summer reads, whatever the weather

The British summer is almost, but not quite, upon us. April taunted us with the promise of a long, hot summer, only to pull the carpet out from under our flip-flops and replace the cloudless bank holidays with grey and drizzly 9-5s.

Maybe you are in the middle of exams or just plain sick of work? Perhaps you’re eagerly awaiting your summer holiday or maybe, like me, your student bank account won’t let you book one. Either way, while we are all stuck inside dreaming of the sunshine, here are a few books to give your imagination an ash-cloud free holiday.

Cider with Rosie (rrp £7.99)

Who needs to go abroad this summer? Cider with Rosie is a beautifully written memoir of Lee’s childhood spent in the lush Cotswolds. Lyrically written, Lee evokes a postcard worthy picture of rural England before high speed trains, mobile phones and the internet. Reading Lee’s gentle descriptions of sunlight speckled fields, rural festivities, and long summers is almost as good as being there and will certainly make you want to don a daisy chain and lie in a British meadow.

A Room with a View (rrp £8.99)

Perhaps a staycation is not quite your thing? E M Forster’s A Room with a View has the best of both worlds. Opening in Florence, Forster’s tale follows Lucy and her troublesome love life through rustic Tuscany back to Surrey’s undulating countryside. Forster’s descriptions of love in Italy will undoubtedly distract you from your dreary your office and the dribble of rain on your window.

Eat Pray Love (rrp £7.99)

Fancy a more extended trip? Elizabeth Gilbert’s international best seller, Eat Pray Love, takes you on a journey through Italy, India, and Bali. Satisfying even the most demanding holidaymakers’ desires, (gorging on ice-cream, achieving spiritual peace, and toying with a summer romance) after finishing Gilbert’s autobiographical journey of self discovery you’ll feel like you’ve been away too. On top of that, Gilbert’s descriptions of her exploits with Italian cuisine actually made my stomach rumble; I’ve never felt more like dropping everything and finding a cheap flight to warmer Italian shores.

These books will give your imagination a well deserved break while we wait for the British summer to start, but if an imaginative holiday just won’t cut it, pick up a travel guide!

Published on May 25 2011 on www.litro.co.uk.