I was always known as the bookworm when I was young and reading is still a great passion of mine. Recently I have been into Waterstones faaaar too much but I can’t resist a peek at the ‘buy one get one half price displays’ to see what I fancy reading. I have now built up quite a stash of books so feel very prepared for the coming Summer! I thought I would share my list and hopefully hear some of your opinions on the books I am reading or even inspire your Summer reads this year.
TRULY MADLY GUILTY by LIANE MORIARTY
This author features twice in my Summer Reading List and comes very highly recommended. The blurb on the back cover of the book simply reads
“This is a story which begins with a barbecue… By the end of it a lifelong friendship will be in tatters, a marriage on the rocks and an innocent bystander dead. In just one evening six lives will change forever”
The chapters randomly flip between the present day and the day of the barbecue. There are lots of people praising her writing including Stephen Fry and Jojo Moyes. With those sorts of fans I thought it was worth a read myself!
ABOUT LAST NIGHT by ADELE PARKS
I saw this book in the buy one get one half price sale in Waterstones but decided on two others at the time. I ended up picking this up from the book swap stand in the Halifax town centre Tesco Express. It’s a great place to look for books (there is also one in Huddersfield bus station) and it’s a shame I don’t know of any in Derby. All they ask you to do is leave a donation in their charity box which is what I did.
The blurb reads
“How far would you go to save your best friend? For thirty years, best friends Steph and Pip have been through thick and thin. Selfless and trusting, there’s nothing they wouldn’t do for one another. Until a few simple words change everything. I need you to say that I was with you. Steph, eternally solid and dependable, is begging her friend to lie to the police as she’s desperately trying to conceal not one but two scandalous secrets to protect her family. Pip, self-consigned to the role of scatty hot-head, is overwhelmed, she’s normally the one asking for help in a crisis. Steph’s perfect life will be torn apart unless Pip agrees to this lie. But lying will jeopardise everything Pip’s recently achieved after years of struggle. It’s a big ask. So what would you do?”
I am obviously intrigued into what she is asking her friend to do and wonder how it will affect their relationship. It looks lie the book is centered over five days and there are several short chapters in each day. At the beginning of the book there is a short section based thirty years previously, probably introducing the girls at the beginning of their friendship. Then at the end there is a round up a few months after when the majority of the book is set. This was a Sunday Times bestseller and also has some really good feedback from a range of newspapers and magazines.
NOBODY’S SON by CATHY GLASS
I have read a few of Cathy Glass’s books and have always enjoyed them. ‘Please Don’t Take My Baby’ was one of my favourites. Cathy Glass was a foster carer for many years and her stories are all based on children she looked after. She has sold over a million books and they are often those you don’t want to stop reading and put down so often keep me up into the early hours.
The blurb says
“Alex was a lovely little boy who had been in and out of care almost since birth and was looking forward to having a forever family of his own. I was asked to foster him for a short while until he moved to his permanent, adoptive home, so I felt sure this story would have a happy ending. But what happened next was truly shocking and called into question the whole adoption process.”
I will warn you that these books are all true stories and really tug on the heart strings. Cathy writes freely and in an easy to follow way, which is one of the reasons you keep reading, as well as wanting to find out the fate of the children she cares for.
MY COUSIN RACHEL by DAPHNE DU MAURIER
I ma not only excited to read a book by Daphne Du Maurier (got to love that name) but this has also just been released as a film and I always like to read a book before watching the film! Most of the time I end up feeling let down at the film but there are the odd few exceptions.
The back of the book says
“Orphaned at an early age, Philip Ashley is raised by his cousin, Ambrose. Resolutely single, Ambrose delights in making Philip his heir, knowing that he will treasure his beautiful Cornish estate. But Philip’s world is shattered when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries – and then dies in suspicious circumstances. Before long, the new widow – Philip’s cousin Rachel – arrives in England. Despite himself, he is drawn to the beautiful, mysterious woman. But could she be Ambrose’s killer?”
I am looking forward to reading this one and then seeing how the film compares.
THE HANDMAID’S TALE by MARGARET ATWOOD
The blurb reads
“The Republic of Gilead offers Offread only one function: to breed. If she deviates she will, like dissenters, be hung at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offread’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs. Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful vision of the future gives full rein to ,Margaret Atwood’s irony, wit and astute perception.”
This has recently been televised in a TV series and has had some rave reviews. As I said with the previous book, I like to read before I watch so I was thrilled to see this in the bouy one get opne half price offer. It looks different and an interesting read and I will let you know what I think.
THE SECRET AGENT by JOSEPH CONRAD
I bought this book a while ago and had not realised it had been bought out as a TV series at the time. I didn’t watch the show but if I enjoy the book I may catch up with it after I have finished reading. There’s not a huge amount I can say about it but when I read the back cover I felt interested so thought I would give it a whirl.
