Summer and reading go hand in hand. Long languid days mean finding a nice shady spot to rest up and devour all those books that have sat unread on your bedside table for months. But, if you haven’t got that pile ready, we’ve been reading up a storm and have created our must-reads this summer.
Into The Water
If you loved The Girl On The Train, then you’re going to want to put Into The Water onto your reading list quick smart. Paula Hawkins’ second novel tells the story of Jules, who didn’t pick up a phone call from her estranged sister Nel. But now Nel is dead and Jules must return to the one place she hoped never to return to look after Nel’s teenage daughter. Here she must confront herself, her past and most of all the dreaded Drowning Pool. With a plethora of characters, Into The Water can be a little tricky to navigate but it is an excellent, mysterious read that you won’t want to put down.
The Standing Chandelier
Another author who made a fabulous comeback this year is Lionel Shriver. While her outstanding 2016 novel The Mandibles was a long and often challenging read, The Standing Chandelier is a novella that asks the age old question: can a man and a woman be ‘just friends?’ It is a peek inside three lives: Jillian, who is best friends with Weston, who has a girlfriend Paige. You can see where this is going. Jillian is beautiful, vivacious and has a polarising personality—the complete opposite of Paige. When Weston proposes to Paige, it sets in motion a chain of events in the quest to discover the lines drawn in life and love. Highly recommended.
Where are we from? Where are we going? These are the big questions that Dan Brown (of The da Vinci Code fame) brings to his latest novel, Origin. Professor Langdon is back, this time travelling to Spain to hear a message from an old student, Edward Kirsch, but before it is delivered, Edward is murdered. And so, with the help of, Ambra Vidal (the Prince of Spain’s fiance) they set about trying to discover the message Edward wanted to share with the world. Exploring the cross-point (or lack of) between religion and science, a surprising plot twist will have you hooked until the very last page.
Uncommon Type: Some Stories
You know and love him as an actor, and now, in Uncommon Type: Some Stories, you’ll know and love Tom Hanks as a writer, too. In this book, Hanks writes 17 short stories on a variety of topics. It is simple and feel-good book that’s perfect for long summer nights.
Breath a collective sigh of relief, because after far too long of a delay (in our thinking) Marian Keyes is thankfully back with another novel. It tells the story of Amy, who is happily married—that is until her husband Hugh says that he is leaving her for six months to travel. It’s not a break-up, just a break. Unable to do anything about it, Amy must navigate the time while keeping her job and her children together. But really, is it possible to come back together and carry on as if nothing has happened? Refreshingly honest, with Keyes’ humour we know and love, The Break is a fabulous read.
Small Great Things
Pretty much any Jodi Picoult book makes for fabulous summer reading, and her latest, Small Great Things is no exception. It tells the story of Ruth, a nurse with more than 20 years experience, who is not allowed to look after a newborn baby, whose parents are white supremacists, because she is African American. When the baby goes into cardiac distress, Ruth hesitates before beginning CPR and is ultimately charged. In a case that becomes a media sensation, this book challenges the way people think around topics of race, privilege and ultimately compassion.
Author of The Alchemist—one of the most read books of all time—Paulo Coelho now turns his pen to Mata Hari. Another short read, The Spy tells the story of this exotic dancer who shocked and delighted audiences across Paris. The country is consumed by paranoia during WWII and Mata Hari is arrested and accused of espionage. It’s both a heart-breaking and fascinating story of one of history’s most enigmatic women.
The Little Book Of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well
If your goal for 2018 is to slow down and appreciate the small things, then pop The Little Book Of Hygge on your summer reading list, pronto. While the author frustratingly doesn’t tell you how to actually pronounce hygge (it’s up to you), it gives tips as to how and why the people of Denmark are the happiest in the world. It is a beautiful, relaxing book and you’ll have all the tips for making next winter a treat.
Tribe Of Mentors
If you’ve ever looked around for a mentor and fell short, then Tim Ferris’ latest book, Tribe of Mentors is all this and much more! Sourced from more than 130 of the world’s top performers—from entrepreneurs and athletes to investors and artists—you’ll find all the advice, tips and tricks to make 2018 your best year ever. Whether you’re looking to get out of a rut, to reinvent yourself or super-charge your business results, you’ll find something here. Tim asks questions about everything from routines to favourite books to the best purchase for less than $100, and you’ll love the answers!
The Rules Of Magic
The prequel to Practical Magic (which also became a film), The Rules of Magic is a fabulous summer read. It tells the story of the Owens’ children, who are raised by rather unusual rules—no red shoes, no walking in the moonlight—but who begin to experience a sense of their own growing magical abilities. On her 17th birthday, Franny is invited to stay with her aunt for the summer and takes her siblings Jet and Vincent with her. There they learn about a curse that has haunted their family since 1620 and learn that they come from a long line of witches. But can the curse be broken? Set in the late '50s and early '60s, as the world was on the cusp of change, it’s a book that summers were made for.
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Image credit: Andrey Pavlov