This year, I finally got myself onto a beach for five days of blissful relaxation (check out what I got up to in Indonesia). I had forgotten how much I love doing absolutely nothing. Well, I say absolutely nothing, but I spent the five days solidly reading and got through a few great books that I really wanted to share with you. I’ve also rounded up a few that are sitting on my ‘To Read’ pile that I can’t wait to get stuck into.
The Mystery – Caraval by Stephanie Garber
I love a mystery book – anything that involves complicated family relationships, trips through time and a web of intrigue suits me down to a tee. Caraval doesn’t have all of these elements, but it is sumptuously written, with such evocative scene setting, I felt like I was really there with sisters Scarlett and Donatella.
In a nutshell, Scarlett has always wanted to take part in the wonder of Caraval – an immersive performance choreographed by the elusive Legend. After asking for tickets for years, she gets an invite for her and her sister and gets whisked off to take part in the most dangerous game of her life.
I loved the way this book was written. I didn’t want to put it down – it was like I could hear it, smell it and taste it – but the descriptions never got in the way of the well-paced, thoughtful story line.
The Thought-Provoker – A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart
I’m not sure where I came across this book, but it tells the story of Alex and his relationship with his autistic son, Sam. Alex is going through a rough patch – he’s separated from his wife, he has lost his job and he can’t connect with his son at all.
OK so that I can understand if that summary doesn’t exactly make you want to dive straight in, but I didn’t want to give away too much! This book gave me an insight into what life with an autistic child might be like, and it opened my eyes to what being a parent is like. It really is uplifting and its honesty is somehow affirming – we all go through shit, but we can get through it.
The Thriller – Blood Sisters by Jane Corry
Blood Sisters is the second Jane Corry book I’ve read – the first being My Husband’s Wife, which I enjoyed. Blood Sisters is another thriller centred around two sisters who are hiding a terrible secret. It jumps through time and certainly has the web of intrigue I mentioned I was such a fan of, and at the start, I did really enjoy this book. But by the end, there was one or two twists too many for me. I think it could have benefited from being a bit simpler.
The Rib-Tickler – Hot Mess by Lucy Vine
Hailed as Bridget Jones for the next generation (I’m sure 10,000 books have already been “hailed” as such, but hey), Hot Mess documents the painful single life of Ellie Knight. She lives in a shit hole, hates her job and her colleagues and can’t find a date for love nor money. Cue many lols as she tries to navigate through Tinder and other such millennial horror stories.
I enjoyed this book, but looking back at it, I can’t for the life of me remember what happened (and I read it about a month ago)! It’s the perfect piece of beach fluff – sweet, fun and forgettable. It’s not breaking any literary boundaries, but it did make me laugh. Keep it for the days when you’ve had one sangria too many and want to take it easy.
Now, for the books currently on my reading list…
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena – I’ve seen loads of people reading this and was suffering from some severe FOMO so I picked this up. It’s a thriller that’s meant to be a huge page-turner. We shall see!
The Power by Naomi Alderman – this book has been described as a cross between The Handmaid’s Tale and The Hunger Games, and if that doesn’t sell it enough to you then I don’t know what else to say. DYING to read this!
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert – yes, she from Eat, Pray, Love fame wrote this inspirational book about how easy creativity can be. I was recommended it by the fabulous Jen Lowthrop (She Gets Around) at the Blog At The Beach event and hope it will be the next book to add to my self-help collection.
Where’s your next beach holiday?
Now you’ve got your reading list sorted, when is your next beach holiday? If my recommendations have inspired you to book something, then why not start with Holiday Gems, they have a mega range of last minute holidays that mean you can be sat under an umbrella sipping a cocktail and reading to your heart’s content in no time!
What’s on your summer reading list?
This post was sponsored by Holiday Gems, but all recommendations are my own!
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