Well technically I’ve had two holidays, but they were so close together that they basically became one, long two and a half week holiday. I haven’t taken anything longer than fortnight for holidays off work in my life, so it’s felt kind of nice.
Holidays for me are normally of the beach, snorkel, eat feta cheese variety. They usually consitute a marathon book reading drive, resulting in me devouring at least four books in a week. So a two and half week holiday should have resulted in me completing at least ten books, yes?
Well, no. I am ashamed to admit to only completing two and a half books in my alloted time.
In my defence, one of the holidays was a five night trip round glorious New York city with the wonderful Thrifty Gal (special birthday trip – I’ll let you read her summary of the trip) and I would maintain that the only reading to be had on a trip to NY NY are guide books and city maps (those cab drivers sure want you to be specific). Thrifty Gal managed to rattle through at least three books that I saw…however, we do have to put some of that down to insomnia.
I managed to read one book on the flight over there: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. I did find it a little bit odd that the characters were so accepting that the ghost of Aunt Elspeth should be hanging around her old flat, scribing messages in dusty surfaces wherever they forgot the Mr Sheen. Yet, the ultimate laugh out loud moment occured when her widowed lover, Robert, set up a ouija board to help her communicate, only to worry “that he should have included punctuation on the board.”*
My further reading on holiday number two (which was of the sun, sea, sand and snorkel variety) consisted of the most recent Terry Pratchett paperback offering: Unseen Academicals. On finishing the book, I gave it to someone I spotted by the pool in Rhodes reading another Pratchett book. She was quite delighted and proclaimed that she would pass it on to her travelling companion after she’d read it, then on to her husband and then on to her kids. Good to see that Sir Terry reaches all ages and that my book will spread some additional joy. I rewarded myself and my kindness with a lunchtime glass of wine.
My final book, which I am still reading, is Stephen King’s latest paperback: Under the Dome. I often joke that King needs a good editor (or at least one actually happy to edit his work). His short stories are usually the length of a novella. His novellas are perhaps of novel length and well, when you reach a novel by King, you’re lucky to wind up the story by 600 pages.
This latest one is like a brick. A whopping 880 pages plus character list and map**, I mean come on… Saying that, I’m quite enjoying it, and it makes a perfect holiday read, great for lounging by the pool or beach. In short, it’s superb in a situation where it doesn’t need to be carried far. Now I’m back at work, I don’t think I’ll be able to cope with many more commutes with it in my bag. Though it could act as a handy seat should the train be overcrowded again tomorrow.
*Obviously, should I die and end up haunting you, please ensure that adequate punctuation is available on any device you use to communicate with me.
** I’ve just discovered it also has a website: http://www.underthedome.co.uk/