Most years I'd expect to about a quarter of my entire year's reading during the summer holiday, and so for me this is always an exciting time. This year we're heading first to the white sands and turquoise waters of Formentera, one of the lesser-known Balearics, where Jane has cleverly booked a Wifi free house. After that to a quiet corner of the hills in the Valencia community. There should be plenty of high quality reading time.
So, in the bag and on the Kindle are:
Waterloo by Bernard Cornwell
Everything I know about the Napoleonic Wars (not a lot) I learned from Cornwell's Sharpe series. I also thoroughly enjoyed his Starbuck chronicles of the US Civil War. So I'm confident that this well-reviewed book will be the perfect guide to the defining battle of the campaign.
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Two years ago, To Kill a Mockingbird was the highlight of my Galicia summer holiday list. I'm torn about this one. Everything I've read so far suggests the manuscript might have been better left undiscovered. Ultimately though, this is an irresistible novel.
Pietr the Latvian by Georges Simenon
I'm criminally under-read on the Maigret front. The Belgian author Simenon is regarded as one of the great proponents of crime fiction, and having read only the devastating The Late Monsieur Gallet, I have a huge back list to get through, starting with this, the first Maigret.
The Death House by Sarah Pinborough
The Language of Dying was probably the most moving book I read last year, and this latest from the curiously eclectic output from Pinborough whose bibliography contains erotic rewrites of popular fairy tales, has been drawing rave reviews.
The Fatal Flame by Lyndsay Faye
The Timothy Wilde series of novels set around the birth of the NYPD in the 1840s is one of the best new series to emerge in recent years. Both The Gods of Gotham and Seven for a Secret drew five star reviews here, and I can't wait to crack into this latest.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
So, I'm a romantic at heart. What of it?
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Another area in which I am woefully under-read is the crime classics. Collins is widely regarded as one of the first suspense novelists and this comes highly recommended by Eleanor Mathew, in exchange for the recommendation of My Brilliant Friend.
The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante
Speaking of which... As this review shows, I was mesmerised by My Brilliant Friend, the first in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan series. The sequel, The Story of a New Name, has been sitting waiting to be read for some weeks now, but - showing almost heroic resistance to temptation - I've managed to save it for the holiday. The third book, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, will also be travelling to the Med.
Falling in Love by Donna Leon
The new Brunetti has been a fixture of my summer reading for years. Last year's offering By Its Cover, was a pretty disappointing outing for Commissario Brunetti, but that won't put me off heading back for another helping of what has been highly satisfying fare over a great many years.
Ardennes 1944 by Antony Beevor
For me Band of Brothers remains the best of the box sets I've seen over the years, and the scenes depicting the Ardennes campaign were the most harrowing: frozen death snatched seemingly from the jaws of victory. Stalingrad and Berlin, two of Beevor's earlier war histories, are among the most compelling non-fiction books I've read and reviews suggest this will be every bit as good.
So that's it: 10 books, 14 days... Can't wait.