Monday, November 8, 2010

Ahh Summer..

The beach. The food. The long, lazy afternoons. What is better than a summer holiday? Nothing – except a summer holiday with a good book.

Summer holidays provide a chance to relax and enjoy. What is more indulgent than lying on the beach all day reading an un-put-down-able, utterly engrossing novel breaking only to dip in the water or to reapply sun screen?

With this blessed and much loved time of the year approaching, Brotherhood Books is on hand to ensure that your summer holiday will be as fulfilling and as enjoyable as possible with literally hundreds of good reads available – most of them for only a few dollars each.

Summer reading requires stories escapist and engrossing, but not too difficult to follow – especially if being enjoyed with a few glasses of wine. The following is a list of authors whose books reliably fall into the category of a good holiday read and a link to their novels that Brotherhood Books has in stock.

A popular choice for many readers on their summer holiday is a good, detective mystery. Brotherhood Books is choc-a-bloc with books from canonical mystery writers such a P.D James (books available) and Lynda La Plante (books available). When checking these out, don’t forget the woman who started it all Agatha Christie. With an incredible 80+ novels to her name, there’s sure to be one you’ve not yet read: (books available).

If you like a bit of a thrill, but would rather not spend the season of good cheer reading about murder mysteries, then why not catch up on Sir A. Conan Doyle’s perennial gift to the world: Sherlock Holmes (books available). If you’ve not read them, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.

If you’ve read all the Sherlock Holmes books, perhaps you would prefer to read a novel from former head of MI5, Stella Rimington - (books available) Rimington’s novels draw upon her experience as a woman in the predominantly male dominated espionage world. They follow the career of Liz Carlyle – a young, upwardly mobile spy. Whilst the novels do follow one another in chronological order, each book is a self-contained, utterly absorbing read.

Alternatively, you may like to read a John Grisham novel (books available) or his earlier, English counter-part Jeffery Archer (books available). Both authors’ books can be relied upon to deliver an enjoyable, but not too challenging read.

If you want something slightly more challenging, but equally as thrilling, what about a Robert Harris novel? (books available) Harris’ novels are thrillers based during well known, historical moments in time such as; WW2 London, or Pompei just before Mt. Vesuvius made the town famous for all the wrong reasons.

If historical fiction appeals, then surely you cannot go past Sarah Watters (books available) whose books, based in London, at different times throughout history are filled with characters that will live in your memory well after you’ve finished her books.

After something closer to home? What about a Tim Winton novel- (books available)
Reading his book The Riders will ensure you’re never short of a conversation starter. Everyone who reads it has a different take on the ending. If you’ve caught up on your Tim Winton, what about Nevil Shute (books available) the prolific author of several “quintessential” Australian stories published in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

Unfortunately Shute’s work hasn’t stood the test of time the way that Agatha Christie’s or Sir A. Conan Doyle’s have. The racist and sexist undertones that haunt the pages of A Town Like Alice will make the modern day reader cringe. However, overall they are still good yarns that will not tax your little grey cells too much. However it has been argued that Shute’s On The Beach is Australia's most important novel – EVER! – so surely that makes it worth a read? (By the way: Gideon Haigh’s article in The Monthly in 2007 made this proposition about On The Beach because of the wide readership it had among US politicians at the time it was published).

If thrillers and mystery all sound a bit much, then what about reading an Alexander McCall Smith book? (books available) His gentle and endearing prose will keep you turning the pages without raising your heat beat. Similarly Anne Tyler's books will amaze with their ability to make ordinary characters and events quite extraordinary. (books available)

Finally, there’s always Maeve Binchy (books available) and Marion Keyes (books available). Firmly ensconced in the “Chic Lit” genre, these books will deliver a read as enjoyable and unchallenging as a Lemonade Icy Pole on a summer’s day.

So instead of forking out $20 at the local bookstore or at the airport, why not stock up from Brotherhood Books before embarking on your summer holidays?

Everyone loves a good book, but is especially nice when you know the proceeds of your book purchases go towards helping those less fortunate get closer to their own happy ending.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence is a community-based not-for-profit organisation working for an Australia free of poverty.

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