Librarian’s Choice: Books for my holiday

This blog comes from Alison, Reader and Culture Development Manager for the library service.

I thought I would share my list of books for my holidays. I read all year round of course but holidays are my special time for really immersing myself in books. I deliberately pack light so that I can pack as many books as I can to take with me. Thank goodness for libraries – it would cost me a fortune otherwise!

I have two teenage daughters so we tend to take books that all of us will enjoy and can share between us, as the reading habit is strong in my family.

Ali The OneThe One by John Marrs

This first one is a cheat really, I have read this recently but I am taking it so my children can read it. I loved it so much that I read it in two sittings, staying up into the small wee hours of the night because I couldn’t put it down.

How far would you go to find ‘the one’? One simple mouth swab is all it takes. One tiny DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for. A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people take the test. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others.

Ali Call me by your nameCall me by your name by Andre Aciman

I actually read this some time ago but am going to re-read it again this summer as it is due out as a film later this year and I want to refresh my memory before I  see the film.

Call me by your name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blooms between 17-year-old Elio and his father’s house guest, Oliver, during a restless summer on the Italian Riviera. What grows from the depths of their souls is a romance of scarcely six weeks’ duration, and an experience that marks them for a lifetime.

Ali EverythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

This is another book to be made into a film this year. I am a great believer in reading the book before the film comes out as the book is usually (but not always) better than the film. I want to imagine the characters in a book my own way before a director gives me their version.

Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her 17 years. But when Olly moves in next door, and wants to talk to Maddie, tiny holes start to appear in the protective bubble her mother has built around her. Olly writes his IM address on a piece of paper, shows it at her window, and suddenly, a door opens. But does Maddie dare to step outside her comfort zone? Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love.

Ali Eleanor OliphantEleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman

I actually should have already read this one too, but I brought it home recently and my daughter pounced on it before I could get my hands on it, saying “ooh, this looks interesting!” She has now finished it and assures me that it is brilliant so I look forward to reading it on my sunbed.

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Ali SummerSummer of Impossible things by Rowan Coleman

I had the good luck of meeting Rowan at an event recently where she was talking about this book. I enjoyed the Time Traveller’s Wife back in the day, so I am looking forward to Rowan’s take on time travel in this novel.

If you could change the past, would you? 30 years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death. Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977. At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own?

Ali Broken SkyBroken Sky by Lee Weatherly

This was the winner of the 14-16 age group in the Leeds Book Awards this year and I have wanted to read it ever since but have not managed to get round to it.

Amity is a teen pilot, battling in one-on-one combat to maintain peace in a world where war has been replaced by dogfights. But when Amity discovers the organisation she works for is corrupt, she begins to question everything. In this society of double agents, suspicion and betrayal, nobody is quite what they seem – including Amity’s first love.

Ali NevernightNevernight by Jay Kristoff

My mum and sister are avid science fiction readers but I have never quite got into the habit even though I enjoy science fiction films. This book has been recommended by a couple of people so I am going to give it a go to see if it will start me in a new direction in reading.

Mia Corvere is only 10 years old when she is given her first lesson in death. Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world. But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, and Mia must become a weapon without equal. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya. Inside the Church’s halls, Mia must prove herself against the deadliest of opponents and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and daemons at the heart of a murder cult. The Church is no ordinary school. But Mia is no ordinary student.

That is by far not the whole list, but some holiday choices also have to be down to serendipity. For that I will peruse the library shelf on my last day at work.

 

 

 

Authors’ holiday reading

The brokenStill deciding what books to read on holiday ? 

Can authorsThe villa Sophie Hannah, Penny Vincenzi, David Nobbs, Freya North and Maeve Haran help you with their choices to take on a break.

Sophie HannahThe Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (J K Rowling)

Penny Vincenzi – Balancing Act – Joanna Trollope, All Change by Elizabeth Jane Howard, No! I don’t need reading glasses by Virginia Ironside

Freya North – Sad men by Dave Roberts and The Broken by Tamar Cohen

David Nobbs – King Crow by Michael Stewart

Maeve Haran – As I walked out one mid summer morning by Laurie Lee Winter in Madrid by C J Sansom, The Return by Victoria Hislop and The Villa by Rosanna Ley

Holiday reading – Ghost stories

image-medium (2)Nice to read some ghost stories at this time of the year, here’s a few picks from Leeds Libraries

Top pick – Ash – James Herbert. Number 1 chiller writer features David Ash paranormal detective and the case of a man found crucified in a room that is locked

The Returned by Jason Mott – Source of material for ‘The Returned’ series on TV – it’s the  very interesting idea: what if the dead returned, not as undead monsters, but as they were when they died?

The ghost hunters by Neil Spring  A good old fashioned ghost story set in 1926 at Borley Rectory, the most haunted house in England….

Joyland by Stephen Kind  An elegiac book set in the summer of 1973. College student Dev Jones is hoping to get over a broken heart. He discovers there are much worse things than getting dumped as he befriends a young, dying boy, and realizes Joyland is haunted by the ghost of a girl murdered on a thrill ride.

Dolly a ghost story by Susan Hill Two young cousins, Leonora and Edward, spend the summer with their ageing spinster aunt at Iyot House, her decaying home, deep in the damp lonely fens. When spoilt Leonora’s birthday wish for a beautiful doll is thwarted, she unleashes a furious rage which haunts her quiet, subdued cousin for years afterwards and has dark and sinister consequences which neither can escape

Forest ghost by Graham Masterton.Bordering on horror, this tale is set in modern-day America. 15 boy scouts and their leaders are found to have committed suicide in the forest of a scout reservation. One of the dead boys is a friend of Sparky Wallace, whose father Jack investigates the suicides – and discovers a connection with his own grandfather, who killed himself in a Polish forest during World War II

This house is haunted by John Boyne 1867. Eliza Caine arrives in Norfolk to take up her position as governess at Gaudlin Hall on a dark and chilling night and dark chilling things begin to happen

Curious Warnings by M R James,’weird fictionist of the very first rank’ . Brilliant all 35 ghost stories in one fat volume