Summer seems to be the only time of year when I am actually able to pick up a book, read it without distractions and finish it entirely. It’s strange because I absolutely love reading and always have done, but for some reason throughout the year, distractions get in the way and I can never quite complete a book. This year however, I’ve been a little stricter – making the time to relax, and unwind with a few books – and so, I’ve managed to get through quite a few. In aid of this, I’ve decided to put together a summer reading list (or book club). Not quite as high brow as Richard & Judy’s Book Club – but hopefully useful all the same.
If you’re jetting off anywhere hot and exotic this summer (lucky you), I’d definitely recommend the below. They are all perfect for lazing by the pool, Pina Colada in hand!
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
I rarely go for ‘best seller’ books, after the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ saga, which left me a little wary of quite who was putting these lists together, however after several great reviews, I gave Gone Girl the benefit of the doubt. When Amy goes missing one sunny morning, husband Nick starts to display some rather odd characteristics, definitely not those of a concerned spouse. Weeks begin to go by and the detectives start to suspect Nick himself is behind her disappearance after finding weird searches on his computer and evidence near the river.
I won’t go any further, as I don’t want to spoil what is a fantastic twist, but this honestly keeps you on your toes the whole way through, and I read this book start to finish in a day – simply because I couldn’t bear to tear myself away. I usually hate crime novels or thrillers (instead opting for trashy romance novels and biographies) but this is a must read for any women (or man), as it gives a real insight into relationships and how they might not always be as they seem. The ending will give you reeling for days.
£3.85 from Amazon – click here.
Head Over Heels In France – Samantha Brick
Samantha Brick is never far from the headlines herself, having famously written an article in the Daily Mail about how her beauty was a hindrance (read what I thought on that here), and she’s often given a hard time by the commenter’s, however in her new book – she’s finally able to tell her side of the story. As you probably know, Sam was a former television executive producing shows in the UK and across the pond, before her ‘all female’ tv production company was declared bankrupt and shut down. As someone who had worked hard all her life in television (and was deservingly) living the high life as a result, the blow of losing everything was a hard pill to swallow.
In her book, Sam tells the true story of how she picked herself up – decided not to go back to the fast paced media driven world of London, but instead lead a more slow paced life in the South of France, where she met now husband Pascal. Sam’s story is both heart-warming and hilarious – I especially loved her reference to shopping in Aldi for the first-time, where I can agree the set up is quite annoying for someone who likes to be organised and pack everything into your bags as soon as it swipes through the till. And Sam manages to show a different, much more relate-able side to her – following those articles (which I feel she was given a hard time unnecessarily for). As someone who is very interested in working in either the journalism or television industry, Sam’s book was really insightful – as usually, novels which tackle such topics sensationalize them so that they appear fantastically magical – when in actual fact, the reality is – it’s very difficult to work in and involve yourself in continuously. If you love a tale of whirlwind romance (but told from a real perspective than a fantasy OTT way), with plenty of laughs, feel goods and anecdotes along the way – this is definitely the book for you. Don’t rule out Sam because of a few out of context comments, her book is brilliant and it’s definitely worth a read!
£6.74 from Amazon – click here.
Wicked Ambition By Victoria Fox
A girlie book full of love, relationships, deceit, luxurious lifestyles and celebrities is perfect for ‘by the pool’ reading – and I’m pleased to tell you that this book is the perfect mix of the above. Three celebrity superstars Robin, Kristin and Turquoise are living the high life, making a luxurious living with their high profile careers, but – as always, nothing is ever as it seems. With their secrets brushed under the carpet, it’s not too long before a huge expose blows their angelic reputations (and boy, do things go down!). Fame is a deadly word in this book – it’s not all glamour, fortune and fun. And (in the words of Cheryl Cole) those ‘who you fight on the way up’ will ‘kick you twice as hard on the way down’.
£4.79 on Amazon – click here (out 7th June).
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
This isn’t a new book (as you will probably know) but I completely stand by this book being on any ‘bestseller’ lists, because no matter your age or your taste in books – this will be enjoyed by all. I’m usually a ‘romance/celebrity’ novel girl all the way, but I made an exception for The Hunger Games last year after hearing about the upcoming film, and I didn’t regret it one bit. Telling the story of 16 year old Katniss, who lives in a very strange world in the not so distant future, the novel explores a variety of themes and leaves you hungry for more (luckily there’s two more books to follow).
Forced to represent her district in a blood thirsty live TV show, where 24 ‘tributes’ battle it out until there’s only one winner left – Katniss doesn’t stand a chance. But with the help of Peeta and a little ‘girl power’ (yes, cringe – but she’s an amazing heroine), she manages to stun the millions watching her.
£3.86 from Amazon – click here.
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
I honestly can’t remember the number of times I’ve read this book (I studied it for my English Literature A Level exam) but it never gets old. Personally, I think that the plot itself isn’t the most interesting in the world, but it’s more so about the intertwined romance, the devastation and the atmosphere of the era the novel is set. If you’ve ever imagined what a roaring 20’s glitz and glamorous party was like, this book really delves deep into it. I love how two dimensional some of the main characters appear, they are popular, wealthy and beautiful – but also superficial, materialistic and flawed. If you want to read something a little different and immerse yourself in a novel, this is the one for you!
£1.94 from Amazon – click here.
Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult
I will be honest and say I’m not a huge Jodi Picoult fan, having read just two of her vast book collection. However, this is one of my all time favourite books as the storyline is so easy to become immersed in and you find yourself constantly sneaking off to read another chapter – unable to put the book down again. It’s an amazing storyline full of twists, romance, heartbreak and upside down fairytales.
A woman, later identified as ‘Cassie’ wakes up to find herself laying in a graveyard, bleeding, with her memory completely wiped clean. She is rescued by a police officer and after days of waiting, is taken by complete shock to discover that she is the wealthy wife of megastar Alex Rivers. She is bewildered and amazed to be living the life of a fairytale, but underneath something doesn’t feel quite right about the situation. If only she could remember why.
£5.99 from Amazon – click here.
Do you have any recommendations for my summer reading list? Let me know by leaving a comment below!