Two of my favourite things are holidays and a good book. For me, a holiday is the perfect time to take a break from the heavy classic literature I study at University, in favour of something that can be summed up in one word – trashy. We all know this sort of book – it’s often short, easy to read and addictive. So here are five of the best trashy holiday reads that have made their way on to my bookshelf!
- The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl – Belle de Jour
Anyone looking for a holiday read that is tongue-in-cheek and at moments completely hilarious – this is the book for you. The title leaves very little to the imagination but to sum it up without any plot spoilers, it details a first-hand account of the personal life of a London call girl. Both the highs and lows of the job and the struggles of living a normal life are retold in a witty narrative which made me forget all the serious philosophical reading that made up my term-time reading list. Perfect for lounging around on the beach or for some interesting reading on the plane, either way, when reading this book expect some curious looks from passers-by!
- Only Time Will Tell – Jeffrey Archer
At a hefty 500 pages, this is a novel for long haul flights or to enjoy while sunbathing. The narrative is engrossing and fast-paced, detailing a young boy’s struggles as he tries to discover his true heritage whilst being fed lies about his father’s identity in a gripping First World War narrative. Although not your typical holiday read, this book had me glued with its gritty but easy to follow narration and dramatic series of events. A must-have for carry-on luggage and suitcases everywhere!
- Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
Most holiday reads I can think of involve a romance of some sort. The romance in Me Before You is a little different but will pull on your heart strings just the same. The plot involves the love story of an unlikely couple, the determined but dependent Will Traynor, and the quirky but unambitious Louisa Clark who is hired to take care of him after a motorcycle accident left him in a wheelchair. It would be cruel to reveal the heart-breaking twist at the end of this novel, so I recommend reading it for yourselves. Although emotional endings may not appear to qualify for excellent holiday reading, this is an exception as it details a romance so powerful you can’t put it down and is a great addition to anyone’s holiday reading list.
- Eat, Pray Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
What better content for a holiday novel than a woman going travelling to some of the world’s most beautiful locations? If this can’t get you in the mood for a holiday then nothing will. This book intelligently touches upon the themes of self-acceptance, mental health and a seize-the-day attitude whilst detailing one woman’s battle with depression as she goes on a much needed journey to acceptance and happiness. This is more than perfect for holidays to exotic locations, or to get you bitten by the travel bug! With the best of both worlds – both the excitement of travel and adventure and a glimpse into the deeper, more thought provoking theme of reinventing yourself – this novel is perfect for not only holiday inspiration, but also to enjoy on a lazy evening with a glass of wine or a cup of tea.
- The End of the Affair – Graham Greene
This novel has everything a good holiday read needs: a romance, intrigue and an element of danger. This read has all three, as it details the love and obsession of Maurice and his overwhelming jealousy when he discovers through the husband of the woman he had an affair with that she may have another lover. In an episode of cold and calculated curiosity, he hires a private investigator to discover the truth about his old flame. This is a romance novel turned on its head through the perspective of an affair that has ended, rather than an ongoing one. This short but sensational piece had me reading intently. The power of the emotions conveyed makes it a fantastic holiday read, and perfect for those days when the weather is bad or for killing time before drinks in the evening.
There you have it, a carefully thought-out list of five of the best holiday reads perfect for any situation. Be sure to not travel abroad without a good book for company!
Image courtesy of Lizzie Robinson