It’s June – and summer is (sort of) here. If you’re setting off on a holiday to the sun or just spending a few days in the garden (or probably indoors if you’re in the UK!) then you’re going to need some books to read. Here are my recommendations – unlike some other lists that seem to appear this time of year, these books aren’t necessarily new; some are old favourites, some not so old. More to follow shorty – I’ve read so many good books that ii want to share that there are too many recommendations for one post!
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Don’t Trust These People
Don’t Trust Yourself
And whatever you do, DON’T give away that ending…
Louise – Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets…
David – Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife…
Adele – Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her.
But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks… Is David really the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears?
Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?
This one has mixed reviews, so a bit of a ‘Marmite’ book, but I really liked it. Great for those who like a twist.
Mad by Chloe Esposito
What if you could take the life you’d always wanted?
Alvie has always been in the shadow of her glamorous sister Beth.
So when she’s invited to her identical twin’s luxurious Sicilian villa, Alvie accepts.
Who wouldn’t want seven days in the sun?
With Beth’s hot husband, the cute baby, the fast car and of course, the money.
The thing is it’s all too good to let go . . . and her sister Beth isn’t the golden girl she appears.
It’s Alvie’s chance to steal the life that she deserves.
If she can get away with it.
Hilarious, mad, bad and dangerous. And ‘Bad’ will be out soon.
How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell
‘I was twenty-six years old and an associate beauty editor at Lucky, one of the top fashion magazines in America. That’s all that most people knew about me. But beneath the surface, I was full of secrets: I was a drug addict, for one. A pillhead. I was also an alcoholic-in-training who guzzled warm Veuve Clicquot after work alone in my boss’s office with the door closed; a conniving and manipulative uptown doctor-shopper; a salami-and-provolone-puking bulimic who spent a hundred dollars a day on binge foods when things got bad (and they got bad often); a weepy, wobbly, wildly hallucination-prone insomniac; a tweaky self-mutilator; a slutty and self-loathing downtown party girl; and – perhaps most of all – a lonely weirdo. But, you know, I had access to some really fantastic self-tanner.’
By the age of 15, Cat Marnell longed to work in the glamorous world of women’s magazines – but was also addicted to the ADHD meds prescribed by her father. Within 10 years she was living it up in New York as a beauty editor at Condé Nast, with a talent for ‘doctor-shopping’ that secured her a never-ending supply of prescribed amphetamines. Her life had become a twisted merry-go-round of parties and pills at night, while she struggled to hold down her high-profile job during the day.
Witty, magnetic and penetrating – prompting comparisons to Bret Easton Ellis and Charles Bukowski – Cat Marnell reveals essential truths about her generation, brilliantly uncovering the many aspects of being an addict with pin-sharp humour and beguiling style.
An entertaining, sometimes shocking, and completely honest autobiography.
The Lauras by Sara Taylor
I didn’t realise my mother was a person until I was thirteen years old and she pulled me out of bed, put me in the back of her car, and we left home and my dad with no explanations. I thought that Ma was all that she was and all that she had ever wanted to be. I was wrong…
As Ma and Alex make their way from Virginia to California, each new state prompts stories and secrets of a life before Alex. Together they put to rest unsettled scores, heal old wounds, and search out lost friends. But Alex can’t forget the life they’ve left behind.
Clever, unusual, subtle, deep and thought-provoking.
One other recommendation is for the outstanding ‘Dark Chapter’ by Winnie M. Li.
This is a very dark story based on the author’s own experiences and some may find it upsetting. However, it is a hugely important book, written so well, and should be read widely. Maybe not for the beach though.