One of my favourite tasks of the summer is compiling the holiday reading list. This year we have three weeks shared between France and Spain and I estimate that about a quarter of my reading for the entire year will take place during this period.
I'm aiming to read about 12 books in 3 weeks - the children are no longer as demanding of attention than they once were - and so far I've only decided on six books.
These, in no particular order are:
The Blue Room by Hanne Orstavik. I extolled the virtues of the wonderful Peirene Press, and its thoughtful selection of European masterpieces, and of those I've yet to read The Blue Room looks the most interesting and this review from Nicholas Lezard in the Guardian helped make my mind up.
The Nightmare Place by Steve Mosby. Mosby is - unfortunately - one of British crime fiction's best kept secrets. His dark and unnerving novells deserve a wider audience than they've found so far, and I'm looking forward to the latest, which, if anything, looks even darker than what's come before. If you're looking for something in that vein this summer, I can suggest at least three from the back catalogue: The 50/50 Killer; Cry for Help and Still Bleeding.
Death in the Afternoon by Ernest Hemingway. The addition of Hemingway was inspired by a recent visit to Pamplona and reading about the festival of San Fermin and the Americans links to this beautiful city.
Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield. This English ghost story has been on my to read list for some time now but I've never found the right time to buy it. It's just now been delivered to my Kindle and I'm looking forward to getting stuck in - in broad daylight, of course.
The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker. Twitter-hype impulse purchases have largely treated me well in recent times. Few recent books have come more heavily hyped than this murder mystery.
So that's less than half my reading list sorted - and in my moment of need I turn to the crowd for inspiration. What should I take with me?