I love the summer. Sun, sand, waves crashing, beers clinking. It’s my favourite time of the year. It’s also my favourite time to sit under the shade of a tree and read a book.
These are my favourite summer reads of 2019. (So far!)
The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton -
I wanted to put this book first because I just finished it. IT IS AMAZING. I can’t think of another book harder to put down than this one. The writing flows beautifully and paints a vivid picture in your mind. And the story is one of the most unique and exciting I’ve ever read. I couldn’t put it down because I had to know what happened at the end! Funny, scary, poignant, dark, dramatic, action packed. It has everything.
Stuart, if you’re reading this: WRITE MORE BOOKS, please.
Blood Song by Anthony Ryan -
I have read this book at least five times. Probably more. It is my all time favourite novel. It always makes it into my “to read” pile. Anthony Ryan is the king of world building and character development. His stories act on a huge scale. Intercontinental war and political intrigue drive the story; but it’s the nitty-gritty lives of the characters that make it such a compelling read. This book is the book that reinvigorated my love of fantasy, and is one of the books that drove me to write my own. Thank you, Anthony.
The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell -
Anyone who loves the world of fantasy and history knows that Bernard Cornwell is the king. His books are pure entertainment. I’ve never read a bad Cornwell book. The Last Kingdom is the story of the Saxons and the Danes. It is a violent and exciting journey of war, invasion and survival. Cornwell does a great job of greying-out the usual black & white bad guy-good guy dynamic. By the end of the book you realize that you don’t really care about the war at all. You’re so invested in the characters and their own choices that the fate of the world seems less important.
On Writing by Stephen King -
A friend of mine bought this for me for my birthday. It has completely changed how I go about the craft of writing. To be candid, I have never read a Stephen King novel all the way through. But I have the utmost respect for a man who is obviously a master of this craft. This is made all the more obvious having read this book. He understands writing in such an amazing way. I am so thankful for this book finding its way to me because it has no doubt improved my writing.
If you’re not a writer, you should still read this book. Stephen King is a funny, dry and highly intelligent man and his methods are as interesting as his stories. (I think, I’ve never read one. But lots of people have!)
The Wolf by Leo Carew -
Leo Carew’s new book, The Spider, comes out soon. Because of that I wanted to re-read this book to make sure everything was fresh in my mind. Reading it a second time I found I enjoyed it even more than before. A story that on the surface appears to be a classic tale of war, political sabotage and invasion. Is so much more than that. It is violent, funny, stressful and suspenseful. You’re never quite sure which way the story is going to go but you’re always happy when you get there. This is a terrific debut novel from a really, really good story teller.
What’s next on my “to read” pile?
The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny -
After putting down Stuart Turton’s roller coaster thriller, I found myself craving another one. I have completely fallen for mystery and I want more! Penny’s book looks on the surface to fit the bill. I’m excited to dive in.
A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall -
I recently traded in a bunch of old books at my local bookstore. Books that I’ll never read again, maybe someone else can get some enjoyment out of them! With my store credit in hand I headed straight to the fantasy section to look for a brand new book! I spent half an hour perusing the shelves, becoming increasingly dejected as every book I picked up left me bored. But then I picked up this book. The first two words of the book are:” “FIVE VILLAINS.” I’m fucking in. I didn’t even read the rest, you sold me!
I picked this book up years ago. It’s just sat on my bookshelf gathering dust. I know Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman are both exceptional writers, and I’ve enjoyed so many of their books. But this one just slipped through the cracks. The new TV show on Amazon reignited my interest. I decided to add it to my “to read” pile because David Tennant played the lead role. (YES, ANOTHER DOCTOR WHO REFERENCE, DEAL WITH IT.)
My “to read” pile may be 15 books high, but I’m always looking for recommendations!
What are you reading this summer?