I love beach holidays because I adore being able to laze horizontally for hours revelling in some pure, unadulterated, no-guilt reading. My favourite bit about packing for the holiday? Picking that wodge of books that I’ve been longing to read but just haven’t had the time. So this year I am sharing my little holiday collection with you. I do hope they inspire some sunshine escapism.
Heartburn by Nora Ephron
I’ll start the holiday with a little calorific indulgence. I might’ve judged this book by its cover, but something tells me I’m in safe hands with Nora. Shamefully, I have never read a book of hers, so I’ll be delving in with this tale of adultery as soon as I get to the airport (where I’ll be armed with fizzy water and Gaviscon on account of my flying-makes-me-anxious heartburn, ironic much?).
Hot Milk by Deborah Levy
Along with ‘Girls’ by Emma Cline, this was one of the stylish reads of last summer. It’s set in Southern Spain, and I think there’s something beautifully poetic about reading a book while you’re in the location it’s set in. An apparently rich and lyrical novel, I’m sure I’ll be wallowing in writer’s jealousy as I read.
Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk
A holiday is not a holiday without Chuck. I read ‘Fight Club’ on a balmy terrace a few years ago, and I’ve been working through Mr P’s collection ever since. He is one of my favourites. He gives me writer’s envy every time and I’m so jealous of his ideas and his wonderfully weird mind. Set in the porn industry, ‘Snuff’ tells the tale of an ageing star that wants to set the record for serial fornication. You literally couldn’t write it. Except he did (he always does).
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
This summer has been the season of The ‘Handmaid’s Tale’. Everyone has seen the TV adaptation apart from me. It’s currently sitting on my hard drive because I refuse to watch it until I’ve read the book, and the book has been sitting on my shelf ever since my Dad bought it for me last Christmas. So many books, so little time. But I think now I will finally take the plunge.
Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman
An honorary pick that I’m not actually taking on holiday because I am about to finish it, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t think you should. This is poolside reading perfection. It’s an evocative tale of suicide, female adolescence and puts me in mind of ‘The Virgin Suicides’, which is the biggest compliment I could ever give another book. And the ‘Them’ chapter on page 73 is a beautiful little masterpiece all of its very own.