Emma Kate & Co.

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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

75 Books To Read This Summer

Despite the variable weather conditions summer is finally upon us. There's something about the summer time that just begs for a good read. Whether it's lying on the beach in the Bahamas or on your sofa with a glass of wine after a day at work, life is better with a book. I've compiled the ultimate summer reading list to keep you busy during the warmer months. I've split them into 8 categories: novellas and shorter fiction, literary fiction, commercial fiction, historical fiction, classics, mysteries and thrillers, non-fiction and children's literature (because it's the perfect time to reminisce on those long summers of your childhood). Some of them I've read and some of them are on my own personal reading list for this summer. Happy Reading! 

The Short

1 // Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
1940s New York. Cocktails, millionaires, Holly Golightly.

2 // The Outsiders by S E Hinton 
There are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. Socs have all the money and can do whatever they please. Greasers live life on the outside. Gang rumbles, murder and coming of age.

3 // The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald 
Glamour, new money, New York, love, some of the most beautiful lines ever written.

4 // Franny and Zooey by J D Salinger 
The Glass family. Franny becomes disenchanted with the inauthenticity that surrounds her. Zooey attempts to comfort her as she has an existential crisis. Short and thoughtful.

5 // Tin Man by Sarah Winman 
The best thing I have ever read. Please dear god go read this.

6 // Swamplandia by Karen Russell 
Follows the Bigtree family at their alligator-wrestling theme park in Florida. Weird and wonderful look at grief and family struggle.

7 // Another Brooklyn, Jacqueline Woodson
Brooklyn in the 1970s, hope, excitement, danger and darkness.

8 // Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
1980s Los Angeles. Sex, drugs and money as a substitution for human emotion.

9 // The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A Victorian woman's descent into madness. Feminism.

The Literary 

10 // I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Autobiographical, poetic, Southern. Maya's struggle with being attacked by a man at 8 years old and finding solace in literature.

11 // Atonement by Ian McEwan 
War, childhood, love, guilt, forgiveness, class.

12 // Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
Love and life from a small village in Ireland to the hectic streets of Brooklyn, New York

13 // The Accidental by Ali Smith
An unknown woman shows up at a family's summer cottage. Each family member assumes she is an acquaintance of the other.

14 // The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Campus story, intellectuals, eccentrics, murder, delicious.

15 // The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
5 beautiful and eccentric sisters, coming of age, adolescent love and death.

16 // A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith 
Irish Francie Nolan coming of age in Williamsburg. Immensely detailed and descriptive depiction of life in Brooklyn.

17 // Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
Religion and homosexuality in a northern town. Absolutely hilarious and brilliantly written.

18 // Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro 
A private school in the English countryside. Unrequited love. A slow but shocking mystery.

19 // The Idiot by Elif Batuman
Harvard, first love, class, ignorance and insecurity

20 // The Line of Beauty by Alan Holinghurst
Notting Hill in the 1980s. Politics, money and art. The rise and fall of power and the AIDS crisis.

21 // The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Juno Diaz 
The life of a Domincan-American family. Oscar is a an overweight geek struggling in love. Peppered with information about Dominican history.

The Commercial

22 // Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Half sisters are born in 18th century Ghana. One is married to an Englishman the other is sold to the slave trade. Homegoing follows the generations that follow.

23 // Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
Coming of age as a waitress in a glitzy restaurant. Navigating love, lust, wealth and youth in New York City.

24 // One Day by David Nicholls
Snapshots of a relationship on the same day over twenty years through fights, friendship, missed moments and love.

25 // The Girls by Emma Cline
1960s California, cults, summer, escape, violence and danger. Based on the Manson Murders.

26 // The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
Quiet, small town summer mystery. Ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly undergo an investigation when Mrs Creasey goes missing.

27 // Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Suburban life, mysterious pasts and a house on fire. The unravelling of secrets.

28 // The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
Kavalier, a young Jewish artist, has smuggled himself out of Prague to New York. Sammy Clay wants to create a comic book with him.

29 // Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 
Military dictatorship in Nigeria. Race in America. Belonging and a beautiful love story.

30 // Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
Funny and loveable, Bridget Jones is a kindred spirit.

31 // The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The tale of black maids in Mississippi and a white woman who wishes to escape the gender constraints placed on her.

32 // The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
The Gold children meet a woman who tells them on what day they will die. The novel follows them as they navigate life with the burden of this knowledge.

33 // The Power by Naomi Alderman
Teenage girls have great physical power that alters the gender dynamic of the world forever.

The Historical

34 // Little Women
New England in the Civil War. Four very different sisters and their lives as they grow up.

35 // Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
1800 England, a con artist, twists and turns galore.

36 The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
Mermaids, courtesans, love and obsession.

37 // Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
The tale of Thomas Cromwell, a charming and ruthless man. Henry VIII's desire to divorce Anne Boleyn leads to religious and political turmoil.

