Whether you’re stretching out on a sun lounger, or just grabbing an hour’s peace and quiet in your garden, a good book is an essential in our opinion.
Standard Deviation – Katherine Heiny
Graham’s second wife, Audra, is warm, sociable and always ready to throw herself headlong into any situation. The total opposite of his first wife, Elspeth, in fact. So when Elspeth unexpectedly comes back into Graham’s life, he finds himself wondering how on earth he could have fallen in love with two such different women, and whether he’s ended up with the right one. If you like quirky characters, wry humour and reflections on the absurdities of everyday life, this book is for you.
Palace of Curiosities – Rosie Garland
Abel and Eve are not like other people. Abel’s body heals itself. He has no idea how old he is, but his fractured memories suggest he’s been alive for a very long time. Eve – the Lion Girl – is covered from head to toe in golden hair. Together they are the two main attractions in a show featuring extraordinary people. Set in Victorian England, this is a beautiful tale of humanity and what it means to be ‘different’ in a world that prizes convention.
Reservoir 13 – Jon McGregor
A teenage girl goes missing while on holiday in an English village. Seasons come and go and life goes on, but the girl’s mysterious disappearance continues to affect village life. Some people dream of finding her alive, others of discovering her body. This is not a crime novel, more a glimpse into human nature. There are a lot of characters, and you get to know each one as they go about their daily lives. It’s a quiet book, but it certainly draws you in.
100% Real – Sam Talbot
If you’re looking for inspiration for healthy, tasty summer recipes, this book could be just what you need. While its focus is on clean eating, it’s not just about chia seeds and green tea. Recipes include White Fish Curry, Jerk Chicken, and Dark Chocolate Soufflé with Rum Cream. Recipes are accompanied by full page photos, and are, on the whole, easy to follow. From light lunches and snacks to dishes to impress friends, you’ll find yourself reaching for this cookery book time and time again.
Once in a Blue Moon Lodge – Lorna Landvik
A warm, comfortable kind of story with great characters, first loves, old flames and family dynamics. Once in a Blue Moon Lodge follows a family over two decades – Nora, her mother Patty Jane and her grandmother Ione. It’s the sequel to Patty Jane’s House of Curl, but works as a stand-alone novel. There is a large cast of characters, and the timeline is hard to follow at times, as it jumps from past to present. Nevertheless, it’s a very enjoyable beach read.
It’s 1976 and 10 year old Grace’s neighbour, Mrs Creasy, has gone missing. With her best friend Tilly in tow, Grace sets out to solve the mystery. It soon becomes apparent that the community is hiding plenty of secrets, some of which go back almost a decade. Grace comes across as rather naive for her age at times, but she’s very likeable. A funny, easy read that will make waiting around at a station or airport much more bearable.
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