Ready Steady Book: Summer Must-Reads
It’s pretty fair to say that the summer of 2020 won’t be like any we’ve experienced before: no Aperol Spritzes on a terrace overlooking the ocean, no lounging by the pool until you’re in desperate need of suncream, no carefree days spent exploring undiscovered beaches. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get lost in a good book – in fact, they might just be the ticket to exploring you’ve needed since lockdown began. Since March, I’ve visited a creepy remote island off the coast of Ireland, I’ve taken a stroll through 1990’s Massachusetts, following a young writer at the pinnacle of her career and finally, I’ve explored the coastal marshes of North Carolina, all from the comfort of my living room.
So, without further ado, here are my top three picks to read this summer. I’d suggest reading these in the park, under a tree, with a few tinnies! Happy reading!
The Guest List
A body is discovered on the wedding night of a high profile couple and every single guest is a suspect, all with their own unique means and motives. Adding to that central mystery is the question mark surrounding who the body belongs to, which remains unknown until the last few pages – completely adding to the unsettling nature of the book.
Entertaining, atmospheric and well-paced, The Guest List will keep you guessing right until the very end. At which point, you’ll have, like me, considered every single person a suspect and been through every plausible movie possible. And even more incredibly, you’ll still be surprised by the outcome – which plays off realistically but with enough drama to still be shocking. If you like your whodunnits slow-burning and wickedly suspenseful, you’ll love this.
Writers & Lovers
Completely blindsided by the death of her mother, and just days out of a troubling relationship, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997, working in a restaurant and desperately trying to finish her first novel. It’s a beautiful, introspective and intimate peek into the life of a struggling writer – one who is also dealing with loss. The loss of an important family member, but also of a past love.
Some of the insights from King really hit home and were thoughtful, painful and so quietly relatable that I had to sometimes take a minute! The way King writes about the minutiae details really transports you to that place and time…and ultimately stays with you for a long time after.
Where The Crawdads Sing
Set in North Carolina, Crawdads follows the tale of Kya Clarke – known to the locals as ‘Marsh Girl’. Right from the opening, readers are thrown into a murder mystery as star football player Chase Andrews is found dead, and suspicion is immediately directed at Kya. However the book is far from just a standard murder mystery – instead, what’s on offer here is a beautiful and evocative novel about rich and poor, growing up differently, the loneliness of living in isolation and the feelings of experiencing your first love.
I genuinely read this over two days – It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. At its core is a compelling, heartbreaking story with universal themes. You’ll find yourself hard-pressed not to root for Kya or be captivated by her story.
Harry Clark – Strategist