I love looking at the lists of books to read for the summer, and every year I tell myself we will put together a careful list, after reviewing the bestsellers, recommendations from our readers and writers, and of course sneaking in the odd book we have published ourselves or someone has paid us a five figure sum to promote (ahem, that never happens! Our email is at the bottom if you want to make us an offer though :)
Instead, I'm simply going to share the books I have read in the last couple of months that I think would make a great vacation read, along with a few books I've packed on my Kindle. Now if only I had a holiday booked, I might even get to read them. In no order whatsoever, here they are:
The Dry by Jane Harper.
Great tale of small town Australia, with a man returning to his home town for the first time in many years. There's a funeral, two crimes to solve, and a drought that is bringing the whole town to a tinder keg. Really enjoyed this debut novel.
Lexicon by Max Barry.
Strangely enough, another story featuring a hot small town in Australia. It also features a group of people that are masters of words and manipulation, a must read for every writer! This book was written before the recent issues with Facebook and the US election, but neatly highlights the issues, while being a gripping thriller. Loved the way the author handled the narratives in different time periods, too.
Factfulness by Hans Rosling.
Non Fiction, and a book better read in the flesh (or on an iPad) rather than on a Kindle, as it has many infographics. I've not finished yet, but it is a compelling (and positive) look at the world as it really is today, not as we might be told things are by our political masters. I seem to recall that this is on Bill Gates list of books that everyone should read this summer, and I always do what Bill tells me.
Inside the Wave by Helen Dunmore.
Poetry, by the late Helen Dunmore. I'm slightly behind the times here, since this was the Costa Book of the Year in 2017, but I thought there was some great writing here, beautiful pieces, good for a reflective read on a long, hot summer's day. I always like to read some poetry in between (or alongside) a novel. I'd recommend this, but you go ahead and choose whatever takes your fancy - just remember to grab a nice slim poetry volume for your flight bag.
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
This one shows I'm even further behind the times, but I don't care - good writing doesn't decay. It won the 2016 Arthur C Clarke award, but don't be scared because it is sci-fi. This is a compelling tale based around fabulous characters and empathy. What's even more incredible is that half of the characters are gigantic spiders. Now that may sound crazy, but it's not. In fact, it is one of the most interesting books I've read that gives you a totally different perspective on the world. I'm very tempted to send it to my friend who is an arachnophobe, with no warning about the content, although that may seem a little cruel - but I actually think it could change anyone's perspective about spiders. I was cheering the spiders on long before the end of the book. Fascinating take on the future, and a great piece of imaginative writing. If you want to try something out of your comfort zone, this may be the book for you.
The Trespasser by Tana French.
So I read this a year ago, and it has stayed with me so much that I'm going to go back and read another of hers (possibly In the Woods) this summer. It is a 'simple' murder being investigated in Ireland by a male/female detective pair, and I have to say the interrogation scenes were amazing. Not because of any brutality, or amazing questions, or any such thing. The intense weaving of personal emotions and politics into the conversation was the best I've seen. Tana French really knows how to write, and understands people in a way that should only be possible with a psychology degree. Loved this book - and I should say I listened to it on audio, and the voice actor was great too!
What else? Well, I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you to take a collection of short stories with you too! Any of our InkTears books would be a fine choice, and we'll even give you an eight pound discount for the books on sale on our site, to encourage you to grab one before you go away (or for when you come back). Use the code HOLS-PLEASE at checkout. You can choose a book here. We've also dropped the price of the books on Amazon too, by five pounds. You can also buy all of these books on Amazon as Kindle editions..
Whatever you read, have a great summer!