Summer Reading Recommendations

Blog · Posted June 26, 2024

Discover our booksellers selection of summer reading recommendations.

Summer has (just about) arrived and, whether you are jetting off somewhere on holiday, or enjoying a relaxing trip closer to home, we have your summer reading list sorted for you. Our booksellers are ready with their paperback recommendations for your perusal. From historical heists and award-winning literary gems to eye-opening political memoirs and accounts of queer places throughout history, there really is something for everyone…




Tom Lake by Ann Patchett | Chosen by Sarah

Among the cherry trees of their Michigan farm, Lara recounts her long-ago summer love affair with famous actor, Peter Duke, to her three daughters. Jumping back and forth in time to the summer season at Tom Lake, where Lara was part of the theatre group, we are shown the power of choice and paths that lead us to exactly where we are meant to be. A joyful and hopeful read. 


Kala by Colin Walsh | Chosen by Sarah

Part coming of age tale, part thriller and totally unputdownable. Kinlough, an Irish seaside town, has a dark side. 15 years after the disappearance of their friend Kala, Joe, Helen and Mush return to face the past as summer is kicking off and two other girls from town go missing. Nostalgic, addictive, thrilling. This debut literary mystery had me hooked and is the perfect summer holiday read. 


The Housekeepers by Alex Hay | Chosen by Vicky

When Mrs King is dismissed from her position in Park Lane after years of loyal service, she decides to get her group of girls together and exact revenge. Their plan? To empty the house completely of its possessions while the ball of the season is underway within. This group of women become the reader’s friends. Fabulous, fast and, above all, fun. My top recommendation for summer reading this year.


Yellowface by Rebecca F. Kuang | Chosen by Rosamund

Anthea has it all until she dies in a freak accident. June acts on impulse and takes the first draft of Anthea’s masterpiece from her apartment…Surely it’s her job to finish, edit and bring the book to market…under her own (newly) ambiguous name, Juniper Song? This is a fast, furious satire, packed with the blackest of humour. 


Brotherless Night by V.V Ganeshananthan | Chosen by Sarah

Meticulously researched and full of emotion. Sashi, a young aspiring doctor is trying to survive in a male-dominated world, as she is faced with one moral decision after another. A truly breathtaking and beautiful novel that deals with the complexity and atrocity of war. It may not appear like your typical summer read but I promise that you will not regret picking this up.


The Guest by Emma Cline | Chosen by Rosamund

It’s nearly the end of summer in the Hamptons and Alex’s position as trophy girlfriend is precarious.  Finding herself abruptly surplus to requirements, and with little to lose, she decides to take her chances using her charm to extend her time in this utopia for the super-rich.  This is a truly gripping (if uncomfortable) summer read.  Alex is a force of nature, but perhaps not one you’d want in your real life!


Hungry Ghosts by Kevin Jared Hosein | Chosen by Vicky

In 1940s Trinidad, people still live in the shadow of colonialism. Powerful and intense, this haunting novel highlights the polarising differences in wealth, religion and status that can exist within a small community.  A jarring, literary thriller with a pace that slowly culminates in inevitable tragedy. 


Falling Animals by Shiela Armstrong | Chosen by Vicky

When a man’s body is discovered on the beach, perfectly serene, it makes for quite the mystery in Sligo. We are guided through fictional stories from those connected to this man, near or far – each chapter is a new perspective. As a result, a chorus of voices contribute in this ode to the sea, to home and to community. Moving and thought-provoking, Armstrong’s debut novel is stunningly written and perfectly formed.


Close to Home by Michael Magee | Chosen by Vicky

With his debut, Michael Magee has achieved something remarkable. From the deepest of traumas, there is hope; within a landscape of violence, there is love. It is a tender study of masculinity and a powerful observation of the author’s own experience growing up in the Belfast that emerged from the Troubles. Michael Magee is one to watch


The Black Eden by Richard T. Kelly | Chosen by Rosamund

This is a beautifully crafted story set around Scotland’s oil boom and told through the eyes of five young men. Robbie, Aaron, Mark, Ally and Joseph all have different notions of what success and ambition look and feel like. Black gold seems like the perfect opportunity, but a price must be exacted. The Black Eden is a fascinating study of the Scottish wild west, brought to life by engaging intertwining human stories.


The Fraud by Zadie Smith | Chosen by Sarah

An East End butcher claims to be the lost heir to the Tichborne estate and the country watches the court case unfold with great attention. If this man can make such a claim, what does this mean for their whole class system? Recounting the real-life trial that took England by storm in the 1860s, Smith’s first historical novel is full of scandal and wit, and despite its length and rather epic themes, feels light and reads quickly. 






Politics on the Edge by Rory Stewart | Chosen by Rosamund

If you are interested in politics, but bored with elections, treat yourself to the perfect antidote.  Rory Stewart is great company as he walks the reader through his experience of life as an MP, from outsider, to leadership candidate.  It’s easy to see why many believe the system is broken when it’s considered normal to have five different ministerial positions in two years.  He’s uncompromising, refreshingly honest and can really write.


Nothing Ever Just Disappears by Diarmuid Hester | Chosen by Sarah

Travel from Cambridge to Harlem, Paris and San Francisco, and meet the marvellous LGBTQ+ figures in history who have made these places their own. Through seven remarkable stories, this book explores and celebrates queer spaces in the 20th century that were the landscape for art, love, defiance, and strength. A rich and fascinating read.


Hitler, Stalin, Mum & Dad by Daniel Finklestein | Chosen by Rosamund

This is a profoundly moving memoir which charts the experience of the author’s family at the hands of two dictators, Hitler and Stalin. Finklestein hits a powerful balance between the historical significance and the very personal stories of family members incarcerated in Bergen Belsen and the Russian gulags, recording extraordinary moments of pain, but also occasionally, good luck.


Thunderclap by Laura Cumming | Chosen by Rosamund

With Thunderclap, Laura Cummings leads us deeply into the world of her beloved art and artists, including, most beloved of all, her father.  She has conjured a family memoir and given a masterclass in how to really look at a painting and tease out the truths hidden within.  


Steeple Chasing by Peter Ross | Chosen by Vicky

A soothing, thematic meander through the UK’s churches and a homage to those who care for them. Here you will discover past treasures and present wonder. Peter Ross has a natural ability to inform and entertain – he makes for a delightful companion as you journey with him over rolling hills and city streets. This understated read is balm for the soul. A travel tonic to escape from your worries this summer.


O Brother by John Niven | Chosen by Rosamund

A painful, but also painfully funny, memoir that takes as its starting point the suicide of John Niven’s brother, Garry.  Don’t let that put you off.  As raucous as it is tender, this is a riot of a book filled with the excruciating detail of teenage life in 1970s Ayrshire, and the uglier impact of drink, drugs and depression when real life becomes, well, real. Highly recommended.


A Flat Place by Noreen Masud | Chosen by Sarah

From Orkney to Orford Ness, Masud recognises the trauma that each flat place has endured but also the beauty that can be found. She discovers that they mirror her experience of the world. It could be assumed that this is a bleak book but it is anything but. This is an outstanding and beautifully written memoir that makes you look at geography differently. 



Our booksellers love to recommend books and share their favourite reads with other booklovers (it is their job but also their hobby). Our blog is a good place to start to find some recommendations but if you still need some help, simply pop into the shop, give us a call or shoot us an email.

Find out how to contact us HERE.