I love reading. Love it. I love good stories, learning about new cultures, and the ability to travel while sitting in my living room. I love when books force me to become introspective and change my way of thinking. I love when books transport me back in time, enabling me to learn about a period of time I might otherwise never know.
Now many people say that they “love reading” or that reading is one of their hobbies…but the fact that on my 14 hour plane ride to Australia I watched 0 movies and read 2 entire books will demonstrate the extent of my love.
Travelling is an optimum time to catch up on books. You have the plane rides, the train rides, the bus rides, the beaches, the evenings sans internet or TV. Thus, for me, choosing the right book to bring on vacation is extremely important. After all, whatever book you decide to pack you’re stuck with, especially if you’re in a non-English speaking country and without your Kindle.
I’d like to tell you about this INCREDIBLE new novel, “The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder”, written by Canadian debut author Rachel McMillan, to give you some guidance on how to choose the right book to bring on vacation. This book is PERFECT on so many levels, making it a great example for today’s blog.
- Choose a book that can span genres. Some books are strictly romance, while others are meant to just be comedy. The problem with these novels on vacation is that if the comedy isn’t funny or the romance isn’t enlightening, you’re stuck with a novel too genre-pigeon holed to enjoy. That’s why a book like “The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder” is so perfect. It’s mystery, fiction, historical fiction, with some wit thrown in for good measure. For me, this meant that I was both enjoying the story while learning about a historical place (1910 Toronto) at the same time. McMillan’s wit is awesomely achieved throughout the store, but if by chance you’re not a fan of her humour, there are so many other aspects of the novel to enjoy that you’ll STILL want to keep reading it!
My book has a permanent place on my nightstand right now. On the right is me getting my book signed by the author, Rachel McMillan. Yes, I was SO fortunate to get invited to her launch!
2. Choose a novel with a great storyline. It can be very hard to be undistracted when you’re contending with turbulence, unfamiliar noises, or any other small new annoyances that accompany travelling. You want a book so engulfing that you “fall into” the story; you want to become so engrossed in the book that you are not easily distracted by the perils of moving about in an unfamiliar place. Books like “The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder” are the perfect answer! McMillan starts the novel with the line “A murder scene is no place for a proper lady”. From that very first sentence I was completely hooked! Noises can be made around me, movement can be happening, and I won’t notice a thing! The novel’s that good. Get one that’s so riveting that you can escape from the outside world when you need to.
3. Choose a novel that will help you fight jetlag. A book can either be so boring you quickly enter dreamland, or so enthralling that you can’t help but stay up reading it. Choosing a book like “The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder” ensures that you WANT to stay up when you need to. And when you want to sleep? Take some melatonin, count some sheep, and hope for the best!
4. Pick a book that accompanies the notion of travel. “The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder” is set in early 20th century Toronto. Thus, while reading I learned so much about the socio-political, cultural, and economic experiences at the time. While educating in and of itself, reading this book while travelling also helps me to create questions to ask about the new location in which I’m travelling. For example, as Jem and Merinda (McMillan’s lead female characters) dressed as men to become detectives, reminiscent of the gender inequality of the time, I think through ideas of gender equality, professionalism, and cultural standards of dress. Through processing these concepts, I start asking similar questions about the location surrounding me: where does it stand on the gender equality spectrum, for example. Additionally, reading historical fiction can help to question the nuances of history of your current location of tourism.
5. Pick a book with style. “The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder” starts each chapter with a quote from another book from the same time period. McMillan also uses witty little footnotes throughout the book that add hilarious additional information to the storyline. The book is also beautiful! The cover has been praised and the font is very representative of the early 20th century. This book has style, both with its prose and its look.
6. Lastly, choose a book you WANT to read! I am loving reading “The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder”. The story is thrilling, the characters I love and care about, the mystery is intriguing, and I am LOVING reading about historical Toronto. Which means that the plane ride isn’t so boring, the bus ride isn’t so horrible, and the beach is far more enjoyable with an awesome book!
In sum: choose a book you love!!!!!
In sum #2: Pick up a copy of “The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder” by Rachel McMillan. She’s a debut author from Canada and the book is getting INCREDIBLE reviews.
For example, here’s the write up from The Library Journal, where McMillan’s book is their APRIL DEBUT OF THE MONTH (copied from http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/2016/03/books/fiction/lj-fiction-reviews-april-1-2016/)
DEBUT OF THE MONTH
McMillan, Rachel. The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder. Harvest House. (Herringford & Watts, Bk. 1). 2016. 224p. ISBN 9780736966405. pap. $9.99; ebk. ISBN 9780736966412. CF
In 1910 Toronto, the murders of two Irish girls from the Corktown section have the city in an uproar. Socialites Merinda Herringford and Jemima “Jem” Watts decide to investigate after visiting the crime scene with their friend constable friend Jasper Forth. The two sleuths soon launch a detective business, and to keep their fledgling agency afloat, take on other cases from missing pets to lost children. Also aiding their Corktown investigation is reporter Ray DeLuca who has more than a passing interest in Jem. Their persistence catches the attention of the killer, who puts the duo in his sights. VERDICT Canadian author McMillan makes a terrific debut with this Edwardian mystery, mixing Sherlockian deduction with humor and a side order of romance. Her protagonists—the mischievous Merinda and the more level-headed Jem—are sure to delight readers who will also enjoy the snappy dialog and plot twists. Historical fiction fans will be intrigued by the fascinating details on Toronto’s early 20th-century theater scene. A solid choice for devotees of Rhys Bowen’s mysteries.
ENJOY! HAPPY READING ON VACATION! And pick up your copy of this book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bachelor-Girls-Murder-Herringford-Mysteries/dp/0736966404/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8