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Holiday Reading Summer 2011
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Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1605


Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:53 pm    Post subject: Holiday Reading Summer 2011  Reply with quote

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?


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Sandraseahorse



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1149



PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.


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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3390


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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...?


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chris-l



Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Posts: 731



PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.


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Castorboy



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 1798


Location: Castor Bay Auckland NZ

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.


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Chibiabos83
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Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3390


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.


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chris-l



Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Posts: 731



PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.


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Caro



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 2961


Location: Owaka, New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.


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Gul Darr



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 715


Location: King's Lynn

PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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.


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Sandraseahorse



Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 1149



PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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



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