Sunscreen? Check. Towel? Check. Fantastic book you can't put down, no matter how tempting the ocean or pool is? Check, check and check.

Required Reading for your Winter Getaway
Required Reading for your Winter Getaway

Sunscreen? Check. Towel? Check. Fantastic book you can't put down, no matter how tempting the ocean or pool is? Check, check and check.  There's no better travelling companion than a book, whether it's on a device or on quaint old paper.  And one set in your holiday destination? Even better.

CUBA
Our Man In Havana
Graham Greene

The scene: Havana in pre-revolutionary 1950s. Mild-mannered Jim Wormold, a not-very-successful salesman for the PhastKleaner vacuum cleaner company, has just been informed by his petulant teenage daughter that she requires a horse. But there's no money. Luckily that's when he's approached to be a secret agent for Britain - a task for which he is completely unprepared. As he wades into a world of an invented spy network much wry hilarity ensues. If you'll be in Havana, be sure to drop by the classic Hotel Nacional, home of many of the scenes.

PANAMA
The Tailor of Panama

John Le Carre

Meet Harry Pendel: British ex-pat tailor to the rich and influential in Panama City, family man, liar. He's actually an ex-con who learned to sew in prison, and he's ip to his ears in debt, making him the perfect spy recruit for oily young Andy Osnard, sent by MI6 to protect British interests. It's the 1990's and Panama is about to take over control of the Panama Canal from the Americans. As Pendel sinks deeper into his own web of lies - even his wife doesn't know his past - Le Carre demonstrates his skill with intrigue, satire and espionage.

 

MEXICO
Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo

Hayden Herrera

Born in Mexico City in 1907, Frida Kahlo went on to become one of the country's most famous painters, despite a life lived in pain caused by childhood polio and a horrific bus accident. A broken back and countless other injuries meant she spent a lot of time bedridden where she began to paint her famous self-portraits, which are still today daring in their frankness and insight. Her poor health didn't stop a passionate and volatile marriage to fellow painter Diego Riviera, and a close relationship to Russian politician Leon Trotsky. She dies at 47, still fearless, unconventional, colourful and controversial.
CENTRAL AMERICA
Mosquito Coast

Paul Theroux

In 1970s Massachusetts, inventor Allie Fox (manic, manipulative) decides unilaterally to take his wife and four kids away from America (cancerous, corrupt) and move to Honduras. His plan? To live in the jungle and create an ice factory to transform the local Indians' lives. Incredibly, he succeeds...until civilization encroaches and Allie, descending into paranoia and madness, hauls them further into the wild. Told through the eyes of Allie's teenage son, it's a riveting take.  Famed for his travel books, author Theroux's prose ("the river snuffled like a pack of hogs") will transport you to the steamy tropics.

 

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