10 Summer Reads (books that for one reason or another are associated with Summer).
Before I crack on with the list, I think it’s important to note that it is lashing rain outside. Five minutes earlier it was glorious. The light was shining from the buttercups in my garden (a sign of a good summer ahead) and it was the perfect weather to stop and think about a summer reads listicle. Now, the rain has transformed my garden into a swamp. Irish weather, forever the realist.
In no particular order,
1. The Switch by Beth O’Leary – Wouldn’t you love if your lecturer pulled you aside after a less than ideal presentation and said: ‘you know what, you look stressed, overwhelmed and on the brink of a nervous breakdown take few months off and sort yourself out’. Then you and your grandmother parent-trap the shit out of life. Sounds good right? That’s sort of the essence of this urban to rural life swap, but most importantly who wouldn’t want to read about an 80-year-old woman on the hunt for love in London.
2. My Pear-Shaped Life by Carmel Harrington- We may not be jetting off to sunny locals this summer but the notion of the bikini body still lives despite our best efforts. Although it may soon be eclipsed by the slightly more ambiguous ‘hot girl summer’, whatever the fuck that means. This book is a refreshing acknowledgement of personal shame that tells the story of what it’s like having your head and heart playing against you. Harrington’s prose hits you where you live.
3. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett- This book always calls out to me at this time of year. It’s my preferable weapon against the gloominess that tends to linger after literature exams. Fire with fire and all that. It’s perfect, you have the horrible child that you’d like to strangle with her skipping rope, a mysterious garden and a creaky old house. I advise that you read it outside under a tree. Wait to see what happens.
4. Writers & Lovers by Lily King- Don’t you love it when writers write characters who are writers? This addition is for all the readers who have a strange obsession with reading books about writing. Throw two handsome fellas in there with a tough decision and BAM!!! Bet you read it in one sitting.
5. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild- I was going to include Little Women on here (I suppose I sort of have now) and then I remembered entirely LOVING this little book. The perfect found family tale with dancing and singing and love on every page. This book always made me want to hem a skirt and change a tire all at once. At twenty-two, I’m sorry to say that I can do neither of these things never mind both, but the Fossil sisters give me hope.
6. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd- When I was about thirteen my Mum gave me this book and said I couldn’t get any new ones until I finished this one. As you can imagine this put a damper on my YA fantasy phase. Now I read this book every year. It will make you cry, laugh and cry again. It may also help with any fear of bees (not really).
7. Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert- Read it for the romance and the sass. I’ve never had any desire to go camping then I read this book and turns out I’ve been doing it wrong. While you’re at it there are two more books in this series. Read them too.
8. ANYTHING BY MAEVE BINCHY- My Mum says she suits all seasons
9. Well Met by Jen DeLuca- Being forced to participate in a SUMMER LONG renaissance fair would typically describe my own personal brand of hell. After reading this … I’d live in that corset no questions asked.
10. A Song For You by Robyn Crawford- After reading this book during the first lockdown last year I think it will always be connected to utter relaxation. Sitting outside in the sunshine, iced coffee in hand, and only working half my usual hours. This book will always remind me of that magical time in my life. Get an inside scoop into who Whitney Houston really was with this autobiography by the woman closest to her. This memoir satisfies that nosiness inside of you that craves to find out what happens behind closed doors of the rich and famous. Suffering tumultuous relationships with seemingly everyone in her life, reading this will give you a new found appreciation for Whitney Houston’s superstardom.