books and holidays

May 19, 2005

yesterday, sarah brown posted an entry about how she didn't read the catcher in the rye until she was 20 and that she wished she had read it at age 16 like everyone else.

i didn't read it until i was 23, and it remains my favourite book ever.

i don't read a lot of fiction. i have trouble finding books that i like. i can't cope with classics - i've hacked my way through the merchant of venice and to the lighthouse and down and out in paris and london, but i can't say i actually enjoyed them. i can't face the sickly sweetness of most "chick-lit". my major reading material is autobiographies. favourites in recent years include toast by nigel slater and the diving bell and the butterfly by jean-dominique bauby. i am currently reading life and limb by jamie andrew.

anyway. the catcher in the rye. andy bought me a copy out of the blue when he found out i'd never read it. it was a week or two before i was going on holiday with lee-anne, so i put it in my suitcase. we went to marmaris, turkey. i am so, so, SO glad i went on that holiday before i had isabel. when i was pregnant and miserable, i remember looking at a photo of myself from that holiday in which i was clearly drunk, holding a glass of wine in one hand and a fag in the other and thinking, "i will never be that person again". as it turns out, now that life has returned to (vaguely) normal, i am still that person. it's just i don't have the freedom (or cash) to go on those sorts of holidays anymore.

lee-anne and i arrived at about 2am and the whole place was just utterly magical. we went to sleep, and woke up at like 8am and i was so excited i just couldn't stay in bed. i have a terrible memory, but i totally vividly recall walking out onto the patio by the pool that morning, and it was ABSOLUTELY PERFECT and the sun was beating down and the hotel was bright white and the pool was bright blue and i just thought, 'this is going to be the best holiday ever' and it was.

click on the picture to see a larger version

marmaris was insanely hot. it was 40 degrees c at noon. we spent a lot of time lazing by the pool, jumping in when we couldn't bear it anymore. i devoured the catcher in the rye. i'd finished it within a day or two of arrival. that book is totally saturated with sunshine for me now. i can almost still feel the warmth emanating from the cover. good times.

I've tried to read that book so many times and always given up because I found it dull. Same with Catch 22, neve been able to get into that, and thats suppsed to be really good. Its funny that some books make more sense when you're older and some dont. I read The Handmaid's Tale when I was 17 and didnt get hardly any of it - but I bet I would if I read it again now. I read On the Road at that age too and I loved it - now I dont think I'd find it all that cool after all!
Soraya x
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