SBT Picks: Holiday Reads

Beach Reading, image by anjum, courtesy Flickr creative commons
Category: Reading
Tagged: holidays, summer

Summertime calls for lazy holidays on a beach or in a garden with a good book. Or, at least, a good book and a comfy chair or sofa. If you’re not sure what to pick up on your way to the airport, maybe you’ll find some inspiration amongst the books SBT staffers are diving into.

What’s your favourite summertime book? Share your picks in the comments below!

Kirsty Sinclair, Early Years Outreach Co-ordinator

This summer I’m looking forward to reading Andre Agassi’s autobiography Open. It’s not the type of thing I normally read but I’ve loved Andre Agassi since the days of the fetching cycling shorts and long hair, and a couple of people have recommended it to me as a very well-written and engaging book. And of course with Andy Murray's Wimbledon triumph it seems like the perfect time.

Sophie Moxon, Head of Programme

My holidays are taken up with the doling out of snacks, observation of insects and drying of damp children. The appeal of taking a huge, fat book has diminished as I know I won’t be able to do it justice. Instead, I find poetry works beautifully. A slim collection can last a whole holiday if you read just one or two poems a day. A poem is surprisingly nourishing. This year I’m getting The Malarkey by Helen Dunmore. I’ve read one of the poems from the book, “Boatman”, and was overwhelmed by its sparseness and power. I’m very much looking forward to carving out small pockets of time to read the rest.

Chris Leslie, Schools Resource Developer

Jon Ronson is easily my favourite non-fiction author, so this summer I’m going for Lost at Sea. Ronson is fascinated by madness and eccentricity, and investigates all kinds of weird subcultures: in Lost at Sea he goes to a UFO convention with Robbie Williams in the Nevada desert, explores the psyche of competitive eaters, and attends a workshop dedicated to converting atheists to Christianity, among other adventures! I like him because he never judges anyone he meets, and never uses their eccentricities to get a cheap laugh. He’s self-deprecating and likeable, and just seems to want to understand people.

Stephanie Lim, Writer Development Intern

I find that any worthy holiday read must elicit some manner of escape from the regular. With that being the case, this summer I plan on reading Jeanette Winterson’s Written on the Body.  The author explains how the book is experimental in that ‘it plays with form, refuses a traditional narrative line, and includes the reader as a player’ and I think it’s essential to indulge this jovial approach to writing in the spirit of the naughtiest season of the year!

Heather Collins, Schools Outreach Co-ordinator

This summer I’ll be reading The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle. My partner is a huge cycling fan and spends a lot of his time reading about it and following all the big tours. I’ve started to soak up bits of the sport from him and find it completely fascinating. The strength and stamina of the cyclists is incredible but obviously one of the most compelling aspects is that it’s dogged by so much controversy about doping. I’ll be reading Tyler’s exposé in-between watching Tour de France coverage and eyeing up all the jersey wearers with awe and, sadly, a dose of suspicion no doubt.



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