READING

Books I won’t ever be taking with me on holi...

Books I won’t ever be taking with me on holiday

While I’m sunning myself on the beach in Jamaica, I’ll need something to pass the time – many, many books. However these are the books I most certainly won’t be reading ever again if I have my way. Features vampires, bondage, women absorbed with wallowing in self-pity, and the futile existence of man facing the end of the world (and baby barbecues).

coffee and books

50 Shades of Grey
Yes yes, the film is coming out and yes yes, it’s pretty much going to be 50% softcore porn in order to satiate the desires of ladies out there who need a bit of excitement in their lives without visiting Gone Wild/Brazzers, but there’s nothing inside me that wants to read this badly-written poor excuse of literotica.

And it’s nothing to do with the apparent poor messaging whereby abuse is totally ok by both emotional and physical means, the fact Mr Grey is a BILLIONAIRE who doesn’t work and is in his mid-twenties, or the unhealthy fixation on the word ‘Jeez’. Nor am I a prude.

I read the first few pages, realised it’s just as awful as Twilight and deleted the book from my iPad. All in all it lasted about 15 minutes. I mean, good on the author for exploiting an impressionable bunch of sex-starved readers, but let’s stick to corset-ripping pirates and wenches via Mills and Boone next time, yeah?

Twilight
The pinnacle example of how targeting your book/blog/movie to 13 year olds is an easy way to get cash monies. I admit, I read the first two books. They somehow sucked me in, not through storyline, but through hype. But after the fifty-eighth lip bite and the bland storyline of will-she-get-bitten-won’t-she-and-what’s-the-dog-got-to-do-with-anything storyline, it wore thin.

Again, it’s terribly written (hey, when a 13 year old’s entire vocab involves LOL bae :p then who’s going to complain) but once again, congrats on the author for appealing to a horny, if slightly younger, demographic.

The Road
I took this book to Kos, and while I’m glad I read it (for once, it’s a well written book) by the end I felt as if nothing in the world mattered any more because we’re all going to die anyway so what’s the point man.

While the infamous baby barbecue – it’s exactly as it sounds – didn’t affect me much, having the protagonists walk into a dark basement only to discover cannibal tribes keeping other humans alive as a food source by dismembering them one leg at a time then stitching them back up until tomorrow’s feast really did put a dampener on things.

Read this if you want to feel hopeless, then go outside and be thankful it’s all in your mind.

Eat, Pray, Love
I’m not a fan of Julia Nostrils Roberts anyway so I’ll never watch the film, but after skimming the first chapter of this memoir at lighting speed I’m not a fan of the book either. It’s sopping in self-pity and patheticness. Woman gets divorced oh no, woman needs to take a year out to ‘discover herself’ by eating, praying and loving. What a depressing message. Yes, bad things happen. Half the point of being an adult is facing up to the terrible things tht happen and learning from them.

I’m not a fan of wallowers, unless they are pigs and they are in mud in which case wallow away little piglets, wallow away.

That book by Zoella
Do I need to explain? No. No I don’t. I might read her ghostwriter’s stuff though.

The Fault in Our Stars
Again, I read the first few chapters and just didn’t get it. Maybe I have no tolerance for teenagers given that I was in my last few months of  being a teenager ten years ago, but it was just bland. I literally can’t remember what I read. After people raved about the film I had a watch of this too, and I was just as confused. The only redeeming quality was that Laura Dern is in it and she happened to be my hero as the actress with my name in Jurassic Park.

If you’re over 13, give it a miss.

Lord of the Rings
It’s TOO BIG. I’ve started and failed ten thousand times. My sister took a copy to Sicily and I’m pretty sure it stayed out there. It’s never going to happen, Tolkien.

Books I will be reading

The Beach
The ultimate backpacker-seeks-uptopia novel. I’m a huge fan of Alex Garland’s writing, both on screen and in, er, book. Like many books, the film pales into insignificance compared to the novel. It’s one of those books that resonates with me, from the feeling of total freedom, to the terrifying end.

Walking the Nile
I’ve been totally hooked by the television series, so can’t wait to find out more details of Levison’s travels throughout Africa. I’m hoping the airport has this. The first and only hard back book I’ll take abroad.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
I’ve not read this yet, but was recommended it and will make it my plane read.

