The lazy hedonistic joy of being on an Australian beach in summer negated the words. – Christos Tsolkias
Summer time is only a stone’s throw away. Time to start prepping the summer books list. Summer in Australia means plenty of time for lying on the beach, paperback in hand, sandy feet and salty hair. What more could one ask for? Perhaps some ice cream delivered to your free hand? To make the summer as enjoyable as it can be needs forethought and planning into the one thing that can make or break it: your book list! Enter me with a list of my top five summer reads. Each novel serves a different purpose, because in life balance is important and we all need a little diversity.
First up is the all important and cliched read: the light, fun and easy read. It is summer, your are relaxing, blowing off steam and need the perfectly enjoyable book that you can zone out to. My absolute favourite book (and very aptly named) is The Last Summer by the amazing Ann Brashares, who brought us the all important Sisterhood series. The characters are warm and loveable, the story has its highs and lows but will ultimately leave you satisfied. Can you really ask for anything more?
Next up we need a little comedy. The sun is shining, you are soaking up the excess vitamin D, feeling joyful. A laugh out loud book is only going to compliment this feeling. I’ve picked the funniest book I own, that has caused me to make a fool of myself anytime I was smart enough to read it in public. But no worries, LOLing on the beach to this book is only going to increase the good vibes of the public and maybe excite a little curiosity as to what is so damn funny. How To Talk To A Widower by Jonathan Tropper is in the vein of his other novels, a typical person going through a tough time in their lives but what sets it apart is his ability to tell such truths in such a humorous way you can’t help but love it!
Okay, so we are Aussies on the beach right? An Australian author is a necessity! We have so many amazing authors so pretty much anyone will do, however, my pick is the debut novel by Kate Mildenhall Skylarking. This is an easy to read book that is set on the Australian coastline around a lighthouse settlement in the 1800’s and is based on the true story of two girls, Kate and Harriet. The fun of this book is lying on the coastline, imagining what it might have been like over a hundred years ago. Isolated and just settling, the beauty would have been astounding.
Another requirement for a beach read is suspense. You need at least one good, edge of your seat mystery in the pile. Black Water Lilies by French author Michel Bussi is the most memorable mystery I have read this year. The book opens with a great epilogue that will hook you in and continues to weave a tangled web of murders in Monet’s famed garden. The twist is great and will leave you impressed at how you don see it coming until the last second, despite how simple the answer is. Definitely give this one a go!
Last, but not least, you do need one book to challenge you. One book that makes you think critically, even if just to impress others with your super serious grown up read. But seriously, one book to get you thinking will give you something to do when you are lying on your back, sunnies on, tanning the front of you because you need to even it up (and it is just too hard to hold a book up for that long). My pick for this category is Black Rock White City by A. S. Patric, double points because he is an Aussie author. This novel deals with themes of refugees, the Australian culture and war all set in the backdrop of a Melbourne hospital. Oh, and there is a little mystery on the side. This book one the Miles Franklin Award this year and is definitely a worthwhile read for any Australian.
There it is, my summer reading list. What do you think? Yay? Nay? What have I missed? What is on your summer reading list? What do you recommend?