Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Summer 2016 Reading List

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‘The Weekenders: a novel’ by Mary Kay Andrews (17th May 2016)

Riley Griggs has a season of good times ahead of her on Belle Isle when things suddenly take an unexpected turn. While waiting for her husband to arrive on the ferry one Friday afternoon, Riley is confronted by a process server who thrusts papers into her hand... And her husband is nowhere to be found.
She turns to her island friends for help and support, but it turns out that each of them has their own secrets, and the clock is ticking as the mystery deepens... in a murderous way. Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything…
Told with Mary Kay Andrews’ trademark blend of humor and warmth, and with characters and a setting that you can’t help but fall for, The Weekenders is the perfect summer escape.



‘GIRL UP’ BY LAURA BATES (21ST APRIL 2016)

They told you you need to be thin and beautiful. They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups. They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your figure, but not to be too tarty. They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you'll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreaker. Of course it's fine for the boys, but you should know your place…

Well screw that. I'm here to tell you something else.

Hilarious, jaunty and bold, Girl Up exposes the truth about the pressures surrounding body image, the false representations in media, the complexities of a sex and relationships, the trials of social media and all the other lies they told us.



‘SUMMER DAYS AND SUMMER NIGHTS: TWELVE LOVE STORIES’ (2nd June 2016)

Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

This wonderful collection of twelve gorgeously romantic short stories will delight all fans of YA. Summer Days and Summer Nights includes stories by: Leigh Bardugo, Nina LaCour, Libba Bray, Francesca Lia Block, Stephanie Perkins, Tim Federle, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovran, Brandy Colbert, Cassandra Clare, Jennifer E Smith and Lev Grossman.


‘HOLD STILL: A NOVEL’ BY LYNN STEGER STRONG (19th APRIL 2016)

Maya Taylor, an intense, gifted English professor, has a tendency to retreat when she is needed most, escaping on long morning runs or finding comfort in the well-thumbed novels in her library. But when she sends her daughter Ellie to Florida to care for a friend's child, it's with the best of intentions. Twenty and spiraling, Ellie is lost in a fog of drugs and men, desperately in need of a fresh start. Her life with this attractive new family in Florida begins well, but Ellie is crippled by the fear that she'll only disappoint those around her ...again. And in the sprawling hours of one humid afternoon, she finally makes a mistake she cannot take back. The accident hangs over both mother and daughter as they try to repair their fractured relationship and find a way to transcend not only their differences but also their more startling similarities.




‘THE BRICKS THAT BUILT THE HOUSES’ BY KATE TEMPEST (7TH APRIL 2016)

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"It gets into your bones. You don't even realise it, until you're driving through it, watching all the things you've always known and leaving them behind."
Young Londoners Becky, Harry and Leon are leaving town in a fourth-hand Ford Cortina with a suitcase full of money. They are running from jealous boyfriends, dead-end jobs, violent maniacs and disgruntled drug dealers, in the hope of escaping the restless tedium of life in south-east London - the place they have always called home.
As the story moves back in time, to before they had to leave, we see them torn between confidence and self-loathing, between loneliness and desire, between desperate ambition and the terrifying prospect of getting nothing done. Tempest explores contemporary city life with a powerful moral microscope, giving us irresistible stories of hidden lives.


‘THE BED MOVED: STORIES’ BY REBECCA SCHIFF (12TH APRIL 2016)

The audacious, savagely funny debut of a writer of razor-sharp wit and surprising tenderness: a collection of stories that gives us a fresh take on adolescence, death, sex; on being Jewish-ish; and on finding one's way as a young woman in the world. A New Yorker, trying not to be jaded, accompanies a cash-strapped pot grower to a clothing optional resort in California. A nerdy high-schooler has her first sexual experience at Geology Camp. A college student, on the night of her father's funeral, watches a video of her bat mitzvah, hypnotised by the image of the girl she used to be.

Frank and irreverent, Rebecca Schiff's stories reflect on growing up (or not) and finding love (or not) in today's ever-uncertain landscape. 





‘Don't You Cry’ BY Mary Kubica (19TH MAY 2016)

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In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she's the person Quinn thought she knew.
Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbour town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where 18 year old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister.
As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under the stranger's spell, Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted rollercoaster ride that builds to a stunning conclusion.

‘Highly Illogical Behaviour’ BY John Corey Whaley (26th may 2016)

Sixteen year old Solomon has agoraphobia. He hasn't left his house in three years, which is fine by him. At home, he is the master of his own kingdom - even if his kingdom doesn't extend outside of the house.
Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to go to a top tier psychiatry program. She'll do anything to get in.
When Lisa finds out about Solomon's solitary existence, she comes up with a plan sure to net her a scholarship: befriend Solomon. Treat his condition. And write a paper on her findings. 

To earn Solomon's trust, Lisa begins letting him into her life, introducing him to her boyfriend Clark, and telling him her secrets. But soon, all three teens have grown uncomfortably close, and when their facades fall down, their friendships threaten to collapse as well...


‘Keep You Close’ BY Lucie Whitehouse (10TH March 2016)


When the artist Marianne Glass falls to her death, everyone insists it was a tragic accident. Yet Rowan Winter, once her closest friend, suspects there is more to the story.

Marianne once meant everything to Rowan - but since her death, Rowan knows only what the papers report about her life: her swift ascent in the London art world, her much-scrutinized romance with her gallerist... If Rowan wants to discover the truth about her death, she needs to know more. Was Marianne in distress? In danger? 

Rowan begins to seek clues - in Marianne's latest work, her closest relationships, and her new friendship with an iconoclastic fellow artist. But the deeper she goes, the more sinister everything seems. And a secret in the past that only she knows makes her worry about her own fate...


‘The Girls: A nOVEL’ BY eMMA cLINE (16TH jUNE 2016)

Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat. 

Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls.

Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. 
Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever? 



‘yOU kNOW mE wELL’ BY dAVID lEVITHAN AND nINA lAcOUR (2ND jUNE 2016)


Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. Their paths outside of class have never crossed. That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. 
Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way. When they meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other - and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more. 
Told in alternating points of view by LaCour and Levithan (best-selling author of Every Day and co-author of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist and Will Grayson, Will Grayson), You Know Me Well is a deeply honest story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love.

‘The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo’ by Amy Schumer (25th August 2016)

Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friend - an unforgettable and fun adventure that you wish could last forever. In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is - a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh. 

Whether she’s experiencing lust-at-first-sight while in the airport security line, sharing her own views on love and marriage, admitting to being an introvert, or discovering her cross-fit instructor’s secret bad habit, Amy Schumer proves to be a bighearted, brave, and thoughtful storyteller that will leave you nodding your head in recognition, laughing out loud, and sobbing uncontrollably - but only because it’s over.


‘You Will Know Me’ BY Megan Abbott (28TH July 2016)

Katie and her husband Eric Knox have made their daughter Devon the centre of their world. Talented, determined, a rising gymnastics star, there is nothing they wouldn't do for her.
But when a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community just weeks before an all-important competition, everything the Knoxes have worked so hard for feels suddenly at risk. As rumours swirl among the other parents, revealing hidden plots and allegiances, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself drawn, irresistibly, to the crime itself, and the dark corners it threatens to illuminate. She and Eric have worked so hard to protect Devon from anything that might distract or hurt her. That's what every parent wants for their child, after all. Even if they don't realise how much you've sacrificed for them. Even if they are keeping secrets from you…


‘Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life’ BY Kim Addonizio (21st JUne 2016)

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In this dazzlingly edgy, laugh-out-loud memoir, Kim Addonizio opens up to chronicle the joys and indignities in the life of a writer wandering through middle age. She vividly captures moments of inspiration at the writing desk (or bed) and adventures on the road. Her crackling, unfiltered wit brings colourful life to pieces like “What Writers Do All Day,” “How to Fall for a Younger Man,” and “Necrophilia” (that is, sexual attraction to men who are dead inside). And she turns a tender yet still comic eye to her family: her father, who sparked her love of poetry; her mother, a former tennis champion who struggled through Parkinson’s at the end of her life; and her daughter, who at a young age chanced upon some erotica she had written for PenthouseAt once intimate and outrageous, Addonizio’s memoir radiates all the wit and heartbreak and ever-sexy grittiness that her fans have come to love - and that new readers will not soon forget.



‘Modern Lovers’ BY Emma Straub (30Th JUNE 2016)

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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Vacationers, a smart, highly entertaining novel about a tight-knit group of friends from college and what it means to finally grow up well after adulthood has set in.

Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy property, and start families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch - of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool - to their own teenage offspring.
But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose can never be reclaimed.

'A lovely, satisying early-summer read.' EW.COM

 

‘I'm Thinking of Ending Things’ BY Iain Reid (30TH JUNE 2016)

Jake once said, “Sometimes a thought is closer to truth, to reality, than an action. You can say anything, you can do anything, but you can’t fake a thought.”

And here’s what I’m thinking: I don’t want to be here.

In this deeply suspenseful and irresistibly unnerving debut novel, a man and his girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. When the two take an unexpected detour, she is left stranded in a deserted high school, wondering if there is any escape at all. What follows is a twisted unravelling that will haunt you long after the last page is turned. 

In this smart, suspenseful, and intense literary thriller, Reid explores the depths of the human psyche. Tense, gripping, and atmospheric, this novel pulls you in from the very first page… and never lets you go.



You'll Grow Out of It’ BY Jessi Klein (12TH JUly 2016) 

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In You’ll Grow Out of It, Klein offers-through an incisive collection of real-life stories-a relentlessly funny yet poignant take on a variety of topics she has experienced along her strange journey to womanhood and beyond. These include her "transformation from Pippi Longstocking-esque tomboy to are-you-a-lesbian-or-what tom man," attempting to find watchable porn, and identifying the difference between being called "ma'am" and "miss" ("Miss sounds like you weigh ninety-nine pounds").

