Summer Wardrobe

7 Aug 2015

Summer Reading Recommendations

Although we have definitely reached the peak of summer this year, there is still time to get a few more books under your belt and call it 'summer reading'. These are a collection of books from a range of genres from my bookshelves at home that I have read in the past few years and recommend very highly.


Fingersmith | Sarah Waters £8.99 RRP from Waterstones 


I wrote on Fingersmith as part of my dissertation last year, and rather than being a chore that I had to slog through to finish it, I became hooked in the first couple of chapters and couldn't put it down. The plot is amazing and full of shocking twists and turns that are far from predictable. The narrative follows the life of Susan Trinder, an orphaned fingersmith (slang for thief), growing up in Victorian London, who is made an offer she cannot refuse (perhaps similar to a female version of Dicken's Oliver). I am raring myself up to reading this again as it is just so good.

The Luminaries | Eleanor Catton £9.99 RRP from Waterstones 


Set in the 19th century, Catton has created a pastiche of Victorian sensation fiction that encapsulates murder, madness and mayhem. Walter Moody arrives in New Zealand faced with a series of unexplained events that he inadvertently becomes entwined in. Despite it's hefty size (832 pages), I finished it in less than a week as I simply couldn't put it down. Catton has cleverly formed the novel around astrological patterns that play a big part in the plot, with subtle references to the moon and planetary movement at every turn. Whether you love Victorian fiction or just love a thrilling page-turner, this book will not disappoint. (Also, it won the Man Booker prize in 2013 which says it all!)

Emma | Jane Austen £7.99 RRP from Waterstones


I wouldn't be a literature graduate if I didn't throw a classic into the mix. Emma is one of the texts I studied in my final year at university, telling the story of the eponymous young Emma Woodhouse and her tendency to meddle in the romances of others while remaining detached from the marriage plot herself. It is a great alternative if you are into chick-lit but want to try a classic, as it isn't as daunting as the 800-paged colossus form that they usually come in. It is a charming and light-heated story so perfect to relax with by the pool. This edition in the Vintage Classic Series makes it very hard NOT to judge a book by its cover - I love the watercolour effect of their designs.  

No Time For Goodbye | Linwood Barclay £7.99 RRP from Waterstones  


I read this when I was in my early teens and absolutely fell for crime and thriller fiction. It recalls the life of Cynthia Archer who wakes up one morning to an empty house; her family gone with no explanation. The story picks up twenty-five years later to Cynthia revisiting the case that still haunts her, uncovering sinister plot-twists as each piece of the mystery is revealed. It isn't Shakespeare, or anything close, but the easy-read feel of these books along with the page-turning plots got me addicted to Barclay's books, and I have read every one ever since. 

Love in the Time of Cholera | Gabriel Garcia Marquez £8.99 RRP from Waterstones


Aside from the long and complicated names that continually meant I had to go back and double-check who was actually being talked about (if you've read Anna Karenina, you'll understand..!), it is a beautiful story that made me laugh and cry interchangeably. It follows the life of the female protagonist, Fermina Daza, beginning with her present marriage to a well-respected doctor. However, the novel transports you back to her childhood, retelling her encounters with all types of love. I adored this book and I am looking to buy Marquez' other novels before the end of summer. 
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