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A book for the beach: I Put a Spell on You by John Burnside

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This is a book that will change you and your understanding of life and do so without taking up too much of your holiday time

The requirement for summer reading used to be a vast, compelling book. Something to lose yourself in. Tolstoy, Conrad, Dostoevsky or Lewis Grassic Gibbon: these were the kinds of books which transported you to a different time and place. But my tastes have changed; family holidays don't offer the hours of uninterrupted reading. You can only do half an hour here or an hour there. Plus, I began to think what's the point of all that packing and travelling to some beautiful place only to then spend hours immersed in 19th-century Russia.

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