10 New Books You Need To Read This Summer
Alone Time by Stephanie Rosenbloom
The debut book by New York Times travel columnist Stephanie Rosenbloom, Alone Time sees her travel solo through four seasons to Paris, Istanbul, Florence and New York, exploring the sensory experience of solitude along the way. The average adult spends about a third of their waking time alone – yet research shows that we aren’t very good at using, yet alone enjoying, the time we spend by ourselves. Here, Rosenbloom artfully persuades us that there is pleasure to going solo and offers a raft of handy hints along the way.
Promising Young Women by Caroline O’Donoghue
This debut novel from Irish writer Caroline O’Donoghue plunges into the world of agony aunts, as our recently dumped protagonist, Jane Peters (aka anonymous blogger Jolly Politely) is forced to follow her own advice when she becomes ‘the other woman’. O’Donoghue displays Jane’s chaos as a 26-year-old living in London with knowing humour, while wittily deciphering oh-so-familiar situations (one scene in which Jane is ignored during an all-male sales pitch is perfection). We can’t wait to see what O’Donoghue does next.
The Last Romeo by Justin Myers
From one anonymous blogger to another, The Last Romeo is the first novel from Justin Myers, a GQ and former Gay Times columnist who used to write under the moniker The Guyliner. We’ve always devoured his weekly takedowns of The Guardian’s blind date columns, and this confident story is no different – we demolished it in a day. It centres on newly single James, who begins blogging about his humdrum dates as a way to keep his friends entertained. However, he soon builds a hungry following, and desperate to keep them sated, posts a not-too-subtle exposé about a secretly-gay Olympian. Sharply narrated and packed with quotable one-liners, The Last Romeo explores consent, dating and our celebrity-obsessed world with a deft touch.
How to Be Famous by Caitlin Moran
The hilarious sequel to How to Build a Girl, How To Be Famous follows pop hack Johanna Morrigan as she navigates the music industry in 1995. Just 19-years=old, she sees the horrors of fame all around her – pill addiction, booze, writer’s block. So, she decides to write a monthly column to detail every ridiculous aspect of being famous. But when she sleeps with edgy comedian Jerry Sharp, things take a turn for the worse when he incorporates her into one of his takedowns. No doubt mining her own experience at Melody Maker in the 90s, this is Moran at her best.
Social Creature by Tara Burton
This deliciously dark novel has been dubbed a ‘Ripley story for the Instagram age’. It follows Louise, struggling to survive in New York. Juggling a series of poorly paid jobs and renting a shabby flat, she dreams of being a writer. Then one day she meets Lavinia, who has everything – looks, money, clothes, friends, an amazing apartment… Soon, Louise gets sucked into her charmed circle, sharing her clothes, her drugs, her Uber account and her invites to underground parties – but it won’t last forever. So, just how far is she prepared to go to have Lavinia’s life?
An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim
In September 1981, Polly and Frank, a young couple from Buffalo, arrive at a time travel terminal: one will travel, and one will stay. A virulent flu is sweeping through America, and the only way to pay for lifesaving treatment is for a loved one to travel into the future as a Journeyman, a migrant worker for recruitment agency TimeRaiser. When Polly enlists to save Frank’s life, he promises to meet her at Galveston, Texas in 1993. But when she lands, it is 1998 and Frank is nowhere to be found. A striking portrayal of love and loss.
How Do You Like Me Now? By Holly Bourne
There's no doubt that Tori is winning the game of life. She's inspired millions of women to stick two fingers up at convention with her bestselling memoir, and she has the perfect relationship to boot. But Tori’s been living a lie. Everyone around her is getting married and having babies, but her long-term boyfriend won't even talk about getting engaged. So, when her best friend Dee falls in love, suddenly Tori's in danger of being left behind. The debut adult novel by bestselling author Holly Bourne is a blisteringly funny, honest and moving account of navigating the emotional rollercoaster that is your thirties. We absolutely loved it.
Crudo by Olivia Laing
Crudo documents what it was like to live and love in the summer of 2017 – one that was punctuated by rising fascism, global warming and political unrest. The book follows Kathy, who is about to get married. From a Tuscan hotel for the super-rich to a Brexit-paralysed UK, Kathy spends the first summer of her 40s trying to adjust to making a lifelong commitment just as Trump is tweeting the world into nuclear war. Known for her incisive, insightful non-fiction, Olivia Laing’s first foray into fiction radically rewires the novel in a brilliant, funny and emphatically raw account of love in the apocalypse.
Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard
On a humid summer day, the phones begin to ring: disaster has struck. Chateau de Sully, a Boeing 707 chartered to ferry home more than one hundred of Atlanta's most prominent citizens from a European jaunt, crashed in Paris shortly after take-off. It is the second-deadliest disaster in the history of aviation. Overnight, the city of Atlanta changes. Left behind are children, spouses, lovers, and friends faced with renegotiating their lives. Hannah Pittard’s evocative novel – based on real events – is a story of the promise and hope that remain in the wake of a crisis.
Florida by Lauren Groff
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Groff has returned with a new book as bold and consuming as her novel Fates and Furies. A collection of short stories, Groff brings to life a world in which storms, snakes and sinkholes lurk at the edge of everyday life, but the greater threats and mysteries are of a human, emotional and psychological nature. Among those navigating it all are a resourceful pair of abandoned sisters; a lonely boy, grown up; a restless, childless couple; a searching, homeless woman; and an unforgettable recurring character – a steely and conflicted wife and mother.
The Tyranny of Lost Things by Rhiannon Lucy Coslett
This debut by Guardian columnist and Founder of feminist blog The Vagenda, Rhiannon Lucy Coslett focuses on Harmony. After dropping out of uni, she returns to the urban commune where she lived as a child, now divided into flats. She rents a room in the hope of uncovering the source of her nightmares about a red-headed woman who haunts the house and her obsession with lost objects from her childhood. As the London riots explode in the streets, the two hot summers converge, blurred by drugs, sex and cheap wine, and Harmony begins to discover what really happened 20 years ago.
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