It’s been a long time since I had a do-nothing kind of holiday but this year I’ve been invited along on two such, so how lucky am I? The first will involve little more than dipping in the pool occasionally and murmuring words of gratitude when yet another meal is placed before me. And reading, of course.
The Queen has her summer books chosen for her – indeed once, many years ago, a Laurie Graham title made it into the box for Balmoral. It felt very thrilling, at the time. I now know that HM reads mainly Racing Post Form Books, but never mind. At least I crossed the threshold, so to speak.
I’m happy to select my own holiday reading. But what? I’ve taste-tested several paperbacks and the following four have made the final cut.
Le Testament Francais by Andrei Makine. My French isn’t up to much so I’ll be reading it in translation but I can already tell you that it’s a dense and delicious read.
The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Anya Blau. If Makine is a perfect Laduree macaron, Blau is a Pink’s hotdog with extra onions followed by a red, white a blue Jell-O shot or three.
Independence Day by Richard Ford. I’m a late-comer to the Ford fan club. If I were stuck at home with the rain lashing against the window, I might feel grumpily jealous of his wonderful writing, but I’m not and it isn’t, so I don’t. And what better book to be reading on July 4th?
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Because I’ve yet to meet anyone who hasn’t loved it.
Plus a bottle of Guaranteed Sun Block for my lily-white skin and my dear husband’s battered old Panama. Sorted.