castorboy's post.)
Chibiabos83

She probably had very good reason. For all its pretensions of gentility (which I presume it had even 200 years ago), it was a very unsanitary place in Austen's lifetime. Was that her main objection? I can't recall.
Apple

Holidays are the one time I don't read at all, I don't take any books with me, never have done.  I'll buy books while on holiday sometimes but always wait until I get home to read them.  Its because I don't have time to read! We don't do relax, sit and do bugger all type holidays, we are always on the go going to places and seeing things.
chris-l

I can't imagine a holiday without books. We always seem to pack quite a lot into our holidays, but even so there is always a quiet time in the evening, or even those hours on the plane/ferry/sitting in a traffic jam where a book is obligatory. Choosing the books to take is part of the preparation for the holiday and the holiday experience is greatly enhanced by the pleasure of a good book read in a beautiful place.

We won't be able to get away this year until September, so I haven't yet begun to pack my book bag, but in a few more weeks I shall start to gather together the longlist!
Freyda

chris-l wrote:
Choosing the books to take is part of the preparation for the holiday and the holiday experience is greatly enhanced by the pleasure of a good book read in a beautiful place.



I do so agree, Chris. Even - perhaps especially - when I had younger children, having time to read on holiday was very special, even if I did have to keep peeping over the top pf the page all the time to see what they were up to on beach, in pool, or playing sport etc.
Apple

chris-I Wrote:
Quote:
Choosing the books to take is part of the preparation for the holiday and the holiday experience is greatly enhanced by the pleasure of a good book read in a beautiful place.
It must be nice to do that, and if you like that sort of thing, but I can't just "sit" on holiday, it would drive me crackers, visiting new places I have to explore and see all they have to offer and see. I think as well its different for us because we never go to places which you automatically consider to be traditional holiday destinations.
chris-l

Apple, honestly, I could not do a holiday where I 'just sit' either. I love to visit new places, be it cities, historical sites or countryside, and holidays for me also include a good deal of enjoying  good food and wine and, with luck, the company of those I love, or at least like. None of those things, however, takes up every waking hour, and in the intervals, nothing gives me greater pleasure than a good book.

As far as I am concerned, holidays are about doing the things I most enjoy to a greater degree than I am able to do them at other times. I honestly cannot imagine a whole day which did not at some point allow me to read for at least a short while. I don't think there has ever been such a day since I was 5 years old and first learnt to read. So for me a holiday without books would be sheer torment, as I suspect it might be for most of those who visit this site. Obviously, you are an exception. All that matters is that you spend that precious time doing the things that are most important to you.

Good luck, and enjoy your holiday!
Evie

I just want a holiday!  But am not going to get one.  I would have no problem, though, in sitting still with a pile of books for a couple of weeks!
Caro

I agree with you completely, Chris.  I wouldn't go on a holiday if I was refused a book.  My husband has photos of me reading while we cruised round Malta (there's only so much sea you need to see, isn't there?), and there's certainly plane or car or bus time to read (might be different on a biking holiday), and those evenings before sleep and those times when you need to recharge for an hour or so.  

Anyway, enjoy your holiday, Apple.  And Evie - hopefully you will get a break sometime soon.  

Cheers, Caro.
MikeAlx

In the past I've tended to take books on holiday that I would not have the time or energy to tackle normally. These days, however, I find I have relatively less energy on holiday so tend to take less ambitious books. This time I only managed about 120 pages over a week - less than a third of what I would've expected.
Green Jay

I can't read in cars and buses, I would feel sick almost straight away. So much reading time wasted (I am not a driver, by the way  Smile ) But I can read on trains - and love to. Oh, and planes. Any explanation? Is it due to different types of vibration? Or much more frequent and noticeable braking and acceleration?

