Top Ten summer reads.
Heading for the beach this summer? Then it’s time to stock up on your reading list. The only question is, is your bag big enough? These 10 essential reads are certain to make you laugh, cry and grimace in equal measure. These are our ten essential summer reads.
1. Hot Milk, by Deborah Levy
The themes of Levy’s Man Booker Prize shortlisted Swimming Home continue through to her most recent offering, Hot Milk. Gorgeous prose tlss the steamy story of Sofia who, in search of a cure for the mysterious illness that has left her mother in a wheelchair, travels to a small Spanish village.
2. The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, by Joanna Cannon
This is not your usual whodunnit novel. This is novel is unusual, addictive and gripping. In the summer of 1976, two ten-year-old girls, Grace and Tilly go in search of their missing neighbour, Mrs Creasey. Along the way, they encounter one mystery after another, from each of which they learn a little bit more about the secret lives of their neighbours.
3. Mothering Sunday, by Graham Swift
A story set on one single day, specifically Mother’s Day, 1924. We follow Jane, a housemaid, and observe her affair with Paul, the heir to a local estate. A tender, short novel, sometimes explicit but always true to reality. Not unlike Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach.
4. The Assistants, by Camille Perri
If you want something to make you laugh, this is a must. The story of overqualified, thirty-something Tina, is witty and wickedly sharp. As the assistant to a billionaire CEO, an innocent mistake leaves Tina with thousands of pounds in corporate money in her account. She uses the money to give back her fellow, desperate, lost colleagues.
5. The Girls, by Emma Cline
This is probably the most talked about book of the year and is set to be a smash this summer. The protagonist in Cline’s debut novel is 14-year-old Evie, angry and drifting through her last summer in California, in 1969, before being packed off to boarding school. Whilst there, Evie is tempted into a Manson-esque cult.
6. Fly Me, by Daniel Riley
Faced with a life of respectability, super-smart Suzy, flees from home in Southern California, to be an air stewardess, just like her big sister. Set in the early 70s, it’s not long before things get pretty crazy. And so follows a drug smuggling scheme, skyjackings, various captures and escapes. This is Riley’s first novel and is perfectly measured between the gritty and glossy.
7. All Stories Are Love Stories, by Elizabeth Percer
San Francisco is struck by two devastating earthquakes on the same day. This novel follows the story of three characters who, in the midst of the chaos, come together and have their lives changed forever. Beautiful, heartfelt, funny and sad, and invigorating story about the nature of love.
8. The Animators: A Novel, by Kayla Rae Whitaker
The story of a beautiful relationship between two friends and collaborators. Having worked together since college, they finally achieve their goal of producing a feature length film which is critically acclaimed. In the afterglow of success, the friendship starts to sour. Jealousy, arrogance and doubt plague the relationship, until both friends are left asking themselves some very serious questions.
9. Too Much and Not the Mood: Essays, by Durga Chew-Bose
This is a collection of beautifully written, easy to read essays about human interaction and emotion. Poetic, delicate and frightfully insightful, these essays cover the idea of a transient life, childhood and the ways in which the human mind is formed by external culture.
10. All Grown Up, by Jami Attenberg
Andrea Bern, 39-years-old, single and childless, who drifts between feeling free and feeling lonely from one second to the next. This is a book full of humour and insights into the importance we all place upon carving a path of our own.