Late Summer Reading

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Late Summer Reading Recommendations

Chicks Page Turners: Top 5

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For many summer is the season to read for pleasure. With some preferring a light read reminiscent of sun, sea and sand, and others preferring something a little more challenging that they’ve been meaning to get to. Personally, I find this the best time to catch up on the books that have been receiving a lot of praise in the year so far, many of which may have been published in previous years but are only receiving more attention now due to trends in readership, literary awards, etc. Here are some of my recommendations for late summer reading –

81XbzO1loHLEverything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

In Ng’s debut novel, we follow a Chinese-American family that have to come to terms with the death of Lydia, their “favourite child”. Throughout we explore the family’s dynamics through the eyes of each family member, including Lydia, and see how the lack of communication leads to certain consequences.

At first this may seem like a thriller, but instead it is an exploration into the complex nature of bi-racial families. At times dark and complicated with some hopeful moments, this short novel will keep you engaged until the end.

61T04pboZ2L._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck

Through her latest novel, Erpenbeck explores the power of chance and the fluidity of time through the various possible lives of an unnamed woman. We follow this woman through four deaths, as a child, as a heart-broken teenager, as a victim of a prison camp and from a fall in East Berlin before we finally know her name.

This novel has dazzled everyone who has read it and has even won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015. It is an insightful read that will remind many of Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life.

510U5plEk6L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Almost Famous Women: Stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman

In her latest short story collection, Megan Mayhew Bergman has given us a small insight into historically famous women who are lesser known now. Women like Jo Carstairs, the fastest woman on water, Beryl Markham, Africa’s first female horse trainer, and the conjoined Hilton twins are brought to life through the pages.

This book will inspire you to find out more about historically famous women and to follow your passion, as many of these women did. A truly enlightening read.

BOOK OF SPECULATION_MECH_01.inddThe Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

In Swyler’s magical debut, we meet Simon, a Long Island librarian who receives a mysterious book from an antiquarian bookseller. Around the same time his sister, Enola, who he raised after his parents’ death; returns to the decaying family home unannounced. As Simon discovers a family connection with the book, he begins to unravel a mystery that threatens to take his sister’s life, as it did his mother’s.

Like a few books released this year, The Book of Speculation has a circus theme; and as such fans of The Night Circus and Water for Elephants are likely to enjoy it. Although this is primarily a fantasy novel, it is a good example of how intergenerational patterns and family myth can play a part in our lives. I would recommend this to those who enjoyed The Thirteen Tale or those who would like to try fantasy.

 

1209_kondo-bookCoverThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

This multi-million copy international bestseller promises to help you to live clean and clutter-free for the rest of your life. The author, Marie Kondo, is a professional organiser in her native country of Japan, so has had a lot of experience with subject.

At first glance this may look like the multitude of other books about organisation out there, but it isn’t. Unlike many other organisers, Kondo has a deep respect for all items and so has a much more graceful and gentle approach. She tells readers not to focus on purging but rather to focus on what they would like to keep; and only to keep those items which they truly love and bring joy to their lives. Also unlike others, she recommends to organise by different types of items rather than room by room.

Whether you’re looking to have a big clear out this summer or to be a little more organised, this book is likely to help.

 

By Bethan Palmer