Thank goodness I can read on a plane, it takes my mind off what might happen and helps through periods of turbulence, though I tend to be holding the book pages very tightly!
Jen M

Green Jay wrote:
I can't read in cars and buses, I would feel sick almost straight away. So much reading time wasted (I am not a driver, by the way  Smile ) But I can read on trains - and love to. Oh, and planes. Any explanation? Is it due to different types of vibration? Or much more frequent and noticeable braking and acceleration?



I am the same, Green Jay, although I am a driver.  I wonder whether it has anything to do with the fact that my parents didn't own a car until after I was born, so I had not got "used to" the motion before being born!  Neither of my brothers, who came along after my father had acquired a car, nor my children, have the same problem.  Just a thought.

I love reading on trains, and the tube, and would rather take a journey on the tube than drive, just so I can read.   Smile
Apple

Green Jay Wrote:
Quote:
I can't read in cars and buses, I would feel sick almost straight away. So much reading time wasted (I am not a driver, by the way   ) But I can read on trains - and love to. Oh, and planes. Any explanation? Is it due to different types of vibration? Or much more frequent and noticeable braking and acceleration?
I know exactly what you mean, I find its because there obvious motion on a bus/in a car, ie corners being turned etc and stopping and starting, and it sends confusing messages to your brain (which is what causes travel sickness)and when you try and read in those circumstances it just makes matters worse, and triggers nausea faster whereas a train is much smoother and no corners and twists and turns and depending on where you sit you can fool your brain into believing you are not moving at all. I can't comment on a plane as I have never been on one! (I was told this as a child as a way of explaining why I spent all of my journeys on school trips with my head in a sick bag!)

Jen Wrote:
Quote:
I am the same, Green Jay, although I am a driver.  I wonder whether it has anything to do with the fact that my parents didn't own a car until after I was born, so I had not got "used to" the motion before being born!  Neither of my brothers, who came along after my father had acquired a car, nor my children, have the same problem.  Just a thought.
Thats a really good point! I'd never actually thought about that before, we never had a car at all, we walked everywhere, and we never went on holiday when I was a kid so the first time I actually went anywhere by other means other than walking was at school on school trips and that was when I started chucking my gut up! I still suffer now if I'm a passenger but I'm ok if I'm driving. But my kids who have never known any different and have always travelled in cars right from babies have never been sick

Chris-I Wrote:
Quote:
As far as I am concerned, holidays are about doing the things I most enjoy to a greater degree than I am able to do them at other times. I honestly cannot imagine a whole day which did not at some point allow me to read for at least a short while. I don't think there has ever been such a day since I was 5 years old and first learnt to read. So for me a holiday without books would be sheer torment, as I suspect it might be for most of those who visit this site. Obviously, you are an exception. All that matters is that you spend that precious time doing the things that are most important to you.
I totally agree with you holidays are a time to to enjoy things to a greater degree, thats the whole point of them Smile and I am not totally devoid of books whilst on holiday, on long car journeys I tend put audio books on in the car - (its the only books my husband tends to come into contact with and its amazing how many he has actually enjoyed!). Although thats obviously not actually physically holding a book and reading. I hope you enjoy your holiday in September Chris !!   Smile

Evie Wrote:
Quote:
I just want a holiday!  But am not going to get one.  I would have no problem, though, in sitting still with a pile of books for a couple of weeks!
Each to their own!! Smile  I hope you do get chance for a break at some point!!
Green Jay

Apple, you're right about the motion of a car being very different to a train. Trains go round curves, but not any corners; it is all much smoother. I've heard that about not feeling sick when you're the one driving from other people, too - maybe it's because you are able to anticipate the movements more, being the one in control, or perhaps you're just concentrating hard and distracted. It's true I feel much worse in the back of the car, where you can't easily look straight out at the road ahead of you, as the driver and front passenger can.

