Best summer reads

This is what a holiday looks like to me
This is what a holiday looks like to me

Yes friends – it is that time of year: the annual summer read-a-thon where you can shamelessly clutch a G&T, slather on some sunscreen and devour as many books as you can carry to the pool, beach or couch.

I am in a book club with some very smart, funny women and, as a result, have read some wonderful books this year but I have also guiltily purchased trash and self-help at the airport. Read on for some of my faves:

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent is a fictionalised account of the execution of Iceland’s last convicted murderess. Sounds dark but isn’t. It explores domestic issues around petty jealousies, fears and the resourcefulness of Icelandic people surviving the winter.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is inspo plus for getting off yo’ ass and doing some creative work.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante is a slow starter that gathers intensity as the characters – two girls growing up in the mean streets of Naples – compete for praise from their teachers, attention from boys, and each other’s affection. Couched in mystery (the story begins with a disappearance), My Brilliant Friend is the first in the Neopolitan novels series. Adding to the overall mystery is the fact that no one knows who author Elena Ferrante is.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee was a controversial favourite of mine (and only mine – everyone else hated it). Written before To Kill a Mockingbird, the story follows Scout’s return home to the south after a sojourn at university in New York. She is, in turns, an ignorant brat and a surprisingly self-aware idealist as she navigates the heartbreak of fallen idols and the racism of the south.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler is weirdly delightful and about as unpredictable as a story can be. I can’t tell you much without telling you too much so just trust me on this one. The mystery follows the disappearance of a family member and the subsequent domestic chaos created by the void.

What were your favourite books of the year? Please, please, please share titles and authors so I can go and stock up on your recommendations!



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