Light reading

They’re not bad, those little e-readers. Especially if you are required to use up your suitcase weight allowance with cables. And cheese fondue pods.

Daughter touched down at Bookwitch Towers briefly, en route for the other side of the world. She’d brought her half-read copy of her brother’s translation of Into a Raging Blaze, but as we began weighing every item to go (yes, really), even that had to stay here. Instead we filled up her newly acquired Kindle with books.

Sally Gardner, The Door That Led To Where

I have got Daughter so well trained that she accepted most of my suggestions of Really Good Books. All was going well until she said she’d also quite like something cheerful. Gulp. And something girly, a bit like Cathy Hopkins’s Mates Dates series.

That’s easier said than done. I ransacked my brain for anything a bit like that. I searched my shelves for girlier books than the ones I’d listed. And I’m sorry to say but we didn’t get anywhere much.

We’d be grateful for genuinely good – and cheerful – stories featuring female characters. One is easy. Both together is less common than it ought to be. When I went through my mental list of favourite female authors, I came to the conclusion that many of their books are about male characters. And I’m fine with that, since a good book is a good book.

But Mates Dates they are not.

And to my mind, Cathy’s books are friendlier than most. The catty friends and horrible boyfriends are far too common in many book plots. I suppose that’s one way of providing action; see how many characters your characters can fall out with before all is well at the end. Or not.

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3 responses to “Light reading

  1. What a hard question. And familiar. I went on exactly the same quest for B not long ago.
    Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle, E B Stern The Matriarch, Jane Gardam, but all these are very old fashioned I know.
    Liz Kessler? Kate Atkinson? (Be careful what you pick there though) Behind the Scenes is ok.

    It’s a job for J K Rowling, I hope she gets on with it soon.
    Safe journey to all travellers, (B is flying today too.)

  2. Katherine Rundell- Roof Toppers!

  3. I Capture the Castle is a good idea.
    Daughter was one of Liz’s first fans, so will have read the lot.
    We eventually went with Indigo Star…
    Bon voyage to B!

    (Daughter has already arrived, after 48 hours of travelling, and will probably be too tired to read anything at all. But at least she didn’t drag a stack of actual books all that way.)

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