These holidays I've been reading books that other people have recommended to me. I'm not sure whether they're all favourites (if so, I know at least one very disturbed person...) or just titles that have come up in conversation. We were talking about the books they like to re-read so there has to be some kind of love in there.
Being dead by Jim Crace.
If I'd read the summary I would have known what this book was going to be about. Essentially it's a beautifully written explanation of what happens to a corpse when it decays. Warning - don't read it when you're eating unless you have a strong stomach.
Summary: Lying in the sand dunes of Baritone Bay are the bodies of a middle-aged couple. Celice and Joseph, in their mid-50s and married for more than 30 years, are returning to the seacoast where they met as students. Instead, they are battered to death by a thief with a chunk of granite. Their corpses lie undiscovered and rotting for a week, prey to sand crabs, flies, and gulls. . . From that moment forward, Being Dead becomes less about murder and more about death. Alternating chapters move back in time from the murder in hourly and two-hourly increments. As the narrative moves backward, we see Celice and Joseph make the small decisions about their day that will lead them inexorably towards their own deaths."-- www.amazon.com
The Corfu trilogy by Gerald Durrell.
After years of hearing about "My family and other animals" I finally cracked and read the trilogy. Guess what? It's the perfect book for summer. It describes long hot lazy days with lots of insects and birdlife. Gerald has a lot of freedom to roam about Corfu by himself and with other people getting into some remarkable situations. His family (as seen from his perspective) are crazy funny.
Summary: 'The Corfu Trilogy' consists of the popular classic 'My Family and Other Animals' and its sequels, 'Birds, Beasts and Relatives' and 'The Garden of the Gods'. All three books are set on the enchanted island of Corfu in the 1930s, and tell the story of an eccentric English family who moved there.
Good omens : the nice and accurate prophecies of Agnes Nutter, a witch : a novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
A Pratchett/Gaiman crossover? Brilliant. Written before they became famous this is an interesting mix of their two styles. It's clever and loud out loud funny in places. The ending may seem a bit deus ex machina but you can't accuse them of keeping it secret....
Summary: The world is going to end next Saturday, just before dinner, but it turns out there are a few problems--the Antichrist has been misplaced, the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse ride motorcycles, and the local representatives from heaven and hell decide, on the whole, they prefer the Earth the way it is.
The Chrysalids by John Wyndham.
The last time I tried to read a book by this author someone had ripped out the last few pages so I have no idea what happened. Thankfully this hadn't happened to this book. Well written, easy to read. Some startling scenes interspersed with descriptions of day-to-day life.
Summary: In the community of Waknut it is believed mutants are the products of the Devil and must be stamped out. David's ability to communicate by "thought shapes" is a dangerous secret. When he and his friends are discovered, the results are horrific.