Research suggests that just six minutes reading can be enough to reduce a person’s stress level by more than two thirds and staying at a private villa provides the perfect opportunity to catch up on some of the books you always wished you’d read.
Here are some recommended pages to immerse yourself in between dips in the private pool.
If pressed on the subject, most people would admit that they’d love to read more quality literature, but in a world increasingly built around instant information – from messages to news to movies-on-demand, the idea of spending two or three days lost in prose may seem like a major project.
Fortunately, thanks to Amazon.com, e-books and Hollywood’s constant interpretation and re-interpretation of the written word, novels have become a regular part of most people’s shopping list, especially right before a beach holiday.
With so many new novels being added to the world’s real and virtual bookshelves every week, however, it’s easy to miss the launch of a contemporary classic or neglect to go back and read a well established work.
Bestseller Lists and Literary Awards can help you chose your own personal reading list, but personal recommendations are often the best form of filter.
Below are 10 classic reads we feel are definitely worth considering for your next extended poolside or beachside break. They are listed in in no particular order and come from a variety of periods and genres. Hopefully they include some wonderful words that you may have missed in the daily rush.
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
A delightfully human tale set on a small Greek island during the second world war, expertly woven sub-plots and memorable characters make this novel a page-turner that inspires faith in humanity.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
An supremely insightful novel published in 1951 that brutally describes the angst many teenagers still fell today through a skilled depiction of its main character and narrator, Holden Caulfield, who cynically recounts two days in his dejected life.
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The most translated book ever written in French, this heartwarming and poignant tale follows a little boy as he travels through the universe meeting a series of astonishing personalities that represent adult views of the world.
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The deeply touching debut from an Afghan writer who is now the Goodwill Envoy for the UNHCR. The story follows the fate of an illiterate boy and his closest friend growing up in Kabul with a passion for kite-fightling.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
One of the most amusing and quoted science fiction novels of all time filled with colourful characters, unlikely adventures and self depreciating British humour that’s sure to bring on a case of uncontrollable giggles.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
One of the most celebrated works of the last century, this epic novel recounts the history of a fabled town in Latin America named Macondo. Through the characters and events, the highs and the lows, Marquez creates a masterful reflection of humanity.
Siddharta by Herman Hesse
An gentle tale of self-discovery that’s particularly relevant for visitors to Buddhist Southeast Asia as it follows the journey of a young man in search of spiritual enlightenment along a path that initially brings pain and rejection, but later leads to calm and wisdom.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
A friend of Charles Dickens, Collins was one of the most skilled novelists of the Victorian age, especially when it came to the challenging art of the psychological thriller. The Woman in White will keep you guessing until the very last page.
1984 by George Orwell
This is one of those books that most people know and many have read in the past, but one that definitely deserves re-reading, if only to marvel at the vision of its author who foresaw a world in a state of perpetual war with Big Brother watching and and controlling all.
The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
Published in 1923 and still considered a classic, Gibran’s collection of poetic essays on everything from love, marriage and passion to reason, crime and friendship.
In addition to one or more of the above novels, you should also try and read any (or all) of the Harry Potter books, even if you have seen the movies. After all, it was JK Rowling’s captivating prose that originally caught the whole world’s imagination.
by MAX VEE