Summer reads 2018

Am off on holiday tomorrow (woop!) but thought I’d squeeze in a quick post about summer reads before I go. It’s going to be brief because, you know, packing.

First is a list of books I’ve read and enjoyed recently and after that I’ve included is my actual holiday reading list. If anyone’s read any from the second pile and has any views, please let me know in the comments below.

1. Recent reads:

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

Sarah Pinborough is one of my favourite psych-thriller writers. She’s clever, her books always pack a massive punch and she’s the Queen of the unexpected. Behind Her Eyes (one of the best books I read in 2017) has the most amazing twist – so much so it warranted its own hashtag – #wtfthatending? Her follow up, Cross Her Heart is just as compelling. Utterly unputdownable, I read it in 24 hours. It was pacy, well-written and, of course, as twisty and turny as the twistied and turniest of all twisty-turny things.

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay

Hilarious, shocking and devastating account of life as a junior doctor. Informative and compelling, the perfect holiday read.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Fans of Big Little Lies (based on the book by Liane Moriarty) will enjoy this suburban mystery/drama. It’s rather like reading a series of Desperate Housewives (in a good way, if you like that sort of thing). Bold characters, solid storylines and enough unanswered questions to keep you turning pages. I read it after a friend of mine, fellow writer Victoria Bird reviewed Big Little Lies on her website and recommended it.

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson

If you want to look cool by the pool (don’t make up crap rhymes like that would be my first recommendation) then you could do worse than have a slightly dog-eared copy of The Most Dangerous Place on Earth lying on your towel like you couldn’t care less. Plot plays second fiddle to character in what is essentially a very raw and realistic commentary on the life of privileged teenagers on the outskirts of San Francisco. Arresting stuff and an eye-opener for those with teenage kids.

2. TBR holiday reading list:

The Outsider – Stephen King

Stephen King. Latest novel. Say no more.

How to be Famous – Caitlin Moran

Caitlin’s books always make me laugh out loud. Her memoir, How To Be A Woman is one of the funniest books ever and a lesson in how not to take yourself seriously – an absolute must-read for any young woman. How to Build A Girl, the novel that followed was equally hilarious and How To Be Famous follows Johanna, the main character as she heads to London to be a music journalist. Not one to hold back, this latest offering from Moran is bound to be crass, crude, a bit gross and thoroughly entertaining. I’d say that’s pretty much the full package as far as holiday reading goes.

Day of the Dead – Nicci French

Am a massive fan of Nicci French and have read all of their books, ever since I fell in love with their debut, The Memory Game, many, many years ago. Day of The Dead is the eighth (and final) book in the Frieda Klein series and if the others are any indication, this one promises a powerful and satisfying finale. It’s been a tense ride so far and way too much has happened for me to go into here. Like I said, packing.

The Sparsholt Affair by Alan Hollinghurst

Set in Oxford during the 2nd Workd War, The Line Of Beauty author’s latest novel explores sexuality, art and family secrets.

Putney by Sofka Zinovieff

In this highly acclaimed novel, Daphne looks back to her childhood in the 70s and her relationship with Ralph, a composer. The book addresses issues of moral code, obsession and abuse of power. So many people have recommended this to me it just had to go on the list.

The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson

After Adam Kay’s This Is Going To Hurt, I’m kinda hungry for more medical memoir. This is the Amazon blurb: ‘Christie Watson was a nurse for twenty years. Taking us from birth to death and from A&E to the mortuary, The Language of Kindness is an astounding account of a profession defined by acts of care, compassion and kindness.’

For more summer reading recommendations, hop on over to the Literary Sofa where Isabel Costello has listed her favourite holiday books.

Thanks for reading. I hope you all have a wonderful summer, whatever you’re doing. I’ll see you at the end of August. Ax

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