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The joy of textsKate 2:00 pm, Jun 22nd 2011
Any minute now, I’m off to South Africa.
Honest. I’m supposed to be heading to Terminal 5 at this very moment, to catch my plane to Jo-burg. But a stormcloud has erupted over Clerkenwell, and I’m reluctant to leave the office and expose my massive, definitely-not-waterproof suitcase (affectionately known as Big Red) to the elements right now.
So, in the meantime, I’m nursing a cup of tea and pondering one of the great joys of summer holidays: the holiday book.
I’m amazed at how, when I look back over my recent trips, I can remember exactly what I read by the pool / in the tent / on the sweltering replacement coach service. For me – and many others – the words you immerse yourself in when finally disconnected from your smartphone can be as captivating as the local cuisine and tourist attractions.
Here’s my recent history…
A week in Majorca with the girls: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. A book so good that all three of us read it before we got back home. It’s about a missionary family from Georgia, trying to build a home in a bewildering and dangerous Congo village. Even on the sun lounger it gave me the shivers.
A trip to Kerry, Ireland: The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein. A bit of a pretentious one, this. An investigation into the rise of ‘disaster capitalism’ and the dangers of the free market. I was on holiday with a new boyfriend, and I was probably trying to look intellectual. Turns out he’s a capitalist, so probably wasn’t very impressed.
A week in the Maldives (just a bit of destination-dropping for you, there. Don’t mention the carbon footprint): The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. That’s more like it. Full of twists, turns, and the fascinating female relationships Mags is famous for. This one kept me glued to the day-bed for hours every afternoon.
And this year? Well, I’ve gone for Caitlin Moran’s How to be a Woman. Apparently, it’s ‘part memoir, part rant’ about what feminism means these days. Another one the boyfriend is sure to love.
So – what book will you be packing in your suitcase (or loading onto your Kindle) for summer 2011?