Friday, April 13, 2012

Holiday Reads

Holidays conjure up a picture of sunshine, beaches, relaxation and fun for most people, but if you are an avid reader then holidays mean books - and an opportunity to catch up with your reading. I am off on my travels on Sunday and have a day and half of flights ahead of me. I am so happy that my Kindle is fully loaded and there will be no chance of running out of reading material on the way or the hassle of carrying two heavy books with me.
When I travel I like to read books that are set in the country or area that I am travelling in. I thought I was alone in this but there is even a book that is full of recommendations of this sort. When we visited Egypt I buried myself in Wilbur Smith's River God and Seventh Scroll and followed the trail around Luxor and the Valley of Kings that the slave Taitus describes. To be in the setting where the story is set just adds so much atmosphere to the journey. I felt that the characters were there with me.
I was drawn again to The Da Vinci Code when in Paris and admiring the Michaelangelo's paintings in the Louvre and recently when in the UK I enjoyed Ann Granger's Mud, Muck and Dead things - a murder mystery set in the Cotswolds. I will leave you to guess where I read Death in Venice and the Venetian Mask!
So what's on my Kindle for Australia? The Thorn Birds? There wasn't much Australian fiction available on Amazon UK but I found a novel called "Eucalyptus" by Murray Bail. It is set in New South Wales,where a man named Holland lives with his daughter Ellen. As years pass and Ellen grows into a beautiful young woman, her father announces his decision: she will marry the first man who can name all the species of the eucalyptus, down to the last tree. Ellen observes the challengers come to the estate, one after another, drawn by tales of her legendary beauty. She gradually sinks into despair. But one afternoon a mysterious young man appears among the gum trees and tells her stories of faraway lands. It sounds intriguing and a movie is in the making with Nicole Kidman in the role of Ellen.

I also have Still Alice to take with me - not set in Australia but telling a story of a women who has early onset Alzheimer's and We all Ran into The Sunlight by Natalie Young.  I am hoping to browse some bookshops in Melbourne - Is there anything more absorbing and indulgent on holiday than time spent in an unfamiliar bookshop! Looking forward to three weeks of good reading!

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