What to read by the pool this summer: part 1

As Amanda already mentioned we are lucky enough to both be away on holiday for three weeks, Amanda in Italy and me in America. Of course we are still blogging and in between doing usual holiday things, we will no doubt get through a fair few books between us. What to take to read on holiday is a tricky one. Anything too high brow or complicated isn't ideal as we don't want to tax our brains too much, after all we are supposed to be relaxing. But we also don't want to go too Chic Lit or blockbuster, as our ability to finish a bad book has diminished over the years.

So here is our guide to essential summer holiday reading. A combination of books we have already read and loved, WR reader recommendations and books we are planning read.
There is nothing better than a friends recommendation, so if you have any you think are 'must haves', please let us know.

It's a Don's Life – Mary Beard


This enjoyable book is a collection of witty posts from Mary Beards TLS blog of the same name. A professor of classics at Cambridge, she sharply observes academic life and asks, what are academics for? Are modern exams easy? What makes the Romans laugh and did St Valentine exist? 
Read this for an engaging, informal insight into the world of academia and a witty view of modern life.

What to Do When Someone Dies – Nicci French


If you love psychological dramas and have never read anything by Nicci French, then buy their first book and prepare to work your way through all 11. You may never talk to your family again! Written by husband and wife team, Nicci Gerrard and Sean French, these best sellers are well written and unputdownable, although we love the early books the best.

The Believers – Zoe Heller

Zoe-heller-the-believers The third novel from the author of the brilliant Notes on a Scandal. The story of a left wing, intellectual American/English Jewish family, the story unfolds after father/husband/radical lawyer has a stroke. His subsequent coma, makes the family question their political beliefs, religion and lifestyles. We loved this intelligent look at the unraveling of a dysfunctional New York family.

Brooklyn – Colm Toibin

Brooklyn An emotional story of a young Irish girl sent off to work in America in the 1950's, which poignantly captures her homesickness, disorientation and excitement at the prospect of a new life. Just as she is settling down, she has to return home and is torn between two worlds. 
A gentle atmospheric book.

One Day – David Nicholls

One-Day-by-David-Nichols A very funny book about friendship, spanning two decades, but taking place on the same date, the 15th of July. We follow the stories of Emma and Dexter from Edinburgh University, through drugs and disappointments, careers and relationships. 

This story of what we aspire to when we are young and the compromises we end up with, will make you laugh out loud on your sunbed.


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