Holiday reading accelerated a lot once we had left sunny Northumberland for even sunnier Crete and could roll out of bed into our own pool. Some crackers in there.

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet – Mitchell on great form, although I found the immortality cult a little meaningless. Otherwise a fascinating look at a period and culture I knew nothing about.

Room – Kampusch / Dugard / Fritzl case from the point of view of the child of the abductee.

Matterhorn – astonishing recreation of a near meaningless circle of interventions in the Vietnam war. Immersion foot and jungle rot will be with me for a long time.

The Birthday Boys – cracking retelling of Scott’s doomed expedition to the South Pole. More bodily afflictions in this one. Thanks to Sholto for giving it to me on my 30th birthday. What a fool I was to wait so long to read it!

Light in August (Vintage Classics) – Brilliant Faulkner tale of the deep south.

The Slap – vaguely interesting look at middle-class Australia through reactions to a seemingly small encounter.

The Passage – interminable tosh. Only made sense once I read that the author’s daughter said his previous books were dull and that he should write one “which has a girl saving the world…and vampires”. So he did.