Reading for pleasure, on holiday….

DSCF5592When it comes to holiday reading everything seems to switch round in our house.  My husband spends a lot of time reading in the general course of things at home and I find it increasingly hard to find time to read.

When we go on holiday, I guess for JP not reading (so much) makes it more of a holiday, whereas for me getting through extra books makes my holiday.

This year I seemed to get through quite a few books.  I was determined to read a wider genre and things that were “different” to me.  I generally stick to non-fiction books on living the Christian life, Christian biography, theology etc.  but I wanted to read random things and I think I mostly did.

One of the reasons I accomplished reading so much is my car-friend, the GPS –  a few years ago I spent all our car journeys with a map in one hand and a printed route guide in the other.  Now the GPS has made me redundant and I’m blessed to be able to read in the car!!  Result!

So here is what I read – check out reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, I’m just sticking to a short list here.


The Island by V Hislopp – this book was recommended by a friend and I really enjoyed it.  It’s described as an award winning best seller, I’m not sure I’ve ever read an award winning book before but this was certainly a good book for a holiday read.  A real page-turner!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Shaffear and Barrows.   Again, recommended and again a delightful book that was written quite differently, all in letter form.  I love a fiction book where you really can’t guess what’s going to happen so this one again suited me well.

Her hand in marriage by Douglas Wilson.   Truth is, I had a small amount of space left in my book box for the car and I walked into the study knowing I needed a thin book!!  I read this book many years ago (probably before I had kids) – it was a good book to be reminded of many of the principles and ideas Wilson presents even though my kids aren’t at this stage!

Loving the little years by Rachel Djvorac.   Sarah (whose home we stayed in) said “Feel free to read the books”, and so I did!  (Thanks Sarah).  I’m so glad I lifted this book off her shelf, it was the only one I read, more due to time constraints as I knew I would have loved to have read many of them.   This little book was excellent, really short chapters, ideal to give as a gift to a new mother, or even a non-reader.  I will certainly be looking out for this book again and would thoroughly recommend it.

Screwtape proposes a toast  by C S Lewis.   I had never heard of this book before, but picked it off the shelf in the little Devon flat.  It was excellent, CS Lewis was a genius.  JP and I are “fans” of Screwtape after seeing an excellent play on The Screwtape Letters by the Saltmine theatre company.  Again, I say why does Belfast not have a “centre” dedicated to this genius.

The Boy in the River by Richard Hoskins.    I picked this book up in one of the second hand shops the National Trust have at their properties.  We had just left the London part of our journey.  I had by this stage read a lot of fiction and was keen for something ‘real’.  I started to read this book when I got to the car and literally couldn’t put it down, it was just what it says in the subtitle, “A shocking, true story of ritual murder and sacrifice in the heart of London”.  I couldn’t honesty say I remembered this story on the national news but JP said he had.  I thought this book was very well written, very true and exceptionally interesting while terribly sad.  Having just been exposed to many different religions in London and having the joy of worshipping with many of those of like mind this book was a penetrating reminder of the depths of sin in our world.  A gripping read.

Before I go to Sleep by SJ Watson.   I grabbed this book randomly from our local library before our trip.  It was the last book I read.  While I’m glad I read this book (it was an excellent thriller) – I would warn that there is some language which I wouldn’t appreciate in everyday reading.  Having said that the story was  great and as usual the bad language wasn’t necessary.

Twelve Extraordinary Women by J MacArthur.    I haven’t quite finished this book even though I started it on holiday.  I picked it up at a 2nd hand bookshop and it sat on my shelf for quite a few months.  I thought I had done with many of the “women’s” books but thankfully John MacArthur as usual does something more than expose the womens’ virtues.  He is excellent at putting you into the culture, context and really seeing the lives these women lived as well as drawing out lessons from the faithfulness/mistakes.  An excellent book and resource, I’ll probably put it in our next reading roundabout at church.

I came home refreshed in my reading and really thankful for the ability to read not only beneficial books but reading for pure pleasure!  Books are an amazing gift from God.


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