MARgINAlia

A plume with a hue

My holiday reading plan

Finally, I am heading off for a long-awaited and much needed eleven day holiday on a Greek island. These are the novels that will be accompanying me.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. I had originally planned on reading this for May’s Asian Readathon but as it is about 500 pages, I thought it would be perfect for immersing myself in whilst relaxing in the sunshine. It’s a family saga spanning 100 years, which explores, in the words of Good Housekeeping magazine: ‘two different cultures, and what it means to be the outsider’. David Mitchell describes it as ‘addictive’.

Ponti by Sharlene Teo. This is another novel I bought with the Asian Readathon in mind – I can’t remember how I discovered its existence – but its premise sounds ideal for a holiday read. This coming-of-age novel intriguingly involves a remake of a cult seventies horror film series, and explores memories, guilt and lost friendship. Ian McEwan praises it as ‘remarkable‘ and I trust his judgement!

Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga. I purchased this novel for the Storygraph Reads the World challenge, where one of the prompts is a writer from Zimbabwe. After a bit of research on who I could read, I went for Dangarembga who was short-listed for the Booker. It’s another coming-of-age tale, which focusses on a thirteen-year-old girl embarking on her education, which her family hope will improve their economic circumstances. It has praise from Doris Lessing, Chinua Achebe, Madeleine Thien and Alice Walker, who respectively describe it as ‘a masterpiece’, ‘as natural as the grass grows’, ‘astonishing’ and ‘unforgettable…not to be missed’. I hope it’s not too political for a holiday read although it is said to have ‘wicked humour‘.

Bunny by Mona Awad. This was a last-minute purchase as I’m hearing so many positive reports on this ‘dark academia’ novel and thought it would be perfect for the airport/flight. It’s about a group of students on an MFA programme: outsider Samantha who is drawn into the rich girl clique, the Bunnies. It’s apparently satirical, a mix of thriller and fairytale horror, and is described by Margaret Atwood as ‘sooo genius’.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I’ve just finished Volume I of this classic novel and will probably continue with my one or two chapters a day whilst I’m away.

I think Ponti, Nervous Conditions and Bunny will be quite quick to read, whereas Pachinko will take me longer, and Wuthering Heights is a deep-dive that I’m spending more time on. Hopefully, I won’t get through them all before the return flight but if I do, I’ve got the audio of Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner to listen to.

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