Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Home and Away: Reading Habits

Some people love to read about exotic new places, while some prefer settings they recognize. How about you?

By Vicki Delany

Can I say both?

When I travel, I love to read books set in the places I’m going. 

Not the ideal place to be reading Arthur Perez-Reverte
Two years ago, when I was on safari in Kenya, I was sitting by the campfire in front of the tents, hoping to hear the roar of a lion, reading The Fencing Master by Arturo Perez-Reverte.  Something, I thought, isn’t right about this.  When reading I like to feel that I’m connected to the place I am reading about. If lucky and a good book I can get immersed in the setting and the time frame and feel, for a few short moments, as if I’m really there.  So it was a startling uncomfortable disconnect to be jerked back from the streets of Spain circa 1800 to the wilds of Africa circa 2011.  And, vice versa. 

The next time I was in Africa, in April, I took along books by Michael Stanley and Deon Meyer. Much more satisfying.
Reading in Uganda

As for when I am not travelling, I guess I’m more of a comfortable read sort of person.  I love British novels (generally speaking) and read so many of them that the UK seems like a familiar place.   Think Peter Robinson, Susan Hill, Deborah Crombie. 

Canadian books are special to me as I want to read stories about my country and our history and contemporary problems and for that I enjoy Barbara Fradkin, R.J. Harlick, Deryn Collier and countless others.  (And a special mention to our newest Criminal Mind, Robin Spano!)  
Relaxing at home with a good Canadian book. 

The US is both exotic and familiar in many ways.  So I enjoy books by the likes of Julia Spenser-Fleming and William Kent Krueger that have a feeling of familiarity.

I’m hoping to go to Madrid next year. I’ll be looking for more Reverte for that. Any suggestions for books set in Spain I might use to get me into the mood are welcome!

In other news, Goodreads is having a giveaway of the ARC of my forthcoming book, A COLD WHITE SUN, the sixth in the Constable Molly Smith series.  If you’d like to enter click here.  



Robin Spano said...

Ah, nothing better than a post that ends with a giveaway.

Thanks for the reading recommendations. I haven't read Barbara Fradkin yet but I keep hearing amazing things.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Love your photos, Vicki! I'm with you. I used to travel more than I do now, but I would look for novels set in the areas I was visiting to complete the flavor. The Agony and the Ecstasy really enhanced my trip to Italy and all the art I viewed.

Erika Chase said...

Try The Painter of Battles by Arturo Perez-Reverte. Wow!

Vicki Delany said...

Erika, I have read that. Fabulous book.

Catriona McPherson said...

A friend of mine went to Vietnam in the spring and took . . . Ann Cleeve's Shetland quartet. ???