Tuesday 31 May 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Woohoo. you all know how I love me a Top Ten Tuesday list! This week, though, I'm rebelling against our lovely hosts The Broke and the Bookish, in protest for the fact that I am not going on holiday this year, and so I'm going dark right here, and instead of the top ten books that should be in a beach bag, I'm going for...

Top Ten Books That shouldn't be in your beach bag

1. The Green Mile by Stephen King- Unless you want to start crying in the middle of the beach and to start feeling like there can never be anything good in the world ever again, I would advise against reading this on your holiday. I can still remember my English teacher describing reading The Green Mile on holiday, and saying 'Everyone around me was having fun and playing around, while I was sitting there and wanting to die.' Don't make the same mistake she did!

2. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy- I know that a lot of people are apprehensive about reading this because of its depressiveness anyway, let alone on holiday. If you take this away, stop about halfway through, pretend it's the end, and you'll think you've just read a nice story about an unfortunate girl and her rightful redemption. Go any further, and you will want to scream at the injustice of what Hardy does to his heroine. So it's probably best to not even go there.

3. Atonement by Ian McEwan- I actually did read this book on holiday, and for a whole evening it really did bum me out a fair bit! There really isn't anything very positive about this book at all, so I would really advise that you just leave it at home/throw it away at the airport and get something else. It's really just not worth it!

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J K Rowling- Captivating, yes. But as you get to the end of the Deathly Hallows, you (or at least I) end up wanting to die just a little bit at the absolute horror that's coming up. If you want my advice on this, take the first four or maybe five books with you, and save the others for when you get home. Unless you want to lapse into a depression for the remainder of your holiday.

5. 1984 by George Orwell- I don't know about you, but the idea of a despotic dictator controlling and brainwashing an entire population is not exactly my idea of light and easy reading. Probably best to leave for a rainy day when such things seem like they could actually be possible, although I suppose that setting could inspire actual despair...

6. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood- If you are female and you want your time on the beach to be overshadowed by the constant threat of being picked up by the evil man establishment in this book, then I'd say go for it. Otherwise, I'd probably stick to something a little less intense and terrifying- like being chased by lions, for example.

7. The Dark Tower, Book 7 by Stephen King- I can't even get into how traumatic I found this book, but let's just say that the story ends with me sobbing in a bath, and yet unable to stop reading and get out to do something comforting. If you want to avoid the same fate on a beach, I'd steer clear of this book (even though it is clearly amazing).

8. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck- Much as I love and adore this book, reading about people in intense poverty whilst on a holiday that you've probably spent a fair bit of money on is possibly not the best idea. It's likely to turn you into a self-loathing depressed person, and not a little bit resentful towards the great Steinbeck. If you simply must take a Steinbeck book to the beach, I'd recommend Cannery Row, which is a lot lighter and pretty fun! Just... Stay away from The Grapes of Wrath, ok?!

9. Room by Emma Donoghue- I think we're all aware just how much I utterly loved this book (you can read my review of it here) but light and easy reading it is not. You're also liable to read it in literally a day, which may make you completely unsociable to whoever you're on holiday with, and you may make them totally hate you when you cry at them about the complete and utter hopelessness of the world. Definitely one to avoid, though I hate to say it!

10. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath- Another book that I LOVE, but which shouldn't really be anywhere near a beach. Ever. Unless, of course, you enjoy feeling like you might be going a little bit crazy whilst in an idyllic location, in which case, knock yourself out! But you probably shouldn't...

Just to be clear- I massively think you should read these all these books, because they are all really excellent, but just leave them at home rather than putting yourself into a funk when you're meant to be all happy because you're on holiday! I'm so excited to read all your lists of what I should read on the beach though, just in case I get someone to take me to a beach at some point this summer!


  1. I have a list of books that I can only read at home because they make me tear up and nothing is more embarrassing than sitting on the bus with tears falling down your cheek, your shoulders shaking and people looking at you when you begin to hiccup! Many of the books on your list are also on my private only list!

  2. I LOVE your twist on this top 10. I can't come up with any beach reads, usually cos I read on the beach whatever I'm reading at home. But this is fantastic. I would add Camus' The Stranger to this list. Never have I read a book make me think life was pointless like this one.

  3. I love the twist you put on the top 10! And I certainly agree with most of the books on your list, especially Tess of the d'Urbervilles!

  4. It's really fun reading everyone's ideas on this week's top ten, they're all so different! I did read The Handmaid's Tale on the beach, but not on holiday.

  5. Some really excellent books here! Given that it's winter here I think these ones would be perfect for me curled up on cold and rainy days - definitely ones that make you think.

  6. Haha. Nice spin on the topic! Great list; I would have hated to read Deathly Hallows on vacation.

    I'm a new follower. :)

  7. I love Atonement and think it is a page turner, but McEwan does have a way of ruining a holiday. My husband and I listened to On Chesil Beach on a road trip once. Not the right choice.

    Check out my Top Ten Tuesday

  8. Great list. I couldn't finish Room. It was too hard for me to get though.