Holiday reading 2: making the cut – some guidelines

There were some changes.


  1. Nothing bigger than B format (goodbye, for now, The Book of Night WomenFour Hands and Plowing the Dark)
  2. Only one book larger than your head (hello The Kills)
  3. One book that is vaguely related to work so that when you start to fret about work you can read it until the feeling goes away even though it is not really work (hello When Harlem was in Vogue, even if you do break guideline 1 by about 5mm)
  4. At least one Eric Flint, cos he writes the buggers quicker than you can find time to read them even though they are quick reads
  5. At least one omnibus (hello Crumley), cos if you start one at home you only ever get through the first book in it and put it aside to read something else and then a year later find it looking rather forlorn under a stack of other books (also,  you can count it as reading three books if you are at all competitive about that kind of thing, like Andrea is)
  6. No book that might start a fight if someone sees you reading it in public (so no Dick Gregory autobiography (he called it Nigger then dedicated it to his mum, saying that whenever she the heard the word she could imagine it was just someone advertising her son’s book))
  7. At least one biography (hello Pamela Marvin’s book on Lee, because guideline 6.)
  8. At least one book you have been meaning to read since you bought it 25 or more years ago (hello Madison Smartt Bell)
  9. The final volume of the trilogy you don’t exactly like but don’t dislike either and have been reading during long flights this year just so it is done with (hello Zindell)
  10. An old thriller you’ve now carried on several trips because it is densely packed and you only had hand luggage (hello Wouk) but never got round to reading cos the other books under 9 were kinda longer than you thought
  11. At least one book by that author you really like but who you kinda stopped reading several years ago when you kinda hated the middle volume of his last trilogy (and then the last volume too when you finally made yourself plough through it)
  12. A fat collection of short stories cos you never read those thing when you are at home, well, you start off meaning to read one story a day or something like that and then manage to keep it up
  13. Several others
  14. Something by Peter Van Greenaway
  15. The book Andrea has been nagging you for a couple of years to dig out of whatever box it was stored in (hello Luther Blissett, now Wu Ming)
  16. The smallest book you own not written by Mao or published on Bible paper



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