My Six Summer Book Picks

Summer is the season of reading for me and I seem to get through more books in the next few months compared with the rest of the year. Reading outdoors is one of my favourite things to do so even if it is not warm but dry, I’ll always try to sneak in some reading in the garden.

Some exciting news is that I’ll be holding a summer book club/reading challenge. I did a poll on Instagram to ask if anyone would be interested and every single person who answered said yes. It is something I’ve been toying with for a few weeks now but didn’t know if my followers would be keen on the concept, but now I’ve had confirmation that y’all would be, I can’t wait to get the ball rolling with it!

I’ve probably mentioned this a gazillion times before but, I don’t have any family or friends who read to the extent I do, hence why the online book community has been a welcome environment for me. Being able to talk about my love of reading, find inspiration for future reads and talk to other like-minded people is something I love to do. One of my reading goals was to join a ‘proper’ book club, and now that we’re halfway through the year, it’s a goal that I haven’t managed to achieve in the way I wanted. I follow some celebrity book clubs, but some months I either find myself not struck by their choices or, struggle to get the books because the majority of clubs are American and release dates differ from here in the UK. I don’t know of any local book clubs, so I thought to myself: why not create my own for the summer? With most people taking a summer break or jetting off on holiday doing some reading on the beach, it seemed like the perfect time to kick-start something like this. I’ve settled on six books so here are my choices for summer 2018.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book is one of my favourites from 2017, and it is the perfect book for summer. I rarely re-read books, but I devoured this one so quickly last year that I’m excited to read it for the second time. As someone who loves old Hollywood actresses and movies, this book is right up my street. Evelyn Hugo is a famous actress who has led a glamour life in the movie business. Finally ready to bare all about her life, she chooses an unknown magazine reporter named Monique Grant for the job. Monique, who is shocked at the proposal, accepts. The book focuses on Evelyn divulging her life story, juicy secrets and tales of her career and different marriages. But Monique has one question at the back of her mind – why was she chosen? This book is incredibly glamorous, fun and you will struggle to put it down. It’s perfect if you love all things showbiz, old Hollywood glamour, life stories and a little twist.

The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder by Sarah J. Harris

One of the most anticipated books in my choices is this delightful sounding book by Sarah J.Harris. Jasper isn’t an ordinary child – some would call him extraordinary. He suffers from synesthesia, a condition where we hear sound, Jasper sees colour. But one Friday, he discovers a new colour – the colour of murder. Jasper is convinced something sinister has happened to his neighbour, Bee Larkham. With nobody else taking his concerns seriously, the knife and the screams are all mixed up in his head, and he’s scared that he can’t quite remember anything clearly. But where exactly is Bee and why hasn’t she come home? Jasper makes it his mission to find out what happened to her – including the role he may have played. I love books with interesting, different characters, so I’m excited to get to know Jasper and his condition as well as the mystery surrounding Bee. I’m looking forward to reading this and hope you are too.

The Woman In The Window by AJ Finn

Would it be a summer book club without a thriller? Absolutely not. What would summer be without sitting in the sunshine or by the pool reading a book full of twists and turns? The Woman In The Window is one of my favourite thrillers from this year, and it was a no-brainer to include this in my series as I think most people will love this. Anna Fox is a recluse living in New York who enjoys watching old movies, drinking wine and watching his neighbours from her window. A new family move in across the road, The Russell’s, who seem like the perfect family. While Anna watches them from her window, she thinks she has seen something awful happen to Mrs Russell. But did she really see what she thinks she did? A thriller with Hitchcock/The Girl On The train vibes, this is a book you’ll struggle to put down.

The Lido by Libby Paige

This book appears to be hugely popular among book clubs for the summer, and it’s easy to see why. A lighthearted read featuring an unlikely friendship. We meet Rosemary, an eighty-six-year-old widow who has grown up in London her whole life. She visits The Lido, her local swimming pool where she spends most of her time after learning to swim there as a child during the war. Kate Matthews is new to the area and is a lonely journalist, frequently feeling depressed and suffering from panic attacks. Kate is tasked with writing an article about The Lido after it receives a threat of closure and this is where Kate and Rosemary spark up an unlikely friendship. There have been nothing but rave reviews about this online and it is a summer read I can’t wait to tuck into.

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

One of my most anticipated reads of the year is The Ensemble by Aja Gabel, so I just had to include this in my six choices. I just know I won’t be able to describe this book with the justice it deserves so here’s a snippet of the description from GoodReads:

The addictive debut novel about four young friends navigating the cutthroat world of music and their complex relationships with each other, as ambition, passion, and love intertwine over the course of their lives.

Brit is the second violinist, a beautiful and quiet orphan; the viola is Henry, a prodigy who’s always had it easy; the cellist is Daniel, the oldest, the angry sceptic who sleeps around; and on the first violin is Jana, their flinty, resilient leader. Together, they are the Van Ness String Quartet.

In The Ensemble, each character picks up the melody, from the group’s youthful rocky start through to adulthood. As they navigate devastating failures and wild success, heartbreak and marriage, triumph and loss, betrayal and enduring loyalty, they are always tied together—by career, by the intensity of their art, by the secrets they carry together, and by choosing each other over and over again.

I can’t wait to get to know the characters within this book and learn a little more about the classical music industry works.

The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth

I’ve mentioned before on my blog that I’ve been reaching for thriller/mystery style books more than usual this year, so it seemed only right to finish off with one. This has been described as perfect for fans of Big Little Lies which I absolutely adored so I can’t wait to read this. We meet Isabelle Heatherington, who lives in Pleasant Court, a small suburb where everyone knows their neighbours and is a lovely place to live. Isabelle is slightly different from her neighbours as she doesn’t have any children or a husband and she soon catches the attention of three mothers within the street. But each of them has their own secret to hide. As they begin to obsess over their new neighbour, the secrets of the three woman begin to spread, making you wonder just how much you can trust your neighbours. It sounds very up my street, and each character sounds so interesting.

So there we have it! If you’ve made it this far then congrats because this has been a loooooong one for sure. I’ve only read two of these choices – Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and The Woman In The Window, so I’m hoping to enjoy the majority alongside you all. Have you read any of these? Will you be picking any of these up to read? If you do, make sure you tag me or use the hashtag #ABSummerReads I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always you can comment below or tweet me at @amysbookshelf_ or Instagram at @amysbookshelf. Thanks for reading.

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