Friday 14 August 2015

Stuff books!! by Miriam Halahmy

It is the summer holidays - HOORAY!!

I've spent two glorious weeks by the sea on Hayling Island. Here I am at seven o'clock in the morning at one of my favourite places, The Kench. There are a few house boats here which have been converted from WW2 landing craft. One of them features in my book, ILLEGAL.

Then I went to Cornwall to stay with a friend. That was also by the sea and a whole different terrain from flat gentle Hayling. This photo was taken on the South West path at Lamorna. We had just watched an amazing helicopter rescue. A man had had a heart attack in the car park and they were literally pumping his heart as they lifted him up into the machine. We couldn't find any news as to whether or not he survived.

So what should I read on all these wonderful holidays and for the rest of the summer? After all, it's only August and I'm in no hurry to bring on the winter and those long dark nights - although of course, they're great excuses for reading loads too.

Of course, I needn't worry because everyone is falling over themselves to bring out the latest list of what they think everyone should read - the top 100, the final fifty, the only books children should ever read, blah, blah blah.
Then another load of people are arguing over the choice of books on whatever list and putting forward their own lists.
Then people comment on those lists and it goes on and on into wearydom.

Can't we just choose books and read them? I quite enjoy reading the odd review especially of books I probably wouldn't know about otherwise. Quite a lot of my reading comes from recommendations and then I'm the sort of person who wanders into bookshops and reads along the entire fiction section from A-Z just for fun anyway. Then I move onto the biography - but now I'm boring you...
But lists? Nah - not for me, anyhow.

I have read all sorts of books this summer - some more memorable than others. Go Set a Watchman was a revelation and now I have my own theory about the two books but will only discuss it with those who have read the book. I loved it. I've carried on with the Poldark novels because of my new love affair with Cornwall and read Jeremy on the way back. Really captures the poverty and what an ass the law is/was. I'm re-reading War and Peace because I'm starting a lit course one evening a week in September. Can't wait!  It's my third time round on this massive tome and it's still as wonderful as ever. I've read After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross which flips the migrant problem through the Channel Tunnel on its head and is a very good dystopian novel. I've read the latest biography of Edward Thomas by Jean Moorcroft Wilson and gone back to reading Thomas' poetry all over again.

But this is not a list - its not even my list. It's just books I've read and there is a nice pile sitting on my desk waiting for me, as well as a few more I've downloaded onto my Kindle.

I hope you are having a wonderful summer wherever you are and that you are blessed with books you are enjoying and being sensible enough to ditch those which you aren't. Life's too short and there are too many wonderful books out there.
Happy Summer Reading folks!!


  1. Lovely post, Miri! We should compare notes on Go Set A Watchman. Next on my list is Andrew O'Hagan's The Illuminations and Judy Blume's In The Unlikely Event.

  2. Your reading list sounds great Sara and we should definitely discuss Watchman - I need an American viewpoint!