What we’re reading over summer

Now Christmas is over everyone can settle down with a good book. Here is what we’re reading this summer.


Belle is planning to read…

My aspirational summer reading list will begin with re-reading Middlemarch, a choice partly inspired by Rebecca Mead’s forthcoming memoir, The Road to Middlemarch. A few days camping will allow uninterrupted time to read the second book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series, The Story of a New Name. I’m looking forward to dipping into issue three of Music & Literature, which features an exchange of long-form letters between Gerald Murnane and Teju Cole, and also getting to Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, who Anne Enright hailed as a ‘genius’ and Eleanor Catton chose as her ‘discovery of the year’.

Finally, I’ll be looking ahead to 2014 with early reading copies of Mark Mulholland’s A Mad and Wonderful Thing, a debut novel about an IRA sniper to be published by Scribe, and Suzanne McCourt’s The Lost Child, also a debut to be published by Text, set in 1950s Burley Point on Australia’s wild southern coast.

Here’s hoping it’s an endless summer.


Nina is planning to read…

I keep promising myself ‘I’m not going to buy any more books before Christmas’ and then I walk into our Carlton shop and buy just one more, so I have a never-ending, always-growing ‘to-read’ pile to choose from this summer.

I’m going hiking and camping in New Zealand, so I need books appropriate for the trip. Nothing too heavy (hardcovers are out, as is anything over 500 pages), and nothing too serious, slow or depressing. A guaranteed good read, since I won’t have any other options if I change my mind. I’m looking for an engrossing and entertaining novel, something that will keep me turning the pages.

To that end, new releases heading up my shortlist are Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Two classics I’ve always wanted to read that might also find their way into my backpack are Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence and Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express.


Bronte is planning to read…

Stacked in my bedside pile are several ‘big books’ including A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava, The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace and The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. I’m determined to read one of these titles over summer and at this stage am leaning towards the Wolitzer as it sounds more suited to holiday reading.

This summer I’m also planning on venturing into audio books for the first time. I’ve never listened to one before but have several friends who swear by them and as I’m flying home to see family for the holidays, opportunity is rife. I’ve been doing some research into which would be the best title to start with and feel a little overwhelmed. On my list is Meryl Streep reading Nora Ephron’s Heartburn, Colin Firth reading Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair, Donna Tartt reading Charles Portis' True Grit (I strongly encourage you listen to her closing essay on her love for this novel here), to name a few! Though ultimately, I’m tempted to simply go with Stephen Fry’s reading of the complete Harry Potter series, which is well-loved by many people.

Browse more of our top picks for Summer Reading in the collection below.

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Life After Life

Life After Life

Kate Atkinson

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