The blurb reads
“London, 1886 and Adolf Verloc runs a sex shop in the heart of Soho. Bit unknown to his loyal wife, Winnie, Verloc is also paid by the Russian embassy to spy on an anarchist cell. Verloc is given a mission to blow up Greenwich Observatory or be exposed as an agent. Caught between the spy masters,. the police and his vicious anarchist comrades, Verloc sets his sights on Winnie’s beloved younger brother Stevie as his accomplice…”
THE UNDERGORUND RAILROAD by COLSON WHITEHEAD
I was immediately drawn to this book when I read the blurb. Since purchasing it I have seen lots of great reviews on it too which has increased my excitement to read it. There is lots of praise for the book from newspapers here and in America, aswell as from Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey.
The back cover reads
“Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia, an existence made even more hellish by her status as an outcast by her fellow Africans. And she is approaching womanhood, where greater pain and danger awaits. So when Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the underground railroad, Cora takes the momentus decision to accompany him on his escape to the North. In this razor sharp novel, the Underground Railroad has assumed a physical form, a dilapidated box-car pulled by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can. Thus begins Cora’s perilous journey, as she is pursued by a ruthless slave catcher called Ridgeway, obsessed with both Cora and her mother, who eluded him years before. The Underground Railroad is the story of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shatteringly powerful meditation on history and the unfulfilled promises of the present day.”
This book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2017 and I am really looking forward to reading it and seeing if the story matches up to all the great reviews I have read.
ROOM by EMMA DONOGHUE
This was given to me by a friend last year and I still haven’t got round to reading it so it’s definitely on my Summer list! She thought it was great and my Mum watched the film and said that was brilliant too. I will obviously only be watching that once I am done reading the book.
The blurb simply states
“Jack is five. He lives in a single, locked room with his Ma.”
It was a number one bestseller and shortlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. I think this book intrigues me and I want to know why on Earth this little boy has never been out of the one room in all his life and what possibly could force his mother to do such a thing. It has often been described as compelling and profoundly affecting so I am expecting to shed some tears too.
ANOTHER DAY IN THE DEATH OF AMERICA by GARY YOUNGE
This is a book I am currently reading and really enjoying. I do enjoy true crimes book and feel quite strongly about the gun laws in America. This book is based on a random day in 2013 when 10 children and teens were murdered by guns (or indeed, the people who carried them). This is roughly the average of children and young people who get shot killed every day in America but are barely publicised as it is so ‘normal’ over there, which seems so very wrong.
The back cover reads,
“Saturday 23rd November 2013. It was just another day in America. And as befits an unremarkable day, ten children and teens were killed by gunfire. Far from being considered newsworthy, these everyday fatalities are seen as a banal fact. The youngest was nine: the oldest nineteen. None made the news. There was no outrage at their passing. It was simply a day like any other day. Gary Younge picked it at random, searched for the families of these children and here, tells their stories and explores the way they lived and lost their short lives.”
The stories are often heartbreaking but I admire Gary for his views and for giving these victims a facer and a name. There is a real debate in America about gun laws and I think this seems so shocking to me as I am not from there and this does not happen on this scale in England. I am really enjoying it so far and will do a full review once I am finished.
MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN by RANSOM BIGGS
I have started the first book in this series of three and am really enjoying it so far. I love knowing that the photos printed in the book are real (and slightly odd) and that it was finding these that prompted Biggs to start writing these stories.
The blurb says,
“A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of peculiar photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen year old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its decaying bedrooms and hallways, it appears the Miss Peregrine’s children were more than just a little peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desert island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.”
I am sure many of you have seen the film but I am also waiting for that one till I have read the book. I also believe the success of the first film means they are making the two further books into films aswell, and I also managed to pick those up from Waterstones in Huddersfield so I can read all three. I would love to hear your opinions on the books/film if you have seen or read them.
I have also delved into the world of audio books. My Mum has been on at me to try them for a while so decided to give it a go and realised it was great! So far I’ve listened while driving back from Ste’s alone, cleaning and ironing! I have two books to start with on there. One is by LIANE MORIARTY (again) and it’s called BIG LITTLE LIES. This was recently made into a TV show with Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman among others so I’m expecting great things from it, and even better from the book (as they usually are!). The second book I’ve downloaded is HOW TO STOP TIME by MATT HAIG. This looks a little different and interesting and I haven’t heard of the author so will let you know how I get on with it.
Finally, is the Kindle book I’m reading at the moment. I have started it and it’s called STORMBIRD and is the first in a series from CONN IGGULDEN called WAR OF THE ROSES. It’s a historical fiction book which I’m really into but I’m sure isn’t everyone’s cup of tea! I have a pretty eclectic taste in books which I’m sure you have realised. Anyway, Ste recommended this book and I’m really enjoying it so far and will let you know how I found it when I’ve finished.
Ok so I’m going to leave the list here as it’s getting longer and longer! I’ve bought four more new books last week so those will also be read and reviewed at some point too.
Let me know what is on your Summer reading list in the comments below, and if any of these appeal to you too.