Summer holiday reading list

Later this week we hit the road for our travelling circus up to Sydney, the centy coast and the mid north coast to the farm. While the thought of constant warm weather and swimming warms the very cockles of my heart, the getting into swimmers part does not. But that’s not all summer holidays are about. There’s the endless food (I LOVE cooking on holidays…it’s having time to prepare, and plan and look through new cook books and magazines I think) and the endless cocktails and drinking (oh wait, scratch that for me this year) but there IS most definitely…THE READING.

The reading in bed in the morning. The reading by the pool, or at the beach. The reading excuse to go and lay on your bed but really fall asleep, and then the reading last thing at night before you fall into a summery sun kissed hot sleep.

Ah summer holidays!

So here’s my pile of books that will be coming with me. Not sure what will actually BE read, but here it is in all its glory.


OK, the top book is Rob’s that I bought for him yesterday. A crime suggestion from the book guy on 702 that I like to listen to. Most books are ones that I have been given, or purchased through the year and have sat unread on my bedside table or desk. First on the list is to finish my BabyMac Book Club book Kylie Ladd’s Mothers and Daughters that is oh, a month overdue. PLEASE FORGIVE ME BOOK CLUBBERS. I will get onto this immediately and report back to all you good people who have read it. I’ll also have another to choose from…I really feel shithouse about not sticking to my own deadlines. I’ll say this: December got in the way.

I also have to buy Old Filth by Jane Gardam which is my IRL book club book due at the end of January. I’m not sure where I’m going to get with it all, but here it is nonetheless.

I’ve read more than I usually would this year (mostly thanks to the #babymacbookclub) as well as a solid time holiday break over the middle of the year when we went OS. I do know that I read best on holidays. I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s Signature of All Things, Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project and of course the books chosen in my book club (although not so much the last one): Big Little Lies and Dark Places.

So what’s on your holiday reading list?
What’s been your MUST read for 2014?
Have trouble finding time to read when NOT on holidays? Me too!


  1. Yes I have all intentions to read every night but it just does not happen.I am currently reading Love Rosie so I hope to finish the tin the next week. Not sure what I will be reading next but I will be compiling a list on my blog soon. Happy Holidays and Happy Reading. V x

  2. I have a 90 minute train trip commute four times a week so I get plenty of reading time! Seeing reading is pretty much my favorite thing to do, I don’t mind getting dedicated time away from work, home or kid related activites to indulge in books. I’ve been using the goodreads app this year to keep track and I’m 7 books away from reaching my goal of 100 books. I reckon I can smash out 7 (shortish!) novels in the next 8 days!

    • I was such a big reader when I was working and caught’s great isn’t it? Do you have a best of for the year? 100 is HUGE! Well done Natalie 🙂

      • Thanks Beth 🙂
        My 5 star books for 2014 include:
        The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert McFarlane
        The News: A Users Manual by Alain De Botton
        Unwind by Neal Shusterman
        Where Children Sleep by James Mollison
        The Girl with all the Gifts by M R Carey
        Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
        Un Lun Dun by China Meville

        and at least half a dozen by Alexander McCall Smith – anything he writes is wonderful.

        I’ve joined Pip’s goodreads group for Aussie literature for some 2015 reading inspiration too. Not that I really need more books, my house is kind overflowing with them already.

        Enjoy your holiday reading!

  3. Luisa Munoz says

    I need a bit more fiction on my list!

    Mine is a complete jumble this year:

    * Revival by Stephen King
    * Paradox of Generosity
    * The Boston Girl by Anita Diamante

    I think that should keep me busy for now!

  4. I’ve got Mothers and Daughters on my pile too! And dad loves Michael Robothams books…saw him at Brisbane Writers Festival this year. I mostly read YA fiction- YA writers have to shove all the eloquence and beauty of an adult book into half the size book – so the writing is TIGHT and no words are wasted. There is no taking three pages to describe a beach! Also I have a shot attention span (thank you social media for that!) so YA books are perfecto! Adult books this year that I’ve liked are The Zookeepers Wife, The 19th Wife (fascinating!) and Talking Smack. Enjoy the holidays!

