12 Books I’m reading this Summer

There’s nothing quite like a good book while reclining on the sofa with a hot cup of chai or sitting in the garden with the sun on your toes. Each year, I try to line up a selection of books to read and this is the class of 2022. In the comments below, let me know if you’ve read any of them, have any ideas for future picks, or notice any glaring omissions!

October, October – Katya Balen

[The award-winning one] Having studied childhood literature at University, Carnegie book winners are usually on my radar (well, most of the shortlist is, to be honest). October, October is the latest winner, a story about a girl who has grown up in the woods and is now being taken to live outside of her comfort zone. Already sounds like a classic.

The Beast Warrior – Nahoko Uehashi

[The sequel to one I’ve already enjoyed] The Beast Player was on my list back in 2018 and I loved it. From dragons to beekeeping, beautifully descriptive prose and world-building it had everything I could want in an escapist tale. This follow-up has been on my radar for a while and I’m excited to have the time to dig into it finally. If you haven’t read the first, get yourself a copy and enjoy.

Your New Playlist: The Student’s Guide to Tapping into the Superpower of Mindset – Jon Acuff

[The self-improvement one] I’ve always enjoyed Jon’s writing and I must confess, I’ve already listened to/read ‘Soundtracks’, the audiobook/book that this is based on! Soundtracks put into words thoughts I’ve had and truths that I’ve half-known. This is the student edition, completely rewritten and repackaged for a younger audience but with the same heart and message. It doesn’t come out till later this year but I managed to get on the launch team so I’m reading and reviewing. I’ll let you know what I think.

The Lion Above the Door – Onjali Q Raúf

[The one I might read to read to my class] I’ve always read lots of children’s books and love making sure I can get stories that will appeal to the children I teach as well as exploring topics or themes that they might not otherwise. This book, about children trying to discover missing histories of WWII, fits that remit perfectly. There’s also lots of real-life content at the end to explore.

The Judge’s List – John Grisham

[The guilty pleasure one] I love legal/crime books and – along with Lee Child, Gregg Hurwitz and Anthony Horowitz – John Grisham is one of the best! I’m hoping for yet another page turner filled with intreguie, mystery and action.

In Between – J.M.Sandford

[The one written by someone I know] Mark mentored me through my late teens and seeing a book of his in print is very exciting. In Between tells the story of a boy who has experienced loss and now finds himself with the ability to switch between his own world and another. Sounds like a modern Narniaesque tale to me.

Long Way Down – Jason Reynolds & Danica Novgorodoff

[The graphic novel one] 2022’s Kate Greenaway Award Winner, Danica Novgorodoff has taken Jason Reynolds’s text from 2018 and made it all the more poignant. I love seeing how verse and paratext meet, especially with such poignant topic matter. One to really dwell and explore I think.

She is fierce – Ana Sampson

[The poetry one] Taglined ‘Brave, bold and beautiful poems by women.’ this collection features a wide array of voices including Sylvia Plath, Carol Ann Duffy, Margaret Atwood, Maya Angelou and many more. I’ve been told its an exquisite anthology and, as a lover of poems,, I’m looking forward to discovering some new favourites.

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – Douglas Adams

[The ‘I’ve read it before, I’ll read it again’ one] I’ve always enjoyed the oddity of Adams’ writing and the absurdity of his narratives. the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy audiobooks have kept me amused on many a journey and now Stephen Mangan is narrating Dirk Gently as I hit the road or whilst I’m in the kitchen. Looking forward to hearing familiar stories with new voices.

The Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham

[The classic one] I love a classic and John Wyndham’s tale of a world struck by blindness has been badly represented by various television adaptations and poor imitations over the years. The original reads like a nightmare and is perhaps one of the best science fiction books ever written.

Black AND British – David Olusoga

[The educational one] I’ve appreciated the work that David Olusoga has done for History and his writings have inspired me to research and explore a more diverse history curriculum for the school I work in. Its times to practice what I preach and explore in more depth myself and this book feels like a brilliant place to start.

The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman

[The ‘I feel like I should read it but haven’t gotten around to it’ one] I’ve had this sat ready to read for a few months, having had it recommended to me for a few years! It feels as though it is finally time to read and judge for myself. Trying to turn off any expectations I have and see what I think.

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