Here's The Non-Trashy Summer Books You Need To Be Reading This Year
The Debrief: Non-trashy summer reads that you need to take on holiday
Villa America - Lisa Klaussman
Klaussman’s debut novel was the sexy and sun-kissed Tigers in Red Weather: 1960s secrets being whispered among women in fantastic dresses in a gorgeous Hamptons home. This time its’s the 1920s, and the house is Villa America on the French Riviera, owned by a wealthy couple who play host to the cream of society, from Picasso to F Scott Fitzgerald - who based Tender Is The Night on the couple. Based in fact but whizzing off into fiction, it’s similar to last year’s Mrs Hemingway. Sexy, gossipy and smart - you’ll feel both tanned and educated by the time you’ve finished it.
Out now - Picador
God in Ruins - Kate Atkinson
Fans of Kate Atkinson’s deservedly mega-bestseller Life After Life can all heave a giant sigh of relief: the follow up is just as good. Where Life After Life told the multiple possible lives of Ursula Todd like a mash up of Groundhog Day and Time Traveller’s Wife, this is rooted in the story of Teddy, her WW2 pilot brother. He was a good, gorgeous and intriguing character anyway, but now we get to see the world, indeed much of the 20th century, through his eyes. Reading Kate Atkinson is as satisfying as watching an incredible dancer or eating at your favourite restaurant, and this is no exception.
Out May 5th - Doubleday
Mislaid & The Wallcreeper - Nell Zink
These are the novels you are looking forward to most this summer. Out next month as a double issue, they are the story of a family, and a portrait of a marriage respectively. But they are so much more. Wealthy Southern families, college affairs between lesbians and gay professors, and musings on race, anal sex and birdwatching are all part of the mix. Zink is a protege of Jonathan Franzen, and she has a knack for one-liners that can make you gasp, and an eye for life’s weirdness that will make you look at the simplest things anew. The Wallcreeper is our favourite of the two, but have fun choosing yours.
Out June 18 - 4th Estate
In the Unlikely Event - Judy Blume
Judy Blume is back! Yes, author of the seminal teen reads Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, Forever, and countless others, the New Jersey goddess who taught more than a generation how to navigate adolescence is using the events of her own teen years as a backdrop for her latest, adult novel. At once comforting, reassuring and pretty bloody dark (it’s about dealing with a series of three plane crashes in one town), it’s as wonderful as any nerdy bookish girl could hope for. Like seeing your coolest aunt after years and years and discovering her take on life is as great as ever.
Out June 4 - Picador
The Last Act of Love - Cathy Rentzenbrink
There are only two ways that this book will be read: devoured in the middle of the night in one sitting, or eeked out, only a few pages a day because the feelings it prompts are simply too intense. Either way, it will both stick with you, and have you grabbing the forearm of whoever asks you what to read next intensely, so they *know* how great this is. Cathy Rentzenbrink’s brother was hit by a car two weeks before his GCSEs and never woke up. But it was eight years before he died. This sounds as if it’s a book about death, or grief, but it’s really a gobsmacking memoir about family, and love. Truly, it will inspire you to be your very best self for a long time after the final page.
Out 2 July - Picador
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At work? With your gran?
You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating