Penguin Books and Teletext Holidays are compiling a list of the hottest beach reads of all time. They've chosen 25 books you can vote on, but you can also nominate your own. And there are free books and a five star holiday prize up for grabs for anyone who casts their vote. Voting ends on 31 July and a list of the 20 best beach reads of all time will be published online at teletextholidays.co.uk and penguin.co.uk in August.
I've been trying to think of my own favourite holiday read (I don't really "do" beaches), but unsurprisingly I haven't been able to pick just one. Marian Keyes' Anybody Out There immediately sprang to mind since I read it from start to finish during a long flight to Canada. I also thought of Frank Skinner's autobiography since I read it (in Italy) and loved it and then David read it and loved it too, which gave us something to talk about!
I read Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer during a month-long tour of California and the two are now inextricably linked in my mind. Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay helped pass a 48 hour train journey from Seattle to Chicago. Lisa Jewell's Vince & Joy kept me company during a long sweaty day in Portugal when Harry was a baby and it was too hot to leave the apartment. And when I think of our last family holiday abroad, it's Lisa Jewell again: rereading Ralph's Party on the terrace with a beer in the cool of the early evening.
In fact, I can remember the books I was reading on almost every holiday I've ever had, but I couldn't pick just one. Could you?