July is holiday time and holiday time for me means reading. We escape each year to the Hebrides. And on these islands in the summer it doesn’t get dark for long so there is plenty of time for reading for a book addict like myself. So the 20 books listed below makes up my holiday reading for 2016.
1. The Girls – Lisa Jewell
2. The Godfather – Mario Puzo
3. The Long Delirious burning blue – Sharon Blackie
4. The Secret Scripture – Sebastian Barry
5. The Storm Sisters – Lucinda Riley
6. The Perfect Daughter – Amanda Prowse
7. The Daughters Secret – A Holland
8. The Forgotten Daughter – Renita D’Silva
9. Tell me where you are – Moira Forsyth
10. Waiting for Lindsay – Moira Forsyth
11. The Forgotten Summer – Carol Drinkwater
12. The Poet’s Wife – Rebecca Stonehill
13. Dixon’s Revenge – Jaycee Brown
14. The Disappearance – Annabel Kantana
15. Red Dust Road – Jackie Kay
16. When I Lost You – Kelly Rimmer
17. The Lavender Keeper – Fiona McIntosh
18. The French Promise – Fiona McIntosh
19. Coffin Road – Peter May
20. A little life – Hanya Yanahiharan
For me it was a varied list of books with a mixture of historical, Scottish, crime and just books that looked ones I’d want to read. Two stand out. One of which was my July book challenge which was to read a book published before I was born. The Godfather was published on the 8th March 1969 and I was born on the 24th so just counts but does count. I’ve never watched the Godfather films they have been on my to watch list for far too long. Naively I didn’t realise they were taken from the original book. I prefer to read first and sometimes watch a film second so maybe it was meant not to watch the films after years of procrastination. I loved it as a novel it was so well written and I was completely absorbed in the world of the mafia while reading it. I will now need to watch the films to compare with the books. Though part of me is now loath to as the characters live in in my mind and what if the film ruins the book?
The second stand out book was A Little Life. This had been recommended to me by my local bookshop Mainstreet Trading. It’s a long 700 page read and I did start it when I bought it but struggled with it. Knew it had won prizes but just couldn’t get into it. Then I met a fellow Mainstreet customer and she said that it flows after page 80. The goal is to get there and then you will be off. She was right and I re- opened it after my return home. It is one of the most compelling books I have read covering many difficult issues of our time. The main character is one of the most vulnerable yet courageous characters whose life has been marred by horrific incidents that happen to him in childhood. This makes him closed to people and he self harms on such a degree you weep for him but yet through it all he is loved and is the greatest friend. It’s not an easy read but it is one that shreds light on many issues facing people today and though not an easy read it is worth reading to see that through fragility there is courage and love to be found.
July was a bumper month of reading mainly on my kindle. It’s a necessary evil when you read as much as I do on holiday but I still prefer books on paper form. And returned to books with a smile first smelling and feeling my books. You can’t do that with a kindle. August has been a slow reading month perhaps as I am savouring each book as I read. As for me there is nothing as magical as a book waiting to be read.