Beach Reads Blog Tour 2015 Day 13 #Beachbooks @GreenWizard62

Beach Read Postcard

As thoughts turn to the end of our Beach Read holiday when suitcases need re-packing, we’re not ready to leave yet. My guest today is Mark Barry.

Mark Barry

Rosie Amber Beach Reads 

My bucket list is currently full of cities at the moment, and I think San Diego would be up there. I would visit Santa Anita racecourse (and travel down the coast to Del Mar) and spend the evenings on a beach front bar talking books. What better place to talk horses and books than over a tall Mojito in the glorious sunshine!


I’m not a Kindle fan, so I would take several paperback books. I DO read Kindle books (many of my favourite authors and friends are e-book only), but it’s just not the same. It doesn’t have the same impact at all. I always leave books behind whenever I travel – sometimes my own.



I would leave Hollywood Shakedown of my own library. I wrote it in 2010 and it is intended to be an airport novel for intelligent people. Quite a few people think it’s my best book. It’s pretty unsung and I tend to scratch my head about how to market it as it is unlike my other books. It is also long enough for a week’s beach holiday!

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A Fun Read 

After The Sucker Punch by Lorraine Devon Wilke



A sweeping, seventies, old school family saga that’s also long enough to engage you for a good week on the beach. In fact, it’s made for the beach and the airport. Beautifully written, light, accessible, I have yet to come across a book as good as this in Indie. In fact, you genuinely would not know this is an Indie book. It is sublime and – like many books we write – underappreciated, especially over here.

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A book from your favourite genre 

Warlock – The Complete Series



Put a bullet to my head and I would say that I prefer comics and graphic novels to books. I would have loved to have been a comic book writer. This graphic novel, written and drawn in the mid-seventies, by Jim Starlin is the finest epic saga. It’s scope is astonishing. The next Avengers film features Thanos, the scheming villain and servant of Death that Starlin invented, and he has never been better than he is here in this seminal appearance. I read this every year without fail.

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A book you would only read on holiday in a sun, sea and sand location 

Jackie Collins – Lucky



Every genre writer has a sneaky, guilty pleasure, and I like the work of Jackie Collins, who has the trashy, worthless, star-spangled celebrity bonk buster down pat. My favourite – and most people seem to agree with me – and best is Lucky. Surprisingly well written and incredibly easy to read, this is an ideal book to leave behind in some Tanzania beach hut. It will be read.

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A book you could truly escape with 

Music of Chance by Paul Auster



In any Desert Island quartet, you have to go for quality somewhere down the line and this is one of my favourite books from one of the world’s finest contemporary fiction writers. It’s not his best – you have to aim at something like Book of Illusions or Brooklyn Follies for that honour – but it packs the biggest punch. One of those books that you live rather than read. Hence the escape.

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Beach Reads Drift Wood





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