It’s on these grumbling, grey, nothing days when my feet are at their itchiest. Staring out of the window at the bored, dark skies brooding over that never-changing view of tree-pocked suburbia can leave you more than a little despondent. It is now when I most crave to change the oaks into palm trees and pavement into golden sand but, nope, no amount of finger crossing or hushed wishes under your breath is going to get you out of this one. Your bank balance is quite frankly none existent and that revision isn’t going to simply disappear overnight (trust me…) You’ve just got to suck it up buddy!
Now, due to the numerous occasions where this dark cloud has, quite literally, descended upon me I’ve developed a coping mechanism which has proved very useful over the years.
And that is… Reading.
Obviously as a literature student I love curling up with a good book. But you don’t need a degree to get your fix of the world of words. Oh no! There’s a book out there for everyone, pick up a guide book and flick through some pictures if you’re not a massive word-lover. Books take you all over the world in a matter of pages, they allow you to meet all kinds of people and experience all sorts of sights and scenes… for free! (Get yourself down to the library if you don’t want to fork out those Amazon fees). Books can make you feel happy, sad, sympathetic or angry without even having to leave your front door.
So here is your Pre-Summer Blues Prescription, my Top 5 Books to escape into:
1 – Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. My current read in memory of the great author who passed away last week. Set in his native Columbia.
2 – Life of Pi, Yann Martel. A modern classic set both in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and Pondicherry, India.
3 – For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway. Not exactly the lightest of reads but a must read. This novel transports you to the Spanish Sierra in the middle of the Spanish Civil War.
4 – Lord of the Flies, William Golding. A classic. What happens if you stick a bunch of kids on a desert island? Carnage, that’s what.
5- Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres. My favorite book of all time. This inspired my travels to Kefalonia, Greece and enlightens their forgotten history in World War II.
As I write this the sun has peeped out from the clouds and the birds have started singing again. See, I told you it was a fail-safe cure!