I don’t know what books will you read on vacation, but I know what I’m taking with me today as I am heading South (Santorini, Greece) for one full week of relaxation and delight. In one of my past posts, I have written about Hosseini’s “And the Mountains Echoed“, and now it’s time to choose new books to read on vacation.
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I can’t wait to get there and just spend 7 days doing nothing much but read, enjoy the incredible views Santorini offers, together with the wines and food! You can imagine that for this place, I have also chosen the best books I thought suitable for reading.
So what am I reading on vacation?
For my birthday, I have received from my lovely colleagues at work a voucher to use in particular library in Bucharest – if you ever find yourself in Bucharest, Romania make sure to pay it a visit because it is really beautiful – and so the quest to find the best books to read on vacation begun.
And here is what I found and what I would suggest you should give a try reading, for the next time you find yourself on the beach or on a peaceful vacation.
Zadie Smith – Swing Time
I think 3 years have passed since I read her other Best Seller, White Teeth, a book which I loved at my second try. I was actually also on vacation in Malta when I decided I should give it another chance and I’m proud to have made that decision because the book is different from anything else I had ever read up to that point.
I have already started reading Swing Time and I have to admit that, even though the plot is not very complex up to this point, Zadie has a particular writing style that will have you turning another and another page.
Swing Time is the story of friendship, two girls growing up together on the wrong side of London, growing into two totally different persons and places.
She makes you feel part of the plot, making you live with the characters. Even though the ending was not quite what I expected, I still think it is a good option for a vacation day on a sunny beach.
Elif Shafak – Three daughters of Eve
As you might already know if you have read my previous book posts, I love Elif’s writing style and I have devoured all her books up until now.
So it was to be expected that as soon as I’ve seen her latest book, published only last year, on the shelf at the bookstore I had to have it!
I since managed to read it, and what I love about Elif’s style is how she manages to blend the West with the East, bringing cultures together, while creating unique characters, who would stand out from the crowd.
The Guardian’s tagline to the book: “A young Muslim woman’s spiritual quest takes her from Istanbul to Oxford as she learns about love, faith, and real life.”
“Three Daughters of Eve” was somehow different from all the other books I’ve read before written by Elif. She still managed to take me on the crowded, hectic streets of Istanbul, making me feel the restlessness of its characters. But the story os more contemporary than most of her other books.
If you still haven’t read her novels, I strongly encourage you to do so. Just choose any from the below (especially “The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi“.)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – The Thing around your neck
Another one of my contemporary favorite female writers, I have read all her books and I am constantly looking for new inspiration from her side, thus I have stumbled upon this collection of short stories.
You might not know her directly, but a part of her feminist manifesto novel “We should all be feminists” has been featured in one of Beyonce’s popular songs. The book is a mandatory school reading in Sweeden, so that might be another ground for you to read her books.
I love how she drops you straight in the middle of things, unfolding the action piece by piece, making you want to read more, to learn more, in order to understand more.
In her stories, she talks about a distant and so different world than my own, making me even more curious to dig dipper into the African culture and lifestyle, since her writing is suffused with social and political comment.
So if you still haven’t heard about her and are willing to try something different and new, read this book!
Gail Honeyman – Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
I somehow had this book on my list but had totally forgotten about it. That is until one day she found me.
We were on vacation on a Greek Island and I was looking for a good read to take with me on the beach. And I found it, at the hotel on a shelf, waiting just for me.
I must admit this book exceeded my expectations, managing to make me laugh and make me cry at the same time. The intrigue made me turn page after page, in the search for answers. And I breathlessly watched the answers unravel in front of my eyes.
Gail Honeyman managed to write a novel infused with British sarcasm and humor that conveys both a sense of deep sadness for the lonely life Eleanor chooses to live, but also a strong hope and anticipation for her strength to change something about her existence eventually.
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