Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 10 #Beachbooks @ProofreadJulia #wwwblogs

Beach Read Postcard

So we are 10 days into our Beach read holiday and by now we should be totally relaxed and rested.


Today my guest is Proofreader Julia Gibbs

My ideal holiday destination? I have a few! Some years ago, before my work life consisted of sitting on the sofa with my laptop, I visited many exotic locations in the course of my work (that’s a whole other story). So I have many to pick from, and I’d like to share some with you.

I prefer hard copy, paperback books. Yes, I know Kindle is more convenient, and I do have one, which I find very handy for plane journeys etc., but in an ideal world I’d carry an entire library with me, like the character in Somerset Maugham’s story, The Book Bag. (Read it, it’s haunting.)

My 5 book choices

A Fun Read


Chances by Jackie Collins. Set in New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. I first read it when I bought it at the airport in Las Vegas, having flown there to visit my friend who was a dancer in one of the shows. Nothing like reading about a glamorous venue when you’re actually in it! I consider this the best of her books, a real family saga. It’s got gangsters, intrigue, beautiful women, a charismatic hero – and is completely unputdownable.

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A Fact/Guide book


For my 50th birthday, I went to Manhattan for a week with a friend. Although I’d been there briefly before, I wanted to do a bit of research, find out how to walk around, what sort of thing I ought to know, which areas to visit, and all sorts of other things. An English friend who lives there recommended Frommer’s The Irreverent Guide to Manhattan. There’s a quote from the New York Times on the cover – ‘like being taken around by a savvy local’ – and so it proved to be! I really enjoyed reading the book and it all added to the fun of my holiday planning. I’ve lent it to friends since, and they all loved it.

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A book to truly escape with


About 15 years ago, I visited Singapore for a few days. I’d never previously been to anywhere as exotic as South East Asia, and was struck by the beauty of the place before I’d even left the airport. However, even though most of the population whom you will encounter speak English, Singapore is of necessity somewhere very alien to the Western experience, and you do wonder what goes on behind the façade. When I was invited to proofread Jake Needham’s The Dead American, I was immediately transported back to the Malay Peninsula, and also intrigued by the story that unfolded before me – as you will be, and you will not guess the ending, I guarantee.

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A book from my favourite genre

Product Details

My favourite genre, if I must pick one, is anything involving human relationships – and no, I don’t just mean romantic love, in fact a love story doesn’t even need to be included. I recently proofread Stolen Journeys by Sylvia Atipova, and had no idea what to expect as I started the book. This starts out in Bulgaria some years ago and then moves to England in the present day, and just as you’re beginning to work out how all the characters relate to each other, they creep into your consciousness and you start to care about what happens to them. They don’t occupy a big stage, but their actions and feelings are utterly realistic, and you can picture them as easily as if they were sitting across from you.

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Another book to truly escape with!


Having mentioned Somerset Maugham in my opening paragraph, and told you about Jake Needham’s book, I must now turn to the former’s short stories. These are tales of love, passion, death, betrayal – just everything, really, and were written in the first half of the 20th century. Some are set in England, but most take place in what were British Colonies in Asia before World War II. Some of the stories are about life or death themes, some are very funny, but all are compelling. These books belong to my mother, and the inscription inside is from my father, on their first wedding anniversary; I’ve been reading the stories over and over again since I was around 14 years old. Seldom have I been so immersed in another world.

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Julia Gibbs


Beach Reads Drift Wood

35 thoughts on “Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 10 #Beachbooks @ProofreadJulia #wwwblogs

  1. What a tempting selection Julia. I shall certainly add The Dead American to my list as I seek our books from south east Asia. It’s good to be reminded of contrasting authors such as Somerset Maugham and Jackie Collins.


  2. I really like the way you’ve done this, with a book from each place! You know I’m with you on Chances and Somerset Maugham – and can you believe I didn’t know that about Dad and the wedding anniversary inscription??! I don’t think I’ve actually seen the books since I was a child – I have my own copies! Sylvia Atipova’s book is on my to-read list after your post-proofread recommendation. It’s good to see you reading something other than our old favourites – ladies, Julia and I used to be awful for just reading the same 10 authors over and over!!!


    • Thanks, TT! I’ve had the Somerset Maugham books for a few years, and of course now Mum can’t read them, and I consider myself their caretaker. I tried to choose a wide variety of books. Hope people give some of them a go!


  3. It’s a great idea to link books with places Julia, with many of the best books I’ve read I can picture exactly where I was when I finished it! I enjoyed the reminder of the Jackie Collins book thanks but I’m particularly drawn to The Dead American and the short stories – I’ve never read any Somerset Maugham (love the inscription story, so lovely to find things like that) so it’s about time I did. Great recommendations Julia, thanks 🙂


    • Seriously, you have to read Somerset Maugham’s stories, buy them this very instant! And I chose carefully what to recommend, Thank you for your kind comments. The Jackie Collins book was a 1980s US paperback, with yellowish pages, it even smelled exotic!


  4. Okay – more books I haven’t read, thanks Julia. Lots of the bloggers on Beach Reads seem to gravitate towards Crime. I must admit, if I had a choice I’d go for espionage rather than straight forward crime. I have a dear friend who reads crime and ‘gamely’ reads my books but keeps asking for more dead bodies. Lol. Have a great day and carry on with the proof reading, writers need you !


    • Hm, I’m not into crime per se, but I like a story that I can’t predict. One of the wonderful things about proofreading is the new authors I find, whom I may well not have discovered otherwise. Thank you for your kind comments, Lizzie.

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  5. Totally intriguing choice here Julia. But as I’m heading to New York next month I’ll opt for the Irreverent Guide to Manhattan and probably not The Dead American! Good work. X


  6. Going to New York just before Christmas so will definitely be reading the Irreverent Guide – perfect timing 🙂 Read some Somerset Maugham a long time ago; shall have to revisit.


  7. What a wonderful way of connecting your books and places, Julia. Some great suggestions and I particularly like the sound of The Dead American 😀


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