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Thursday, 1 September 2011

Holiday Booked

So I took a great pile of books on hols, although this picture exaggerates, as it includes Mr B's books as well.  Ali of Hestia's Larder asked whether I read all of these.  Sadly no, my eyes are always bigger than processing capacity..

Below are the ones I did read.

Now, to make sure you all pay attention, there is a nifty quizz:

Which of these books helped preserve my sanity on the tiresome charter airline flight to

It may help if you imagine the following scenario:

"We are sorry but we have identified 2 suitcases without labels which are unaccounted for, so 2 very surly members of the groundcrew will now unload all 304 pieces of luggage from the hold, chucking the cases from a great height onto the tarmac (ha! that'll show you); after a couple of hours we will only have to spend another hour or so trundling along the airfield while the Captain grovels desperately for another take off slot, meanwhile, sit back and relax as the Man Mountain in front of you whacks his seat back against your knees and you wonder if you really did turn the iron off at home.."

The Snowman by Jo Nesbo - this was a stonking good read,  Nordic detective Harry Hole in a serial killer saga, gripping;
Hunting Unicorns by Bella Pollen - this was a very entertaining story about an American journalist sent over to England to make a documentary about the aristocracy; I can imagine it filmed back in the day with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts;
Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale - this was heavier, more serious than I had expected; it explores the links between artistic talent and mental illness, and the tension for a woman in reconciling her role as a mother with her need as an artist to create; brilliantly constructed it goes backward and forward in time and swaps between the viewpoints of different characters;
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - this was a book everyone raved about a few years ago; I was reluctant to read it as I thought it sounded heart-breaking - the story is narrated by a young girl who has been murdered by a neighbour and looks at how her family is affected by her death.  I did find it very sad but it was well done;
Twelve by Nick McDonell is a book I had hanging around the bookshelves for quite a few years; the author was heralded as the new Bret Easton Ellis/Jay McInnery; it follows a few eventful days in the life of White Mike, a yuppie drug dealer in New York; I liked it, it had some really good characters, including two guys who try to talk like black dudes (they are white) and of course come off completely ridiculous;

Finally, there was Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith - if you have read the 44 Scotland Street books by him and liked them, you will also like this; like Scotland Street, it also began life as a  newspaper serial.  It is based in Pimlico, London.  One of the characters is a wonderfully odious MP called Oedipus Snark, whom even his own mother cannot bear. 

* no, it wasn't the onboard shopping brochure or the snack menu; I'll tell you next time if you're good!


  1. Hmmm - I suspect that it was the biggest and heaviest of the books so that it could double as a weapon. You're not going to do anyone any damage with something like One Day..... I may plump for the Ian Banks book, purely for the damage inflicting potential re stray cases.

    I have thoughts about irons - and overheating routers - as soon as I am on the ferry and unable to check. However, my long suffering friends are quite used to flustered phone calls from various parts of the country urging them to 'go and unplug' things.

    Things that turn out to have been unplugged anyway!


  2. Wow I am super impressed Blights that you pack oodles of books. Actually I'm totally envious.
    I travel very light (a habit from travelling with Mr A, he who is on an eternal crusade to travel with the smallest bag possible).
    If I manage to cram a small book in my handbag I'm extremely pleased. I love to read but if it's down to the wire between jamming in extra knickers or reading matter then guess what wins.

  3. Blighty, Get thee to Amazon and buy a Kindle for Goodness sakes!
    That pile of books looks enormous.
    I find poor old Harry Hole very depressing, but I have been to his neck of the woods - brag brag.
    The charter flight sounds abominable - is it really like those airport/airline reality shows we see on TV?

  4. Yes, do get an e-reader. The Lovely Bones is one of my favourite books. As per usual the movie version did not do it justice.

  5. I find it terribly difficult to concentrate on planes - just too noisy and in too close proximity to strangers. But these books would be terrific once one hit the sunloungers. Deffo will check out the last one - Oedipus Snark is possibly the best character name ever! xxx

  6. I am Dying to get my hands on Corduroy Mansion as am biggest McCall Smith fan in existence. Unfortunately I'm going through a self-imposed ban on buying new books until I'm done reading the ones I already bought. Sigh! it seemed like such a frugal and sensible idea at the time.

  7. Dear CHE, I am on a book buying ban, also self imposed, butI get round it by using my local library which is fab, also then you do not have the problem of having to de-clutter books later on.
    Dear Lou and Debs, I would love a Kindle as love all techno gadgets except my bread maker which keeps glaring at me, but for reading at home, the library is FREE and cannot justify Kindle just for hols as do not travel often enough xx

  8. Blights, you rock. Please keep letting us know your booklists. I've become hooked on Scandanavian crime novels b/c of an earlier list you have, and am now watching the Van Veeteren and Wallander series on Amazon video. Thanks for the intro to Jo Nesbo!

  9. Dear Mrs Blighty, I agree with faux Texan - you do rock! I felt exactly the same way about the Lovely Bones. I think it is almost too painful to confront our worst fears. Charter travel is heinous. Just recently I was wondering aloud whether economy seats were getting smaller or whether my arse was getting bigger. My Colombian colleague who never holds back, said "it's your arse darling!" love Lindaxxx


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