Summer’s here in all its glory, and with brings with it long days best for lazing by the pool, the beach or even just under the aircon (let’s face it, my pale af white skin cannot handle the sun, so shade it is!)
Choosing what to read when you just want something to read can be quite taxing, especially when you’re just wanting to relax. Let me take hard work out for you with my own summer reading binge list for just about any type of book that tickles your fancy!
For the book everyone is reading…..Normal People by Sally Rooney
Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years.
This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person’s life – a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us – blazingly – about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney’s second novel breathes fiction with new life.
For all the thrills and chills of a great TV adaption…..The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Four seekers have arrived at the rambling old pile known as Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of psychic phenomena; Theodora, his lovely and lighthearted assistant; Luke, the adventurous future inheritor of the estate; and Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman with a dark past.
As they begin to cope with chilling, even horrifying occurrences beyond their control or understanding, they cannot possibly know what lies ahead. For Hill House is gathering its powers – and soon it will choose one of them to make its own.
For an epic love story you won’t want to put down…The Glittering Hour by Iona Grey
Selina Lennox is a Bright Young Thing. Her life is a whirl of parties and drinking, pursued by the press and staying just the right side of scandal. Lawrence Weston is a penniless painter who stumbles into Selina’s orbit one night and can never let her go.
Spanning two decades and a seismic shift in British history as World War II approaches, this is an epic novel of passion, heartache and loss.
For the beach babe who loves the water and all the creatures in it…The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor
One summer day on the beach in Florida, two extraordinary things happen to Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is bitten by a blacktip shark.
Eighteen years later, Maeve has thrown herself into her work as a world-travelling marine biologist discovering more about the minds of misunderstood sharks. But when Maeve returns home to the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses
where she was raised by her grandmother, she finds more than just the blood orange sunsets and key lime pies she’s missed waiting for her.
While Maeve has always been fearless in the water, on land she is indecisive. A chance meeting on the beach with a plucky, irresistible little girl who is just as fascinated by the ocean as Maeve was growing up leaves her at a crossroads: Should she rekindle her romance with Daniel, the first love she left behind when she dove into her work? Or indulge in a new romance with her colleague, Nicholas, who turns up in her hometown to investigate an illegal shark-finning operation?
For pure unadulterated glamorous fun, darling….Bergdorf Blondes by Plum Sykes
Meet moi, ‘a champagne bubble of a girl about town working at being a princess by day and by night on the prowl for that elusive, must-have accessory every girl simply demands: an impossibly rich fiancé’.
It shouldn’t be too tricky. After all, her BFF is Julie Bergdorf, department store heiress, queen of Park Avenue and owner of hair universally acknowledged as the Perfect Shade of Blonde.
Life is a whirl of ball gowns and blow-dries (which inevitably take waaay too long, because hairdressers always need to talk through their addictions).
But, strictly entre nous, it can actually be très draining to mix parties, peach bellinis and private jets (‘PJs’ to those fluent in globetrotting) while maintaining a standout collection of Chloé jeans and a job.
How does she manage it?
For the rom-com that’s redefining the genre…..Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.
The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
For the family that’s almost as dysfunctional as yours…An Almost Perfect Holiday by Lucy Diamond
Summer is here, and down in Cornwall Lorna’s holiday cottages are fully booked. The sun loungers are lined up beside the swimming pool, the sky is blue and a new set of arrivals are on their way…
Em’s planned the perfect break with her teenagers plus her new boyfriend, George… but now his difficult six-year-old is coming too. Will their romance survive the realities of parenthood?
Maggie’s hoping a seaside holiday will bring her and her daughter closer together, but when her ex makes a surprise reappearance, it changes everything. Can she trust the man who broke her heart?
Olivia has escaped the domestic grind, only for the past to catch up with her. Maybe the time has come to confess all – if she can find the courage…
Meanwhile, the teenagers are running wild and love is in the air. With friendship, heartache and secrets in the mix, will this holiday turn out to be a scorcher – or simply too hot to handle?
For a quintessential Australian read…Wearing Paper Dresses by Anne Brinsden
You can talk about living in the Mallee. And you can talk about a Mallee tree. And you can talk about the Mallee itself: a land and a place full of red sand and short stubby trees. Silent skies. The undulating scorch of summer plains. Quiet, on the surface of things.
But Elise wasn’t from the Mallee, and she knew nothing of its ways.
Discover the world of a small homestead perched on the sunburnt farmland of northern Victoria. Meet Elise, whose urbane 1950s glamour is rudely transplanted to the pragmatic red soil of the Mallee when her husband returns to work the family farm. But you cannot uproot a plant and expect it to thrive. And so it is with Elise. Her meringues don’t impress the shearers, the locals scoff at her Paris fashions, her husband works all day in the back paddock, and the drought kills everything but the geraniums she despises.
As their mother withdraws more and more into herself, her spirited, tearaway daughters, Marjorie and Ruby, wild as weeds, are left to raise themselves as best they can. Until tragedy strikes, and Marjorie flees to the city determined to leave her family behind. And there she stays, leading a very different life, until the boy she loves draws her back to the land she can’t forget…
For the perfect poolside thriller…The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton
Juliette loves Nate. She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline so she can keep a closer eye on him.
They are meant to be.
The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back. She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.
True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…
For the escape into another world….Sorcery of Thorns by Margot Rogerson
All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.
Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.
As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.