Holiday reading

Books, glorious books! It’s what we do, really, here at AOW. Linsey has a review of her holiday reads for us today – I’ve only read one (Middlesex) but will be planning to fit the other three onto my ‘to read’ list…

Having just returned from a week in Croatia spent mainly reading, eating and drinking I thought I’d share my holiday reading with you all. My reviews aren’t particularly insightful but I really enjoyed all of these books so wanted to pass them on. But as you all know, the best bit of any book post is the comments so I’m hoping to pick up some more titles to add to my ever-expanding reading list too!


More Than This - Patrick Ness

I’m a bit of a Patrick Ness fangirl since reading the excellent Chaos Walking trilogy.  More Than This is another dystopian YA novel with the simple opening line ‘Here is the boy, drowning’. Seth wakes up literally alone in the world and sets out to discover what happened between his drowning and his waking. I was hooked from the start; I raced through this book and finished it in a day. No spoilers, but the ending is left ambiguous which often frustrates me but I didn’t mind it this time. Read this. Also the hardback cover is a beauty.


Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris

This is a book of essays about Sedaris’ life in New York and later when he moves to France. He is very self-deprecating about everything in his life and very funny. I don’t normally read non-fiction but I loved this book. It made me laugh out loud multiple times and do that really annoying thing of reading bits out to my husband. When I finished it I wishedI’d brought his entire back catalogue of books on holiday with me and I’m a bit gutted I missed him on tour in April.


Coraline - Neil Gaiman

Another YA book, probably aimed slightly younger than More Than This, but still an enjoyable, quick read. Coraline is a dark, creepy story about a girl who discovers that a bricked up door leads to another version of her home, complete with an Other Mother and Father, that she needs to escape from. The version I read had beautiful illustrations and a section with notes from the author on the process of writing the book. I’m going to watch the animated film now to see how the book compares.


Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides

This was the book I received from Beth in the AOW bookswap. In her card she said that she picked it as she got the impression that I liked a good story. She was right and this pick was perfect.

Middlesex is told by the narrator Cal Stephanides, an intersex man who started out life as a girl. But the book begins much further back when Cal’s grandparents were young, and uses the family history to trace the path of the genetic mutation thatcauses Cal’s condition. But it’s about much more than this and is such a hard book to define. It’s a funny story about immigrants, the American dream, medical problems, growing up…. It’s just about family with all their quirks, and is the sort of book you finish and immediately want to lend to somebody so you can discuss it with them.

Categories: Books
4 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Posted July 7, 2014 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Ooh, I’ll be adding Middlesex and Me Talk Pretty One Day to my wishlist! Have you read anymore Neil Gaiman? He’s one of my favourite authors, I love American Gods and Neverwhere. x

  2. mysparethoughts
    Posted July 7, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Great recommendations. My problem at the moment is that I just keep buying books and never actually reading. I could really do with a fortnight on a sun lounger so I can read.

  3. deltafoxtrotcharlie
    Posted July 8, 2014 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I loved Middlesex when I read it a while ago. This is a good prompt as a) I’m going on hols in August and need to start my list and b) I need to review my bookswap books :)

  4. Beth
    Posted July 11, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Great post Linsey – thank you – and it’s prompted me to get thinking about my holiday reading list. So far, The Goldfinch is at the top as Bookswap made clear to me that I seem to be about the last book-loving person left yet to have read it.

    Close contender for your bookswap – and another ‘good yarn’ – was The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards. Other good holiday reads over the years: various Lionel Shriver novels (my copy of We Need to Talk About Kevin is filled with sand), Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (controversial this one as it’s been criticised by some as misogynistic but I found it fascinating… in fact, would make a great AOW discussion) and of course, The Time Traveller’s Wife.

    Would love to hear other suggestions for the suitcase this year!

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