WHAT I READ THIS SUMMER
No matter how much work I’ve had on recently, I’ve been making sure to carve out time to read and lose myself in a good book. I find that once I get stuck into a book, I end up turning to it as a bit of an escape when things start to feel a little overwhelming with work. There really is nothing like a memoir to put things into perspective, or a light thriller to distract me and take my mind off the probably quite trivial task that’s consuming my thoughts.
Talking of books, I also thought I’d mention The High Low podcast for any of you who aren’t already familiar with it. It is such a good pop-culture podcast with endless book reviews and recommendations. Thanks to Dolly and Pandora, I now have a ridiculously long list of “Want to reads” on my Goodreads account that I’m not sure I’ll ever get through, but at least I know there will always be plenty of books that I’m dying to delve into.
Here are four books that I read this summer that really stuck with me in case you’re looking for your next read:
Educated by Tara Westover came recommended by my best friend and I got through it in a matter of days. It was discomforting and distressing but I couldn’t put it down. Tara was born into a survivalist mormon family and the memoir traces her life, her craving for an education, and the conflict between the beliefs she was brought up with and her own beliefs. It is hard to think that one person could have lived through all of the events that Tara lived through, and had the strength of mind to keep pulling herself through. This one is well worth a read.
This book was one that Lucy Williams recommended on her Instagram account. Something about the way she described it made me buy it instantly. An American Marriage is about Celestial, an up and coming artist, and Roy, a young businessman, who are married only a year when unexpected circumstances tear them apart. It’s a novel about racial injustice, love and loyalty and is so beautifully written. I got really attached to many of the characters in this book, and had that lovely feeling of wanting it to go on so much longer when I’d finished reading it.
Cheryl Strayed’s Wild is a memoir about a young woman who decides to walk a large part of the Pacific Crest Trail, a particularly challenging trek from Mexico to Canada. I loved the beginning of the book and felt like the author was really letting us into her mind, but as the book (and the trek) went on, I became more and more frustrated with the book. Her journey is inspiring and I think if you’re on a journey of self-discovery and introspection this could be a good read, but it felt almost overly self-indulgent and a bit whiny at times. Memorable but perhaps not a favourite.
Snap by Belinda Bauer felt like an adult version of the books I read as a teenager – a light thriller with a really interesting plot twist. I loved it. It’s a novel about three children who are waiting on the side of the road as their mother has gone to call for help after her car broke down. Their mother never comes back. It was such a good summer read. I found it captivating and there are some really likeable characters. I also liked that it wasn’t gruesome and the violence isn’t described vividly, but that that in no way limited the build up or how invested I was in the story. Would recommend this in a heartbeat!
Next up is (or was) Sally Rooney’s Normal People which I’ve heard lots of people talk about although when my mum gave me her copy and seemed slightly underwhelmed by it which wasn’t hugely encouraging. I imagine I’ll get to it eventually but I have gone back to Michelle Obama’s Becoming for now which I’m enjoying.
I would love to know what you’re reading these days or what you’ve gone lined up that you’re excited about.
Personally, I’m looking forward to reading this Joan Didion book that I ordered. I have also been quite tempted to pick up a Jojo Moyes book as I’ve seen so many people reading one of her many books on the tube recently, and I’m also very impatient to read Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire.
Thanks for stopping by for a read and I hope to see you back here soon. Have a wonderful weekend. xS
Photos by Nicole Hertel