What makes a good holiday read?

A fiction book sometimes gets the label of “Good Holiday Read,” but this is not a category that has any certain set of criteria on which a novel can be judged. I find it is quite a personal thing – a question of what kind of book you like to spend your precious holiday time reading. These are points that I tend to consider when choosing a holiday book:

  • It doesn’t necessarily have to have light fluffy subject matter and/or be easy to read. This helps, sometimes, but isn’t a necessity.
  • I like to take a mixture of things I know I will definitely like, along with something a little different; a little daring. Having an e-reader is great for allowing a good selection.
  • It could be a book I have been saving; one I know will need lots of uninterrupted time to really be able to get into it (this could be either an easy or a more difficult read)
  • Immersive books I find are some of the best for holidays – ones that transport you to another place and really help you leave the real world behind.
  • I learned my lesson after reading The Lovely Bones on one holiday – a good book, but far too upsetting to be read while sunbathing by the pool.
  • Nothing too trashy – there’s a difference between an easy read and one that is easy because it’s just a bit rubbish.
  • I personally don’t like to take books that are too long – I like to read several books on holiday, and I love the feel of putting one down and instantly picking up the next one. All the characters and stories start to merge together in a wonderful way – will the hundred year old man be turned into a werewolf while being chased by wizards in the London Underground?
  • I don’t want to feel like I have wasted my time, so choose carefully.


Based on these points, here are a few I would recommend for a holiday read:

The Pursuit of Love: Short, witty, incredibly likeable characters.

Across the Nightingale Floor: A true escape to another world.

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared: Fast paced and funny, an easy read about an epic journey.

The Fourth Queen: Lavish historical fiction.

The Beach: Paradise gone wrong…

The Island: A story about relationships, set on a real life island of beauty and tragedy.

The Last Werewolf: Something a little daring and risqué; a well known myth with a modern twist.

What are your favourite holiday reads?


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