This blog isn’t intended to critique other people’s work or be a review style site at all, but being here in Ecuador I’ve had the good fortune to have lots of time to read (I know, I’m so lucky). I have put together a list of the top ten books I’ve read in the last few months, that I would highly recommend for your summer holiday, or just for general enjoyment. I must point out that many of these aren’t new this year, mainly because I can’t afford to buy brand new books, preferring to wait a while and get them when they are a little cheaper. The list below is in no particular order. 1.The Girl in the Red Coat, Kate Hamer
This is a really exciting book – it kept me awake until 2am and I’m usually soundo by 9:30pm. What I loved about it is that Hamer doesn’t sanitise the relationship between mother and daughter – it is real in it’s flaws and imperfections and all the better for it. The fact that it’s currently £1:19 on Amazon for Kindle is bonkers. It is worth so much more. 2. The Miniaturist, Jessie Burton
The Miniaturist is an extraordinarily well written book – just beautiful. It strikes the perfect balance between magic and realism while exploring some hugely important themes. I read it a week ago and I still can’t stop thinking about it. If you like historical fiction this one is for you. 3. The Universe Versus Alex Woods, Gavin Extence
This is the story of an unlikely friendship but the writing is fresh and never cliche. The Universe Versus Alex Woods is a sweet and surprisingly endearing book, smart and funny, it will make you smile, and maybe even shed a little tear.
I read this collection of short stories and half of me wanted to get back to writing immediately, while the other half just thought fuck it, give up now – you’ll never be as good as this. This was one of the few books I bought at full price because I got a sample sent to my iPad and was left gob smacked by the talent of the writer. I still am. 5. The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
The Girl on the Train has been compared to Gone Girl and I can see why, it’s smart, engaging and edgy. A perfect beach read, I devoured it on a flight to England and it was over in a flash. The battery on my iPad died when I reached baggage collection with only a page to go. Devastating. 6. The Rosie Project, Graeme Simsion
This is properly laugh out loud funny. The main character is just charming (although I couldn’t stop myself from picturing him as Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory) I have to admit I have since read the follow up The Rosie Effect and wasn’t quite so impressed, but that doesn’t detract from the merits of this book. 7. Us, David Nicholls
I confess I tried to read One Day a few years ago and just couldn’t get on with it. I never had the same problem with Us and, in fact, after reading this, went back to One Day and thoroughly enjoyed that too. Romantic and touching. 8. The Shock of the Fall, Nathan Filer
This is a fantastic book, skilfully written and incredibly moving. Having worked for many years with adults with mental health difficulties, and suffered with my own, I found this to be written with such clever observation and tenderness. Bring tissues. 9. Elizabeth is Missing, Emma Healey
A fantastic debut from Emma Healey for which she, quite rightly, won The Costa Book Award. Anybody with elderly relatives will be deeply moved by this book and you will be rooting for Maud the whole way through. 10. Roof toppers, Katherine Rundell
Full disclosure I have only just started this but it was highly recommended to me by someone whose opinion I trust fully, and I’m already in love.
For fellow fans of Young Adult Fiction you could also reread The Hunger Games: Mockingjay before the film is released! The trailer looks great.
Finally can I just say – look at the gorgeous collection of covers in this list of books! It makes me very happy to see such beautiful jackets and although I love reading on my iPad, all of this incredible art makes me miss real books.