One of my favourite blog posts I’ve written so far has been this one from last year, Summer Reads 2017. In a case of déjà vu, I wanted to recommend some more books to read for 2018 if you’re heading off on holidays or if you’ve been a bit lax on the reading front and want to become a summer bookworm.
Summer is the perfect time to catch up on all the books you meant to read earlier this year but never got around to. I for one will definitely be tucking into the stack of books on my bedside locker (ok, and floor) that just keeps growing.
I’ve already read some of these books (and shared the #bookstagram), others I can’t wait to get started on. I know I’ve definitely left out some important ones but let me know in the comments or on Twitter.
Here’s my recommendations for summer reads 2018:
Louise O’Neill – Almost Love
Irish author and all-round feminist hero Louise O’Neill has a tough double act to follow with the unforgettable Asking For It and Only Ever Yours but, if critics are to be believed, her first adult novel is just as gripping. Almost Love tackles a subject I’m pretty sure all of us have touched upon at some point – that obsessive, all-consuming, reckless love that takes over your life. The story follows Sarah and how she falls in love with Matthew, 20 years her senior. It’s not long before the relationship begins to take more out of Sarah than Matthew and love, well, hurts.
Emma Gannon – The Multi-Hyphen Method
I’m a big fan of Emma’s podcast CTRL ALT DELETE and can’t wait to get my hands on her second book which is all about self-employment, side hustles and not being tied down to one job or career path. As I mention in probably every post, I’m self-employed and while it definitely has afforded me some amazing opportunities I wouldn’t have experienced if I’d stuck with a 9-6 PR job, it’s also challenging. As a result, I devour all podcasts, articles and books about making self-employment work. After hearing Emma’s interview with the always inspiring Otegha Uwagba on the In Good Company podcast, I can’t wait to read her take on working for yourself and creating opportunities.
Viv Albertine – Throw Away Unopened
There is nothing I love more than a music memoir, preferably by a badass woman who has seen it all. As an angry teen, discovering punk changed my life and many moons later, Clothes, Music, Boys by The Slits guitarist Viv Albertine had a big impact on me and was easily one of my favourite books of 2014. Now Viv is back with a follow-up that’s more personal, looking at social class, her parents, her mother in particular and, as this great Guardian review puts it, being an outsider. If it’s told even half as well as Viv’s first book, I know it’ll be my book of the summer (if not the year).
Chloe Benjamin – The Immortalists
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll already know I’ve just finished this book this past weekend and loved it. The premise is simple – if you knew the exact date you were going to die, would you live your life differently? Since finishing The Immortalists, I’ve mulled over this question and whether I’d want to know. I’m leaning towards NO right now. How about you? Anyway, Chloe Benjamin’s gorgeously written book follows the Gold siblings from their childhood in NYC where a soothsaying gypsy woman tells their fortune, right through to adulthood and the repercussions knowing their fate has on their lives.
Curtis Sittenfeld – You Think It, I’ll Say It
True story: I have a Seventeen magazine from 1999 and there’s a short story in there that made a huge impact on me as a tween and made me want to write fiction. Flash forward to January 2018 during a massive declutter and I realise the story was by none other than Curtis Sittenfeld. Amazing. If you’ve read American Wife (based on Laura Bush), Prep (OMG teen awkwardness) or most recently her take on Pride & Prejudice, Eligible, you’ll already know what a great writer Sittenfeld is. This collection of short stories is already being touted as one of the best books of 2018 and I can not wait to finally crack it open.
Dolly Alderton – Everything I Know About Love
Journalist and co-host of must-listen podcast The High Low Dolly Alderton’s debut came out earlier this year but, given that Dolly is currently promoting it at Hay Festival, and that it really resonated with me, I thought I’d still recommend it for anyone who still hasn’t grabbed a copy. Certain sections have really stayed with me, most notably the sequence where Dolly gets on a bus hammered and thinks she’s in Oxford but is in Oxford Circus, the Rod Stewart themed party and, of course, the somewhat chilling love guru. More than anything I wanted to meet Farly who sounds like a dream BFF. If you’re into tales about female friendship and the wild ride that is our twenties, this is the book for you.
Tayari Jones – An American Marriage
Oprah loves this book so what else is there to say? Apart from ‘why have I not read it yet?’ of course! An American Marriage is a contemporary love story or should I say love triangle. Set in the Deep South, Celestial and Roy are young, upwardly mobile and in love. Their American Dream turns nightmarish when Roy is convicted of a crime his new bride knows he didn’t commit. With Roy facing a 12 year sentence, Celestial finds comfort in the arms of his best friend and best man, Andre. Uh oh. To add an extra dose of complication, Roy’s conviction is quashed so he heads back ‘home’ to Atlanta…
Lorrie Moore – Self-Help
Summer is the perfect time to catch up on new books and also to dive into a classic. First released in 1985, Self Help by Lorrie Moore is a seminal short story collection so I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I only read it for the first time when Sweetbitter author Stephanie Danler mentioned it in her Instagram Stories. I devoured Self-Help in one weekend and fell in love with Moore’s writing which just reels you in. Favourite stories? The opener How to be an Other Woman, How to Become a Writer and the engrossing To Fill. But, if I had to pick just one, Amahl and the Night Visitors – about a relationship breakdown, a cat and the perils of obsessing over things – really stayed with me long after I reached the last page.