What will you be reading this summer?
It had to be too good to be true! As August approaches the rain has set in here in the South of England. Sad for the younger bucket-and-spade brigade, but for me reading in the garden can be replaced by reading on the sofa.
And here’s a round-up of what’s to hand.
The Leipzig Affair by Fiona Rintoul (also at wee press)
Sex and survival, love and betrayal – the political really is personal, and vice versa – in Germany before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. A riveting dual narrative. I switched off the BBC book at bedtime version so I could read it and now I’m reading it for the second time. It’s written in English by a Scottish journalist and translator with an extensive knowledge of Germany. Would love to know if it rings true for any German readers out there. I loved it the first time and it’s standing up to a more thorough, more gently paced second reading.
Bertie Plays the Blues by Alexander McCall Smith
In another vein altogether, although also a Scottish author. I read on a short train journey to work and need quick twelve-minute fixes. So for a bit of fun I’ll dip into one of McCall Smith’s many books – just depends what the second-hand shop has on offer. (Sorry Alexander, but you are doing a great public service. Does anyone know of a UK second-hand bookshop without an A. McCall Smith on the shelves?) A cast of entertaining characters, a slightly rickety plot (often involving art in some way) and the occasional cameo appearance by another author, e.g. Ian Rankin in the bath – what’s not to like? My daughter and I are fans of Freddie De la Hay (ex-sniffer dog and ex-vegetarian) from Corduroy Mansions in London and Bertie (lovely boy with a lovely but wet father and ghastly controlling mother) from Scotland Street in Edinburgh. Looking forward to a burst of Bertie this August.
I can highly recommend any of the Jackson Brody detective mysteries by Kate Atkinson – great rainy day, stay in bed reads. And do buy the BBC covers – Jason Isaacs really is Jackson Brodie! The best cliff-hanger scene ever is somewhere in there – involving an expensive birthday car and a vicar. Might have to re-read the whole lot to find that scene again – that’s when I get back the ones I’ve lent out. (You know who you are!) In the meantime I’ll be re-reading (I like to get value for money) Life After Life by the same author. A ridiculous premise – that the heroine lives again and again and gradually realises this – is carried off with amazing aplomb. Essentially a wartime story, but one that poses the intriguing question, what would you do if you could live again, and again? Shoot Hitler maybe? And would that work? Contains the best (and possible only) joke concerning a pair of surgical scissors if you stick with it. Now if that’s not a recommendation…
Will actually be leaving the house at some stage to travel to France and before doing so will be loading up the Kindle and hoping to enjoy a few titles by fellow bloggers:
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller
Please Say Kaddish for me by Rochelle Wishoff-Fields
HitList by K Rawson
Leave by Kurt Brindley
And finally I have a terrible guilty confession – yes, I have bought my own book (Dream Girl by Miranda Lewis) for the sheer fun of clicking a button and there it is! But I haven’t gone as far as reviewing it myself. At a mere 99p (that’s about 1p per 400 words!) it’s great value. Hope it can become part of your summer reading. If you do read it, let me know what you think, or leave a review on Amazon. (US Amazon link here.)
Here’s my second review:
An intriguing read, which held my interest from start to finish – Miranda has managed to intertwine two very different protagonists excellently – with all key questions answered at the end, whilst still leaving you wanting to know more… A fantastic summer read!
If you have been, thanks for reading. What are you reading this season?