As to the other point, I don't think it holds water as a theory. My siblings were never car sick, they're older than me and we got our first family car when I was seven, before that it was buses and trains for us all. And one of my kids has been very sick, ever since he sat up in his baby seat in the back of the car at 9 months or so, even though he didn't know what being car sick was, poor boy. They didn't have those tiny baby carriers that fit in a car seat then, it was strap the carry cot in on the back seat until they were big enough for a proper baby carseat. I don't know if he felt nauseous lying down, he wasn't able to communicate that, and I suppose if he puked we'd just think it was being a baby. He was not a sicky baby generally so I don't think this could have happened at that stage or we would have noticed. His younger brother - who was a sicky baby outside of car journeys - is fine.

I don't mean to trash a theory just based on my own family's experience, but all western children experience cars these days, both in utero and immediately after, and some go on to feel car sick and some do not, just as it ever was.
Caro

The mystery to me is why some people are badly affected by motion sickness and others not at all.  On a school trip to Stewart Island (the third island of NZ) on a rather rough sea voyage the other students smiled at my son who sat there happily reading the whole trip.  And it takes a lot of bends before I have to put down my book and I am never sick.  (I said to my husband I don't know about seasickness because I've never been on a rough sea but he said that was nonsense - I had so.)

But other people can't bear to read a word.  And I am reluctant to shut my eyes in a car because then the world does tend to go round a bit.  If I am really tired I can drift off easily enough.  And in a bus I can.  

On a plane trip not long ago within New Zealand the takeoff was slightly turbulent and we noticed the young man in front of us was sick all the way.  I felt very sorry for him - if he got sick on a short and not very rough journey like that it would be ghastly for him to travel overseas.  

But I don't know how our brains are wired differently to respond differently like this.  

Cheers, Caro.
MikeAlx

Green Jay wrote:
I don't mean to trash a theory just based on my own family's experience...

I think it's pretty well-established that motion-sickness has a strong genetic element, and as such is hard-wired rather than learned.

My wife gets quite badly car sick, hence why she usually drives and I have to navigate (unless it's just my driving, and she's too polite to say! Wink ). One thing that helps is being able to see a horizon; part of the cause of nausea seems to be the discrepency between what you're seeing and what you're feeling (ie proprioception).
Green Jay

Caro, your comment reminded me that my son who is badly car sick was the only one of us to remain happy (and happily ate a hamburger) on a dreadful cross-channel ferry trip when everyone else  was grey-faced and  so ill we didn't actually care if the ship sank...might even have been a relief! Equipment in the kitchen was smashing and even the practiced staff were sliding about and falling over.

And Mike, on another trip where there was a big slow swell, but no whitecaps, I had to sit on deck and watch the horizon in order to feel ok. I could see it rising and falling substantially, but inside those who felt fine (the majority on this occasion) couldn't understand those of us who were queasy or reeling from side to side of the corridors as they didn't seem to feel the swell at all.
Apple

Green Jay Wrote:
Quote:
It's true I feel much worse in the back of the car, where you can't easily look straight out at the road ahead of you, as the driver and front passenger can.

and..

Mike Wrote:
Quote:
One thing that helps is being able to see a horizon; part of the cause of nausea seems to be the discrepency between what you're seeing and what you're feeling


Yes thats very true, I don't go in the back of cars at all I have to be able to see where I am going if I'm not driving.
iwishiwas

This year will be a holiday at home. I'm hoping for warm weather so I can sit in the garden and read. However I think my daughters have other plans, but I'm dreaming!
Apple

iwishiwas Wrote:
Quote:
This year will be a holiday at home. I'm hoping for warm weather so I can sit in the garden and read. However I think my daughters have other plans, but I'm dreaming!
Well I hope your dream comes true for you and you get warm weather and to sit in your garden and read!!  Smile
chris-l

I've been trying to gather together some books in preparation for going away on holiday on Saturday. My husband is already starting the 'Do you really need all those books?' speech, with the variation that this year he is also asking why I don't borrow our daughter's Kindle. The answer to the former is 'Yes!' and to the latter, a Kindle is far to personal to either borrow or lend (but maybe I will have my own before the next holiday).
In any case, we are not flying, so weight is not a major issue.