World War Z
If you’ve seen the film, unsee it, and get this book. Because while they share a name, they are (zombie) worlds apart. The book is about how each country reacts to the start of a zombie outbreak. From the source in China and the fortification of Windsor castle in the UK, to the decimations in Russia and religious infanticide in the US, it’s a fascinating look into what could happen should a virus sweep the earth.

Flowers for Algernon
Charlie is selected to be part of a medical trial to increase intelligence. Charlie is in his thirties but has the mind of a child, and it follows his progress from surgery to recovery. It’s tragic, you will cry.

Shantaram
I was recommended this book by someone on Twitter and it’s brilliant. A lot longer than I’d usually pick for a holiday read, but it’s absolutely heart-warming and tragic at the same time. The protagonist seeks sanctuary in India after escaping an Australian prison, mingling in the slums, proving his worth, and being treated like a king before tragic events befall him and his new-found friends.

Slaughterhouse Five
I’ve kinda started this a few times but can’t get into it. I’m hoping no distractions will help.


  • Your “Eat Pray Love” review nailed it. That book grates on my nerves on so many levels! x

    • I’m so glad it ain’t just me!

  • I’ve read a fair few of these books and I’m adding any that I haven’t read from your “will take” list to my “to read” list immediately. I really agree with NEARLY all of your thoughts on the ones that just aren’t worthwhile, however I didn’t mind TFIOS. Although if I’m being honest I hate the hype surrounding it as John Green’s other books are SO MUCH BETTER. But then again I guess I’m in the target demographic (even if I am teetering towards to edge of it) so I do like a little bit of YA fiction from time to time x

    Charlotte / coloursandcarousels

    • Oooh excellent news! I’ll have to report back on the books I haven’t read yet.

  • Tim

    Completely agree with your books NOT to read while traveling, or anywhere for that matter. As for the books to read while on the road you have some great suggestions. Yes, everyone loves the Beach when traveling as it captures the essence of backpacking Asia and the search for “that place”. Over the years I have read so many great books; the list is endless. Shantaram is a great book but as one of the longest books out there to read it is a hefty one to lug around.

  • I also love ‘The Guernsey literary and potato peel society’ – starts off as a bit of a frothy silliness but draws you in so quickly!

  • Jade

    I’ve always quite fancied World War Z, I love that kind of stuff. I don’t often read but I will usually buy some kind of book if i’m going on a beach holiday. Totally with you on the Zoella book though, cannot see the attraction from anyone over the age of 13

    Jade x

    Girl Up North | UK Lifestyle Blog

  • Love this alternative ‘what not to read’ post.

    I agree whole heartily on 50 Shade of Grey. Pile of crap that is so badly written. Twilight, I loved when I was younger but just cannot read without cringing any more.

    I’m looking forward to reading some of the books on your to read list!

    Petite Pomme

    • It’s crazy isn’t it! I’ve got a few extra books in my hand luggage too, can’t wait to settle down and get reading

  • Brianna @ The Casual Travelist

    Totally, totally agree with you on 50 Shades of Grey anf Twilight, ugh.

  • Laura

    I’m reading We’re all completely beside ourselves at the minute for my book club. I’m loving it. x

  • I loooooved World War Z – what a freaking awesome book. Eat Pray Love & 50 Shades of Grey – Bah! Give me some good old zombie action any day

  • Melody Pittman

    OMG you are too funny. I loved reading your review on the books and I agreed with several, including Twilight. Will add these books you recommended to my book club list and maybe pull one of them for our March book. Thanks for the suggestions. 😉

  • travelgeekery

    I must say I didn’t read any of those that you both don’t and do recommend 🙂
    However, I’m sure what I will try to stay away from on holiday – books that make me cry! I’m hopeless at that and I felt horrible crying like hell on Dubai Airport during my 10-hour layover, finishing the ‘And the Mountains Echoed’ by Khaled Hosseini..

  • I hated TFIOS and I think people are guilted into thinking they like it because of the cancer angle. Cheap ploy, John Green! But, he’s laughing all the way to the bank so…

    xoxo – Kelly

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