Summer has just kicked off for students across the island, and while for some this is an opportunity to spend their days on boats and beaches, for others it’s also the perfect opportunity to hit the books (or maybe even the beaches AND the books at the same time – multi-tasking and all). The problem with reading for fun however is that sometimes, we’re not sure where or with what to start. With this in mind, we’ve got 7 suggestions from 7 of our team to help you with your choice!
Albert – The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Allan Karlsson is about to celebrate his 100th birthday, and a party is planned in his retirement home with all residents and local media in attendance. Everyone is looking forward to the party; everyone except for Allan himself that is. Annoyed at his now mundane life, Allan grabs his bed slippers and hauls himself out of his bedroom window, making a slow getaway to the nearest bus station. What follows is an astonishing journey involving the police (in all their glorious incompetence), drug dealers, a few murders, Albert Einstein’s barely ever heard of brother, foiled assassination attempts, a Siberian labour camp, more historic world leaders than you can shake a stick at, and a suitcase filled to the brim with money. Allan’s story, both in the present and in the past, is guaranteed to have you captivated with a smile on your face. This is historic fiction, realistic adventure and hilarious comedy all neatly rolled up into one fantastic novel that nobody should ever miss.
Amber – One Day by David Nicholls
On the 15th of July 1988, St Swithin’s Day, University graduates Emma, a wannabe poet/writer, and Dexter, a cocky rich boy, spend an unorthodox night together. By some strange twist of fate, the pair soon become best friends despite their inherent differences and what proceeds is the rest of their lives, spent together or apart, on St Swithin’s Day over the next twenty years. Each year on the 15th of July, the author pays Emma and Dexter a visit, slowly unravelling their lives together and separately, across the wide range of trials and tribulations the two of them face. The story is poignant and truthful about exactly how life can simultaneously push and pull people apart and it is a painfully truthful story about the difficulties of maintaining a friendship and relationship despite all the difficulties one may face. It is a book about life, one that keeps you holding on and rooting for the characters till the very end, in my opinion the perfect summer read.
Jill – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Originally categorized as children’s literature, The Curious Incident is suitable for all ages and is an easy read (I personally finished it in two days). The story revolves around Christopher, a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome trying to cope with everyday life. The murder of his neighbour’s dog triggers his detective skills and his nosing-about leads to him discovering something pivotal about his family’s past. It is a novel worth reading that also brings light to the awareness needed in society regarding people with a form of disability. Such a page turner!
Ian – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Sometimes, the journey is the destination. That was certainly my case when reading The Alchemist. The English translation is remarkable, none of the magic is lost, and just about every page has a quote worthy of Instagram. The book follows a boy who continuously learns to avoid the lures of routine’s stability and security to follow his dream, and his heart. I think Madonna puts it best though: “A beautiful book about magic, dreams and the treasures we seek elsewhere and then find on our doorstep.”
Joe – The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
The Shock of the Fall is the debut and so far, only novel from author Nathan Filer. It was published in 2013 to wide acclaim from critics and even received the Costa Book of the Year award and the Betty Task prize. The book follows Matthew Homes as he deals with guilt and a vicious descent into mental illness, and that’s all I’m willing to say about the plot. I picked up this gem in 2014 and so far, it is the only book that I’ve ever finished within a day of buying it, simply because I couldn’t put it down. The book paints a touching yet grimly realistic picture of what it is like to deal with a fast-developing mental illness and the death of someone held dear. For anyone interested in psychology, this is a must read.
Nicky – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Your typical murder mystery and psychological thriller, but told through narrators who are not all that reliable. The author’s journalism background comes through in the detailed and vivid descriptions and diary entries. As the protagonist tries to piece the puzzle together, so do you. Definitely a great page turner and easy read this summer!
Dora – The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido
The Corpse Reader is an intriguing thriller set in China, written by Antonio Garrido which narrates the story of Cí Song, an aspiring forensic investigator who was forced to run away and dig graves for a living; something which only served to reinforce his knowledge of bodies. It is set in the thirteenth century Tsong Dynasty and it is based on Song Cí, who is considered to be the father of forensic science. If you’re an avid crime and thriller reader by authors such as Harlan Coben, James Patterson or even Peter James, you’ll surely enjoy the historic and foreign taste of this book. The rich imagery and the quick pace of the plot will require a warm cup of tea, some cushions and three days of staying up past 3 am (unless you are strong enough to put it down and not let the suspense devour you).
Got any other great books to read? Let us know in the comments section!