Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Book Loving: Holiday Reads (part 1)

As well as picking out a crafty project or two for my holidays I love having the opportunity to choose my holiday reads.  This year I read six, quite different, books but first I'm going to tell you about the book I read just before our holiday:

I've read a few of Dorothy Koomson's books and am not a massive fan.  I picked up The Ice Cream Girls in Tesco purely because I'd heard of the TV series and was disappointed to have missed it (plus Tesco had their usual multi-buy offer).  

However, once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down.  I loved it and stayed up until the wee hours (on a school night!) to finish it.  Don't you just love it when that happens?! 

Disguised as chick-lit, this book is undeniably a thriller.  The story starts in the 80s and is about a creepy, slimy teacher who separately, and subtly, seduces two of his teenage students until they each find themselves in abusive, destructive relationships with him.  For both of the impressionable teenagers, this man is their first love, their first sexual relationship, and they relish his apparent adoration and attention.  Very soon, though, they see the man for what he really is and both girls become trapped in abusive, destructive relationships with him.  Neither of the girls knows about the other until, one day, he introduces them and, cruelly, plays them off against each other.  An horrific event occurs and the teacher is murdered; the reader is then left to work out what actually happened.  The tale flits enticingly from the past (the 80s) to the present day and we hear both sides of the story from each of the girls.  The plot is believable and the girls are likeable - growing up in the 80s, I can relate to them.  The teacher is one of those men that you love to hate - the subtlety and slow pace of his abuse is entirely believable.  I was surprised to enjoy this so much.  Don't write it off; I urge you to give it a whirl.

Laura's Handmade Life, by Amanda Addison

Knit and read at the same time, it's not all bad.

The type of book that you don't have to concentrate on AT ALL.  I finished this in an afternoon.  It was OK, not one I'd recommend but if you find your hands on a copy then you may as well read it.  Bit of a cliche, not especially likeable characters and you could see the fire coming a mile off. (Couldn't you?  Oops, sorry.)  I didn't love the 'alluring' ex at all and was constantly irritated by him.  I did love the stitching references, however, and the book allowed me to indulge in my personal fantasies of staying home in my pretty little cottage and stitching all day instead of doing my boring office job. 

More easy-reading but I loved the way this was written.  It was my favourite read of the holiday.  Unfussy writing with bohemian characters I could relate to and admire (Biba = dislike, Rex = love).  A cool and believable story about a summer with a group of people I'd have loved to spend time with myself.  Friendship, romance, mystery and nostalgia make this a fantastic read. Another intriguing murder story with a highly satisfactory ending. I very much enjoyed this book and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. 

Rich, over-sexed and obnoxious characters.  Loved it.

What's a holiday without a Jackie Collins novel?  The usual suspects appear in this book; billionaires, movie stars, supermodels, sports heros and the token gay boys.  This time, they all head out on an exclusive yacht for a luxury party to celebrate the supermodel's birthday and end up held hostage by a clan* of pirates (*unsure of the collective noun for pirates - must google it**).  Everyone's attractive.  They all have fantastic bodies; amusingly, they have either massive willies or huge boobs.  The characters have sex anywhere and everywhere.  There's a hot rough diamond of a man and a simpering politician who sounds like a right arse.  It's typical Jackie Collins and I loved it.  I especially loved reading the more explicit sections aloud to my [easily embarrased] husband, who couldn't believe the trash I was reading.  It made us laugh out loud.  Hugely entertaining and an absolute must-read.  Not one for the prudish but your grandma would secretly love it.

What have you read lately?  Anything I'd like?  Please let me know in the comments box below.



** Googled it; it's a crew of pirates. Or a mutiny.  Mutiny's my fave.


  1. I like the sound of the ice cream girls and poison tree. Going to add them to my list. I think I'll give the Jackie Collins one a miss though. I'm like your husband I suspect :P

    Jen | sunny sweet pea xx

    1. Let me know what you think of them :) xx

  2. I love this post - such a super idea for people like me! I rarely read books anymore which grieves me - lack of concentration, motivation or opportunity? Not sure really. However ... I always like to take a clutch of books on holiday so have earmarked The Ice Cream Girls and Poison Tree based on your reviews.

