From a much-anticipated second novel to gripping thrillers, thought-provoking short stories and everything in-between, discover the books you’ll love reading this Summer.
Whether you’re looking for something for the morning commute or a page-turner for the beach, we’ve handpicked the best Summer books to keep you hooked.
1. The intrigue
The Muse by Jessie Burton (Picador, published on 30th June 2016)
Intertwining the worlds of 1960s London with 1930s rural Spain and featuring a mysterious painting at its heart, this captivating book grips from the very beginning. In 1967 London, Trinidadian Odelle Bastien takes a job as a typist for the enigmatic Majorie Quick, and finds herself drawn into the story of a lost masterpiece and the people behind it. Written with a seductive flair and great pace, you’ll want to devour it in one sitting.
You’ll like this if you liked… Burton’s million-copy selling debut, The Miniaturist
2. The thought-provoker
The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin (Mantle, out now)
Noah wants to go home. The only issue is, he’s already home. Guskin’s debut novel is a gripping mystery that explores the meaning of life and death. This page-turning tale gives a great insight into the deep connection between Mother and child battling to solve a life changing mystery.
You’ll like this if you liked… The Lovely Bones by Alive Sebold
3. The thriller
The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (Pan, out now)
Beneath an impeccably crafted veneer, columnist Ani FaNelli is hiding a traumatic past – one that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect life in New York. Featuring one of the most compelling (and unreliable) narrators in recent literary history, Knoll’s debut novel is a twist-laden thriller that flips from past to present, grappling with a range of hot-button issues from teenage violence and sexuality to feminism. By turns shocking, disturbing and darkly comic, Knoll’s deft prose and blockbuster-worthy plot (it’s already been snapped up for a film adaptation by Reese Witherspoon) mean you’ll be gripped from take-off to touchdown.
You’ll like this if you liked… The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
4. The short stories
What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi (Picador, out now)
The short story continues to see a resurgence in popularity – and if you’re a fan of the genre, then this inventive collection will not disappoint. Featuring beautifully weaved stories with an absorbing mix of the fantastical and every day, Oyeyemi’s voice is exciting and fresh. Magical, alluring and original.
You’ll like this if you like… The magic realism of Isabel Allende and Angela Carter
5. The murder mystery
The Trap by Melanie Raabe (Mantle, out now)
Twelve years ago, Linda’s sister Anna was murdered; her killer was never caught, but Linda saw him. Now, all these years on, she’s just seen him again, on TV. He’s since become a well-known reporter, and Linda knows no one will believe her if she accuses him. She does the only thing she can think of: she sets a trap, writing a thriller, called Blood Sisters, about a woman who is murdered. This deceivingly clever book does more than tell a chilling tale; it delves into the destruction of the mind when one is faced with such an event. It fills you with a mix of self-doubt, frustration and insanity; it draws you in and leaves you wanting more until the very last page is turned.
You’ll like this if you liked… Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
6. The memoir
We’ll Always Have Paris by Emma Beddington (Pan MacMillan, out now)
Emma Beddington’s obsession with French chic began as a teenager with a copy of French Elle. Fast-forward several years later (by way of a French exchange, studying French at university and a gap year in France) and Emma moved to Paris to immerse herself in all things French. This entertaining memoir honestly captures Emma’s quest for that elusive French je ne sais quoi, while also movingly dealing with big themes, such as love, loss and identity. So much more than a celebration of Breton stripes, berets and baguettes.
You’ll like this if you liked… Not Working by Lisa Owens
7. The heart-wrencher
The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink (Picador, out now)
At what point does a life cease to be worth living? This is the question that lies at the heart of Rentzenbrink’s extraordinary memoir. Telling the earth-shattering story of a car accident involving her teenage brother, Matty, Cathy re-lives the consequent decision that changed her family’s lives forever. Emotionally charged, honest and even life-affirming, this is a not just a story of grief and death, but also of unconditional love, family and ultimately survival that will have you enthralled.
You’ll like this if you liked… This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell
8. The movie inspiration
Florence Foster Jenkins by Nicholas Martin and Jasper Rees (Pan, out now)
If you haven’t yet seen the joyous eponymous film starring Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant, then reading its wonderful true story will make you book a ticket. American Florence Foster Jenkins’ lifelong devotion and patronage of music culminated in her giving a sell-out concert at New York’s famous Carnegie Hall – even though she couldn’t sing. Charming and life-affirming.
You’ll like this if you like… Inspiring biographies
9. The big romance
Miss You by Kate Eberlen (Mantle, published 11th August 2016)
What happens when a life-changing event takes you down a different road – and can you somehow find your way back? Both Tess and Gus are about to find out – but will their paths ever properly cross? Charting 16 years, this poignant story is an easy read that doesn’t always tackle easy subjects – family tensions, loss and complicated relationships. Perfect for the beach.
You’ll like this if you liked… One Day by David Nicholls
10. The war novel
The Last Photograph by Emma Chapman (Picador, published 28th July 2016)
Rook Henderson is an award-winning photographer of the Vietnam War, still carrying the hidden scars of love. Now, suddenly, he is also a widower. Leaving his son behind, he flies back to Vietnam for the first time in 50 years, escaping to the landscape of a place he once knew so well. He takes the reader on a journey through history, unravelling the horrors of the war and the breakdown of his marriage. Retracing his past through his childhood in Yorkshire, his life in London in the 1960s and his stagnant relationship with his wife and son, this is a poignant story of life shaped by trauma and love.
You’ll like this if you liked… Y by Marjorie Celona
11. The life affirmer
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf (Picador, out now)
Widow and widower, Addie and Louis start a friendship based on loss – revealing their life-stories through recollections – while their relationship deepens over the pages. Exploring love and the search for happiness, Haruf’s final novel is beautifully written, poignant, kind-hearted and quietly gripping. Our Souls at Night will linger with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
You’ll like this if you liked…Haruf’s bestselling novel Plainsong
12. The grower
Invincible Summer by Alice Adams (Picador, out now)
Unfolding over 20 years, and beginning in Eva, Sylvie, Benedict and Lucien’s carefree university days, Invincible Summer follows the four friends through first jobs, failed relationships, and the turbulence of finding their feet as adults. Chronicling the different paths life takes them on, Adams poignantly and humorously explores the changing nature of friendships, dreams versus reality and the highs and lows of adulthood.
You’ll like this if you liked… When We Were Friends by Tina Seskis