The bag consists of an eclectic collection of charity shop buys and books I have been given by friends, with some classics, some relatively new titles, novels, short stories and an autobiography.

The Children's Book         A.S. Byatt
The Sea House                Esther Freud
Three Soldiers                 John Dos Passos
Selected Short Stories      Virginia Woolf
Brooklyn                         Colm Toibin
After Rain (Short Stories) William Trevor    
Watch and Ward              Henry James    
Giving up the Ghost         Hilary Mantel
The Siege of Krishnapur   J.G. Farrell

I very much doubt that I will finish all of these in the fortnight we are away, but it is good to have a choice and in any case I wouldn't want to take the risk of running out of reading!
Chibiabos83

I took too many books on holiday with me - five (I think), of which I finished one and barely started another. And left with more than I had come with, having collected a book I'd asked my mother to bring from home and then bought a copy of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day at this superb independent bookshop: http://www.whitehouse-books.co.uk/
Chibiabos83

See the shelving bays on the right in the top photograph here: http://www.whitehouse-books.co.uk/AboutUs.asp.

Penguin Classics and Modern Classics, Vintage Classics, Oxford World's Classics, with lots of Everyman Classics next to them (including a whole shelf of Wodehouse), Persephone, etc. Heaven.
Evie

Wow - makes me sad, knowing I will never achieve the dream of running such a place!  Looks just wonderful - wonderful enough to forgive the fact that a bookshop website can spell neither' Hemingway' nor 'receive'!
Chibiabos83

Maybe they have a webmaster who is a careless typist. Hemingway was spelled correctly on the books Wink
Caro

I have been gathering books for a week's holiday too, and know I won't read half them.  I have with me so far Anna Karenina to finish, the Father Brown stories, a Ngaio Marsh, the second one ASM Smith's Corduroy Mansion series, and I am going to look around for a novel or two that I have picked up over the years - perhaps the AL Kennedy one I notice, or Middlesex, or Mr Johnson or something.  We too are driving so weight isn't a problem.  

Cheers, Caro.
Caro

I've put in Amsterdam by Ian McEwen, Long Hot Summer by Barbara Anderson, and Couples by John Updike.  Might I also like The Forsyth Saga or the Dorothy Whimple?
Green Jay

I took at least 8 novels on holiday with me and bought another at a nice independent bookshop in Wadebridge, N. Cornwall, and I was only away for a week! Needless to say, did not finish all of them. The bookshop, where I did not have too much time to linger, also had another book I've wanted to read but had forgotten about - Stella Duffy's The Room Of Lost Things, and I was torn, but did not have much money. Still, if we had not gone for a meal at Rick Stein's mega-expensive seafood restaurant in Padstow, I could have bought enough novels to last me a year!!  Wink
Green Jay

chris-l wrote:
The Children's Book         A.S. Byatt
The Sea House                Esther Freud
Selected Short Stories      Virginia Woolf
Brooklyn                         Colm Toibin
After Rain (Short Stories) William Trevor    
 
Giving up the Ghost         Hilary Mantel


.... but it is good to have a choice and in any case I wouldn't want to take the risk of running out of reading!


My feelings exactly, Chris. I get overcome with a kind of reading-panic, as if there will be no books wherever I'm going.  I've read half your list (see above) so have fun, I'm sure you will find plenty to enjoy there.
Marita

I have another week to decide what holiday reads to take with me. Not that I’ll need much. We’ll be out all day and I’ll be too tired to read much in the evening. But for the way there and back I need something to read in the bus – we’ll spend the whole day travelling.

I bought something light and fluffy for this in the sales: The Mammoth Book of Regency Romance (yes, Romantic Short Stories, it can’t get much fluffier unless I go for rabbits). I read one of the stories to sample what I’d bought and came to this line:

…and everything within her dissolved into molten liquid.

