September 3, 2007
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I go on holiday on Wednesday. To Switzerland, Italy and Austria by train – I’m calling it the Cake Tour 2007. And for the last week people have been asking me if I’ve started packing yet. No! Why on earth would I do that? So I can get to my destination and have my clothes even more creased than they will be anyway? So I can run out of pants because they’re all in the suitcase? Good grief, half the clothes I’m taking with me weren’t even clean at the weekend.
What I have been obsessing about for weeks is my holiday reading. I have an abject horror of running out of books. I try to work on the principle of one book per day, even though it may break my back with the weight. This is what I’m taking with me; a hotch-potch of books that I’ve had lying around for ages unread, books that I’ve borrowed, books that I’m running out of time to read and books that I just want to sit with a hot chocolate, by a river, enjoying again.
- Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility and Emma (re-reads)
- Ian McEwan, Saturday and Atonement (it was only yesterday I realised I had two Ian McEwans in the pile. Saturday is a borrow, and Atonement I whipped off the shelf of Crockatt & Powell realising that if I don’t read it before the film comes out it’s all going to be spoiled)
- F Scott Fitzgerald, Tender is the Night and The Diamond as Big as the Ritz and Other Stories (another author double-header, but these have been hanging around on my shelves for years. They must be read!)
- Martin Amis, Money (I bought this in a charity shop in Muswell Hill. I don’t know why)
- Jonathan Coe, What a Carve Up (I bought this in Shakespeare and Co in Paris two years ago. I pissed myself over The Rotter’s Club, no idea why I haven’t opened this one yet)
- Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (it was on sale in Foyles. Blame the people who were an hour late to meet me. In those situations I can buy entire bookshops in one go)
- EDIT: Twunt that I am, I forgot Catherine O’Flynn, What Was Lost, the first to go in the bloody pile (an impulse buy a few months ago on the recommendation of the omniscient Crockatt & Powell; it’s now appearing in every book prize longlist going).
I’ll let you know how I get on…