Since completely my Masters I suddenly have a lot more free time on my hands and one of the wonderful side effects of this is that I am managing to devour all of those books that I put off reading for the months and years that I was studying. Here are some of my favourites from the last couple of months that I would highly recommend if you are looking for some summer holiday reading:
The Time Traveller’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
I don’t tend to buy into the hype surrounding books and their big screen adaptations and so it took me a while to read this but I am so glad I did. It is a beautiful story that is just as beautifully written. I cried buckets and buckets as I neared the end and really didn’t want to reach the last few pages, I just want it to go on forever. Enchanting.
That Mad Ache, by Francoise Sagan
Someone recommended this in Grazia magazine and as I was going through my “Paris/French” phase I was prepared to read anything that had even a vague connection to this theme. Francoise Sagan’s books recall high society in 1960s Paris. They were, by all accounts, scandalous for their time. This story did not seem dated at all and the writing conjures up a decadent period in recent French history. Chic.
Atonement, by Ian McEwan
Again, I am terribly behind and should really have read this book years ago. I saw the film on the plane to New York 18 months ago and found this copy in a charity shop for 99p. I wasn’t sure how I’d get on with it but I am obsessed. I am just halfway through but I can’t put it down. McEwan writes superbly and captures the audience and draws them in. Captivating.
I Capture The Castle, by Dodie Smith
This is the perfect book for the bohemian inside of you. It tells the story of an eccentric family in a crumbling castle and of the torture of first loves. Charming.
Bonjour Tristesse, by Francoise Sagan
Another book by Francoise Sagan. This time her first book. A novella. As before, it captures high society France in the 1960s and again tells the stories of the love affairs and scandals. Perhaps not such a happy ending but the thinness of the book appeals to me and makes it perfect to take with you for a day trip to the beach. Enthralling.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s, by Truman Capote
This is by far one of my favourite films and I had no real interest to read the book until I found a copy for £1. I am so glad I did. It is every bit as good as the film. As with the previous book, it is a novella. It tells of the loves and life of Holly Golightly, well written and well told. What more could you ask? Delightful.
A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway
This is another book that I picked up when trying to read anything relating to Paris. It is a delight to read Hemingway’s descriptions of the Paris and people he knew. The cafes and faces come alive in this small book. Delicious.
The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho
And finally. I read By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept sometime ago and loved it, then found this in a charity shop. It is a charming story of self discovery. And, if you can see a theme occurring here, well done, it is a novella again – I just think they are perfect for summer days out when you don’t want to be weighed down by massive thick books. Wonderful.
A Single Man, by Christopher Isherwood
After watching the Tom Ford film I went straight out and bought this book. And it lived up to the expectations of Ford’s film. Another short book that is perfect for a summer day out. A little dark perhaps but with an underlying theme of hope.
The Return Journey, by Maeve Binchey
This one isn’t photgraphed because I’ve lent it to my mum. I’m not sure it’s very cool to recommend Maeve Binchey but I don’t care I love losing myself in her world. This book is full of short stories that I found perfect for bedtime as they were just long enough to tell a good story but short enough that I could finish one before I dropped off! Some are sad and some are happy. Good mix.
For more options, check out Where Is Harriet?’s Summer Reading post which inspired this post.
What are you reading this summer?