Raw, relatable, and consistently hilarious, You’ll Grow Out of It is a one-of-a-kind book by a singular and irresistible comic voice.




‘Enter Title Here’ BY Rahul Kanakia (18TH August 2016)

Reshma is a college counselor’s dream, and she'll do anything to get into Stanford. After scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she’ll finally have the key to Stanford - but she’s convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. To make herself a more relatable protagonist, she must start doing all the regular American girl stuff she normally ignores. For starters, she has to make a friend, get a boyfriend... And she's already planned the perfect ending: after struggling for three hundred pages with her own perfectionism, Reshma will learn that meaningful relationships can be more important than success - a character arc librarians and critics alike will enjoy.

Of course, even with a mastermind like Reshma in charge, things can’t always go as planned. And when the valedictorian spot begins to slip from her grasp, she’ll have to decide just how far she’ll go for that satisfying ending. (Note: It’s pretty far.)



‘When Watched: StorieS’ BY Leopoldine Core (9TH August 2016)

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What we know of identity is smashed, and in its place, true individuals emerge, each bristling with a unique sexuality, and a belief-system all their own. Dirty and squalid, poetic and pure, Core bravely tunnels straight to the centre of human suffering and longing. This collection announces a daring and deeply sensitive new voice.



‘It Gets Worse: A cOLLECTION OF eSSAYS’ BY Shane Dawson (19th July 2016)

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Bestselling author Shane Dawson shared some of his best and worst experiences in I Hate Myselfie, the critically acclaimed book that secured his place as a gifted humorist and keen observer of millennial culture. Returning with this highly entertaining and uproariously funny essay collection, Shane goes even deeper, sharing never-before-revealed stories from his life, giving readers a look at moments both bizarre and relatable, from cult-like Christian after-school activities, dressing in drag, and losing his virginity, to hiring a psychic, clashes with celebrities, and coming to terms with his bisexuality. Every step of the way, Shane maintains his signature brand of humor, proving that even the toughest breaks can be funny when you learn to laugh at yourself. An inspiring, intelligent, and brutally honest collection of true stories by a YouTube sensation-turned one of the freshest new voices out there.
  

‘All the Missing GIRLs’ BY MS Megan Miranda (28th June 2016)

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It's been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne's case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne's boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic's younger neighbor and the group's alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic's return, Annaleise goes missing. 

Told backwards Day 15 to Day 1 from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbour's disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what "really" happened to Corinne that night ten years ago. 

With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you're walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.





‘True Letters from a Fictional Life’ BY Kenneth Logan (14th July 2016)


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If you asked anyone in his small Vermont town, they’d tell you the facts: James Liddell, star athlete, decent student, and sort-of boyfriend to cute, peppy Theresa, is a happy, funny, carefree guy.
But whenever James sits down at his desk to write, he tells a different story. As he fills his drawers with letters to the people in his world - letters he never intends to send - he spills the truth: he’s trying hard, but he just isn’t into Theresa. It’s his friend, a boy, who lingers in his thoughts.
James’s secret letters are his safe space - but the truth begins to unravel when his letters are stolen and mailed to his family and friends.
This heartfelt debut novel explores the muddy landscape of truth and lies, and lays bare the sometimes painful but often hopeful work of writing one’s own authentic story.


‘THE AMERICAN GIRL’ BY KATE HORSLEY (2ND AUGUST 2016)


From a bright new talent comes a riveting psychological thriller about an American exchange student in France involved in a suspicious accident, and the journalist determined to break the story and uncover the dark secrets a small town is hiding.
On a quiet summer morning, seventeen-year-old American exchange student Quinn Perkins stumbles out of the woods near the small French town of St. Roch - barefoot, bloodied, and unable to say what has happened to her.
Though she is cynical about the media circus that suddenly forms around the girl, Boston journalist Molly Swift cannot deny she is also drawn to the mystery and travels to St. Roch. She is prepared to do anything to learn the truth - including lying so she can get close to Quinn. But when a shocking discovery turns the town against Quinn and she is arrested for the murders of the Blavette family, she finds an unlikely ally in Molly. 

As a trial by media ensues, Molly must unravel the disturbing secrets of the town’s past in an effort to clear Quinn's name - but even she is forced to admit that the American Girl makes a very compelling murder suspect. Is Quinn truly innocent, and as much a victim as the Blavettes? Or is she a cunning, diabolical killer intent on getting away with murder? 

Told from the alternating perspectives of Molly, as she’s drawn inexorably closer to the truth, and Quinn’s blog entries tracing the events that led to her accident, The American Girl is a deliciously creepy, contemporary, twisting mystery leading to a shocking conclusion.


‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Parts 1 & 2 (31st July 2016)

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series, and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. On the 31st July comes the release of the play's special rehearsal edition script.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter, and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. 



Will you be reading any of these books this summer? Have you been looking forward to any of them for a while? What's on your reading list for the holidays? Let me know in the comments below and let's have a book discussion! 

Happy reading, everyone!

Love,


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