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Unwinding in Sicily: Beaches, Books, and a TikTok Sensation

Last week, I went on vacation to Sicily. The tremendous heat caused fires all over the island, yet the resilient Sicilians carried on. Even though the fires were put out a mere day before we’d arrived, everything clicked along.

I spent the first day and a half perusing different materials: a marketing handbook, a couple of articles about editing, and a “How to be a successful writer” book. I commented and took notes.

While busy listing action items it suddenly dawned on me: even though I was at the picturesque fishing village of Cefalu, reclining on a lounge chair, I wasn't truly unwinding. I wasn't on a real vacation. I realized that if I wanted to recharge I needed to give my mind a rest.

I recharge while reading fiction, I know that about myself.

I saw a review on Insta and made an impulsive one-click purchase, going for the latest TikTok sensation.

The book I bought is Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yaros. It’s a New Adult Fantasy adventure. To me it was kind of like Dragonflight meets Harry Potter.

It’s not in my contemporary romance genre - hence no latest “writing trends” notes can be taken. The characters in it are in their twenties, quite different from the thirty and forty-something protagonists I typically write about.

Not a ‘useful’ book then. Perfect!

And what’s more important - it is a very good, unputdownable read.

I sipped Limoncello spritz (I gotta tell you, I like Aperol spritz better), in front of the Isola Bella, and in between watching people wade the shallow water to the rocky island and back, I read.

I read when my husband took a siesta in our air-conditioned hotel room (Summer in the Mediterranean - you want to make sure your room has AC), and during the 45-minute line for the cable car down from Mount Etna.

I had a good book, and I wallowed in the pleasure of unashamed reading. I devoured all 645 pages before coming back home.

And that, people, was a real vacation.

Do you have a really good book you read? One that sucked you into its world, and you never wanted to leave? I’d love to hear about it.

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