Author Patricia Nicol reveals a selection of the best books on: Surfing
- Patricia Nicol had no idea that surfing happened in Britain, when she was a kid
- Surfer Nina Riva and her siblings’ annual summer party feature in Malibu Rising
- Rebel Pikelet finds his true self among the pounding surf in Breath
Earlier this summer, the Prime Minister was circumspect about where he might spend his holidays. While Cabinet colleagues spoke of staycationing in Cornwall and Wales, the PM stayed suspiciously mum.
Might he be going, on a promise to his Pa, Stanley, to do some ‘essential repairs’ at his Greek villa? Or might he and Carrie be hoping to get to some rich chum’s home from home in Provence, should France’s status switch from amber-plus to green?
Newly pregnant Carrie deserves a holiday better-suited to her life stage than last year’s Highland camping fiasco. Also, after a difficult year, I hope the British public are spared any David Cameron-style holiday pictures of the PM in a vest looking even more impossibly windswept, with a backdrop of crashing surf.
Patricia Nicol reveals a selection of the best books on surfing, including Breath by Tim Winton (pictured right) and Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (pictured left)
When I was a kid, I had no idea that surfing — an Olympic sport as of Tokyo 2020 — happened in Britain. It seemed so suited to Australian soaps like Home And Away, the Hawaiian world of Magnum PI, the summery sounds evoked by California’s Beach Boys or Brazil’s bossa nova.
Clearly, I was being too narrow in my thinking, though I doubt there will ever be a novel that paints the Newquay scene as glamorously as Taylor Jenkins Reid depicts California’s surfing mecca in Malibu Rising. Set over one day in August 1983, this channels 1980s blockbusting beach fiction with its saga of Nina Riva, surfer and supermodel; her siblings, Jay, Hud and Kit; and their hedonistic annual summer party.
Breath by the brilliant Australian novelist Tim Winton, a surfer himself, is a stirring, troubling, poignant coming-of-age tale, about a rebellious boy, Pikelet, who finds his true self among the pounding surf, but then is drawn to more and more reckless thrill-seeking.
In Waves is a stunning, award-winning autobiographical graphic novel by AJ Dungo, from Florida. Celebrating the history of surfing, it is dedicated to Dungo’s late partner Kristen who found freedom and strength in surfing, even after her cancer diagnosis.
Please, if you do go into the surf this summer, take care.