Well, I didn’t expect exquisite writing, but ‘molten liquid’ is just too much. It says the story is ‘original to this anthology’. They all are and if this reflects the care with which the stories were chosen, I fear this book might end up being flung in one of the lakes of Austria. I now have to find an alternative (or two), just in case. Not too many; we’re restricted in how much we can take. Pity e-readers are so expensive.

Marita
Chibiabos83

Laughing
Jen M

I took too many books on holiday, too - just two - plus my Kindle.   The paperbacks were Notwithstanding by Louis de Bernieres, a book of short stories which i had nearly finished, and something called Entertaining Angels, which was the tattiest second hand paperback that I had, and which I thought I would read if I had to read in the rain.  I didn't read either book, just the Kindle, and only one book on the Kindle - That Summer in Ischia, by Penny Feeny, which I have described in the monthly reads section as an ideal holiday read.

I didn't have much time for reading as we were busy doing things, but I couldn't go away without some choice of reading material.
Castorboy

Caro, you didn't say where you were driving to so I thought I would make a guess where you were headed for based on the books taken as some Big Readers like a book about the place they're going to. On that basis maybe Christchurch (Ngaio Marsh) or Wellington (Barbara Anderson) is the destination!  If you had included Janet Frame or Owen Marshall in your luggage I would have said Dunedin or Oamaru and Brian Turner's poetry would mean Central Otago.

Aside from all that the weather seems promising so enjoy your holiday and any reading that appeals Smile
Caro

If I'm overseas I often like to read a book set on the places we are going to (though I probably like them more after we have been somewhere.  But I didn't mean to this time - however we did go near Christchurch.  To Rakaia - Mount Hutt lodge.  It's a timeshare and we have a week each year to use up somewhere (usually Wanaka or Rakaia).  

Anyway naturally I didn't get half the books read that I took, but still more than at home.  I read Amsterdam and Alex. McCall Smith's The Dog who came in from the cold, some of the Father Brown stories, and I have just four pages to go in Anna Karenina.  I thought I would finish it this morning, but the radio behind me was distracting, so I am going to have to read it in silence sometime.  Will write more about the books sometime.  

Cheers, Caro.
Castorboy

Caro wrote:
.....I thought I would finish it this morning, but the radio behind me was distracting, so I am going to have to read it in silence sometime. Cheers, Caro.

If by any chance you happened to be listening to the Kim Hill interview with John Waters, who directed the film Hairspray and is famous for 'bad taste', I'm not surprised. That was one of the most entertaining interviews she has ever done.
Caro

Yes, but like the rest of the world, it was the shoplifting comment that interested us.  Neither of us could exactly remember shoplifting, except that I once took a cherry from a shop and my husband says he used the threepence for the church collection to buy lollies.  But it may be a matter of interpretation - someone mentioned their mother-in-law taking the stalks of the mushrooms before selecting them - and since I did that just this week, maybe that means I would be capable of shoplifting.  I called this 'ensuring I get my money's worth'.

Cheers, Caro.
Evie

Do you not eat mushroom stalks...?
county_lady

Flat mushrooms or button ones?
I always use the stalks anyway but it is probably a minor sin in either case. Wink
Castorboy

We peel and eat ALL the mushroom including the stalk – my wife believes that only washing the mushroom makes it taste rubbery. Having said that, we in Middle Earth are still searching for the source of the 'magic' mushrooms. Will give you a 'ring' when we find it!
Caro

Yes, I don't really know why I don't cook the stalks - I think it must be because I peel them and can't get to peel them easily without taking out the stalks.  Years ago I remember telling my sister she shouldn't throw out the peel and stalks, so it's not from any philosophical objection.
county_lady

I had completely forgotten that we used to peel mushrooms. I have a lovely soft mushroom brush to remove any soil and then trim a thin slice off the the stalk.
Mushrooms I  love9  them.
Evie

Caro, if you peeled them in the shop, you'd get even more value for money!   Wink
Caro

Quite so, Evie!  I wonder why I haven't thought of this myself.  Have to say I don't think I would do this with a staff member watching, so that must mean I don't really think it is quite right.

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