Five cracking good books to take on holiday
These days, the only time I have to read is in bed and I’m usually asleep before I’ve reached the end of the first page (I’ve been ‘reading’ The Man from the High Castle for over a year now). I am looking forward to having time to sleep, er, I mean read, on holiday though, so I asked Karin and Abi from Frome’s Hunting Raven Books (winners of Best Bookshop in the Muddy Awards) for some recommendations. And here they are…
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Set in London and Essex in the late 1800s this is a novel about characters with strong beliefs and ideas who don’t fit together – but somehow do! After Cora’s husband dies, she leaves London with her young, strange son Francis and his nanny to avoid having to mourn in ‘society’. In Essex they become entwined with William Ransome (the local vicar) and his family, as his parishioners struggle with superstitions surrounding the re-emergence of the mythical Essex serpent. Loving the William Morris inspired cover.
Not Working by Lisa Owens
Many of us hit that point in life where we wonder what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, whether it’s worth the exertion… Claire is sick of working in ‘Creative Communications’ (who even know what that means?) so she decides to quit her job. The only problem is that she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life … In this sharply witty exploration of a life with no direction, Lisa Owens tackles the big question how does everyone else know what they’re doing with their lives?
The Muse by Jessie Burton
An unforgettable novel about aspiration and identity, love and obsession, it moves between ‘60s London and ‘30s rural Spain. A seductive and suspenseful novel by the bestselling author of The Miniaturist.
Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All by Jonas Jonasson
Jonasson’s third book takes you into the murky world of the unconventional and incompetent underworld. Hitman Anders discovers religion and, supported by an atheistic priest and a hotel receptionist, is on the run. Money changes hands, lives are lost more by accident than design and a hitman becomes a celebrity. Bizarre and entertaining as ever.
Animal: The Autobiography of a Female Body by Sara Pascoe
Being a woman can be challenging. There are a lot of opinions shooting around about what it means to be a woman influenced by society, biology, religion, science, philosophy, history and feminism. Everyone wants to give their two pennies on what it means, or should mean, to be a woman. In this funny, informative and, in places, painfully honest book, Sara Pascoe helps to decipher and contextualise the many issues facing the modern woman.
Hunting Raven Books, 10 Cheap Street, Frome, BA11 1BN. Tel 01373 473111. 9.30am-5.30pm Mon-Fri; 9.30-5pm Sat; 11am-3pm, first Sunday of the month April-Dec huntingravenbooks.co.uk