There’s nothing quite like a good book whilst lying on a beach or sat with a hot mug of cocoa on a comfy chair. Each year I try to line up a selection of books to read. Let me know, in the comments below, if you’ve read any of them, have any ideas for future picks or notice any glaring omissions!
Wed Wabbit – Lissa Evans
Books which are Carnegie Medal nominated often appeal to me (part of my degree was focussed on studying the quality of the award winners over the years) and this book has been shortlisted for good reason: Immensely entertaining, Evans describes the journey of Fidge who has to defeat a dictator who can’t pronounce the letter ‘r’ with three strange companions.
Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman
I’ve been meaning to read this for a while as it combines two things I love: Neil Gaiman and tales of Vikings. Gaiman wrote one of my favourite children’s novels The Graveyard Book, as well as contributing to TV shows including Neverwhere and Dr Who. I have always been a fan of legends and myths and with characters like Odin, Thor and Loki who can blame me. In this collection Gaiman goes back to the original stories and retell then in only the way that he could.
Everybody always – Bob Goff
Bob wrote an amazing book in ‘Love Does’ that made me laugh, cry and leave feeling challenged. This second book looks at the call to love all people, all the time. There are challenges and stories from Bob as he shares memoirs of the times it went well and not so well in his pursuit to be love.
Forgotten Women: The Leaders – Zing Tsjeng
Formatted in the same fashion as Rebel Girls but for a older audience, Forgotten Women covers the histories of women who have impacted the courses of our futures. Covering rebels, warriors, rulers, activists and reformers – The Leaders shines a light on 48 rebellious and remarkable women who have made their mark on the world.
A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
This has been called a classic and was recently turned into an, apparently underwhelming, film. Charles and Meg travel through a ‘wrinkle in time’ with their friend Calvin trying to find their missing father. Having not read this before, nor watched the aforementioned film I thought it would be a good way to get my science fiction fix for the summer.
The Beast Player – Nahoko Uehashi
Japanese fantasy writing at its best, so I’m told, The Beast Player is an international phenomenon and I look forward to being introduced to the universe of Erin who seems to hold the world in balance with her ability to speak to animals, something that gives her great power. Nahoko is one of Japan’s leading teen authors and I look forward to reading this one during my summer travels.
Unexpected – Christine Caine
Christine is one of my favourite public speakers; her passion and enthusiasm are infectious and you always leave having heard enough but wanting to hear more. Having read Unashamed a few summers ago I had this on my pre-order list a few days after it was announced. In this book Christine looks at how the unexpected events in life can be opportunities to experience more of God. Certainly seems very intriguing.
If you feel too much – Jamie Tworkowski
Just over a decade ago Jamie wrote an essay called “To Write Love On Her Arms” about a friend struggling with addiction, depression and self-harm. He now oversees an international charity of the same name. This is a collection of Jamie’s essays which look at encouraging readers to admit their pain and get help.
Hellbent – Gregg Hurwitz
Orphan X has been a feature of my last two Shetland trips; what was initially a good last minute buy at the airport has now become a firm holiday favourite. With traits of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher and Robert Ludlum’s Bourne, the books read like watching a movie in your head. Super action scenes, well characterised and very enjoyable: the perfect summer page turner.
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Last year I read 1984 as my summer classic and loved it. Orwell’s prose is stunning and the reaction demanded from the reader second to none. I haven’t read Animal Farm since I was 13 but still remember the impact it had on me both as a reader and in forming my political opinions. This summer I’ll be having a revisit to the farm and seeing what those pigs are up to.
Station Zero (Railhead 3) – Phillip Reeve
If you haven’t yet read Railhead you should stop reading this article right now and order yourself a copy. Reeve is an expert world creator, and this narrative weaved across galaxies with an untrustworthy “hero” is his latest stunning series. Station Zero, the final book in the trilogy, brings to close our journey on the rails and I’m so excited to get started!
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a world made for whiteness – Austin Channing Brown
I bought this having heard an interview with Austin on the relevant podcast: the impassioned and striking way in which she spoke about issues of race rallied me to buy a copy of her debut. It’s part memoir, part manifesto and I’m sure it’s going to be challenging but so very needed.