Sometimes I find it hard to find the time to read. When I’m not at work, keeping house, or being a taxi driver for my kids, my spare time is spent writing. How else am I going to get it done, right? So sometimes, sitting down to read a book seems like an impossibility. Holidays are different. Holidays are when all that other stuff gets pushed to the side and there is an opportunity to do whatever the hell you like. Well, that’s the theory, anyway.
If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I got to spend last week in Fiji. Also commonly referred to as paradise. Just look at the picture above. That was taken while I was out for dinner at a little place called Smugglers Cove and eating char-grilled baby octopus.
So in between that harsh life of swimming, snorkeling, racing down zip lines and eating delicious food, the thing I looked forward to the most was having the chance to read with zero guilt over having other things to do. I even switched my brain off the plot of my next novel, though I did make a few notes. My ‘to read’ pile is huge. There are so many books I want to read, so many authors I want to support, that it makes it difficult to know where to start. But holidays aren’t holidays without reading. So, here is my holiday in books.
A book I had started but hadn’t quite finished by the time I left, Endangered is the story of Sophie and a young bonobo called Otto. It is a story of political turmoil and sadness and the horrors faced in the Congo. But it is also the story of hope and triumph and friendship and adventure.
I’ve read Rita’s first book, Painting Sky (see my reading recommendation here) and was thrilled to receive an advanced readers’ copy of her next book, Under A Million Stars. I won’t say too much about it here as it will get a post all of its own closer to the release date, but you can tell from the cover alone that it is a story of sadness and love.
This book is dark and strange and creepy and does not have a happy ending, so naturally, I loved it. I can’t remember how I came across this book. Whether I was attracted to the cover, whether I read a review on Goodreads, but whatever reason it was, I’m pleased I bought it. It tells the tale of Jamie and his sister Cate, who has just been released from juvenile detention. The story that follows delves into their past and sets the scene for their futures. It is a twisted story that leaves you unsure of your feelings towards the characters. There are no dancing unicorns or sparkling rainbows in this story. Loved it.
I’m pretty sure Maggie Stiefvater could write the telephone book, and somehow, I would find it enthralling. I dog-eared pages in this book. If you don’t know me well, this may mean nothing to you. But I have never dog-eared a page before in my life. I like to keep my books pristine. This book, however, needs to be loved. It needs to be read with a highlighter in hand. It needs notes scrawled in the margins. Its pages need to be dog-eared. They DESERVE to be dog-eared. And the kiss. Finally the kiss. No, I am not talking about Gansey and Blue. I’ve never come across a kiss more perfectly explained. Maggie arranges words in the most perfectly wonderful way.
So that was my reading list. I hoped to read more, but alas, the sun and the ocean beckoned and that’s all I got to read. My ‘to read’ pile is ever so slightly smaller and my relaxation tanks a little more full. The kids only have a few more days of school holidays and then more normal routine and novel plotting will continue.
Hope this post finds you well. Thanks for popping by!
*All book cover images sourced via Goodreads.
Oh, if you love to travel, follow my friends ‘The Galavanters’ over on Youtube, Instagram, or via their blog. A family currently on a six week journey around Thailand and Vietnam they are responsible for some wicked imagery. Just check out the clip below.