Sunday Salon

Sunday Salon: Holiday Reading

What else should a Booker-prize reader take on holiday other than the very aptly named Holiday by Stanley Middleton.

The liklihood is you’ve never heard of Middleton. Neither had I until starting to read my way through all the past Booker winners. Middleton is one of those authors to have slipped into obscurity despite having written more than fourty novels.  Maybe his novels are just too quiet for modern readers who want more action and drama than subtle stories about ordinary people.
They don’t come much more quiet and subtle than Holiday. Edwin Fisher, a university professor takes a spur of the moment holiday at the seaside. Its the same resort he went to year after year as a child. Recollections of those not always happy days mingle with more recent and more bitter memories of his wife from whom he has recently separated. Fisher’s sense of superiority over fellow holidaymakers at his guest house and his contempt for his father are revealed in some finely observed scenes. This is clearly going to be a novel that grows on the reader even if it doesn’t grab them by the throat.
As a complete contrast I’ve also packed Petals of Blood by the African writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and filled up my iPad with enough options to last two months rather than just the week. All I need now is a little sunshine in which to indulge in some reading.


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

4 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Holiday Reading

  • I got an e-reader specifically for vacations. I tend to take about 600 books with me , a combination of new-to-me and old favorites. That way, whatever I’m in the mood to read, I probably have something that suits!

    • 600 books is probably my entire collection ! I did use Kindle on my Ipad this holiday but found it difficult to read the screen in bright sunlight Karen Heenan-Davies


  • No real reader ever takes ‘just enough’ books on holiday. One for each day and one over for luck is my rule of thumb. Have a good break.


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