All booklovers will have experienced this at one time in their life (amongst others which I wrote about here): You’re heading off on holiday somewhere and obviously you have to take a book with you. But which book? It can’t be just any old book, it has to be the perfect holiday read. Or, do you not take one with you, and buy one when you reach your destination? But then you might not find one you like and blah blah blah. You know the drill.
I’m having this problem right now. As I prepare to start packing my bag to head overseas for a couple of weeks, I’m trying to figure out which book out of my TBR tower I should take with me. I have it narrowed down to a shortlist of six, but can’t decide which one I should go with. So I’m asking for opinions! Below are the six books, each with a note on why it’s on my shortlist; and if you want to know a bit more about the book, justclick on the title of the book it’ll take you through to Goodreads. I’ve put a poll at the bottom so you can vote (I’ve always wanted to do one of these), but feel free to leave some comments as well if you are particularly passionate about which book I should read (or feel free to suggest something entirely different!) (actually, please don’t suggest something completely different, I don’t need that kind of pressure).
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Why it’s on the shortlist: First because it’s a classic that I haven’t read, despite it having sat in my TBR tower for about 12 months. Secondly because it’s a little book that’s the perfect travel size. And finally because it’s about two guys going on a road trip of self discovery (or something like that); in that sense, this book seems kinda appropriate since I’ll be travelling overseas alone for the first time, and I might just “find myself” (or I might not) (realistically I’ll probably be found stuffing my face with French pastries).
Mr Holmes by Mitch Cullin
Why it’s on the shortlist: Um, because Sherlock Holmes you guys. Need I say more? Also, it’s 1947, Sherlock Holmes is 93 and don’t you think it would be cool to see if that incredible mind has stood against Time? AND there’s a movie adaptation in which Sir Ian McKellen plays Mr Holmes; which is obviously perfect. Importantly, the book is under 300 pages, which is ideal for a holiday on which I will likely get very little reading done (because eating and sight seeing).
The Porcelain Thief by Huan Hsu
Why it’s on the shortlist: When I purchased this book, it was with the sole intention of it being my holiday read. To me the cover just looked like it was a holiday read sort of book. It’s about travelling too, with the author journeying through China to reconnect with centuries of his families history. When I’m in London, I plan on making a day trip to Essex to the village where my ancestors on my dad’s side lived before they came to Australia, some time around 1855. I’ve never been able to pin down the exact date of his departure from England, or his arrival in Australia so I’m hoping maybe I can do my own Sherlockian investigations on my day trip and find out. So it’s like I’m reconnecting with my family history too.
My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman
Why it’s on the shortlist: From what I can gather, this book is about a little girl who’s a little different to children her own age, and who goes on an adventure. Being completely real here – I’m like a kid 75% of the time, and I’m a bit different (or weird, whatever you want to call it), and I’m going on an adventure. And like the cover of The Porcelain Thief above, it just looks like a book that should be read while on holiday.
When There’s Nowhere Else To Run by Murray Middleton
Why it’s on the shortlist: There’s a couple of reasons for this. One: It’s a collection of short stories, which I think is good for being on holiday as I can read a story and then leave the book; then when I pick it up again I’m not trying to remember what happened last time I read (if it’s been a couple of days). Two: It was the winner of the Vogel Award this year, which is a literary prize that’s kind of a big deal here in Australia, and lots of people have raved about it so I’m basically guaranteed a decent read. Three: Most of the stories seem to revolve around people trying to lots of distance between themselves and their problems; while that’s not the purpose of my own holiday, there’s that whole travel thing, and I guess whenever we go away it’s nice to pretend that real life doesn’t exist, even if it’s just for a little while.
Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry
Why it’s on the shortlist: Aesthetics wise, I’d be more than happy for this to be the only book I looked at for two weeks. It’s so pretty. It’s also just over 300 pages (with large font), so I should be able to get through a lot in a short time. It’s also about magic and circuses, and reminds me a little bit of The Book of Speculation which I was head over heels in love with (I wrote about it here if you’re interested), so I think that bodes well for Church of Marvels.