Summer reads

NB Team

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We’ve had some fantastic Summer reads and thought it only fair that we share our suggestions and reviews in time for World Literacy Day. There’s drama, history, literary greats and even some questionable sleuthing.

Read on for our addictive page turners – as well as the books we’ll be donating to the local charity shop.

Fiona A: I really enjoyed A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson. It’s a ‘companion’ novel to Life After Life, rather than a sequel, and it covers the story of the whole life of a guy called Teddy – his childhood, his experiences as a fighter pilot in WW2 and his slightly dysfunctional family life thereafter. It’s really gripping and is a good mix of focusing on action and an interesting study of family relationships.

Laura W-O: The Martian was good, as was Ready Player One. The Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker. Overlooking a few (many) flaws in the plot, story-telling and themes of the book, it’s a good page-turner with a fair attempt at humour amidst the cartoonish characters. The book is entertaining and colourful yet somewhat shallow, it fails to really grip the imagination as you’d like with a murder-mystery but nevertheless, for a cheap whodunit, it’s not all that bad.

Alice: I’m currently reading The Children’s Book by A.S Byatt, it’s very long and literary but I love the lyrical language.

Sohaib: The Elon Musk book is essential reading for anyone who likes tech – it’s fascinating to see how he built his companies, and continues to drive innovation. I also read the Harry Quebert Affair, having been recommended it by Laura. I finished it part-way through a long flight, and spent the next six hours seething. At first I thought it was an enjoyable page-turner, but I couldn’t get past the sheer lack of depth and the reveals which came absolutely out of no-where. I don’t care if this is a spoiler – the entire crime could have been solved early on but for an arbitrary decision to not do some very basic research. If you like mystery/thrillers, read something else like I Am Pilgrim.

Lana: When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Ker tells the true story of a Jewish family’s flight from Germany during the rise of Nazism in the early 1930s. Told through the eyes of 9 year old Anna, we learn what it was like for a young refugee at that time, and, what you would expect to be a woeful tale is surprisingly full of love, hope and positivity.

Harriet: I recently read, and loved, I Am Pilgrim – I’d even go as far as saying it was one of the most enjoyable spy thrillers I’ve read. Based on Pilgrim’s quest to stop Saracen’s catastrophic plan to destroy the world, the story is full of plot strands and twists as you travel everywhere from the White House to Turkey to Syria. Let’s just say that when it was over I had a Pilgrim shaped hole to fill.

Melissa: I loved Jodi Picoult’s Leaving Time which explored the themes of elephant behaviour and human loss, intertwined through a gripping crime story. It was one of the only books I read this summer with an ending I really didn’t see coming.

Dave: While in South America I read:

100 years of solitude by Gabriel García Márquez so that I was reading something Colombian in Colombia

– Alan Partridge’s autobiography – I, Partridge

– And War and Peace – I looked really weird reading War and Peace on a beach I can assure you – it also took up a lot of space in my bag….

Will: I haven’t read it yet but looks like a must read: