It’s been three weeks since I posted about heading off on holiday, which I think may be the longest break I’ve ever had from this blog!
We had an incredible time in Crete – our sixth visit in total and second with the kids – and did little more than relax, swim, read, eat, drink and soak up the sun. After all the stresses of the last few years, it was just what was needed – to be with my favourite people in my favourite place – and to be honest, I’m finding it a little hard to get back into the swing of things now that I’m home.
We had two lovely weeks in Crete, starting with two nights in the capital city of Iraklion. This was marred slightly by the fact that we left a backpack on the shuttle bus from airport to terminal and didn’t know if we’d get it back for 24 hours, but once resolved we had a great time mooching round the city.
We then hired a car and headed to the much quieter south coast of the island to our favourite spot – Frangokastello. Myself and Mr 746 Books first visited here on honeymoon 17 years ago and this was our fifth visit since then, so it’s safe to say we’re a bit fond of the spot.
Going to somewhere we knew well also meant there was no pressure to fill our days with sightseeing and plans, we simply relxed at our villa, swam in the pool, dandered down to the beach and ate at our favourite taverna. Bliss!
For the last two days of the holiday we headed to another Cretan city – Hania – where we enjoyed some souvenier shopping in the old town, some lovely beachfront dining and the kids discovered a funfair a short walk from our apartment, which meant that any remaining holiday money disappeared faster than you can say ‘bumper cars’!
In terms of my summer reading, I did OK, but not as well as I thought I might. From my twenty books of summer, I read American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld, Case Study by Graeme Mcrae Burnet, Elena Knows by Claudia Piniero and I’ve almost finished the whopper that is Lonesome Dove by Laddy McMurtry. I very much enjoyed them all.
American Wife was a great holiday read, an absorbing, epic and well-written character study with a relatable protagonist and beleivable narrative. Case Study, the story of an infamous physchiatrist set in the 1960s was another fascinating piece of fiction from Mcrae Burnet, which was so well put together that I found myself looking up characters on the internet to double check that they weren’t real.
Elena Knows took me a while to get into. it is the story of a mother convinced that her daughter’s suicide is something more sinister, but rather than being the crime novel I expected, it morphed into an intelligent exploration of disability, the societal expectations on women and the right to choose the life you want, or don’t want to live.
Lonesome Dove is exactly as I expected, a page-turning epic western, but is also a lot more thoughtful than I anticipated. I’m not finished yet so will talk more about it next week. I’m really going to have to knuckle down if I want to complete my challenge this summer, I’ve read 8 of the original 15 I chose and 2 of my additional 5 so still some way to go.
How are you all enjoying your summers? Is the summer reading going to plan? Look forward to getting back into a routine next week and catching up on all your blogs.
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!