Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Bookish Frivolity

A couple of years ago I took Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children on holiday. The two of us did not play nice. The daily beachside readathon became torturous as I battled to concentrate on the many complexities of character, language and plot, simultaneously working on my all over tan and attempting to hold a conversation about celebrity weight gain. Oh I was green as I watched the carefree way my loved ones skimmed the pages of their trashy mags.

The very deserved king of the Booker obstinately refuses to mix with the latest fad diet designed to whisk away those pesky yuletide rolls. It demands a focus that’s wont to retire to the same place as your resolve to say no to another Christmas mince pie. It's the sort of read best left for say, July, when you’re feeling inspired and intellectual rather than ginned up and giddy. I’m an obsessive-compulsive reader so I couldn’t rest it for a more appropriate time. Instead, I did it a great injustice by labouring through regardless.

As you bask in a festive season food coma, barely able to lift your hand to turn the page, a book that requires the power of thought is about as desirable as Great Uncle Stan’s lingering kiss on Christmas day.

So here are my criteria to stop this abomination forever:

1. Must be readable (always controversial for a book I know). The aim is to put a dent in my unwieldy pile.
2. Must either be funny or boast a great plot.

Murder mysteries usually do the trick (minus the laughs). Here’s the pile I’m planning to get through this summer (some of which I’m confident will go against everything I've just said.)

What do you look for in a lazy waterside read? And what will you be perusing these holidays?

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