Holiday Reading & A Couple of Comps

Pam AyresI’m off to Spain on Saturday and I’ve just downloaded my holiday reading onto my Kobo. (I only have a Kobo, by the way, because it was a prize for a short story, published in Prima. Take my advice – if you have the choice, get a Kindle instead!).

I’ve bought: ‘The Last Runaway’ by Tracy Chevalier (I love everything she writes) and ‘The Husband’s Secret’ by Liane Moriarty, just because I’ve heard good things about it. By coincidence, both these books are on the Richard & Judy Autumn Reads list. Oh, and I’ve popped ‘The Great Gatsby’ on there too – it’s about time I re-read it!

Any other good book recommendations? I’m going on a tennis holiday so I shouldn’t, in theory, have time to read any more than that, but who knows – it might rain all week!

Cassandra Jardine Prize

If you’re female and between 18 and 25 (I hate you!), then you should take a look at this writing competition, with a £1000 first prize. But be quick – you have to post your entry and you’ve only got until 20th September!

Daily Express Pam Ayres Poetry Competition

Ah, Pam Ayres. Who could forget ‘I wish I’d looked after me teeth…’? (if you are 18 – 25 you won’t know what I’m talking about, so forget this and concentrate on that Cassandra Jardine competition).

The Daily Express has a poetry competition (a line that I never expected to find myself typing) and the theme is “fun with words”. You have to email your poem (4 lines max) to: by Sept 19th.

1st prize is 2 tickets to Pam Ayres Show on October 3 in London’s Cadogan Hall, plus a meeting with Pam, a copy of her new book and one night’s hotel accommodation for 2 people.

The top 10 entries will receive 2 tickets to Pam’s concert + her new book, ‘You’ve Made Me Late Again‘.

Shortlistees will be notified by 24th Sept and the winner by Sept 26th. I might even have a go at this one myself. Good luck!

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11 Responses to Holiday Reading & A Couple of Comps

  1. Wendy Clarke says:

    Tennis holiday – wow, that sounds energetic! Thanks for book recommendations. I’m always on look out for good things and R & J books rarely disappoint. Enjoy hol.

    • Wendy, actually it’s not quite as energetic as it sounds. It’s ‘only’ doubles, for a start, so that saves a lot of running around and we ‘only’ play from 9am to 1pm/2pm and then REST by the pool for the rest of the day. So, not too bad. (Having said that, I’ll still be exhausted when I come back and my poor old knees will be ‘kaputt’!). It’s about the 8th time I’ve been, so I know what to expect.. (pain!).. Oh, and lots of fun!

  2. cathaber1 says:

    Maggie O’Farrell’s Instructions for a Heatwave. Trouble is you can’t put it down so your tennis will be in jeopardy. Enjoy your hols!

  3. Lesley Dawson says:

    Enjoy your holiday, Helen, and thanks for the advice about Kindle v. Kobo. I’m getting a Kindle for my birthday … at least, I’ve hinted about getting one. 🙂

    • Lesley, I ‘resisted’ getting an e-reader for a long time but when I won one I thought ‘oh, what the heck’ and they are great for holidays in particular. I still prefer the ‘feel’ of a real book and being able to flick back when you can’t remember who someone is (senior moment?) but it’s so convenient not to have to lug about 6 books around in your case! I am sure you’ll enjoy it when you get it! (And there are loads more freebie books that you can download on Kindle, which is why I wish I had one!)

  4. Tracy Fells says:

    Have a lovely sunny time in Spain, Helen. I love Tracy Chevalier too – have you read her early stuff like: Falling Angels, The Virgin Blue. I’m currently enjoying ‘Small Island’ by Andrea Levy, and we’re having a few days in Dorset next week so I’ll probably pack ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn which is supposed to be a pageturner…

    • I haven’t read The Virgin Blue but I LOVED Falling Angels! (and have recommended it to everyone). Loved ‘Small Island’ and loved ‘Gone Girl’ – although it’s a bit weird!! But I thought the writing was superb. Every chapter read, to me, like a short story. See what you think! And enjoy Dorset – lovely part of the world!


  5. Linda says:

    Botheration! I just 🙂 miss out qualifying for the Cassandra Jardine comp, and there’s no point in entering the Pam Ayres comp because I wouldn’t be able to accept the prize (I’ve got other plans for that night). Never mind, back to The Novel …
    Enjoy your hols!

  6. Hi Helen, in my job I’ve been doing articles on the kobo glo, and it seems a glitchy and temperamental kind of e reader. I have a kindle on my computer, but I like all things about real books. Thanks for the links, I just missed the 18-25 one same as Linda, plenty of other writing to keep up with. I’m doing Sally Quillford’s September course. Happy hols….. hope you get some fiction ideas.

  7. Mary Ann Gerber says:

    Dear Helen”
    A visit to my aunt last year, with a small suitcase dedicated to books and notebooks, plus the fact that every room in my house is filled with books, forced me to consider the alternatives. I bought a Kindle Fire HD, love it to bits, and take it everywhere. It has become my best friend, and I couldn’t live without it. Well, I could, but I certainly don’t want to. I was a paper books snob, and many of my friends still are, but I love my Kindle. I certainly couldn’t manage for a week with only two books, tennis or no tennis. What about the delight of choosing?

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