The four books I’m taking with me on holiday

Photo by Eli Samuelu via Unsplash

One of the pleasures of going on a trip is choosing books to read while away. This latest trip will only last for about a week so I’m allowing myself to take four books. Past experience has taught me that, in the same way I tend to pack more clothes than I ever wear on a holiday, I tend to carry more books with me than I get round to reading. We’re driving to France so weight and number don’t really come into it but I know that if I limit the number of books then I’m more likely to make decent headway through them.

Here’s what I’m taking.

For work: The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

Essays for stimulation: Hold Everything Dear by John Berger.

My politics jag: Death Of The Liberal Class by Chris Hedges.

For fun: Made To Kill by Adam Christopher.

I’m using The Story Grid to check that what I’ve got so far in my novel works as a, well, story. I’ve put the large format Coyne book into a box file with a few hundred pages of my manuscript. We’ll be staying in the Alps and the morning air is fresh and I can take my laptop to the balcony and work for a couple of hours before breakfast.

Many of the Berger essays are short and it’s a slim book which will be easy to carry with me when we walk into town for coffee or shopping. Sitting outside in the sunshine at a café reading will, I hope, take up a good many hours of this holiday.

Chris Hedges has become my go-to commentator on American politics. At the same time, what he writes has increasing relevance for the UK. It seems we’re only a few years behind the full fall into the inverted totalitarianism that subverts democracy in the States. I’m a couple of chapters already into Death Of The Liberal Class and it grips me in the same way that his other his books — and his weekly Truthdig column — do. It’s like having you political mentor with you when you travel.

When Made To Kill came out last year I read a number of reviews — including by Cory Doctorow and Chuck Wendig — that made it a book that I knew I had to buy and read. I got the buy part done in December last year. Now I’m finally getting down to the read part. Looking forward to it. This will be my bedtime book.

I’m sure that I’ll be tempted to grab some other book from the shelves at the last moment. I shall try and resist.

What books are you taking with you on your holidays?