An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful, J David Simons
Don’t be put off by the rather bland cover, this book is beautifully written, and is the first book to make me really wish to visit Tokyo, especially the surrounding area. The story follows a British writer from post war Britain to post Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan and, after an unhappy marriage, back to the shadow of Mount Fuji in 2003. Subtle, colourful, funny and moving – a great holiday read.
The Rocks, Peter Nichols
This was recommended by a customer who has great taste as enjoyable, if not, more than Beautiful Ruins which we always consider the perfect summer read. I have only just started it but at the moment it has all the necessary ingredients: a beautiful place, Mallorca; family discord and secrets and descriptions of sea, food and wine and history that bring the place alive.
Federer and Me, William Skidelsky
I love Federer – to me, watching him is like watching ballet on a tennis court. When he is at his best, he plays like an angel. William Skidelsky agrees with me but is also so much more knowledgeable about the game without being boringly technical as he endeavours to discover what it is that sets Federer apart from all the other players. He is also very funny about other players, especially Nadal.
West of Sunset, Stewart O’Nan
A fictional account of the last years of F Scott Fitzgerald’s wife: Zelda is in a mental asylum, Fitzgerald is poor and ill but it is the golden age of Hollywood and the drama is still to be played out. A haunting picture of a haunted man in an increasingly unfamiliar world.
Never Any End to Paris, Enrique Vila-Matas
A homage to Paris and the artists and writers who have made it their home, this is a wonderfully funny and captivating tale of a would-be writer trying to live the life of Hemingway’s writer in A Moveable Feast. Littered with literary references this is a jewel of a novel.
A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara
This amazing book is not out until mid August but already those who have read it, cannot stop talking about it. For those who loved the Goldfinch, and even those, who like me, didn’t, this book will monopolise your thoughts and life until and after the last page. The story involves four college friends, now living in New York but centres on the deeply involving characters of Jude and Willem. It is, at times, deeply harrowing but overwhelmingly about love and friendship and trying to live a life in the face of deep trauma.
Also, we are very excited at the prospect of the fourth and final book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. If you haven’t read any, I would urge anyone to pick up the first, My Brilliant Friend, this summer as they are wonderful.
Books for Teenagers:
Remix, Non Pratt – two friends, one is trying to mend a broken heart and the other is bored of hearing about it so they decide a music festival is the perfect antidote.
The Lie Tree, Frances Hardinge – A dark tale of truth and lies with a strange tree at the centre of it all
Half Wild, Sally Green – the follow up to the supernatural thriller Half Bad. The war between the black and white witches escalates and danger threatens from every side.
The Young World, Chris Weitz – for all lovers of dystopian fiction such as Insurgent and the Hunger Games
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee – with the imminent publication of Harper Lee’s unseen manuscript a reminder of the timeless original novel. lutyensrubinstein