With the holidays now in full swing, we’ve rounded up five books that we recommend reading this summer. Whether it's slow mornings in bed or languid afternoons by the pool, these books each provide a reading experience conducive to the kinds of idle days we look forward to with each summer.
Ghosts, Dolly Alderton
Ghosts is the debut fiction novel by Dolly Alderton (of the former & beloved High Low Podcast) and came out in the Spring of 2020. As easy-going as it is human, Ghosts is the ideal beach read, or the book you’d take on a weekend away. It follows protagonist Nina Dean as she navigates life in her early thirties. You’ll laugh, you’ll empathise, and when you’re done, you’ll press it into the hands of a friend.
One Day I’ll Remember This: Diaries 1987–1995, Helen Garner
The second volume of Helen Garner’s diaries has just come out and it is as sharp-eyed and soul-baring as the first (Yellow Notebook: Diaries Volume I 1978–1987).
As it illustrates a tumultuous period of the writer’s life, this volume balances the complexities of interpersonal relationships with observations on domestic life. Each note, sentence or paragraph stands on its own here and the diary format of these volumes means it's the kind of book you can pick up and put down easily in between swims, snacks and other interruptions.
Mayflies, Andrew O’Hagan
Told in two parts, Mayflies is a coming-of-age novel that centres on two friends, James and Tully. Set between a small Scottish town in the summer of 1986, and then years later in 2017, Mayflies is utterly absorbing, a life affirming novel that reflects on friendship and the splendours and tragedies of youth - and doesn’t that just spell Summer?
Fathoms: The World In The Whale, Rebecca Giggs
Fathoms is a nonfiction book by Australian writer, Rebecca Giggs and was published mid 2020. Blending natural history, philosophy, and science with personal anecdotes, it explores the cultural and ecological significance of whales and is completely fascinating. A beautifully written deep dive into the natural world, we’d save this one for when you’re feeling refreshed in the new year. As a debut nonfiction, Fathoms blew us away.
The Prophets, Robert Jones Jr.
A masterfully written piece of literary and historical fiction. The Prophets is the debut novel by Robert Jones Jr. The Prophets is a beautiful, intimate tale of queer love between two enslaved men on a Mississippi plantation during the Antebellum period. The storytelling here is as powerful as it is poignant. If there was a season to read a love story, it's surely Summer.
The Prophets comes out in January 2021.
Lastly, remember to love your local bookstore when shopping for books. If you can’t find the title you’re looking for, always ask; most independent bookstores are happy to order titles in.