Summer holidays are nearly here, and what's the only thing better than a summer break? A summer break with a lovely new stack of books to read, of course! Whether it's two weeks in the sun, trekking in far-flung destinations or a restful staycation, we've put together our Summer Collection to help you choose books to keep you entertained, informed and inspired. Take a look at our top picks below or pop into one of our shops to see even more hand-picked choices.
The Beautiful Summer by Cesare Pavese
It’s one of fiction’s most frequent topics but few novels have captured the awakening of sexuality with as much skill and poetry as Pavese’s masterpiece. Over the course of one Italian summer, and against a backdrop of changing sexual mores, a teenager becomes aware of both her own body and those of others. Pervaded throughout by a heady atmosphere of desire and excitement, jealousy and shame, The Beautiful Summer is timeless and more than deserving of its status as one of the greatest novels to come out of Italy.
Gary, Charing Cross Road
How Not To Be a Boy by Robert Webb
Part memoir, part dissection of the gender roles that bind, constrict and have us enacting our place in the world rather than truly living it, How Not to be a Boy is funny, moving and a welcome addition to the Challenging Social Norms genre of non-fiction.
Sarah, Web Team
The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley
1859. Quinine, the lifesaving treatment for malaria is dwindling. Merrick Tremayne must venture on a quest to secure a supply of this vital remedy in the distant jungles of Peru. At the town of Bedlam where saints hold sway, and statues creep and sometimes kill, Merrick finds much more than the cinchona trees he seeks. From the author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street comes an historical novel that skims the realms of fantasy; the only description that fits is "astounding".
Matt, Web Team
From Bacteria to Bach and Back by Daniel C. Dennett
A fascinating exploration into the evolution of the mind. Drawing on the ideas of Descartes, Darwin and Dawkins and at times suggesting that regardless of the insights that have been made in the past 200 years into how the mind works it may very well have originated in what is referred to as the “mindless process of natural selection..”. Essential reading for anyone who’s questioning continues amidst such seismic advances into both technology and neuroscience in recent times.
Stephen, Charing Cross Road