Best books for this summer - what are yours?

(31 Posts)

I must be in grip of mad delusion (holiday reading? with three boys aged 5, 3 and 4 months? who am I kidding?) but I am nonetheless happily stockpiling the paperbacks already. This is what I'm going for:

When God Was a Rabbit - this has had rave reviews (plus the thumbs-up from my older sister who has always been my benchmark for top beach reads) and just seems to fit the summery bill

The Paris Wife - hoping this will be like Curtis Sittingfield's American Wife (my top summer read last year) with added literary-ness and French chic. I couldn't hack more than one day married to Hemingway so interested to see how it really felt.

The Tiger's Wife - I seem to have a lot of Wifes going on, but this one won the 2011 Orange Prize, and am thinking perhaps the author Tea Obrecht might come and be a Bookclub author in the autumn, so prepping up now

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - have never read this Le Carre classic, and I suddenly fancy a pacy thriller. Perhaps to offset all the Wifes.

The Great Sea - this is a massive history of the Mediterrannean which, given we are holidaying in Cumbria this year, will give me an escape into olive groves and clear warm water. And there are 600 pages of those olive groves. Like I said, mad delusion...

What are your holiday reads going to be? Got any hot tips?

Listlessbean Sat 16-Jul-11 17:11:54

I read a lot ...but mostly first chapters! I find it hard to find a book that really engages.... but for you my friends, I have grin

My top book recommendations for a summer read would be:

Police, Crime & 999 by John Donoghue
The True Story of a front Line Officer. Fantastic! This is the inside story of a world we only ever see the surface of. Brilliant observational wit makes this THE funniest book I've ever read. A lovely light read you can easily pick up and put down ...but warning: DO NOT READ IN PUBLIC unless you are not easily embarassed - you will snort and laugh out loud at the most inoppertune times. wink and your other half will steal it!)

The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment by Isabel Losada
This is a life changing book ..funny and inspiring. I can't recount the number of times I've had to buy new books after I leant copies out to friends who never returned it ..or else bought as presents. Isabel is on a quest to find enlightenment ..simple as that. Just a lovely book. smile

afussyphase Mon 15-Aug-11 22:04:28

I love some of Barbara Kingsolver's books but not the Poisonwood Bible. I remember it as rather brutish. I loved The Bean Trees, though. I read Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time more than 10 years ago, and still sometimes I think of it. I'd highly recommend it.

For fun reading, even if you're not a fan of sci-fi, I would definitely, really, really recommend the Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold. It's character- and story- driven, so it's not about the sci-fi aspect (that's just the setting, really). And it's so fun and so gripping and light but at the same time there's the odd kernel of wisdom in there. Wish I could start them all over but I've read them all more than once now, sigh. smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 25-Aug-11 20:17:14

Must get a copy of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy as I read a borrowed copy years ago and would like to read it again before the film comes out.

Have you had your holiday yet Tilly and did you manage to get any reading done? If so, what did you enjoy?

bumpsoon Thu 25-Aug-11 21:57:11

dorajarr which marconi book? is there a new one ?

Hah! Holidays almost over and did I get any reading done? did I hell....

Still looking mournfully at When God Was a Rabbit which is staring back at me disapprovingly, having been put down after one page each night as my eyes clamp shut within seconds of head touching pillow.

But now that September is here, I am going to get back in the saddle.

We have the phenomenally brilliant David Mitchell (author of Cloud Atlas) coming to chat to us in Bookclub on 28th September, if anyone is a fan. His new book, THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOOT, was the last thing I read that I absolutely could NOT put down. He is utterly remarkable - so original, yet completely enjoyable and readable. So that's my other recommendation, definitely.

Poisonwood Bible is similar, in fact, being a total gem of historical fiction with stunningly beautiful prose.

Thanks to all for recommendations - I am going to look up all the above.

MummyPenguin Wed 07-Sep-11 20:12:34

Enjoyed 'One Day' and Dawn French's 'A Tiny Bit Marvellous' this Summer. Also read the second Stieg Larsson 'The Girl Who Played With Fire.' 'Mini-Shopaholic' (Sophie Kinsella is a favourite of mine.) Recently finished 'The Truth About Melody Browne' by Linda Jewell (Got free with a magazine) and that was really good. Now reading 'I Don't Know How She Does It' which is really good. Looking forward to seeing the film now. I saw 'One Day' recently too. The thing I like about seeing a film after reading a book is that it makes the characters that you've got to 'know' in the book come alive and become 'real.'

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