Great literary holiday reads.

My school holidays are coming up and I’m looking forward to some extra reading time. Those of you who have been reading along will remember that I’m ‘self educating’ with the classics of last century through three book lists.

I’ve read a good number of the books on these lists already, as I started reading from them in 2001, just a year after they were published. Here is a list of ten books from these lists that I would recommend as engaging and quick holiday reads for any other lucky people who are about to embark on a few weeks break.

1. The Great Gatsby – F.Scott Fitzgerald

I really love F. Scott Fitzgerald and enjoy all his books, but The Great Gatsby is one of my all time favourites. This really is a short and engaging read. The best thing about reading this now is that you can then indulge in seeing the film at the cinema straight away.

2. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

One of my friends, upon finishing this book, declared that if it had been 100 pages longer she would have given up men for good. I tend to agree. This book is compelling – I think it took me a day to read.

3. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

This book was a lovely lyrical read and only took me a day or two to finish while on holidays in New York.

4. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum

You think you know this story, but then… there are a few details in the original story that were altered for the film. Reading this really surprised me. It’s an enjoyable read and a good one to share with the kids.

5. 1984 by George Orwell

This is certainly not a heartening story (it gave me nightmares when I first read it), but it doesn’t take long to get through. The synopsis is pretty well known these days, but the details are really intense.

6. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

I read this in the last couple of weeks, while writing school reports. I raced through it fairly rapidly considering. Hemingway really is a sensational writer and this story is a wonderful read.

7. A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

This really is a slender volume and I have to admit that although it is on my shelves I still haven’t read it! I might get stuck into it these holidays myself.

8. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

What an awesome book. You will read this quickly because I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down.

9. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

This is a beautiful story that I also read very quickly because I couldn’t put it down. I read this pre-Little Fearse so I was able to read until all hours of the night. I’d like to read it again some day (and I never re-read books).

10. Slaughterhouse-Five  by Kurt Vonnegut

This book is a little macabre with a steady vein of humour. It’s a very short, bizarre book. I remember enjoying it thoroughly.

Which literary books have you enjoyed during your holidays?

Happy (nearly) holidays and happy reading,

Mama xo


2 thoughts on “Great literary holiday reads.

  1. I’ve read 1984 and Slaughterhouse 5 and love both those authors. Haven’t read any of your other picks, I’ll have to check em out. I’m currently reading The Golden Notebook by Doris May Lessing and just finished Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I loved Life of Pi, but still unsure about The Golden Notebook, it could go either way at this point. 🙂

    • Ooh I haven’t read the Golden Notebook yet. I have read Life of Pi, which I loved. The film is just about the only film I can think of that I enjoyed almost as much as the book! Thanks for your comment, Manda!

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