I recently did a segment on KFM with Brenda Drumm and fellow authors Louise Phillips and Hazel Gaynor so since the world seems to either be away on holidays or getting ready to go on holidays I thought I would talk about the books that I would recommend for when you’re lying by the pool and the only exercise you want is turning over the pages of a good book.
I’m just back from a week in Portugal (the laptop came too so it wasn’t all play) but actually I find I get more done on holidays than I ever do at home. I wrote a good chunk of my first book in a Moment when I was holidays, before I ever had the pressure of a publishing contract. Maybe it’s the change in scenery but I quite enjoy doing an hour or two in the late afternoon sun and rewarding myself with a chilled glass of wine afterwards.
I bought ‘The Husband’s Secret’ by Liane Moriarty in the airport (I always have to buy a book at the airport, it’s like a pre-holiday ritual at this stage). It tells the story of Cecilia Fitzpatrick, a devoted wife, mother and pillar of the local community, who stumbles across a letter from her husband with the words that it was only to be opened in the event of his death written on the envelope. When Cecilia reads the letter, her perfect world is ripped apart. This is a real page-turner, it’s easy to read and the author really gets inside the characters heads, which I love.
I also read The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion recently, it is about a socially awkward Professor of genetics, Don Ti llman who sets about to find a wife by devising a questionnaire which he calls ‘The Wife Project’. Enter Rosie Jarman who is the antithesis of all the things on Don’s questionnaire, throwing Don’s his orderly world into complete chaos. This is a funny, feel-good read which shows that sometimes in life, not everything can be rationalised and explained and we just have to trust our feelings.
Another book, which I read recently, was ‘The Light Between Oceans’ by ML Stedman. This has been out a while but I only got around to reading it this year. It tells the story of Tom Sherbourne and his wife Isabel who live on the remote Janus Rock of the South Western coast of Australia where Tom is a lighthouse keeper. After Isabel suffers two miscarriages and one stillbirth, a boat washes up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, a meticulous lighthouse keeper wants to report the baby to the mainland immediately but a grieving Isabel convinces him to claim the baby as their own arguing that God meant for them to have her. Reluctantly Tom agrees to raise the child as their own and they live in bliss in the isolated lighthouse. However when the baby is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded of the harsh reality of their decision. This is a beautifully written, brilliant storyline where you will find yourself torn between the dilemma presented. It reminds us that sometimes in life there are no right answers. If you like emotional reads then this is for you.
Here are a few other books which Brenda, Louise and Hazel recommended on the night, which I hope to read soon:
- The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
- The Fault in our Stars by John Green
- After the wedding by Roisin Meaney
- The Fallen by Lia Mills
- Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
- Wild by Cheryl Strayed
- The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
So what will you be reading on your holidays?
If you missed last week, I was talking about whether you should ‘Write What You Know’ here ?