  5. Do yourself a favour and read ‘The Collected Works of A J Fikry’ by Gabrielle Zevin. It is one of the best novels I have read in a long time.

  6. I think you’ll love Lost and Found Beth. I’m almost finished and I am really enjoying it. Witty writing. X

  7. “before you fall into a summery sun kissed hot sleep” – perfectly said.

  8. Michael Robotham is addictive. Haven’t read this one but its been sitting on my bedside table for a few weeks now. Can’t start it until I have Christmas under control because I know that once I start I won’t be able to put it down. My sister has admitted to pretending to go to the toilet so she can finish a chapter without being interrupted by kids. I would not admit that.

  9. I’m secretly glad you’re late with the Book Club book – as I too am behind on it. December sure did get in the way! I leant it to my mother-in-law and she still has it. I’ve only read 4 pages! Looking fwd to digging into it after Xmas.

  10. Long time reader, first time commenter. Just wanted to say that Diary of a Provincial Lady is excellent – funny, charming and made me yearn for a country house in days of yore! I read this travelling around the UK and it was the perfect setting. Hope you enjoy it!

  11. I’ve read hardly ANYTHING this year because, well, BABIES! But I’m doing Pip’s Year of Australian Writing next year ( :: A Year Of Australian Writing | | Meet Me At Mike’s ) which I’m really excited about. I’ve got a list to get me started, the first one being Emily Bitto’s The Strays.

    Enjoy your holiday & Christmas Beth xx

  12. You will love Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldon. The series is amazing!!!

  13. My best ‘proper’ read was the 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. Also good but quite traumatic was Kate Forsyth’s The Wild Girl (about the girl who told the Brothers Grimm the original versions of many of their fairytales). My best trash read was the Sookie Stackhouse series (which the True Blood show is based on) which I am shamed to admit I have read twice in its entirety. I’m partway through Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas which I’m enjoying more than I expected. I’m planning on doing some version of the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge next year.

  14. I see you will be falling in love/ lust this summer…. I have read all of Diana Gabledons books twice and have fallen harder each time! Fantastic series and characters written by a fantastic woman. I got to meet her in Sydney at a book reading lunch thing thanks to my bestie Karenj. The best gift I was ever given!! Enjoy. Xx

  15. If you find Past The Shallows a bit hard to get into, persist. It’s worth it. The last 5 years or so I have set myself a challenge to read 100 books a year (I’m a fast and voracious reader). I’ve reached my goal each year. I’ve found I really enjoy memoirs, true crime and Australian literary fiction (such as Kylie Ladd, Lianne Moriarty and Caroline Overington).

  16. I just read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – a tale of growing up with transient parents who would not settle anywhere and had big dreams (full of hot air). Fascinating.

    Now I am half way through Wrack by James Bradley – a murder / shipwreck investigation. Sounds weird but another page turner. FACT. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH TIME TO READ!

    Hope everyone can get some reading time in these holidays!

  17. Hi, I am new to your blog, but being a mum of 4 under 11, I love it. Such a little escape for me, which is what I love about reading!
    My bookclub faves this year were:
    The luminaries-what a work of art…amazing!
    The hundred year old man who feel out the window
    We are planning to read “the narrow road to the deep north” and “Barracuda” over the holidays.
    Happy holidays and keep all the wonderful stories coming!

  18. I’ve just finished the most fabulous book… fabulous to the point that I’m sad I won’t be going to bed with it in my hands tonight… and fabulous to the point that I want someone else to read it so that they can enjoy it and so we can talk about it! The book is called “The Socerer’s Apprentices” and follows a group of apprentices doing their 6 month (unpaid) stint working at Ferran Adria’s restaurant El Bulli. It is so well written, I found I was staying up late every night to finish it. Whether you like food, stories about people or both I think you’ll love it. I normally read a lot of fiction (have read 4 of the 6 above, wasn’t a huge fan of Lost & Found) so this made a wonderful change. Would love to hear if you get your hands on a copy and what you think. Merry Christmas and happy reading xx


  1. […] We’re holidaying with BabyMac, so I might dip into her pile that she featured here. […]

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