A week away in the sun is the perfect time to catch up on your reading. Like Inception, it’s escapism within escapism – nothing beats getting lost in a story.
Holiday season is well and truly upon us. It seems you can’t go anywhere without someone sharing their fab plans to jet off somewhere sunny and what they have been buying to take with them.
If you haven’t got round to purchasing your holiday read yet here are some of our favourites that you might enjoy, no matter what your mood…
When you fancy a giggle and you don’t want to think
You’ve got to love a bit of Sophie Kinsella (author of The Shopoholic series) and this book had me laughing out loud the whole way through. Poppy loses her engagement ring, a priceless family heirloom, then immediately has her phone stolen. She finds a phone in a bin and resolves to keep it but only because she needs it to help find her ring before her fiance realises it’s gone. The gruff owner, Sam, isn’t happy with the arrangement but the two end up forming an unlikely friendship. What will her fiance Miles think of all this?? You can buy “Got Your Number” from Amazon here – the paperback is cheaper than the Kindle version though. Go Figure.
When you fancy a tense thriller
This book is perfect if you want something that’s going to have you hooked from the very first page and keep you guessing until the very last. I finished this in record time, simply because I just couldn’t put it down.Available in paperback and on Kindle from Amazon here or from Waterstones, Pritchards and News From Nowhere.
When you want to sort your life out
This isn’t a spooky, magic book ok? It just teaches you a way of thinking which allows you to lead a happier and more positive life, which in turn invites more positivity and happiness into you life. Who enjoys wallowing in negativity all the time? No one really. This will help you recondition your thought process (with a bit of practice of course) and basically change your life. Not a small feat for a book right? I enjoyed the follow up to this (The Power) even more! Available pretty much anywhere like but you can download on Kindle or order your paperbacks here.
When your fella is being a gobshite but you’ve actually grown quite fond of him
This is an old one now and from the original wave of self help books, but you know what? It’s got some sound advice. Most arguments in a relationship come from a break down in communication. We both treat our partners how we want to be treated, without realising that it may not be how theywant to be treated. Even the language we use to talk to one another can be a complete turn off to our other half without us even realising it. I view this as kind of a training manual for fellas, he’ll be much better behaved in no time… Works even better if you can get him to read it too of course. You’ll be back to domestic bliss in no time. Shop for it here.
When you’re feeling all ‘Girl Power’
The best thing about being a woman is.. everything dur. Filled with great advice for modern women who fancy taking over the world. Get on board the Boss Babe train. Shop for it here.
When you’re so over 50 shades of grey but still fancy something a bit raunchy
“Twenty six year old Cait Kennedy is fed up of being stuck at home with her three young children everyday. When the opportunity for her to go back to work arises, she grabs it with both hands. Before long, she’s thrown herself into the working world and has a starry new social life, thanks to her exotic new friend, Verity, but will things continue to run as smoothly at home? With her eldest child accused of an unforgivable act, her unemployed husband on her case and an office romance brewing, will Cait give in to temptation? Funny, sad and refreshingly romantic all at the same time. One of the sauciest books you will ever read.” Read our full review here – perfect for if you fancy something a little bit rauchy without every fella thinking that just because you’re reading 50 shades you’re up for a spanking in his hotel room later. Sweeerrve.
If you’re into your historical novels
I will genuinely read absolutely anything written by Phillipa Gregory. The Tudor dynasty is my favourite period of history and yes The Other Boleyn Girl was a fantastic book and an alright film but The White Queen is her best work yet. It’s the second book in the 4 part ‘Cousins War’ series which covers the generation just before The Tudors came to the throne and fucked everything up. Yeh that’s right, this book is so good that I now hate the Tudor dynasty… bunch of usurping gingers. Anne Boleyn was still boss though. These books might take you a chapter to get into, but once you’re in, you’re hooked AND you’ll get a sly little history lesson too – the events are all historically accurate, just a load of fluff about character relationships etc. Buy it here.
When you’re after a girly read, without the fluffiness
This is a great book that made me feel so sad when I finished it as I genuinely missed the characters and wondered about them for days after. I have recommended it to loads of my friends, one of which admitted that she stayed up to the early hours to read it all in one go as she couldn’t put it down. The story involves Rachel, the main character being admitted to a rehabilitation centre following some ‘issues’ with various substances and the ensuing negative impact on her life and relationships. You instantly like Rachel despite this and are immediately on her side throughout the book. Marian Keyes writes characters that you believe and identify with and her ability to convincingly portray addiction and sadness comes from her own experience of real life struggles and survival. There is a great twist to this book which, without giving too much away reveals the thought processes of an addict and how they interpret the situation they are in. This is not at all a fluffy ‘girl’ read as has some strong characters that you will laugh and cry with, it is literally laugh out loud at times, despite its serious subject matter. It is also almost theraputic as you may identify with issues around loss, depression, relationships, isolation, or addiction, but in doing so Rachel’s Holiday makes you take stock of life and ultimately feel good for what you have.
When you’re after a bit of inception style holiday-within-a-holiday reading
Cuban Heels – Emily Barr
Emily Barr is a fantastic author whose novels detail the dark and traumatic experiences of the main characters, most of whom embark on some form of travel or journey in order to gain perspective on their issues. Cuban Heels is no exception. Maggie the main character has a rubbish life. She has unresolved issues in terms of bereavement and has embarrassingly low self – esteem. She becomes obsessed with her neighbours and uses their life as an ‘escape’ from her own. This is all well and good until her fantasies about her neighbours lead to full on stalking mental-ness which involves her following them on their gap year to Cuba. The tension portrayed in the book is unreal and I found myself doing that sympathetic cringe thing often – (You know like when you watch X Factor and you actually feel the shame for someone else) I couldn’t put this book down, the descriptions of Cuba make you feel like you are actually there and despite Maggie’s actions being morally wrong you still cheer her on and want her to find happiness.
When you’re after a bit of a good old fashioned psychological thriller
This is not for the faint hearted as it’s the size of an actual Argos catalogue and probably best read if you are going away for a fortnight and don’t plan to speak to others very much. This is a psychological thriller set in Victorian times, the main character is Sugar, a crusty lipped prostitute who possesses a discerning awareness that the life she was born into affords her little opportunity to escape poverty, abuse and discrimination. Sugar embarks on an affair with one of her clients, a well to do, married businessman who becomes obsessed with her. He moves her into the family home which causes Sugar to become involved with his family, mainly his daughter and ‘mad’ wife. Despite her position in life somewhat improving Sugar resents that she has had to become a live in whore in order to do so, and makes plans for revenge in the violent novel she is writing throughout the story. Most of the main characters are female and essentially due to this are experiencing oppression in their lives regardless of their age or social standing. This is conveyed in such a real way that it is actually worth remembering that the book is written by a man, who really does seem to have an empathy and understanding for the characters in the book. It’s revealing as it gives a real insight into what many women have to deal with in their lives covering issues such as sexual abuse, mental health, but also, like in Sugars case, how by identifying the issues that are holding you back you can also exploit and fight them. It’s very raunchy at times but also upsetting and sad. It is an absolutely brilliant read though, and by holding onto its sheer size for two weeks on holiday you will probably work out your bingo wings too.