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Reading a book at the beach

For some reason, saying “I’m going on holiday” feels so much cooler than “I’m going on vacation.” Maybe it’s because it sounds more British?  Regardless, for today, I am sticking with “holiday”!

I will start by prefacing that I am not a vacation-y kind of girl. I spent a week of every summer for the entirety of my childhood going up north to the same cottage, on the same lake, with my family. To me, that place was as close to paradise as I could get. I would bring a stack of books, read on the dock all day, watch the beautiful stars at night  and have campfires, play cards and forget that the world outside of our little cottage even existed.

It wasn’t until I met my fiancé that vacationing became a huge deal. Unlike me, he had grown up visiting various parts of the world and had a long mental list of places he still had to go. He marvelled at my lack of desire to travel, and I was both intrigued and terrified by his constant desire for adventure. Since we’ve been together, I have gone on several adventures (six to be exact) and I have finally caved on adventure number seven. In a few weeks, we will be going to Cuba! (I swear that boy was a fish in another life.)

Now I know Cuba is a spring break staple, and many of my friends have been, but I’ve never been one for intense heat. The thought of spending an entire week drenched in my own sweat on a sizzling beach does not sound like my idea of relaxing. But when my fiancé starts talking about crystal clear water and a constant supply of daiquiris, my defences begin to weaken. It wasn’t until he said “you can just bring a ton of books for the beach!” that I began to see the potential.

After months of perusing Sell Off Vacations, we finally booked it, and now that it’s actually on the calendar, my excitement level is rising. Even though we don’t leave for a few weeks, I’ve already gone to pick up some new shorts and am in search of a very wide brim hat.  But the best part, of course, is the books.

Choosing what to bring on vacation is always the hardest part. I am notorious for sneaking more books in my bag than I could ever read, even if I had an entire month. But there is always the rationale.  “But it’s a WHOLE week!  With nothing to do, but read! (And go to Havana!)”  I’ve been rounding up books for days now, trying to narrow my choices down to five books.

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1. The Ruins – Scott Smith
I actually think I may have eliminated this one already because it’s a horror novel that takes place during a vacation. Perhaps a bad idea..

2. One Last Thing Before I Go – Jonathan Tropper
I am almost finished reading This is Where I Leave You and I love it. I’ve heard that Tropper is the king of manlit (chicklit for men – har har) and now I completely agree.  Yes, there are tons of times where our narrater discusses his hormones, which seems to be one of the complaints of Tropper’s work, but I really don’t mind it at all. In fact, I find his approach to sexuality refreshing and his man humour very funny. I feel like I know the characters and learn to love them for all their flaws and vulnerabilities. Now, I must read more! I chose this one and another to bring with me!

3. Looking for Alaska – John Green
After just finishing re-reading The Fault in Our Stars, I am itching for another John Green and I have surprisingly never read any of his other work. I would very much like to change this and going away may be the perfect opportunity.

4. Plan B – Jonathan Troppper
More Tropper.. because!

5. We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
This one is getting so much buzz for being quite enigmatic. No one talks about the plot, just that it’s a crazy read and the constant debate of whether or not the mystery is worth it has me intrigued. I feel like I could devour this one in a day, which could be good for the beach, but bad for the weight of a hardcover that won’t take long to read in my suitcase. #bookproblems

6. All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
I’ve been wanting one of those books that just makes you feel human lately. I know that’s a weird way to describe it, but a book that just crawls into your skin and attaches itself to your very structure. I haven’t felt like this with a book in a while and I feel like this gorgeous sounding story may be the one.

7. The Cuckoo’s Calling – J.K. Rowling
I grabbed this one as soon as news leaked about J.K’s authorship but it has remained unread on my shelf. My lovely friend Yaz recently read it and her review shot it up on my to-read this. I think this mystery could be the perfect beach read!

I would love any suggestions on these, but also I would love to hear what kind of books YOU take with you and enjoy on vacation!

 

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17 thoughts on “Reading on Holiday

  1. I love reading on holidays too, I usually take about 4 books with me, though I never really finish reading more than one or two.
    If I were you, I would take the ruins, plan b and the cuckoo’s calling. I haven’t read any of them, but those interested me from your description.
    Enjoy your holidays!

  2. Oooo, I REALLY need to try out The Cuckoo’s Calling!

    I hope you have a great vacation! I’ve never really been a “vacation” type either. Our vacations the past few years have just been a week or more off of work, with maybe a day trip or something sprinkled in there. Have fun in Cuba, I bet it’ll be amazing!

    • It’s nice to know someone else is like me! I feel like everyone is in awe that I’m not a huge traveller. And YES! I feel the same about Cuckoo’s Calling. I really need to get on that stat.

  3. So jealous of your wonderful Cuba holiday! I haven’t been on many actual vacations either, maybe 2 in my lifetime that didn’t have to do with going to see family. Not really breaking my streak anytime soon, though, since next Friday my big ‘vacation’ of the summer will be flying to Kelowna for 3 days to do nothing but sit in a hotel and read in the good company of my mom and my favourite aunt who I haven’t seen in a few years! It’ll be a fun girls’ weekend getaway, but it’s no Cuba :P

    Your post made me start to think about what books I will bring with me! I’m dying to pick up All The Light We Cannot See (GOSH and that cover, I’m obsessed) and I feel mighty guilty for not picking up The Cuckoo’s Calling yet. Hmmm, I’ll think about it, and probably end up overpacking as always! Haha :)

    By the way, Looking for Alaska is my favourite John Green book by far. Not sure if I’d recommend it for a vacation (I cried when I read it) but I definitely urge you to pick it up!!!

    • How was the vacation?! 3 days to relax still sounds fantastic :). I hope you had a great time! Don’t feel any guilt about not reading The Cuckoo’s Calling yet.. I haven’t even finished Harry Potter so I will carry the Rowling guilt for us both lol. So excited to hear that you loved Looking for Alaska! I can’t wait to dive into it :).

      • It was fantastic! I just got home last night, actually. It was this weekend, not the one before :) very much looking forward to you finishing Harry Potter and Looking for Alaska, and hearing about what you think of them!!

  4. Just got back from a holiday myself and I have to say my book reading was lack luster – I was in a bit of a book withdrawal slump after I finished The Cuckoo’s Calling and nothing seemed like the right read. All I wanted was the next book in the series, so it was the first thing I did when i got back! Went to the bookshop and bought Silkworm! Most of the books you mentioned in this post are on my TBR pile for this summer as well :)

    • Woohoo! Can’t wait to hear how your vacation was! I’m assuming you had more sight seeing time and gorgeous meals and such. I’m thinking ours will be much more.. beach centric.. and quiet lol. I hope I have time to get through at least 3 books.. I would love that! Also, I picked up The Silkworm too because your Cuckoo’s Calling Review made me think I may need both lol.

      • Yes! Definitely good to have both on hand. I didn’t realise how much I would love the book. I was in desperate need of the next once I was done. They’re addictive in a quiet and really satisfying way.

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