Before I had children, I would take tons of books on holiday. I remember one trip to the US, my hand luggage was filled with a few toiletries, my journal and books. I had the time to be able to take a wide variety of books, some that would challenge me and a few trashy novels that could be polished off in one day by the pool.
Now I have children the volume of books I consume, both at home and on holiday, has sadly, dramatically reduced and up until my last holiday I never got the amount I taken quite right, either taking too many and not getting into any of them or only taking one and finding that it’s the wrong choice. However, this time I got it right and I’d given the matter careful thought before hand so as to make sure that both of my choices were winners.
The first, One Day by David Nicholls, was a novel I had been wanting to read since it was first published and yet somehow had not got around to. Then as my holiday approached I decided to save it and really savour it. It was a perfect holiday read, easy to get into, funny and with good, but not perfect characters. I will admit I was a little disappointed with the ending but I just love the way that Nicholls writes. He paints a picture and the detail and dialogue is so vivid. Added to this, the characters are roughly the same age as me and so all the cultural references resonated. I was planning on watching the film, however after hearing a clip of an awful Yorkshire accent from Anne Hathaway and a dreadful panning on a radio review, I may give it a miss.
The second, How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, I decided to take after hearing the author on the radio and thinking I wanted to hear more of what she had to say. I already followed her on Twitter, but it was one of those radio interviews that you switch on halfway through and so don’t immediately know who is speaking.
I LOVED THIS BOOK and urge you to buy and read it immediately, whether you are male or female. It made my brain fizz, it made me feel at ease with the choices I have made, it made me think differently about things and changing my opinions. I made me laugh out loud and nod vigorously in agreement and it made me want to shout “I AM A FEMINIST” in the middle of a French campsite. It was the kind of book that had me disturbing Mckdaddy at regular intervals to read bits out. He loves that!
I was so pleased with my choices that I wondered of perhaps my lack of reading at home is due to choosing the wrong things. I tend to get most of my books from the library and so take what is there, but my reading time is so rare these days I need to be more picky.
This is where you come in. I need some really good recommendations for my next book to read. I like really good stories that have happy endings and are not too harrowing. My Stepmother has a real penchant for tales that end in disease, heartbreak and death. I do not. I am also partial to a bit of non-fiction, something historical, but light enough to still be enjoyable and not feel like homework.
So, my recommendation to you is “How to Be a Woman”, what have you got for me in return and why?