Book Reviews / Books

Six of the Best: Summer Reads


Summer Reads

For me, one of the very best things about holidays – aside from the sun-soaked evenings, warmer weather and temporary removal from reality – is the opportunity to spend huge chunks of my day reading. When I was growing up, my sisters and I would spend much of our six-week summer holidays at my Grandpa Peter’s villa in Spain, and I used to rejoice at the opportunity of packing a suitcase-full of books, and do little else but read, swim, sunbathe and indulge in cone after cone of the local ice-cream of an evening.

And while these days my holidays are rarely as long, and seldom as relaxing, reading nevertheless remains a priority for me. When I went travelling aged 19, about a third of my backpack was taken up with books, so fearful I was that I’d run out of reading material – little did I know that from deepest darkest India, to the streets of Koh San Road books were passed on by those before me in abundance.

And while I’ve grown to love a wealth of the literary greats – from Dickens to Du Maurier and beyond – there’s a time and a place for reading such a genre, and my personal favourite is on a winter’s morning with a strong cup of tea and a grey, stormy sky outside.

When it comes to summer reads, however, there’s nothing better than a book that take you to a faraway land you’re yet to explore; whether a sweltering Majorcan village, or the hot Hungarian summers of Emylia Hall’s debut. The following six are, for me, summer reads at their finest. Go forth and read!

1. Eat Pray Love

2. The Beach

3. The Lemon Grove

4. Mrs Hemingway

5. The Shell Seekers

6. The Book of Summers

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