38 // Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
A woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829 awaits execution. Inspired by a true story.

39 // The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
A prostitute in Victorian London dreams of a better life. Follows her rise in society and the variety of people she meets along he way.

40 // The Essex Serpent 
Victorian London and Essex. A sea monster, madness, science, religion and love.

41 // The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
The English countryside between the wars. An aristocratic family full of secrets.

The Classics

42 // Emma by Jane Austen
Emma isn't interested in marriage but loves interfering in her friend's romantic lives.

43 // Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Humbert Humbert falls in love with a twelve-year-old girl. Leaves readers amazed and disgusted.

44 // Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
The romance and privilege of one man's youth and the loss of prosperity as a result of the war.

45 // A Room with a View by E M Forster
Lucy's carefully mapped-out life is thrown into disarray when she visits Florence and meets a number of eccentric characters.

46 // The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
In the deep South, Celie is trapped in a terrible marriage. A story of discovering her own power and freedom.

47 // To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A tale of coming-of-age in the South, surrounded by strong-held prejudice. Life through the eyes of a young girl, whose father defends a black man accused of an awful crime.

48 // Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
1950s America, suburban life, false appearances and a loss of hope.

49 // Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
In South Carolina, Bone finds herself in a family triangle when her father becomes increasingly vicious towards her.

50 // The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 
The tale of a young boy and a runaway slave. This book deserves more love.

The Mysteries 

51 // Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
A private island. A wealthy family. A summer that changes everything.

52 // Still Missing by Beth Gutcheon
7-year-old Alex walks to school one morning and doesn't come back

53 // Big Little Lies
Three women with separate struggles. Murder, scandal and secrets.

54 // Lady Audley's Secret
Disappearances, deaths, mysterious letters. A scandalous Victorian mystery

55 /// Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Story of a Chinese American family in 1970s Ohio. The daughter's body is found floating in the lake and her parents are desperate to find out what happened.

56 // Gone Girl
A missing wife, a suspicious husband and a multitude of twists and turns.

57 // The Girl On The Train
Rachel sees something terrible on her train commute one day that gets her involved in the mystery of a missing woman.

The Non Fiction 

58 // Inside Vogue: My Diary of Vogue's 100th Year
A delicious look into the fashion world, Alexandra Shulman's personal diary from the magazine's 100th year in print.

59 // The Gender Games by Juno Dawson
A look at how the concept of gender causes problems for people from all walks of life. Includes snippets from Juno's own experience as a trans woman

60 // Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
A look at the history and current manifestation of institutionalised racism in Britain.

61 // Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
Real life tales from the 1960s including murder, kidnapped heiresses and cults

62 // Girls Will Be Girls by Emer O'Toole
Cross-dressing, head-shaving, gender questioning. Explores what it means to perform femininity and how confining this is.

63 // Wild by Cheryl Strayed
The death of her mother and breakdown of her marriage leads Strayed to hike the Pacific Crest Trail on her own.

64 // Ctrl, Alt, Delete: How I Grew Up Online by Emma Gannon
A hilarious exploration of the growth of the internet with plenty of relatable moments and interesting observations.

65 // Just Kids by Patti Smith
A look at Smith's days in 1970s New York with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe

66 //  Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body's Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders
A guide to our digestive system. How it's linked to our physical, as well as mental, wellbeing.

67 // Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Younge
On an average day, seven children and teens are shot dead in America. Younge picks a random day and explores the lives of the families affected. A poignant look at gun violence.

68 // How Not To Die by Michael Greger
A look at the biggest killers in the western world, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, and the foods that can prevent them.

The Inner Child

69 // Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery
Anne Shirley tries to win the hearts of the elderly Cuthberts when she realises they wanted to adopt a boy instead.

70 // James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
A giant flying peach, talking insects and a very big adventure

71 // The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Ruby red slippers, a yellow brick road, an emerald city, an evil witch and some flying monkey spies

72 // My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
The fun and heart-warming story of English family life in Corfu

73 // Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome 
The Walker children sail away for adventures on Wild Cat island
Swallows and Amazons introduces the lovable Walker family, the camp on Wild Cat island, the able-bodied catboat Swallow, and the two intrepid Amazons, Nancy and Peggy Blackett.

74 // The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Mary Lennox comes to live in a big lonely house in Yorkshire after being made an orphan. She discovers the secrets of the house: her invalid cousin and a locked garden

75 // Five Children and It by E. Nesbit
Five children find a sand fairy that promises to grant them each a wish that will last until sunset

76 // The Borrowers by Mary Norton 
A tiny family live in matchboxes under the floorboards and face the dangers of the humans that live above them.



  1. This is such an amazing blog post. My reading list just got hell of a lot longer!

    Danielle xx


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