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26 August 2014updated 07 Sep 2021 9:28am

Summer reading secrets

Choosing the right reading material for the summer hols can be a make-or-break decision. Fortunately, help is at hand from visitors to this year’s Gibraltar Literary Festival,14-16 November 2014

By New Statesman

Kate Mosse


The key with summer reading is not to pack all those classics that you always meant to read, but to choose books you genuinely want to keep you company on holiday. Since I’ve been writing this year, and have therefore mostly been starved of reading, I’m going back to Eimear McBride’s A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing. I heard McBride read from the novel and it was electrifying – music, rather than words. I’m also re-acquainting myself with Daphne du Maurier (a kind of background research) and have found an old, cloth-backed edition of The Parasites in a local second-hand shop.

Good historical fiction is a joy, so I’m treating myself to the historian Kate Williams’s The Storms of War – which starts on the eve of World War I – as well as The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, by the Swiss author Joël Dicker. And, finally, having marvelled at his performance this summer as Salieri at Chichester Festival Theatre in Peter Shaffer’s 1979 masterpiece, Amadeus, I can’t wait to dip into the second volume of Rupert Everett’s autobiography, Vanished Years.

Kate Mosse is a novelist, non-fiction writer and playwright who wrote the worldwide bestseller “Labyrinth”