Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Holiday reading

I'm always anxious when I go on holiday that I might run out of things to read - or take the wrong books. Two occasions spring to mind. One was a trip to Italy when I fell ill in Urbino and had only the Nonesuch Byron to read. Nothing wrong with it as such - far from it - but a good thriller would have been more like it. The other time was at an airport in Greece when our flight was delayed and I discovered that Amanda Cross was not my favourite crime writer. I've been careful since then to make sure that I keep something very absorbing in reserve for emergencies. Careful planning is essential when you're flying, but when you're driving to France as we did this year, it's possible to pack a bag full of books, and I did.

I took and read:
Sue Grafton, M FOR MALICE - excellent, one of her best
Andrea Camilleri, AUGUST HEAT - as usual, a treat
Raymond Chandler, THE LONG GOODBYE
Patricia Highsmith, THE TALENTED MR RIPLEY
(these last two is preparation for a paper that I was planning for the St Hilda's crime fiction conference, the Chandler repaid rereading, the Highsmith didn't)
Brad Gooch, FLANNERY: A LIFE OF FLANNERY O'CONNOR
Hakan Nesser, THE MIND'S EYE - a fine addition to Swedish crime fiction
Colin Cotterill, ANARCHY AND OLD DOGS - to be honest I might have read this before I went away, but it's so good I'm going to mention it anyway.

I took and didn't read:
Jane Austen, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
Richard Cobb, PARIS AND ELSEWHERE
Jeffrey Deaver, A GARDEN OF BEASTS
Elliott Patterson, THE SKULL MANTRA
Alan Furst, THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT
Francis Spufford, I MAY BE SOME TIME: ICE AND THE ENGLISH IMAGINATION

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