    As tempting as the massive willies are, I'll give the JC a miss. We're camping in Provence and I'm not sure what the cold shower facilities are like!!! ;-)


    1. I think it's difficult to fit everything in when you also love to crochet/knit whatever. I have downloaded one or two audio books but I get too distracted and my mind wanders off so I miss half the story and have to keep scanning back!


  3. Not sure I can manage a Jackie Collins. Read one once and I think that's all I need! I like the sound of Poison Tree though, I'm gonna give it a go! Thanks for the great recommendations!

    S x

    1. Ha! Jackie Collins is definitely a love/hate writer. I just find her books so OTT - they amuse me greatly! Hope you enjoy The Poison Tree. X

  4. I have to say this is why I love blogging far more than IG. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post and the previous. Prefer the chattiness than a mere photo. Coming off IG soon, def before my baby arrives, I love reading and someone told me yesterday that they couldn't understand WHY people have to share their life/clothes/purchases/every sec of what they are doing with others. And I decided it was also how I felt deep down yet I was a culprit too.
    So please don't stop blogging, I loved this.
    Will give the Ice Cream Girls another chance now I think.
    I am reading Veronica Henry at the mo. Love on the Rocks, and love it now I'm a few chapters in.
    Have you read the Wonderful Weekend Book? It's a wonderful book to dip into.
    When do you go away and where? Hope you are feeling better x x x

    1. Thanks!! I loved writing these posts too. My heart remains firmly with blogging but IG feels easier and more instantaneous. Easier to keep in touch with people and their lives on IG because it is so convenient there on my phone. Also, I love LOVE writing and I can't just knock out a quick blog post, I have to faff and fiddle, swapping words in/out and that kind of thing.

      I don't agree with your mate tho. I think blogging is very similar to IG - we blog our lives, clothes, purchases, family... We just take more time to write about them on Blogger than IG. Don't be down on it - I've made more cyber friends on IG than through my blog and it's FAR easier to chat on IG than blogger. Don't go! IG is no more self-indulgent or showy-offy than blogs...

      And YES I love the Wonderful Weekend book. Love it (altho it's always on my mind that the author was so desperately depressed). Our copy is very well-thumbed. I like Veronica Henry; not read one of hers in a while. Just finished Harold Fry. Am still enjoying the glowy feeling it left me with! X

  5. I am reading "The Wednesday Sisters", a fiction about 5 young women living between the 60's and 70's in Palo Alto who meet weekly at the park with their toddlers. The women are bond by their love for books and they start a writing club. It's a great read!

  6. I LOVED the TV adaptation of The Ice Cream was really gripping and a good twist at the end I thought.
    Hope you're enjoying this amazing weather! long will it last I wonder?

    Bellaboo X

  7. I think most people take easy reads on holiday, no? I haven't read a Jackie Collins book for years - I might now after seeing this post! I also think I need to read 'Lace' by Shirley Conran - cant' believe I didn't as a teenager.
    Please read 'The Coward's Tale' by Vanessa Gebbie. It is an amazing book - so unique in style and a full of interesting characters. One of the best books I read last year.
    Looking forward to more of your book reviews
    Victoria x

  8. Oh wow! I haven't read a Jackie Collins in years! I used to devour her books (and Judith Krantz's, too) when I was a teenager.

    I'm planning to take Dan Brown's latest with me on holiday. Hopefully it'll be more of the enjoyable romp.

    BTW, I absolutely love your blog xx

  9. You convinced me! I've now bought and read The Icecream Girls, and loved it! It was a real page-turner!
    Maria x

  10. Oh my your handbag is beautiful where is it from :)

  11. P,s just put posion tree and the ice cream girls on my birthday list :P x

  12. P,s just put posion tree and the ice cream girls on my birthday list :P x