Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Holiday Booklist

When I go on holiday a significant proportion of my luggage allowance will be used up by books. One of my favourite things to do on days whilst lazing by the pool is to lose myself in a book or three. When I was younger I used to take enough books to read one a day but nowadays I've toned it down, not because I don't love books but when you're away with your friends there’s a lot less time for reading. I took three books with me on my holiday to Rhodes all of which I enjoyed so I thought that I would do a mini book review.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I’ve read this book before but since the film came out this month I thought that I would give it a re-read before I go and see the film. If you don't already know (where have you been?!) TFiOS is about two teenagers, Hazel and Augustus, who have/had cancer and in its simplest form the book is their love story. If you've ever read a John Green book before then you’ll know the style, clever, funny and oozing with the metaphorical resonances. Now don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the book and I love Green's writing but I struggled to find the characters realistic at times. I think the two main characters are just a bit too pretentious and I know that they’re meant to be, but they’re also meant to be 16/17 and sometimes it’s just a bit too much. Having said that I think that as a teenager I would have liked the pretentiousness since at that age we (or was it just me?) like to think that we are capable of such deep thoughts on life and death and oblivion and my reluctance to believe the characters could just be because I’m a slightly older young adult reading YA fiction. Anyone else feel like this? Or feel like I’m entirely wrong? Comment below if you've read it and let me know what you think.

One Day by David Nicholls

I saw the film adaptation of this book a couple of years ago and I've wanted to read the book ever since because I’d heard it was well written and I liked the story. So after it sat in my to-read pile for several months I decided to take it on holiday and finally read it. If you haven’t read the book or seen the film (Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess) One day is the story of two friends that meet on the day of their graduation from university and their relationship for the twenty years that follow. The book is cleverly written as you visit the pair on the anniversary of their graduation each year and learn what has changed or not changed since the last year. Over the course of the book I fell in love with both Emma and Dexter and I laughed, felt their sadness and also screamed with frustration at them. As a recent graduate their journeys after university were so relatable and whilst at times I felt their fears and doubts, the notion that good things are still to come and to just keep on going was a message I’ll keep with me. It is unlike the ‘classic’ literature I generally read but I loved this as a holiday book, easy to get into and fun to read and heck there's nothing wrong with a bit of chick-lit!

Autobiography by Morrissey

The last book that I started to read was Morrissey's autobiography and I think I was more excited to start this than either of the other books. I am a big fan of The Smiths and although Morrissey is a controversial character there is no denying that he is a musical genius and I was interested to hear some of his life story and learn what made him the person that he is. I haven't actually finished this yet, but I'll give you my first impressions and talk about it more when I do my 'Books of 2014' post at the end of this year. The style of writing is different from other books I've read as it's all a bit stream of consciousness style. There's little structure as he starts writing about his childhood but flits between various times and memories presumably as they come into his head. In true Morrissey style it's quite wordy so if you're not a fan of the overly loquacious I would avoid it. Personally I do enjoy the style of writing because it's not overly structured it's genuine memories as they come into his head, like if someone asked you to describe your childhood and as you start one story it reminds of you of another, it's just very natural. I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the book. 

What books have you been reading on your holidays? I'd love to hear in the comments.

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