Wednesday 7 July 2021

7 books to read this summer (and what to drink with them...)

There's no better feeling than laying on the beach or by the pool, headphones in, cocktail or fanta lemon in hand and a good book on the go. Sadly, 2021 doesn't seem like the year most of us will experience that - though if you are, have the best time!!! We still need some good summer reads, so I've put together a list of some of my favourite books for sunny, chilled out days...

The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

I'm so obsessed with this novel - it follows Birdy who takes a summer job as a sommelier, which she is not, in drizzly Scotland. Of course this unfolds into a catastrophic nightmare with plenty of fallouts, a little bit of romance, and plenty of laughter. Perfect for enjoying with a glass of (white/rosé/sparkling) wine, obv! Buy The Summer Job here.

Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klausmann

I haven't read this for years but it's so good; it's about two cousins who grew up holidaying at the same summer house with their families, and about what life was like on those long sticky days in the sun, and how everything can change in the blink of an eye. The kind of book that pairs well with an espresso martini, in my opinion... Buy Tigers in Red Weather here.

The Switch by Beth O'Leary

This is one of my recent reads and I really enjoyed it - it doesn't massively center around holidays or summer or anything but with two months off work, Leena heads to a tiny Yorkshire village and swaps lives with her grandmother. They throw themselves head first into the adventure of living as each other, finding love and friendships along the way and letting themselves heal... Really the kind of book that requires a cup of tea, or maybe a lovely heavy red wine. Buy The Switch here.

Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter

There had to be *some* YA in here and my first was, of course, Melt My Heart. It's got teenage angst, beautiful friendships, nights out, summer jobs, results day (remember that feeling...), finding yourself, family drama and so much more. With great representation (plus-size and LGBT+) and a gorgeous storyline, I'd highly recommend this with something like rhubarb Lambrini or a delicious boozy milkshake. Or just a regular milkshake. Or an iced coffee... Buy Melt My Heart here.

Last Seen by Lucy Clarke

Set on a sandbank frequented by families during the school holidays, this is a summer thriller filled with secrets, sunshine and suspense. Once upon a time two boys went missing at sea and only one came back - this novel unravels the truth, as well as examining the *here and now* of this strange microcosm. Read this with a fruity cider, I think. Buy Last Seen here.

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

One of my favourite books of all time - I recently gave this to my mum and she couldn't put it down either. I read it in lockdown one, curled up on the garden furniture with my dog, and I can vividly remember so much of the plot; this is the sign of a good book for me. Again there's nothing hugely 'summer' or 'holiday' about the story but it's so gripping that it's perfect for a sun lounger read. It follows four school friends, now in their thirties, reunited under dismal circumstances to revisit a tragedy that occurred during their youth. It's so full of twists, turns, drama and well-written characters... I'd recommend to anyone. Best read with something strong - rum and coke, maybe, or gin and tonic. Something to settle your nerves! Buy The Lying Game here.

You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac

What a gorgeous book. This sees Jess and her son William head to the sunny French countryside to stay in William's dad's chateaux, alongside their friends. It's one of those books that has it all - gorgeous setting, humour, sadness, complicated back stories, little things you don't see coming. The chateaux in France makes it the perfect summer read, in my opinion, and it should absolutely be enjoyed with champagne. But prosecco will do! Buy You Me Everything here.

Have you read any of these summer reads? Will you be picking any of them up? And what do you think of the drink recommendations - I wasn't planning on that but of course a book about a sommelier should be enjoyed with wine and then I got carried away...

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