Book Club: The hottest books to read this summer
It’s summertime and devouring a good book whilst lounging under an umbrella is on everyone’s mind. But when you're a mum, getting half an hour to yourself to read a book is the epitome of luxury, so you don't want to waste it - am I right!? So we've dutifully done the hard work for you and found this summer's hottest reads for when you finally find yourself a little down time.
NEW RELEASE FICTION
Boy Swallows Universe: This coming of age tale told from the perspective of Eli is raw, tragic and beautiful all at once. Eli is special, we are told often, and you too will be drawn into his desperate world of hopeful dreams, disappointing adults and a unsupervised upbringing. This story is often heartbreaking and violent, but if you can stomach the tough parts you will be rewarded with love, loyalty and adventure – or some might say misadventure.
Brisbane friends you will feel instantly familiar to this tale due to the frequent references to the suburban fringe life of this young city in the 80's. A must read for this summer.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine: If you’re after something easy, fun and interesting to read then Eleanor Oliphant is your jam. It felt a bit “The Rosie Project” inspired, but Eleanor is a character with a haunting back story that is unveiled throughout the story.
Eleanor approaches life systematically and logically so to keep her heart and livelihood safe. But an encounter with a potential love interest, the first in a very long time, sends her systems and well being spiraling.
This book is about love, friendship and resilience and the fact that all three are often found in the most surprising ways.
The Women in Black is the book which inspired the recent movie, Ladies in Black. I haven't seen the movie, but found this story a charming read. The characters are endearing and their personal struggles draw you into their world, sharing their wishes, hopes and dreams.
This story is a gentle satire; a humorous and warm look at a 1950's conservative Australia through the eyes of 4 shop assistants at one of the Sydney's biggest departments stores. An easy read, The Women in Black is written in a style that easily changes momentum to keep you interested. I found it to be the most gentle of page turners, if that is even a thing! Worth a read before or after you see the movie to appreciate such lovely writing.
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer is classic, romance novel set in the Regency era of balls, duels and debutantes. You'll be familiar with the Jane Austen classics, Pride & Prejudice and Emma which are set at the same time. The Grand Sophy will feel similar to these books, but the difference lies in their purpose. While Jane Austen's purpose was to examine the culture of her time, author Georgette Heyer seeks simply to entertain, and entertain she does.
The protagonist, Sophy is an unusually well-travelled English woman, who has spent her youth traveling with her widowed Father. As such, she is a modern woman who doesn't share the usual sensibilities of her female peers. When Sophy comes to live with her cousins, who she hasn't spent time with in over a decade, she soon sets about fixing the unhappy household.
I loved each and every conversation in this book, they are so witty and are what makes this book such a timeless classic .
NEW RELEASE NON FICTION
Any Ordinary Day is written by the dual Walkley Award winner Leigh Sales, host of the respected ABC television show The 7:30 report. In this book Leigh, who was inspired by her own brush with mortality, questions what turns ordinary people into resilient forces when they are faced with the worst day of their life.
Leigh talks with people who have been through unimaginable situations, from terrorism to natural disaster, to build an understanding of how their day started as it normally does and ends with their life being changed forever.
This book is an engaging perspective on a question many of us ponder but perhaps have never taken the time to understand.
Becoming by Michelle Obama. I'm not interested in American politics and would prefer to read about remarkable Australian women then American, but you'd have to argue that Michelle Obama is so much more than just the former First Lady of the United States. She is a powerful advocate for women and girls, a force in African-American and Human Rights, she is remarkably open despite her position, and has taken the world by a storm with so much class and just a little bit of sass. To me, she is nothing less than a role model to women everywhere.
All of these qualities are discussed in this book, and more, which is written with her trademark honesty and humour. If you're looking for a little inspiration this summer, look no further than this book.