On our second day we visited the superb Watermill Bookshop at Aberfeldy, and I couldn't resist buying several books. One which caught my eye immediately was a delightful little book of poetry: Highlands and Islands: a collection of the poetry of place, edited by Mary Miers, published by Eland, London. The editor provides information about each author and poem, which sets the context and enhances the experience. I read a few of these poems each day, finishing the collection just before we returned home. It contains many well-known poems, such as Loch Lomond and the Skye Boat Song, and some of my personal favourites like Lord Ullin's Daughter. There are translations of beautiful Gaelic poems, ancient and recent, plus a good selection of twentieth century and contemporary poems about more modern concerns. One which I particularly enjoyed was Midge by Edwin Morgan, publ. 1997. Written from the point of view of one of these minute biting insects, calling her sisters to enjoy a feast, it's wry, humorous and very apt. I provided several meals for the midges while we were away, and even brought at least one home in the car!
My holiday fiction reading:
A Perfect Inheritance by Penny Vincenzi
An ideal holiday read, long, engrossing, full of family feuds, business dealings, current and past secrets, and a satisfying ending. I always enjoy her novels, and it's a real indulgence to buy one for my holiday.
The Rose Garden by Susannah Kearsley
Another favourite author, this book did not disappoint. An intriguing time-slip set in Cornwall, her historic scenes are engrossing, the story intriguing, and wonderful to be immersed in. Excellent reading.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Third in the Hunger Games trilogy. I've been reading these on my past two holidays, and promised myself I'd finish the trilogy on this one. Riveting as usual, shocking, exciting, the reader is drawn into this dystopian future with its injustices and horrors. I always find it satisfying to follow a "what if..." scenario written by a good science fiction author.