Summer Holiday Reading

25th June 2013 1 Comment

In common with many, many people, one of my ambitions is to write a novel. Not being taught grammar at school is not the best start. However, last week I went to the library and armed myself with the DK Book of Spelling and Punctuation which I guess is a start! In all seriousness though, I think the best way to go about achieving this ambition is to actually read lots and lots of books and I’ve been making a valiant effort.

With the Summer Holidays soon to start, I thought it might be worth writing about the ones I have particularly enjoyed this past few months:

The Night Circus
I thought this was one of the most visual books I’ve ever read. I’d so love to visit this circus, its bound to be made into a film.

The Great Gatsby
I’m not a fan of classic novels and tend to avoid them like the plague. However, I loved this book its a short easy read and again very visual. If you want a feel of 1920’s America this is the book for you, ideal for a short trip.

The Kingmakers Daughter
If you’ve been watching The White Queen on the BBC you’ll love this book as its basically one of the books which the drama is based on. At first I thought it was a bit basic in its writing style but the story had me hooked and I’m looking to read the other books written from the other characters perspectives.

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
Not a natural choice for me, I read this book because it was on offer for the Kindle at the time. However, it was such a strange enigmatic story I couldn’t put it down. I really loved how the author related the main protagonists earlier life.

Agnes Owens: The Complete Novellas
If you want to read short stories with a difference you’ll love these. Agnes Owens writes some wonderful bizarre characters which both fascinate and revolt at the same time. I could only dream to write as well as her.

Life of Pi
I was intrigued about this story and why it was so popular so I thought I’d give it a go. I didn’t realise quite how spiritual and thought provoking the story would prove and although it’s essentially a simplistic concept I wasn’t for a minute bored.

A Thousand Splendid Suns
This is a story which makes you really empathise with the plight of women in certain countries and also gives you a good basic historical grounding into the situation in Afghanistan without really realising. It made me cry. I urge you to read, just wonderful writing.

My Lovers Lover
Initially I thought this was a ghost story and it did give me a sleepless night. Probably the best Maggie O’ Farrell book I’ve read so far and proves plenty of food for thought about relationships in a rather gripping manner.

The Pattern in the Carpet
I decided to read this not having read any Margaret Drabble books as I was interested to see how she would weave the history of the jigsaw puzzle into her life story. Its an interesting book which says as much about depression, society and women during the past 100 or so years as it does about jigsaws.  I loved her detailed descriptions of various women and I really enjoyed the feel of the book. It  also made a refreshing change from a fictional work.

If you have any suggestions about what I should read next I’d love to hear them.

Claire Walsh

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1 Comment

  • Jez 17th July 2013 at 9:47 am

    A really interesting list. "The 100 year old man…" is a great a read and great fun. If you enjoyed this I'd suggest two books by Rachel Joyce "The unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry" and "Perfect". Both funny and moving. For other great suggestions check out

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